First Half of 2020 – Beautiful Lives

White Garden Cosmos

The first half of 2020 has already slipped away! What we have done in the first half of 2020, and what we should expect in the second half?

In the first half of 2020, beautiful lives have to be the medical workers who have been risking their lives to save others’ lives during the epidemic in China and the later pandemic all over the world. Nobody should deny that fact!

While the coronavirus is still spreading around the globe, the first half of 2020 exists only in history now. We know this part of history will not be a very popular one if we look back some years later.

Looking at the pictures I have taken during the first half of 2019, my archive for photography in the same period this year seems so deserted. The lasting lockdown and a busy calendar must be accounted for such inactivity. I have nothing to complain about, especially when there are so many medical workers still working on the front line fighting against the virus.

What I post here are the beautiful lives I have seen in nature in the first half of 2019, dedicated to all medical workers all over the world.

Time for a break?

It’s really the time to take a break from work and have some real holiday, and enjoy a little bit what beautiful nature has to offer and let everything that isn’t making life happier go away!

Honestly speaking, I feel desperate for a good vacation to get my batteries recharged for the next half of 2020, to get prepared for going forward in the originally planned direction. Who doesn’t deserve an enjoyable holiday after all the stress from the coronavirus, and probably also from work which was not on the planned track?

Let’s hope after everything linked to the COVID-19 will soon come to an end, everything else will gradually adapt to a new norm. By then, more and more people will adopt better work- and lifestyle for a much better world with even more beautiful things.

Wish every visitor of my gallery enjoy a wonderful summer no matter what – because life is beautiful 🙂

This “First Half of 2020 – Beautiful Lives” is under the category of beautiful lives in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

Beautiful Summer Flower – Gaura

Gaura is a genus of flowering plants in the family Onagraceae, native to North America. The genus includes many species known commonly as beeblossoms.
Beautiful Summer Flower – Gaura. Taken in China, 2020, Copyright © Claire Yang

This Beautiful Summer Flower – Gaura is a genus of flowering plants in the family Onagraceae, native to North America. It’s also known commonly as beeblossoms.

I noticed this lovely and Beautiful Summer Flower – Gaura in the neighborhood while I was walking outside after a few rainy days, taking a break from work to get some fresh air. I needed some fresh air desperately 😉

Fresh air is something luxurious these days because of the pandemic. We are supposed to stay indoors as much as possible still – even if we know the numbers linked to the COVID-19 in China have dropped to some minimum level. The situation here has already appeared stable for some time, comparing to that in the rest of the world.

We can not go out yet as freely as we would like to, according to the authorities here and probably everywhere around the globe. We still can not take it easy, even if there are many more people outside now than a few months ago. Wearing a mask has become a convention everywhere, even if the types of masks that most people use daily are proven to be not helpful to protect us from getting infected. But we must wear one no matter what.

The summer is here already. And we have noticed that it’s getting more challenging to keep any mask on all the time. Luckily I got to see these lovely flowers with nobody around me. I could take off my mask and have myself immersed in them to feel its beauty and elegance.

Gaura in China

The word Gaura has a Greek origin, meaning “superb”. In China, this imported small flower has got quite a few more poetic and vivid names such as “千鸟花、白蝶草、宿根草、千鸟花、白蝶花、玉蝶花、白桃花”. All these names mean nothing but “thousands of birds”, “white butterflies” or “jade butterflies” or something alike literally. This flower has also got some symbolic meanings, such as “justice, peace in mind and freedom 正义、清静、自由” for its elegance and quietness comparing to other large-sized flowers blooming in the same season. Isn’t it “superb” in a different way?

This flower represents well how I would like to live my life. However, we know life is never going to be as idealistic as one would like to have. What we can do is to always hope for the best and look forward than backward 🙂

This “Beautiful Summer Flower – Gaura” is under the category of beautiful lives in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

Color Impressions in Incredible India

Color Impressions

Color impressions I have got there is exactly the same as what you see in India’s official tourism propaganda everywhere. And yes, you are absolutely right about the phrase. It is the “Incredible India you see everywhere – every tourism brochure and every tourism promotion video on TV about India. You simply can’t use anything better than that to express how you feel about that country. Even though you may also have very mixed feelings after you have set your feet on that land.

There is not a single place I have ever been to is comparable with India.

I promise you will be overwhelmed by the color impressions you get there. You will be overwhelmed by the way how it demonstrates complexity – no matter what is going on in the world. Everything looked very busy, even if it may be called too busy for some people’s taste. But at the same time, you could also feel some peace in time and mind. Especially when you see such colors and patterns in this set of pictures. I have captured them in a row while I was wandering around in the “Pink City”.

As I read, the city is one of the most beautiful places in India from tourist guides. The colors. The buildings. The fresh flowers used in weddings…

Huge Contrast

It’s a bit hard to pick any picture to demonstrate the huge contrast I felt there, so I will leave it to your imagination for it.

