Posts Tagged With: sunrise

Early Bird Catches the Photo: WP Photo Challenge

If you get up early before the world awakes the quiet stillness surrounds you. I must admit I am more of a night owl, but early mornings are nice….sparingly. Sometimes they are forced upon me and that isn’t always a treat, but getting to see this rare sunrise in Shanghai from my balcony was.

Morning splendor

Morning splendor

Most times the sun rise is blocked by the neighbouring buildings, but a few short days a year, I get to share  the morning splendor as I wake early for work.


People flock to Angkor Wat to see the sun rise behind the ancient walls and temples. The early bird here gets the best spot to capture the view.

Early Bird catches the photo

Early Bird catches the photo

If you want to read about our trip to Angkor click on this link.


This past summer I was up early and enjoying a quiet house before everyone was up. Looking out as the sunrise was just coming up a little sparkle caught my eye. I noticed these amazing spider webs, covered in morning dew. A few minutes later, as the sun shifted, they became invisible once more. A lucky chance of an early morning to capture those pics. If you want to see more of the natural beauties click on this link here.

natures jewles

natures jewels

Be sure to visit Word Press for more examples of this theme.

Stay tuned for more…


Categories: Photography, unique experiences, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Texture: Weekly Photo Challenge

Waking up early just as the sun was rising the grass and everything was covered in dew and a light mist. I was taking in the beauty of a quiet morning when something caught my eye.


I quickly snapped away at the 4 or 5 different spider webs trying hard to focus on the delicate threads and dew that clung to each strand. A few minutes later as the sun rose higher in the sky the magic was lost and the spider webs became invisible once more.


Check out word press and their weekly photo challenge for more examples or to post a link of your own texture post.

If you missed it, yesterday I posted a brief summary of travels over this past week at Tip Toe Travels and as always stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , ,

Angkor Wat Awe and Wonder

The morning started at 4:30 AM with a wake up call. Today was an early start to make sunrise at the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. Quickly we dressed for the early morning chill and ran downstairs to the lobby to meet our driver and guide for the day, Rak. Sleepily we climbed into the car and drove off into the darkness. We drove round twists and turns with the sound of the tuk tuk motors filling the air as we passed them in our car. We came to a large ticket area to buy our 3 day passes ($20 USD for 1 day and $40 for 3), get  our photo taken to be placed on the ticket. The large crowds were quickly handled and within minutes we were back in the car and getting instructions as to where to go once we were dropped off at the gate. It was pitch dark with no street lights, luckily I brought a small portable flashlight. Rak pointed the direction and we were off with the crowds over ancient cobbled stone and we picked our way in the darkness following the simple beam of light. Suddenly a slight outline of the temple loomed in front of us. It was right there the entire time. My breath caught in my throat, as awe washed over me. I had imagined it far from the road, but it was right in front of us the whole time hidden in the inky blackness. We continued on up some stairs feeling our way in the dark. On the other side we could clearly see the temple and where the reflecting pond was to get the best photos.

The large crowd of people spread out along the pond, so it was difficult to get a good place to view the sunrise and see its reflection in the said pond. I pushed through the crowds looking for a better place. On the opposite side a smaller pond was less crowded, so we moved there and waited for the sun. The temples were now outlined by the ever lightening sky. Unfortunately after the early morning start the low hanging mist and cloud along the horizon blocked out the sunrise leaving a bland, dull sky. It was disappointing we missed the glorious colours and sunrise, especailly since the sky appeared clear when we left, oh well the temples were still there, so we set off to explore.

