Walk Number 7a – Nara Peace Park

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With such variety, I struggled to find a visual theme for the photographs I brought back from my walk today.  Reflecting on those I selected, I decided the theme was Appreciation; whether it was the single kayak watching the passing dragon boat or my appreciation of the effort of a single bud blooming against the cold; a smiling face etched into a small concrete paver; or even warning buoys awaiting deployment when needed …

… or the play of light and shape in the trees in the park ….

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Dragonboat and Kayak
I stumbled upon three dragon boat teams in training. I clicked away, hoping for something that visually captured the experience.  There was only one shot that showed the flurry of effort as the boat races along.

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Similing Paver
The track around this section of the lake has a decorative element. The little face smiling up at me was a complete surprise.

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Blooming Bud
The neighbouring tree was full of blooms, but I opted for this tree with its single effort sitting just below what could have been an earlier attempt, perhaps lost to frost.

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Warning Buoys
There’s something about caged warnings, warnings in waiting, unused warnings … it somehow appeals to my feeling that the world as a little wonky.

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Nara Park 2
To my eyes, this pergoda statue seems very well placed …

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Nara Park 1
… and my eyes delighted in the delicate sweep created by the trunks and branches of this grove of trees.

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I thought it very clever of me to notice this theme of Appreciation, until I remembered the Stone of Appreciation I’d photographed in the Nara Peace Park.  I had been influenced.  I prefer to know when and where and why I’m being influenced, but on this occasion I didn’t mind so much; the outcome was so positive.

According to the sign:

“Limestone from Tai Lake has been prized as garden ornamentation since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).  Also known as Chinese scholars’ stones, rock specimens are admired for their interesting convoluted forms, and the balance of strength and delicacy.

“The Stone of Appreciation displays the four recognised qualities of fineness (shou), openness (tou), perforations (lou) and wrinkling (zhou).”

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Stone of Appreciation

Click any Stone of Appreciation image to open the gallery.  The Esc key returns you to this page.

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There was one exception to this Appreciation theme.  The Nara Peace Park contains a sculpture of a galloping horse.  The sculpture is of a legendary celestial creature that is swift and powerful.  These features are represented by placing a flying swallow under one of the horse’s hooves.  The original sculpture dates from the Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD).

It must be the cultural differences.  To me, the poor swallow has got the worst of the bargain, leaving me with absolutely no sense of awe for legendary might.  It seems very out of place in a peace park.

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Sculpture of Galloping Horse

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Series Notes

I’m drawing my walking inspiration from Marion Stuart’s “Canberra’s Best Bush, Park & City Walks”, published by Woodslane Press Pty Ltd.  The book contains details of 49 walks of varying lengths and grades.  I’m counting this one as “7a” because it is only half of the “Remnants of Old Canberra” walk.  There wasn’t much of old Canberra to be seen in this first section.  Perhaps next week – weather permitting.

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