On one side of the road, you may see something very different from what you are used to in daily life. It can be beyond overwhelming. While, on the other side of the street, after entering the majestic grand palace-like compound, you will discover a totally different world that could make you feel you have just landed on a very different planet by a time machine over a blink.

Believe me or not, like it or not, one should definitely go there once in his/her life to see Incredible India for real.

This “Color Impressions in Incredible India” is under the category of beautiful places in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

Beautiful Tulips at Keukenhof

beautiful tulips at Keukenhof
Tulips at Keukenhof, the Netherlands in April 2013. Copyright © Claire Yang

It is the season for tulips again. My visit to Keukenhof has been an extraordinary experience. I have taken a few hundreds of pictures over there on that day, entirely overwhelmed by more than a million tulips in one single garden. 

Everyone should go there at least once in his lifetime. Just go there and get overwhelmed by the oceans of tulips! That’s it. 

It’s sad to read that this beautiful garden can’t open this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus has been hitting the world very hard ever since the Chinese New Year (23 Jan 2020) as an epidemic in China (Wuhan). Unfortunately, it was spread to the world no matter how hard my Chinese folks have tried to confine it within China.  

At this very moment, I post this single picture of tulips representing the millions of beautiful tulips in that garden. My goal is to recall the beautiful memories I had back then; also to advocate the concept of how essential nature is to us. 

We must befriend nature, not go against it. Otherwise, the great mother nature will only hit us back very hard with its full power. In front of mother nature, human beings are certainly going to lose. 

Let’s hope this pandemic is going to end soon, and we all should learn the lesson to be friends with nature, though in a tough way.

COVID-19 is not the first lesson we have got from nature. But hopefully, it is the last. Possibly, the world will finally adopt new patterns of life and work style, and something healthier and more positive will appear in both political and economic environment globally after all the dust settles eventually.

This “Beautiful Tulips at Keukenhof” is under the category of beautiful lives in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

African Eagle in Kruger Park

“African Eagle” taken in 2014. Copyright © Claire Yang

I spotted this African Eagle in Kruger Park in South Africa in 2014. It is Identified as “Tawny Eagle” after I have done some careful comparison with online information.

No one would know I have taken this picture from a still moving safari vehicle if I don’t tell you. We started the safari trip to the park really early that morning (5 AM). Only early enough, we would have a chance to spot some interesting animals, such as the big 5 in Africa if lucky.

Well, this picture was another lucky occasion. It was standing on the top of a dead tree under the deadly blue sky. And it was watching us passing by with its right eye. We were moving slowly, but its world was so silent, and I could feel the time has nearly stopped. My camera shutter broke the silence in the vehicle, and only I have grasped the chance to take a picture of this bird!

Luckily the car was a bit far away from the bird. Before that eagle noticed us, we have already left. When I looked back, I could see that bird didn’t move a tiny bit after we drove away. The inhabitants of the park must have got used to visitors like us, or it was simply focusing on spotting its next meal. Who knows?!

This picture of “African Eagle in Kruger Park” is under the category of beautiful lives in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

Ring-necked Parakeets

ring-necked parakeet
“Ring-necked Parakeets” taken in 2013. Copyright © Claire Yang

I was so lucky to have a chance to take this picture of this pair of ring-necked parakeets on my balcony in one of the countries I have been living in Europe.

It was early spring, you could see no leaf has started to grow yet in the background. Flocks of those birds were actively approaching residential areas to look for food. To get them closer to me, I tried to hang different types of food on the balcony to attract their attention.

Apple pieces were their favorite. They were waiting for me to go inside so that they could peck on the apple pieces in a net-bag I have put up for them.

A few facts about this wild bird:

This ring-necked parakeet, also known as rose-ringed parakeet, is a medium-sized parrot.

It is native to Africa and South Asia. It has been introduced into many other parts of the world through the exotic pet trade. After some of these birds escaped to the wild world, and gradually some of them managed to adapt themselves to the new environment, such as the much colder Western and even Northern Europen countries and other parts of the world where feral populations have established themselves.

This “Ring-necked Parakeet” is under the category of beautiful lives in Claire Yang’s Gallery.

Beautiful Lives Places Food and Minds

Beautiful lives, places, food, and minds are all you will find here!

Welcome to Claire Yang’s Gallery!

This is a home for pictures Claire has taken in the world in her life journey. With this non-commercial Gallery, she will focus on sharing all kinds of beautiful things she has seen in different cultures and countries she has visited.

Claire loves anything that is beautiful. The main idea she has for this gallery is to promote anything that is nice in the world. She will also write about the culture linked to all the objects covered in this blog along with her photography.

Beautiful Lives Places Food and Minds
Spider Plant and the World, Spring 2020, Copyright © Claire Yang

Here, you will find the beautiful livesbeautiful foodbeautiful places, and beautiful minds through her eyes and lens!

This site will be updated regularly though it will not be too often. She will be so delighted to see your return if you like what you find here!