Photo Challenge: Treat

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A banana split was a treat I most definitely was not expecting to find at the Chengdu airport during a layover. After the food I’d been offered on Air China on the way there, this was even more of a treat!

Tibet & China June 2011 231

P.S. I did share this with someone else!

P.P.S. Click here to see others’ ideas of a treat

Photo Challenge: Happy Place

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Kwangde

I sit in pure Himalayan peace and bliss, cupping a mug of coffee in my hands and gazing out my frosted window as the sun rises over Kwangde, the mountain and hanging glacier that face the town of Namche Bazaar, Nepal. There is a jagged ridge to the peak that reminds me of a crenellated edge on one of the Gothic spires at my university. Namche’s amphitheater layout sprawls below, and I can see two-thirds of it, a monastery, and the mountain from this early morning perch at my window. The exhilaration of another day of trekking awaits me, yet I am in no hurry; I sit transfixed, breathing shallowly, almost meditative, for an unknown number of minutes. This will always be my happy place; though I may never return there physically, it remains an indelible memory of the most complete and utter contentment.

Click here to see the happy places others go to recharge and restore themselves.

Photo Challenge: Grid

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Based on my recent (low) level of participation in the Weekly Photo Challenges, one might think I’d gone seriously off the grid for a while! But no, I’ve been squarely in the digital world, just too busy or lazy to take or search for photos that mesh with the weekly themes these days. Today, I’ve gone overboard with a collection of grids from around the world.

(Click on or hover over gallery photos for full-size photos and captions)

The basics: classic horizontal and vertical grids

Vibrant, colorful grids

Sad, solemn grids

Crooked, distorted grids

Parisian architectural grids

Shimmering, shiny grids

Click here for more grids this week.

Photo Challenge: Connected

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I hike to feel connected to the land, and the trail symbolizes that feeling of connection for me. I love so many others’ depictions of connection, too; see them here!

Photo Challenge: Beneath my Feet

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One of my favorite parts of the Everest Base Camp trail in Nepal was crossing the long metal bridges that spanned the rivers and valleys along the way. Most of them crossed and re-crossed the Dudh Kosi, some just a few feet over the water and others high above the raging, milky water below. I can still hear the sounds – the creaking cables, the tapping of our hiking poles on the slats, the jingle of yak bells – as the bridges swayed beneath my feet, carrying me ever deeper into the Khumbu.

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Photo Challenge: Symbol

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The image seen alongside my name on both of my blogs is the endless knot, a (usually Buddhist) symbol that many other cultures have used in similar forms. I came to love this design in Tibet and Nepal, where it is also known as the sherpa symbol. The photo is of a small silver medallion, bought in Kathmandu, that I wear on a chain nearly every day. It reminds me of some of the most meaningful trips and hikes I have taken and also stands for many things I appreciate in general: the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, harmony, and the interconnectedness of all life in our world.

Check out some other symbols for this week’s photo challenge here.

Photo Challenge: ROY G. BIV

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I’m eager to post something from my recent trip to Israel and Jordan, but the hot, dry landscapes there were not ideal for a post on the colors of the rainbow. From my photos of arid desert scenes, crusty rock formations, and pale limestone facades, I challenged myself to find a dash of each color somehow, somewhere. Here is my best effort to ferret out rainbow hues in the midst of a Middle Eastern summer.

Bus rest stop in the Negev desert

Bus rest stop in the Negev desert

The Treasury at Petra, Jordan

The Treasury at Petra, Jordan

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

Old City, Jerusalem, Israel

Old City, Jerusalem, Israel

Last goodbye before walking through no man's land into Israel

Last goodbye before walking through no man’s land into Israel

Dead Sea, Israel

Dead Sea, Israel