Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autumn On The Canadian Tundra...Part 3. Added Bonus: An Autumnal Haiku.

Autumnal Haiku...

A fleeting zephyr...
Dead leaves flutter in free fall
to detrital Hell.

Peruse more poetry at Haikus From Hell...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Autumn On The Canadian Tundra...Part 2 or Juizhaigou or Bust?

Random leaves on the floor of Fish Creek Park. How many different tree species can you spot?

I was researching potential destinations for the upcoming trip when I came across a place called Juizhaigou National Park, a jewel of a place located in northern Sichuan Province, China.

I vaguely recalled this place was the subject of a recent National Geographic article.

As I browsed through some of the beautiful online photos of Juizhaigou's emerald, azure blue mountain lakes and broad cascading waterfalls, I thought to myself, 'Damn, I've got to go there".

Indeed, further research revealed that Juizhaigou was a UNESCO Heritage Site!

That really piqued my interest.

Sign me up now!!

That was until I read this brutally honest commentary in what seemed like a Chinese tourism website:

"Jiuzhaigou is a picturesque place without doubt, but we will NOT recommend it as one of China's top destinations for independent backpackers.

First, the entrance ticket Y310 [ed. note Y310 is approximately 45 USD] is too expensive. Secondly, the place is so crowded with Chinese tourists in holidays, they are very undisciplined and usually huddle and chat everywhere. The noise murders the natural beauty."

Wow, that was kind of a buzz killer, eh?

Hmmm...chatty crowds of Chinese tourists...their noise murdering the natural beauty.

That last line had me laughing. I envisioned really loud Chinese people playing mah jong on tables set up in the woods.

All in all, I'm not surprised that this place is inundated with native tourists. It's only natural. I witnessed the same phenomenon in Lhasa. It's like Americans flocking to the Grand Canyon. .

Should I go to Juizhaigou or not?

What other places have you gone where the tourists murdered the natural beauty with their noise?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Autumn On The Canadian Tundra...

Stand of poplars in Fish Creek Park...

Well, I think autumn this year in Calgary lasted about five days...

One day in September we were basking in 30 Celsius temperatures. The next day we were huddled around the kitchen stove, drawing on its life-giving heat, as arctic winds blasted across the tundra.

The autumnal photography took a hit as a result.

The extreme cold killed off a lot of the foliage prematurely. Instead of leaves gradually changing from summer greens to autumn golds and reds, they just died, yielding shades of black.

Those leaves that reached xanthophyllic bliss were blown away by a couple of strategically placed windstorms.

Beauty is fleeting at best sometimes.

Enough of this whining...

I better post some pix I took in Fish Creek (some from this year and a few from other years) before the real big snows fly this winter.