A Visit from Painted Lady Butterflies - Los Angeles Fine Art Photographer

Ahhh… Spring can definitely be smelt in the air. A little bird whispered in my ear:”Painted lady butterflies are making their way through California, migrating from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest”.

Painted-Lady-Butterfly-Migration-Southern-California-USA-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

Painted-Lady-Butterfly-Migration-Southern-California-USA-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

Yet, stubborn like me, I was determined to share with you what we just experienced in record snow fall and bone-chilling temperatures.

But, nature has its own plans. As if the whisper was not loud enough, these ladies made their appearance right in front of my eyes, making me forget my insistence.

Painted-Lady-Butterfly-Migration-Southern-California-USA-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

Painted-Lady-Butterfly-Migration-Southern-California-USA-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

Well, there you are, ladies and gentlemen, the painted ladies in a painterly setting. Hot off the press, fresh off the camera. Nature is breath-taking. I have no choice but to oblige.

Oregon, you are next. Are you ready for these fine ladies and their babies?

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It's fire, It's Good Fire at Setsubun in Japan - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Don’t panic, this is not what you think and I can explain.

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Remember the last time I shared an experience where praying, burning and bean throwing is involved in Japan? Well, I thought I’d come back to finish what I started, the burning part.

As Setsubun signifies the beginning of a year (end of winter and beginning of spring), it’s customary for people to drive away the evils and wish for good luck for the coming year. Here at the UNESCO heritage site of Shimogamo-Jinja (下鴨神社), offerings and amulets are sent, along with the flames, to the great power above, in the chanting of priests.

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

What other cultures/civilizations does fire have a significant role in rituals/ceremonies? Share in the Facebook box below so we can all learn.

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Happy Valentine's Day, It Takes Two to Tangle - Los Angeles Fine Art Photographer

Let’s face it. Not all relationships start with love. And for the ones that do, it’s not a guarantee that they will end that way. As a French proverb described:

Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out.

(Le mariage est une forteresse assiégée, ceux qui sont dehors veulent y entrer, ceux qui sont dedans veulent en sortir.)

In fact, this proverb gave the inspiration to a well known novel the title Fortress Besieged (圍城). And yet, all that ancient wisdom did not stop any of us from proceeding heels over head into a relationship that’s sealed with a marriage. So, when I saw this couple in the Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) in Kyoto that dates back to the 6th century, I thought that they’ve succeeded in setting the expectations, well, realistic.

It-Takes-Two-to-Tangle-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

It-Takes-Two-to-Tangle-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

When us human showed us what we could do with our self-proclaimed far superior intelligence, e.g., marriage could mean combining the two, in wealth, social influence, political power, etc., something with brains the size of birds showed me what a relationship could look like. Maybe, they have a thing or two to teach us about harmony, passion, and being tangled gracefully.

Red-Crowned-Crane-Tango-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Red-Crowned-Crane-Tango-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

This Valentine’s Day, I wish you a fun day of tangoing to be tangled.

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