green spaces of Hong Kong (friday foto finder: green)

Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, is known as an urban jungle. But the territory also boasts a wide range of green spaces, which more closely resemble “jungle” than “urban jungle.” When I visited Hong Kong in 2011 for a conference, I enjoyed exploring the urban jungle, and also managed to see a few of the greener spaces. The highlight of these excursions was a hike with my friend YTSL, a Hong Kong local who knows her way around the green spaces of Hong Kong. We met up and took a series of subway rides and buses out to Wong Shek, on the Sai Kung Peninsula. (I wouldn’t have remembered exactly where it was we went, but happily YTSL mentioned it in her post shortly after our hike.)

The day was hot and humid, and also very hot and really humid, but I managed not to pass out. I also managed to take several hundred photos. (Pausing to take a photo is a good way to catch one’s breath.) Did I mention that it was hot and humid? It was all entirely worth it, as the views were stunning, and I appreciated them even through the heat and humidity.

The blue skies were filled with fluffy white rather expressive-looking clouds.

Below the blue and white there was plenty of green to be seen.

There were splashes of other colors, too, among the green fronds.

The path was sometimes narrow, sometimes not, sometimes paved, sometimes not. But always surrounded by green.

A particularly photogenic cloud poses for the camera, trying to steal attention from the picturesque rocks, water and greenery.

We passed a small number of homes which appeared to be inhabited, and more that were clearly long abandoned.

Some of the abandoned buildings were taken over by green.

Our hike finished up with a ferry ride back to our starting point, which offered plenty more beautiful views of green peaks. (A few more photos from the excursion are included below, in the slideshow. And several hundred more are still on my laptop.)

This post was brought to you by the color green, which was week’s friday foto finder theme . Green abounds in my photo library, especially of the local greenery, but it seemed a good excuse to get back to posting some of my long-promised travel photos. To see what other green can be seen, stop by the fff blogfff 200x60

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At some point last school year, I started going on morning walks with a neighbor whose kids get on the school bus with Phoebe. We have a couple of standard routes, depending on how much time we have to walk. What with busy schedules and sometimes uncooperative weather, we haven’t gotten too many walks in this winter. We did this morning, and without any planning, we headed a bit off our typical routes. We walked down a couple of neighboring streets, and when we got to the signs marking the town conservation lands, we were inspired to wander up the trail. Our morning walk turned into a bit of a hike, and an exploration. At some point, the trail ended, and we kept going, heading through the woods in the general direction of our road. With no snow on the ground, and with the undergrowth in its rather sparse wintery state, the going was pretty easy. I We did end up crossing a few creeks a few times, using stones and, in one case, a fallen tree.

A little pond, frozen over and dusted with snow.

One of the streams. We didn’t cross on this fallen tree.

Close-up of the ice in the stream.

I was quite taken with these mushrooms.

Here are those same mushrooms, looking straight on.

See how fuzzy they are? (This is a zoomed in crop of the mushrooms. A ‘shroom zoom, as it were.)

I think this tree was flashing us.

You can see here how this stream was pretty easy to cross, via that little dam of rocks.

More ice.

I like ice.

A fallen tree, whose roots have been worn away, leaving a bit of a star shape.

Stump fungi. You can see here that there is a bit of fresh snow here. The big, fluffy flakes were just wafting down lazily, adding to the ambiance.

The ruffles of this fungus remind me of a flamenco dancer’s dress.

It’s so funny to realize that this place has been around the corner the whole time I’ve lived in this town, yet this was the first time I’d ventured in these past 13 years. I hope to head back in, and bring my real camera. (Not shown are the varied shots where I didn’t quite get the focus.) I was glad I had my phone with me, though, as it not only let me take the photos, but helped us decide our path a couple of times. (It felt a bit like cheating to use my phone’s GPS, but this was supposed to be a quick morning walk before starting work, not an all-day exploration.)