The Naga of the Night

The Naga at night.

The picture above is a common temple decoration in Thailand.  The large green dragon creature is called a Makara, and the serpents coming out of his mouth are the Naga.  It’s really quite amazing how religious mythology travels around Asia, borrowing and reinventing.  The makara and the naga are both Hindu originally but like many items from Hindu mythology can be seen making guest appearances in Buddhist practices in other countries.  It’s always a humbling experience standing at the steps of a temple looking up at the beasts.  It is also a very empowering feeling standing at the top of a temple looking down on the twisting body of such a creature.

Kanchantaburi Temple at Night

The temple in Kanchantaburi

The temple in Kanchantaburi, Thailand at night.

I can’t stress enough how beautiful Kanchantaburi was.  We were there during Songkran so I did not feel comfortable going to the temple service for a holy event I didn’t understand, so instead I waited outside and took photographs.  It was amazing how many stars were out so far away from the cities.  I often go out to the country or the state parks in Wisconsin.  Yet up in the mountains I felt even more removed from the influences of the city.  I was amazed how many stars I was able to pick up on film, the image is a bit grainy but still captures the stillness of the night.

Pyrrhocoridae

The wings are just little nubs in the baby form.

I fell in love with these adorable little Pyrrhocoridaes that were around the Temple in Kanchantaburi.  What can I say I guess a part of me will always be that ten twelve year old girl who wanted to be an entomologist when she grows up.  That and bugs are some of the greatest models for the Macro lens.

In the adult form the wings have grown out.

My dad had told me their common name at the time I was taking the pictures, but I can’t remember it, nor can I seem to find an accurate source anywhere on the web.  I did find a lot of other big creepy bugs of Thailand though.  I thought this was a fun site to browse the gallery of http://www.thaibugs.com/.  I can tell you one creepy crawler you will never see a picture of on here though is the centipede.  Uck!  They were so humongous and creepy over there, one that we saw was almost a foot long!  So gross, those are right up there with earwigs in the bugs I can do without category.

Wing’s Eye View

The Peace Fountain outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY.

I was backing up my laptop as I prepare it for the coming Lion upgrade (if it can even handle Lion *fingers crossed*), and I came across this image from one of my earlier portfolios.  I love the angle of the shoot.  I think it’s a perfect representation of a “wing’s eye view”.

This is the Peace Fountain outside the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.  I spent a lot of time in the area of the Cathedral during my trip to Manhattan.  There was a crepe restaurant within a block of it that I fell in love with, and since we don’t have crepe restaurants in Milwaukee I decided I need to go multiple time during my week there (I do love creeps ever so much). So, I spent a lot of time just staring up in amazement of this massive Cathedral, the fourth largest christian church in the world, smack in the middle of Manhattan, surrounded by skyscrapers.  It’s an incredible and somewhat perplexing site.  The fountain itself is also a lot to take in.  I think I could have, and honestly might have spent an hour or more just looking at all the different things going on in the sculpture, it’s a really well done narrative piece of art.

Monkeys Make Me Happy

Yes it’s another monkey picture.  What can I say monkey’s make me happy, and in these hard economic times couldn’t we all use a little bit more monkey?  This in another shoot from the temple ruins in Northern India.  I gave it a little bit a aged treatment to really bring out that orange color of the bricks which will forever be the color of  India to me after my visit.

 

Kanchanaburi

 

The forest outside the temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, was one of the most majestic places I’ve ever been.  Under the shade of the towering trees the suns rays seemed like little blessings from above.  It was still very hot and humid there, but the heat seemed much more bearable in the peace of the mountain.  I can understand why they decided to build a temple in this location, it is easy to feel closer to the heavens.  If I return to Thailand this is the one area I truly want to see again.