Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cruising Around: Exploring Close to Home.

Have Wheelchair will Travel
The weather here has become Autumn weather.  So the temperature has come down, a fresh little breeze is blowing and the weather is perfect for a cruise on the the old scooter.  So after I got back from my morning trip to downtown Taoyuan I decided to hit the open road.  I took a few pictures of some things that I thought were interesting or beautiful, or both, as the case may be.  I've recently been spending quite a bit of time looking at photographer Craig Ferguson's travel photos.  His photos are so good that I'm almost intimidated to take pictures.  His are art, mine should be in your grandmother's scrapbook.  You can see Craig's excellent photos at  and you'll see why I'm intimidated.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not that good a photographer, basically because I'm lazy.  I have a small digital camera and mostly take snapshot like photos.  I'm wanting to get a really good, digital camera, like a canon rebel with a 55mm to 128mm lens or some other technical stuff.  I had a nice SLR film camera, but film is a pain when you're using it to blog.  So, I guess I'm not too technical when it comes to cameras.  I have a friend who's so technical that he uses only numbers when he talks.  Anyway such as they are, here are my photos and a brief description

These three photos above are a a large Taoist temple.  I found this temple by following a line of lanterns hung from the telephone poles.  The lanterns are red and spherical.  They're the common lanterns that are sold in Chinese gift shops across America.  They have a purpose beyond decoration and that purpose is to point out the location of a temple.  If you see lanterns strung down the side of a road and follow them they will end at a temple site.

This is a photo of the garden in front of my apartment community.  Many apartments have a beautiful park like Garden for the residents to enjoy.  My daughter Elizabeth loves to take her laptop down to the garden to do her schoolwork.  I have on occasion sat down there in the morning to pray.  It's really very beautiful. 

This stream seems to appear out of nowhere.  On one side of the road is the pond in the picture above where the temple roof can be seen and on the other side of the road is this stream.  But I can't see what feeds the pond.  It's just there, then this stream.  But the stream isn't a trickle it's a pretty good sized creek.  In order to find the source, I'm probably going to have to get off the bike and explore, but I think it would be hard with a wheel chair.  You can see the brush is fairly thick.  So...I guess I'll have to make Emily and Elizabeth do it.

You can see how close I am to the city right here.  This is about three quarters of a kilometer from my apartment.  Elizabeth found this place while walking her dog.

This is the same field as the one in the picture above.  The birds are called Egrets, in English, I don't know what they're called in Chinese.  These are the birds that are often depicted in Chinese art.  Usually they're called Cranes, although, I don't believe they are Cranes in a  taxonomic sense.

The first photo in this group of two is a photo of an altar.  You can see on the altar is a small incense urn, with sticks of incense sticking out of it.  There is a statue of the Goddess on there as well.  So people in this small neighborhood probably burn incense the local deity here.  The incense sticks tell me that someone worshiped here before I came this morning.  The bottom photo is of a couple of family tombs.  These two tombs are beautifully cared for.  You cans see an incense urn and two vases for flowers on the one on the left.  The character in the circle on the top of the one on the right is Wang, a family name, which translates to King.

After I left this road, I circled back and went about 2 kilometers down another road, which leads to a city called Ping Zhen (Ping Jun).  As I came out of the city I came across another stream and found this guy fishing.

A little farther down I came across this apartment community.  the interesting thing here is that this community has a private temple for worshipers living in the community.  I haven't often seen that.

Finally, as I turned toward my own community, I came across this cool little car.  This car is run by a dog grooming company who apparently comes to your house to groom your dog.  You see a lot of these little "VW buses".  They're made from a kit.  I've seen a number of them outfitted for serving hot food off the back.  the panels fold up and in to reveal a propane grill and preparation table.  I've even seen one made to be a small van.  They used a pink one as a van in an Idol Drama, starring Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin called, "It Started with a Kiss."  I like the little paw print shaped vents on this one.

Photos by Chris and Emily Banducci

Other posts you may be interested in:

Clearing Out the Camera:  Random Shots of Taiwan
Local Color:  The Color is Green
Local Color:  The Colors of Kenting
Local Color:  The Temples of Taoyuan City

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