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Autumn in Yeosu

Autumn in Yeosu is, in my opinion, not as outstanding as in some other areas of South Korea, such as Mt. Seorak or Jiri Mountain. In no way is it anywhere near as spectacular as in the northeastern part of the United States, with its glorious maples, or in the western part of the nation, with aspen groves golden against the snow-covered peaks of the Rockies. Still, there are some very nice areas, especially around the university campus.

The season is almost over now, but there are a few groves of resistance to the inevitable. Like dowagers in tattered gowns, a few trees still stand out against the greenery of the pines, gradually shedding their rust-colored leaves, hurried along by the brisk breezes that we seem to get everyday. But, the glory days have fled in advance of the approaching winter, my least favorite season.

So, in memory of the fine autumn days that we had, here are a few snippets for your enjoyment. More later.

Here are several from around campus.

Students enjoying a walk

Students enjoying a walk

Looking toward Horang Mountain

Looking Toward Horang Mountain

Campus Autumn 2

Campus Autumn 2

Campus Autumn 3

Campus Autumn 3

Campus fall 1

Campus Autumn 1

Campus Autumn 4

Campus Autumn 4

And a few from Odongdo (Odong Island) and Jasan Park, near the Expo site.

Bamboo Grove on Odongdo

Bamboo Grove on Odongdo

Odongdo from near Jasan Park

Odongdo from near Jasan Park

Flowers in Jasan Park

Flowers in Jasan Park

Admiral Yi Sun-shin monument at Jasan Park

Admiral Yi Sun-shin Monument at Jasan Park

Enjoying the Autumn Colors at Jasan Park

Enjoying the Autumn Colors at Jasan Park

Autumn at Jasan Park

Autumn at Jasan Park

Autumn at Jasan Park

Anti-aircraft Replica at UN Memorial at Jasan Park

A View From Above

The fall foliage is in full color in this area; being one of the southernmost points of the Korean peninsula, the season arrives a bit later than it does in other parts of the country. Today, though, it’s rather hazy and overcast, so there’s not much pop to the colors. I’d go out and take some photos anyway, but I’m starting to feel a bit under the weather–a little tired, a few sniffles and a general feeling of a cold coming on. I probably caught something from one of my students.

So, in lieu of some autumn Yeosu scenes, here are a few of the shots I promised from the hike I took up to one of the nearby hills a few weeks ago.

Horangsan (san = montain) is 470 meters (1542 feet) above sea level. That’s not very high, but it looks higher because it rises directly from the valley floor, which is close to sea level. Here’s a photo, facing north, taken from this post back in 2008. Click on the image for a larger version.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, with a little haze showing on the horizon, as you’ll see. I rode my bicycle to the base of the hill and made the 45-minutes-or-so hike to the top. Along the way, about a third of the way up, I had to walk through what looked like a military training area, with bunkers, obstacles and target silhouettes. It wasn’t closed off and, much to my relief, there weren’t any bullet marks on the targets, so I doubt it’s a live-fire range. Anyway, there was no one around, so I picked my way through the area and continued on.

The view from the top is magnificent. This first shot is a panorama of the view south. (I’d love to get up here on a clear day with the sun behind me for these shots facing south.) I stitched together 3 photos, but I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job of combining them. You can easily see the stitch marks, but I’ll post it for now and try to put up a more refined version later. Definitely click on it for the larger image.

Here’s another view south.

Remember the new Yeosu golf course about which I’ve posted a few times? This is a shot of the back nine of the course, normally hidden from my view at the university.

Ok, that’s enough for one post. I’ll get some more scenes posted soon, mainly of the view to the north of a small portion of the huge petrochemical complex.

EDIT: Oops, almost forgot to post this one, which I took with the 80-300mm zoom lens, shot at about 110mm.

Motorbike Experiment

I thought that I would try taking a few photos with my compact camera held in one hand while I was zooming along on my motorbike, going from my dorm apartment up to my office at the Language Center. The first one shows the view as I’m coming around a corner, leaning into the turn.

I somehow managed to snap another shot of the beautiful autumn leaves just as the bike was flipping over, before I was knocked unconscious. I wasn’t able to get any photos of the paramedic guys.

