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angkor wat temple trees

Reach for the Sky

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

These 15th-century temples of Ta Prohm were so well built that even after many centuries in the jungle they still stand today. Trees grow out of the ruins as their extraordinary root structures seek new gripping points wherever possible.

Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, which includes temples, reservoirs, and canals. The website ‘World Archaeology’ describes Angkor Wat as “the most extensive urban complex in the pre-industrial world.

 

angkor wat tree

Historic Roots

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple of Ta Prohm (the modern name of the temple at Angkor in Siem Reap Province) was abandoned and neglected for centuries.

When conservation and restoration of the temples of Angkor began in the early 21st century, it was decided that Ta Prohm would be left mainly as it had been found, as it was the one which had best merged with the jungle, without becoming part of it.

This tree soars skywards while the roots maintain their reptilian-like grip on the beautifully carved temple structures below.

angkor wat tree roots

A Lattice of Life in Ruins

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The power of nature combined with the extraordinary building structures enable scenes like this all over the Angkor Wat temples complex. The roots of mainly fig trees bid to consume the efforts of these manmade structures.

However, this “Great City” of Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII still stands tall and fights back the jungle encroachment.

asheville van der-bilt lake

A Moment of Reflection

Asheville, North Carolina, US

During the fall the lure of greens and reflections studded with the reds and yellows were mesmerizing while I enjoyed a brief moment in time at a lake on the Vanderbilt Estate near Asheville.

This is one of the most amazing properties to visit, so if you’re in the area it’s a must. The Vanderbilts are an American family that through Cornelius Vanderbilt created great success with the shipping and railroad empires. The family expanded into numerous other areas of industry and philanthropy. Cornelius Vanderbilt’s descendants went on to build several grand mansions, one of which was the palatial Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.

 

trail of fall colors

Trail of Fall Colors

Wintergreen, Virginia, US

Typical vibrant fall colors near the resort of Wintergreen in the the mountains of Virginia.

 

fall in virginia

A Stream Gently Flows

Wintergreen, Virginia, US

Fall in the the mountains of Virginia at this slow flowing, chaotic-looking creek where the dead leaves flow gently by.

 

silhouette at dusk

Reaching For The Sky

Co. Tipperary, Ireland

A cold Irish winters evening beckons. The sky was clear and uninterrupted by cloud which made the vibrancy of the colours stand out behind the broken or dead state of the trees.

grand prismatic spring images

Tapestry of Microbes

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone exudes such vivid colors around the edges of the mineral-rich water in the spring. These are the result of microbial mats which tend to be mainly orange and red in the summer, and usually dark green in the winter. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.

More photos of Yellowstone

lower falls yellowstone park

Lower Yellowstone Falls

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Lower Yellowstone Falls is the largest volume waterfall in the Rocky Mountains of the US. The falls are stunningly beautiful and have inspired Native American tribes, fur trappers and explorers alike, and are 308 ft (94 m) high.

This view is from the well known Artist's Point 3 miles downstream. The Falls are located just to the south east of Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park.

More photos of Yellowstone

yellowstone national park pictures

Geyser Burnt Trees

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Bleached remains of trees close to one of Yellowstone famous geysers. It’s not the pine wood beetle that has killed these specimens, but the toxic and ever-present hot conditions from the daily eruptions.

New pine samplings will grow nearby, however, as they age their fate will be the same. It is a saddened beauty that beholds this land.

yellowstone geyser dead trees photos

Reflections of Pride

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

A last stand for the dead trees sitting in shallow water at the Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park. They have been killed by a shift in geyser activity.

As the trees mature their root structures search deeper only to be consumed by excess heat and toxicity created by the thermal activity.

grand prismatic spring yellowstone park

Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

On hiking and climbing to an overlook behind the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, one is rewarded with an extraordinary view of this special place. The blue center of the pool is sterile due to the extreme heat produced by the hot spring, while the orange around the edges is microbial mat.

isa lake yellowstone

Isa Lake Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

In midsummer water lillies cover Isa Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

The lake is situated right on the Continental Divide at Craig Pass between Old Faithful and West Thumb. Geographers call it a drainage divide or boundary between two watersheds, one which flows to the Atlantic Ocean, the other to the Pacific Ocean.

off the trail

Off the Trail

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

A flash of color while walking from Artists Point on Uncle Tom's Trail to the Lower Falls in Yellowstone. This steep trail takes you from the top of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon down to the base of the 308-foot-high Lower Falls.

The walk down 500 feet is fairly strenuous, however, in 1905 Uncle Tom lowered you by rope!

whitewater falls nc

A Cascading Beauty – Whitewater Falls

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

Upper Whitewater Falls is located in the western part of the state near the South Carolina and Georgia borders. It’s acclaimed to be the highest waterfall east of the Rockies with a fall of 411 feet. Lower Whitewater Falls in South Carolina’s falls is another 400 feet.

It’s the king of waterfalls in this waterfall-rich area, and easily accessible by a 1/4 mile walkway – and is wheelchair friendly. There is also a platform just 154 steps down from the main viewing point – ideal for photographers!

dry falls nc

Dry Falls in North Carolina

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, US

Dry Falls is flowing fast after a series of hurricanes and heavy rainfall that hit the area in late 2017. This weather pattern has also caused many leaves to fall earlier than usual, and so the expected vivid fall colours we are familiar with in these mountains is not being displayed.

land of the noonday sun

Land of the Noonday Sun

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, US

The word “Nantahala” is a Cherokee word meaning “Land of the Noonday Sun”.

Dry Falls (aka. Upper Cullasaja Falls) is a popular 65-foot (20.1 m) waterfall located 3 miles northwest of Highlands. Dry Falls flows on the Cullasaja River and is part of a series of waterfalls on an 8.7-mile (14 km) stretch of the river that includes Bridal Veil Falls and eventually ends with Cullasaja Falls.

As the river flows over a protruding bluff, and when the waterflow is low, it is possible to walk safely behind the waterfall and keep fairly dry.

 

cullasaja river gorge

Cullasaja River Gorge

North Carolina, USA

The Cullasaja Gorge is located in North Carolina between the towns of Highlands and Franklin, and is mostly protected as part of the Nantahala National Forest.

The fast-moving Cullasaja River is a tributary of the Little Tennessee River, which ultimately flows into the Mississippi River. It has several waterfalls along its 61 mile length, which include:

sapa rice fields vietnam

Sapa Rice Fields

Lao Cai, Sapa, Vietnam

Rice terraces have been built into the mountain slopes for cultivation by reclaiming the land from nature. Views of this epic scenery are frequently subdued by thick mist rolling through the valley’s, but even when it’s cloudy, the local hill-tribe people (Hmong) fill the towns and villages with colour.

 

spanish moss pictures

Father Time and Mother Nature

Trenton, North Carolina, USA

Spanish moss hangs off the trees in Brock Mill pond at Trenton, Jones County in North Carolina. The mill and 122 acre pond date back to the 1700’s when the first dam was constructed by hand.