February 19, 2014


Peace Park in Hong Kong is dedicated to those who died in WWII.
Dragon statue in Zodiac Park, Kowloon.

 One of the most interesting aspects of our trip to China and Hong Kong was the chance to see how the residents use their parks. All ages took part in activities there, from senior citizens knitting or practicing qigong or tai chi to young adults dancing and playing games. China's parks are well used, and tourists are welcome to enjoy the fresh air and beauty, as well as to join in the fun!

People light candles in the Great Buddha park.

What a polite way to say "Keep off the Grass!" (Happy is the tender grass when here your feet do not trespass!)

Young adults play keep-away in waterside park on Llama Island near Hong Kong.

Tourists join the dance in Beijing.

Hacken sack with a feathered birdie. Looks like fun!

More dancers. Two-step to "Red River Valley."
Water calligraphy. Beautiful and artistic. It disappears when the water dries. A good example of valuing the process, not just the product.

A covered walkway in Beijing's Peoples Park was lined with knitters and people playing Mah Jongg, chess and checkers.

February 3, 2014


Pandas like to climb and take shelter in hollow trees or rock crevices.

On a rainy day in Chongqing, we visited the zoo's panda pavilion at lunch time.

We were able to see six pandas doing what pandas do best--eat bamboo. Although there were bamboo structures similar to a school jungle gym in each enclosure, we were told that these gentle giants mostly eat and sleep.

It soon became obvious why these intriguing bears are considered China's National Treasure!

They are solitary creatures and don't mind turning their backs on visitors.


 ...and eating

...and eating

                                                                   ..and eating some more.

 The last enclosure we visited seemed larger than the others, and the eldest female resides there. She's the mother/grandmother of several of the pandas in the zoo and seemed happy to rest on her laurels.

A panda cub is pink, blind and toothless when born and weighs from 3 to 5 ounces, about 1/800th of its mother's weight. When we visited, a mother and her newborn cub were in isolation, so we weren't able to see this tiny miracle in person.
Grandma bear enjoys her lunch--and solitude.

In the past pandas were thought to be rare and noble creatures. The Empress Dowager Bo was buried with a panda skull in her vault. Today pandas are rare and considered endangered. Their natural habitat in the Sichuan province was been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.