In view of my spending a considerable amount of my leisure time in Hong Kong out hiking in its countryside (and giving my shutterbug tendencies free rein while doing so), it's only natural that I have tons of shots to choose from for this week's Photo Hunt. At the same time though, I also can't resist offering up a snap that was not taken while out hiking. And in fact, I was far up in the air on an aeroplane when I took the top-most photo in this blog entry -- with multiple layers of clouds, some of which I think you will agree can appear like far away mountain ranges at first glance!
With regards to the other photos: I know of people who hike primarily for exercise -- and consequently don't only have a tendency to move about at a pace that leaves me literally gasping but also don't bring such things as cameras with them on their hikes. My regular hiking companion and I, on the other hand, knew that we had found each other's ideal hiking partner when, while out hiking with a large group one day, we noticed the other often stopping to not only take photos but also pause to just admire views and smell the roses.
Especially when one is living -- and hiking -- in a part of the world where, alas, there are days when the skies aren't always as bright blue as one would like but, instead, misty, foggy or even downright smoggy, I think it's good to train oneself to focus on -- and appreciate -- the small things and bits of natural beauty than get offered up (rather than just fixate on grand vistas or the lack thereof). In this way, I've come to not only enjoy the sight of a whole variety of colorful wild flowers but also Hong Kong's wildlife (though it's also true enough that, given a choice, I would like to steer clear of feral dogs and monkeys and any kind of snake, especially since the territory has its share of dangerous land and highly venomous water snakes!).
Indeed, with some hikes, we look back and consider having spotted -- and successfully photographed! -- a certain beautiful butterfly, big spider or unusual lizard to have been the highlight of the day. At other times, a particularly scenic vista is indeed what makes our day. In any case, it's rare -- indeed, I'd go so far it has yet to happen -- that a day out hiking has been a complete bust. Put another way: hiking in Hong Kong offers up plenty of natural highs -- and so much so that I really would highly recommend it as an activity to physically able visitors and residents alike. :)