Sunday, August 31, 2014

Outdoor Sculptures at War Memorial of Korea

In addition to the large exhibition hall and many outdoor war equipment exhibits, the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul has several poignant memorial sculptures. The two pictured above show the human side of war. The "Statue of Brothers" is probably its most famous one, depicting two brothers embracing on the battlefield - an older brother from the ROK and his younger brother who is fighting with the North Korean army. A powerful symbol of love, forgiveness and reconciliation, it expresses the hope of Koreans. The granite used in the domed shape portion was collected from various parts of Korea, symbolizing the nationwide sacrifices. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

War Memorial of Korea

 Although I've taken the bus past the War Memorial of Korea quite often, I finally stopped to visit it. Located on the former site of the Army Headquarters in the section of Seoul known as Yongsan, the site covers over 20,000 square meters. Comprised of over 13,000 items (more added via donation each year), free entry to both the outdoor and eight exhibition halls has plenty to offer for the whole family. Exhibitions were signposted in several languages and QR codes enabled visitors to get more information via smartphones. From ancient arrowheads to the Kobukson turtle ships of the Joseon Dynasty to wars of the present day, the Memorial commemorated the sacrifices of the warriors and victims that helped contribute to the Korea of today. Some sections were more abstract and symbolic, some were more high-tech, while others encouraged visitor hands-on participation. As expected, the Korean War of the 1950's was particularly well and well-chronicled, taking up the second floor.
Free tours are offered.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tickling of the Morning Light

Despite the slightly hazy atmosphere, the morning light still managed to make its way through the trees, tickling the purple ground cover below. A tranquil way to begin the day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wiggling and Rotating

The inner part of this lotus just beginning to open seemed to be wiggling, as if the still-furled petals were worm-like creatures. Cropped, this image was a lot more interesting than the full flower.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tickle My Beard!

Amidst the sea of lotuses at Bongwonsa Temple stood this stone haetae - a mythical beast of Korea and China resembling a lion-dog with horns. I love how the pink blossoms seemed to be tickling the beast's beard.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Chennai!

Today marks the 375th anniversary of the founding of modern Chennai. On this date, the East India Company was granted a 3-mile strip of land in a fishing village called Madrasapatnam, establishing India's first modern city. It was here that a fort and castle was to be built.
Pictured below is the Secretariat of Fort St. George, which houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.

Petals from Above and the Side

It's fun to photograph flowers from various views, generating such different images of the same subject. The lower photo was a bit more challenging, as I had to hold my camera way above my head in order to capture the full radial shot of such tall lotuses.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pads and Panels

Some more photos at Bongwonsa Temple in Seoul. The curvilinear shape of the lotus pads contrasted nicely with the geometric designs of the sliding panels.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Magenta and Cream Lotuses

Taking advantage of the pleasant temperatures of the early morning, I visited Bongwonsa Temple in the vicinity of school. Although the potted lotuses appeared to be on the wane, there still were some to admire. Most were magenta/pink, while a few were a creamy white.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pinks and Purples

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love posting photos of flowers and blooms. Here are a few of the pink and purple variety around my school campus in Seoul.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back at SFS

School's Korean gate
 After a low-key summer, I'm back in Seoul. This marks my 15th year teaching overseas - my 3rd year at Seoul Foreign School - and my 21st year teaching overall. Here are a few photos of our campus. The school is blessed with beautiful facilities. This week teachers are having inservices/meetings, and hopefully a bit of time to get the rooms ready.
Soccer field, with ES building (left) and HS building (right)
Flowering bushes next to the Lyso Performing Arts Center
I just had to include a few blossoms as well!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Flowers and Ferns

Throughout the 16 acres of outdoor gardens at Olbrich, visitors can enjoy the colorful palette of flowers. The gardens at this Madison location are lovingly maintained by volunteers (I could see my mom doing this!). What a lovely place to visit - and it's free!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Tenney Park Waterways

Walking through Tenney Park in Madison is a pleasant experience, with its many bridges spanning the waterways. Fishing is a popular past time here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Tenney Park Lock and Dam, Lake Mendota

Located along the shores Lake Mendota in Madison, this portion of Tenney Park has a nice extension into the lake. It also contains a boat lock and dam. The current boat lock was built in 1959. The original dam was built in 1847 out of earth, enlarging Lake Mendota and increasing its depth. A large flour mill was erected over the outlet in its early days. Torrential rains destroyed that dam in 1866.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Early Lily Light

Arriving in the morning at Olbrich just as it opened, the early morning light illuminated these peach water beauties.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ribs of Washington Avenue Bridge

Walking on the bike path under the bridge spanning East Washington Avenue in Madison, the curves of the bridge support along with their reflections in the water reminded me of ribs.