Friday, May 27, 2011

NOW showing in the desert: Saguaros in bloom...and on to Korea

May and June in the Sonoran desert: birds and blooms
(these guys are ubiquitous here, but you just gotta love their sky-blue eye-shadow, eh?)
Desert white-winged doves feast on the saguaro blooms during the day;
 bats pollinate them at night...

Each bloom (about the size of the palm of your hand) opens at night...
and by the end of the next day, they're spent...

...without blooms...

...and then with:

Even after living here for a few years now, I always find the interiors of cactus blooms to be surreal--
sinister hands, sea anemones, tentacular, arid echoes of fantastic corals...

Next week, I leave for Korea;
after eighteen years away,
I'll be spending about four weeks there,
in Seoul and also on the opposite coast, in the city of Sokcho,
at the foot of Seoraksan Mountain National Park...

No other country in history 
has modernized as rapidly as South Korea;
within one lifetime--my mother's--
from completely war-shattered
third-world ruins,
it has become the world's most Internet-connected society,
one of the world's largest computer, cellphone,
automobile and ship manufacturers;
was built by a South Korean company, Samsung.


Here's one of the last photos (scanned; taken by a cheap point-and-shoot camera)
 I took the last time I was in Seoul: of my last days there, in the fall of 1993--
new construction going up just behind
the grounds of Deoksugung palace,
(late XVI c.)

I can't wait to see what else is new...

With the ubiquity of wi-fi in South Korea,
 I hope to be posting while there...
'stay tuned'...

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