A speck on a jade stone won’t obscure its radianceChinese proverb
Jade is associated with calmness, balance, healing and protection. The stone is especially prized by the Chinese. For them it symbolises prosperity, success, and good luck. It is also a symbol of renewal, longevity, and even immortality. Jade is said to be a living stone, from the earth but with a luminous quality shared with sunlight and the stars. It is thus a connection between the realms of heaven and earth.
For my feature photo therefore I’ve chosen a shot of a roof at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The three small statuettes are ‘walking beasts’, used to denote official buildings such as temples and palaces. The more figures a building has the more important it is, to a maximum of nine. As this is a detail please don’t assume this is an unimportant three walking beast building!
When we think of the colour jade we think inevitably of a certain shade of green; odd perhaps, as the stone also comes in red, white, brown, lavender, purple, and orange.
But this is Terri’s Sunday Stills colour challenge, so it is the colour we call ‘jade’ that I will focus on in my selection of shots. From deep waters to delicately shaded leaves; from ornamental roofs to living creatures. As I searched my archives I realised that I have seen this shade in many places and many forms all over the world. Let’s start with water …
The calm waters of Halong Bay, Vietnam
Diablo Lake in the North Cascades, Washington State
The crater lake of Quilotoa in Ecuador
Flying over the waters of the Ria Formosa estuary near Faro in Portugal’s Algarve region
Roof detail of the Hamhung Bongung, a rare bit of history in North Korea
Detail of the Nine Dragon Screen in Bei Hai Park, Beijing
The roof of the Russian Orthodox church, Sveti Nikolay Mirlikiiski, in Sofia, Bulgaria; it is dedicated to St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker
Detail of a building in the Earthship complex near Taos in New Mexico, built to use natural resources, such as sunlight and rain, and turn them into clean energy
A mailbox outside a house in Cape May, New Jersey
The natural world
Caterpillar in the garden of our hotel near Machu Picchu
Sea holly on Ilha Farol, near Faro in Portugal
A cactus in a courtyard garden in Monopoli, Italy
Travellers’ Palm in the grounds of Fort Khimsar, a hotel in Rajasthan
I finish though with an image that illustrates my earlier point that the stone known as jade comes in many shades.
Jade elephants for sale in the Central Market in Phnom Penh