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Two smaller structures were near the reflecting ponds, so we started there. We then went to the main temple area. It is 3 levels and each one is a steep climb. In some places wooden staircases and railings were added to make the climb easier. Few people were around, so we were able to explore and take photos with ease. A large crowd had gathered in one area and suddenly everyone jumped up and a rope barrier was moved to allow the crowds to climb to the highest level. Take note that Angkor Wat is a temple and you must be respectful, so no short shorts or uncovered shoulders are allowed. If you do not follow this request you will not be allowed to enter. As far as I know a scarf isn’t enough to cover your arms and shoulders. It must be a proper top. The day we visited it remained cool, so it wasn’t a problem for us. You should also note the ticket you purchased will be requested to be presented at numerous locations even within the same temple complex. It is a paper ticket, so keep it safe. We clambered up the steep stairs and the view was worth it. The view over the grounds and surrounding area was stunning. The sun was finally making a brief appearance and it highlighted all the carvings and bas reliefs that covered the walls. The amount of workmanship in this temple and the carvings that covered every wall, celing and doorway was amazing. Some told stories while others showed gods, or intricate sdesigns. The detail was fantastic and some carvings were shallow and worn over time while others were deep.

detailed carvings covered every surface

detailed carvings covered every surface

The pillars represented mountains and look like lotus buds

IMG_6059View from the Top

Intricate carvings

Intricate carvings

Leaving the temple we followed the same route we took before sunrise. We were surprised how large the moat was surrounding the temple complex, like a river,  and how close we were to  the edge picking our way through the darkness. The uneven large stone bridge was massive. Along the way we could spot the restoration work that has been taking place to preserve this incredible landmark and World Heritage sight.

view towards the main gate

view towards the main gate

Stay tuned… more temples and Siem Reap to come.

Categories: Culture, Photography, travel, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wind: Pixelventures

Wind is one of the main elements associated with earth. It is also the theme for this week’s photo challenge set by Bastet over at WDBWP.

As she says wind is hard to capture and up on the 14th floor of a high-rise we don’t always see the effects that wind have since we are so high above the trees. We were hoping for a good wind this week to blow away all the bad air and pollution that has blanketed much of China over the last few weeks. It slowly sank down to Shanghai this past week and as a result we had 2 days of indoor recess. Levels over 200 on the 2.5 scale (the yucky dangerous particles smaller than dust that can get into the body and cause troubles) call for indoor play and cranked up air purifiers. My eyes watered and nose tingled while the air had a smokey acrid smell. My throat itched and I coughed, while even the cat had watery eyes and she is always inside. It was an air you could taste.

Here are 2 views from our balcony of sunrise. One was taken in September when levels were well under 100 (probably around 40-60). The second is a similar view into the same vantage point taken this past Thursday when levels were about 214. Can you see the haze? Shouldn’t air be clear? It creates a spooky feeling and sucks away all the colour and depth perception as my eyes strain to look into the distance. It has become a part of my daily routine to check the weather and pollution levels when I wake up. At least we were not as bad off as Northern cities who had levels skyrocket into the 400-500 range. Schools were closed and people were told to stay home. Car accidents happened more frequently that week due to poor visibility. Even the CBC had articles and pictures posted on their website of the haze that swallowed China.

The other picture shows wind and a different kind of storm. It was taken back in Canada last February during a snow storm. Winds howled, snow fell and kiddies got to stay home from school. This is the kind of day to snuggle up with some hot cocoa and a good book, but I couldn’t resist going out into it to snap some pics since it was 3 years since I had seen ‘real snow’. The cold wind whipped my face and the snow make my cheeks burn as the little icy pellets bombarded me, but it was worth the effort to enjoy an experience I hadn’t had since living abroad in China.

Snow, Cold and Wind

Snow, Cold and Wind

Be sure to head over the Bastet’s page and see more examples and learn more about the earthy elements.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sunsets: Pixelventures Photo Challenge

The colours, cloud patterns and location make each sunset different and beautiful. Watching sunsets and photographing them will never get old. Here are a few of my favourite from my collections of sunsets… and one brilliant fiery orange sunrise.

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Like what you see and want to see more? Head over to Pixelventures and check it out. Why not join in and post your own?


Stay tuned…


Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , ,