View From the Kitchen Window

Hoesan Village in Winter

Each apartment in my complex has two views. Some apartments have a view of an apartment building in the same complex and a view of the apartment complex across the road. Some apartments have a view of a neighbouring apartment building and a view of a scene similar to the one above. The units in my location of the complex are the only ones where you can’t see any other apartment buildings (unles you stick your head out the window and look hard left or right). We have the view above, and we have a view of a dale and hills. We can only hope it’s not all bulldozed and replaced with coffee shops and convenience stores.

Pavilion Roof

Tired of visiting the same places all the time and having no car to find more distant and interesting places, I spent a bit of time on Naver Map looking over Gangneung to see if I had missed any photogenic locations in the area. I came across Namsan (South Mountain) Park which has a pavilion at the top of the hill. I’d been there one spring to see the cherry blossoms, but it’s a bad time to go for photography because there are hundreds of people there also making photographs. Some are middle-aged men with Serious Equipment looking the place over with Serious Expressions trying to get the perfect shot. Most were couples or families taking selfies with mobile phones.

After looking at the map and remembering the pavilion’s existence, I put my camera and tripod in a bag and rode my bicycle there. The park is only about three kilometres from my apartment so I arrived after ten minutes or so. It was November when I visited this time, so instead of pink blossoms on the trees, there were red, yellow, and orange leaves all over the ground. Very nice, but I was interested in making some photos of the pavilion there called Oseong Pavilion. ‘Oseong’ means ‘Five Star’, but I don’t know what the significance of that might be. The pavilion was built in 1927 by a group of men to commemorate their 60th birthdays. I couldn’t find any information about who did the calligraphy hung up around the ceiling. Maybe the fellows who had the pavilion built?

Interestingly, traditional Korean buildings don’t have nails in them. Everything fits together using grooves and joints. The weight of all that timber probably guarantees the roof won’t blow away. I like the red and green colours of Korean buildings called dancheong. You’ll find this colour scheme in pavilions, Confucian buildings, and Buddhist temples. The painting in Oseong Pavilion is quite basic, but the painting at some Buddhist temples can be very elaborate.

I thought I might be alone at the pavilion on a cool November day, but there was an older man there with a camera and a young woman looking for nice leaves on the ground. There are exercise paths on the hill and people in sports clothes were coming and going. I got a bit of exercise myself because I came up the 190 stairs on the north side of the hill. Hats off to the builders who carried all that timber up the hill in 1927.

Rice Paddy Irrigation Canal

Rice Paddy and Irrigation Canal, Geumsan

One of my early morning bicycle routes takes me through the rice paddies and fields of Geumsan Village. At 6:30 the light is soft and the absence of cars makes the ride peaceful. Autumn is an especially nice time to be out in the countryside because of the beautiful golden rice fields. “Geumsan” means “Golden Mountain”, but I think the village could well have been named “Golden Fields”.

Harvest time is coming soon and the fields will be brown and lifeless afterwards. Korea has very little snow so the landscape is bleak during all the winter months. I might switch to black and white photography for my morning rides when the cold weather begins because the dull colours of the hills and fields will add nothing to my photographs.

Off the Point

I went out in boat with my father several times while I was in Canada last summer. He wanted to fish and I wanted to make some photographs. There were no fish in the bay on this morning but there were a few good photo opportunities. I made this picture while my father let his line down and jigged for cod. You can see the little waves made by the boat in the foreground.
On the eastern side of Hall’s Bay is a hill called by my family (and possibly others) The Point. If you take hard right (mind the rocks) you end up in Goodyear’s Cove. If you keep going straight you eventually end up in Springdale. The Point is usually a good place to catch some fish, but it was too early in the season and we returned to West Bottom empty-handed.