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Entries in Myanmar (138)

Wednesday
Dec022015

Structure No. 1410

There are so many stupas and temples at Bagan. Many don't have names, only numbers from the Ministry of Culture, Department of Archaeology. Of the 3,000 or so structures that cover the plain of Bagan, most people visit only three or four of the most well-known temples. But with bikes, you can find structures that no one is visiting. And you can walk inside, by yourself, and explore and see a beautiful Buddha statue.

And find a stairway covered in bat guano that clearly no one has climbed up in a while. Or, maybe you are not supposed to climb up this passage. But how can you resist?  Bagan is an amazing place.

[NOTE: I am struck that Structure 1410 looks a little bit like the Alamo].

Tuesday
Nov032015

Bagan

On my upcoming trip to Myanmar (with son, Luke), after finishing up in Nam Sabi (see Nam Sabi VMA and VMA Inventory) and then spending a few days in Mandalay, we will go visit Bagan (shown above). Thousands of stupas and pagodas stretching back from the Ayeyarwady River over 40 square kilometers. Yippeee!!

Thursday
Jun252015

Making a Plant Drier

Still life of the tools and nails and sheet metal and boards needed to make a plant drier at the Htamanthi Forward Station (see Sorting Specimens). [NOTE: My sketch of what the finished product should look like is on the paper to the right of the box of nails].

Tuesday
Jun232015

Specimens on Display

Beautifully-pressed specimens of historical collections on display at the Forest Research Institute Herbarium at Yesin (see Forest Herbarium). Nice to pull these out of the cabinet and present the artistic side of plant systematics

Monday
Apr062015

Buddhist Art of Myanmar

Saw a beautiful exhibition of Buddist art from Myanmar this weekend at the Asia Society. Seventy pieces, including stone, bronze and wood sculptures, textiles, paintings, and lacquer ritual implements, from the 5th through the early 20th century. Was the first time that most of the objects had been outside of Myanmar. Go here for a nice video of the restoration process involved in getting the pieces ready for travel to the exhibition. [NOTE: Photos weren't allowed, but I purchased the exhibition catalogue and will try to scan and post some images at some point. Really amazing stuff]. 

Friday
Mar062015

More Kayin Buddhas

An auspicious gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas at the base of a majestic limestone mountain in Kayin State, Myanmar. Go here for a close-up of one of these beautiful statues. [NOTE: The statues are just sitting out in a field along the side of the road. And it was drizzling rain and misty. I did a little bow and took lots of pictures]. 

Friday
Feb062015

U Linn Zaw and I

Really like this picture. U Linn Zaw, a villager from Nam Sabi, acted as my assistant/helper during all of the fieldwork setting up the Village Management Area (see Nam Sabi VMA). He carried my pack most of the time, helped me across the streams and up the steep slopes, and generally did whatever needed doing without having to be asked. Which I couldn't have done anyway because he speaks no English. Really a wonderful man and a dear friend. [NOTE: Photo by Sein Day Li (thx)].     

Monday
Aug112014

To Nam Sabi

Ranger from Htamanthi Forward Station piloting us to Nam Sabi village (see More Pressing Plants). Something about the focus and skill, the seriousness, of the people who drive the boats in northern Myanmar. Very photogenic. Like the ferryman here.   

Tuesday
Aug052014

Flowers at Mahamuni

Flower offerings for sale at the entrance to Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay. 

Friday
Jul252014

Field Shoes

Most of the time villagers don't have the right footwear for running transects through spiny rattan thickets. Flip-flops are usually the only shoe option. To get around this, we usually bring a large assortment of Chinese canvas field boots for people to use. Real cheap, they offer some traction, and they will keep a spine from going into your foot. As is shown above, trying on the field shoes is a much anticipated activity. [NOTE: You get to keep the boots after the fieldwork is finished]. 

[NOTE: I just added a new header. Shows me (a bit blurry) taking a photo of the skeleton of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the California Academy of Sciences].