Just kidding; no motorbike wreck. There wasn’t any traffic on the road at the time, so I was going rather slowly. The only danger was that I might have dropped the camera–I was holding onto it and the left handlebar at the same time. More later.

A Few More Photos

I’ve been walking quite a bit on weekends around the city and have taken some more photos, a few of which are shown below for your perusal. The nights have become rather chilly, but daytime is still pleasantly mild. Early morning jogging requires at least half an hour before I can work up a sweat. Winter is just around the corner, but luckily, this area receives no snow, I’m told.

Here’s a photo of a church just outside of campus, nestled in the trees below a mountain. As far as I can tell, Korea’s Christian population is split between Catholics and Evangelicals, and, of course, there are the occasional Mormon missionaries bicycling around town. Hopefully, I’ll get to some of the Buddhist temples soon.

Yeosu_Church1

Here’s a shot of some of the fall foliage spicing up the campus. This was taken just up the hill from the dormitory where I live.

Yeosu_Mountain3

I hiked down to one of the harbors a few weekends ago and caught these scenes. The first one is of the famous Dolsan bridge, leading to the island of Dolsan. There are many nighttime photos of it, when it’s structure is highlighted by multi-colored lighting. That’s one of my assignments–getting some night shots of the area. That might have to wait until the weather gets warm again.

Dolsan_Bridge1

This is a view of the harbor looking away from the bridge.

Yeosu_Harbor4

Though there doesn’t seem to be much cargo ship traffic in this section of Yeosu, there is plenty of activity, including tour boats, ferries, fishing boats and this ship-building yard.

Boat_Building1

Nai tells me that Laos is getting hit hard by the weather systems that have {{link http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-36293520081103 inundated Vietnam}}, with heavy rains and thunderstorms dominating their weather the last several days. I doubt, however, it is enough to cause the Mekong to flood again. More later.

Over the Edge of the Cliff

Oops, it’s been another long break between posts, so there are lots of events I could comment on. However, I’ll try to keep from going overboard with the length of this post.

First of all, bye-bye Boston. To paraphrase OGM’s latest comment, “Bring on golf.” (Yeah, yeah, I know–at least you were in the playoffs. Wait ’til next year!) Congrats, though, to the Tampa Bay Rays for a highly improbable season. Naturally, I’ll be rooting for them in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, since I can’t stand the National League.

The precipitous decline of the won vs. the U.S. dollar seems to reflect the current economic situation in the financial markets. When I signed my contract to work here, the value was about 1030 won to the dollar. Now, it’s plummeted to 1322. (Several days ago it was 1450.) That drop has effectively cut my wages by close to $500 per month. Not good, obviously. I can only hope the bottom of the cliff off which the won has fallen is getting closer. I’ll have to keep my eye on the currency market, because it is very volatile, so that if the won strengthens all of a sudden, I’ll transfer some money back to my stateside account.

In addition, a couple of Nai’s family members have been in the hospital recently. His mother had been ill for a couple of weeks and his sister’s year-old daughter was suffering from chronic diarrhea. I sent him some extra money to help out, but it really cut into my cash reserves. Oh, well, there’s not much I can do about that–I’m certainly not going to let them wither away without trying to help.

The first 7-week session of the semester has seemed to fly by. We’re off until the 27th, so I hope to do some more hiking, and I want to (finally) visit a few of the beaches. Fall is kicking in and the weather is becoming crisp, with most of the trees beginning to show off their fall colors. It’s not as spectacular as New England, for example, but the change is eye-catching nonetheless. Below are some photos I took on a recent hike to one of the higher mountains. The trail-builders didn’t seem to know about switch backs because there were ropes strung up the side of the very steep trail to help folks get to the top. Quite a hike, but worth it.

It was a hazy day, but I did manage to get a few decent shots. Here’s one of nearby mountains from the summit.

Yeosu_Mountain1

Here’s another shot from the summit, looking down toward the university. The brown buildings in the center are some of the university buildings, and the white buildings at the right hand side are the dormitories, one of which I live in.

Yeosu_Skyline11

There are many traditional burial mounds up in the hills, but here is a type I hadn’t seen before–a mausoleum of sorts. It was about 30 minutes into the hike when I spotted it.

Mausoleum1