Weekly Challenge – Lines/Patterns – The Rice Fields Of Yunnan, China

“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme” ”

Jaqueline Carey



This week Cheri has challenged us to look through our lenses for the lines and patterns around us.  How appropriate that our adventure in China took us to Yunnan, a beautiful province ripe with the patterns created by centuries of rice farming.



“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized..”

Chuck Palahniuk

Here, we found some of the hardest working people we’ve ever seen.  Tending the crops, carrying heavy loads of rice, barley, wheat and other produce in their baskets and their carts, toiling in what seemed to be a never-ending process simply to feed their families.



“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ”

Terry Tempest Williams

We’ve developed a deep respect for the people of China, who have an amazing capacity for tackling difficult chores with a smile, accepting their lot in life seemingly without question.  We wonder if they ever look around at the amazing beauty of the fields that provide them with their livelihoods – or are they simply too weary to notice the depth of the colors, or the rich scent of the grasses that surround them.



“The way to break a pattern of negativity is to face anything negative with love.” ”

Molly Friedenfeld

For me, the lines and patterns of the grasses shimmering in the early evening light created a visual feast that simply insisted on being captured.  I can only guess what they meant for those who toil in them day after day.  We have seen many wondrous things in China, but have been most impressed by her incredibly hard-working people.  They seem to toil from dawn to dark without a thought of a day off or a paid holiday or heaven forbid, an employer-funded vacation.



“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Our travels throughout the Yunnan province have given us a new respect for those who farm the land.  They have also given us an appreciation for the incredible beauty of some of China’s most remote areas. 



“Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?”

Marcus Aurelius

I’ll be sharing more of our experiences in the days/weeks to come.  For example, this week I felt like I died and went to photographer’s heaven as we visited Dragon’s Backbone – the Longji Rice Terraces of Longsheng in Guilin, China.  This was one of my most anticipated moments of the trip and I was not disappointed – I’m hoping you won’t be either! 



105 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge – Lines/Patterns – The Rice Fields Of Yunnan, China

  1. I do NOT know how you manage to take all these photographs while traveling, find quotes and put these terrific posts together, get them out there, and THEN respond to comments on top of it all. You’re something Tina!

  2. Another beautiful photo essay. This has become one of my favorite spots on the web. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us. And I love the quote from Chuck Palahnuik. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns (3) | Through the Eye of Bastet

  4. Tina, your travels in China and interaction with her people have not only made a lasting impression on you and your photography but have also made a big impact on many of us as we follow you on your amazing journey! A simple Thank You for Sharing doesn’t seem enough.

    • Perhaps not enough in your eyes, but your comment is more than enough for me! Thanks so much Sylvia–more to come 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

  5. Ah here you are Tina ! Just love those colours in the field and the way you have caught the moment of an arduous task with such deftness through your lens .

    • Many thanks PT! The colors as the rice matures are amazing. We saw the rice terraces of Longsheng earlier this week and they are due to be harvested in a few days so they were bursting with color everywhere. Cannot wait to post them 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

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    • Hi Photojourneying! I was one of the blogs affected by the wordpress update so all of the images became very small. I’ve repaired the issue and they should be larger now. Appreciate your visit and comment!

      • oh, that’s why. Not all updates have been good ones, it appears. I am no longer getting notification of new posts so I have to go looking at various blogs to see if there is any new post activity. Hopeully they can get it all sorted out soon enough. Anyhow thanks again for these beautiful shares. 🙂

    • Many thanks Jo! It’s been an amazing journey. Today we leave the countryside to finish w Shanghai and Hong Kong (typhoon notwithstanding!). Will miss the simplicity of the remote farms and people!

  7. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns | wholeyjeans

  8. Tina, what a fantastic frequent of photos, – and I only wish that they had been slightly bigger. The lushness in your photos and your wording .. so fantastic combined. Here you have been in the green rice fields in China .. for the challenge and I have been the concrete box of New York.Enjoyed you post very much …

    • LOL, thanks Viveka! I bet your pizza is better there :-). Yes, it’s amazing here, the colors are incredible. You know you can always click on the photos to get them full-sized. I think the Internet here did something to resize them somehow 😦

      • Tina, I clicked on them to get a better view.
        Sometime my front gets smaller in my posts – just in the middle somewhere without any reason and I can’t change it neither. Maybe its better not knowing. *smile
        Yes, the pizza was great NYC – had a slice for lunch. It was very good even. *smile

      • Yes, I notice that something was wrong yesterday when I made my post – nothing happen when I wanted safe my draft.
        At least it back to normal now.

  9. Love the rhythmic patterns of these photos as they are so alive and moving. Now if I can just get that Paul McCartney song , “It’s Just Another Day” out of my head …..!

    • Thanks Gin! I’ve had a song stuck in my head the whole trip and it’s driving me nuts so consider yourself lucky if you’ve got McCartney! Mine is a Doobie Bros song and it’s making me nuts!!!

  10. The nature patterns is my favourite – but a lovely post from you as usual. I am wondering if you got any photos of the rice terraces from above – they make the most amazing patterns.
    Enjoying the journey with you,
    Jude xx

    • Thanks Jude! Yes, I got about a zillion photos of the very famous rice terraces in Longsheng, but I haven’t processed those shots yet. Incredible really – I was like a kid in a candy store. Stay tuned for those at a later point.

  11. OMG….just gets better & better….WOW…..the ‘patterns’ are STUNNING….I find myself lost inside of them….as the quotes leave me MUCH to think about…..what an amazing trip….thanks again for taking me….looking forward to the next stop…..ENJOY!!

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  13. Pingback: WPC : Nature’s tapestry with lines | SABAS LOG

    • Hi Sally – thanks for your visit and comment and yes, I think I am already changed by it and expect even more so as I fully digest things later. For now the sensory overload is keeping me running!

  14. Great post! I enjoyed all the pics, but especially “Rice Patterns”….You are right…I wonder if we are able to admire what surrounds us when we are in the middle of it…May be in too much hurry, or with a lot of problems that blind our eyes and harden our hearts…But they seem always to smile…May be they are teaching us a lot of things..All through your posts…So…thanks a lot for sharing them….:)

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m very happy you’re enjoying and getting something out of the photos. I have been forever changed by this journey, all in a good way.

    • Hi Sharon! Thanks for your lovely comment – we are having a wonderful experience here. So much to see, do and learn!! I had no idea what to expect and have been so impressed with what we’ve seen here.

    • Thanks so much – yes the colors here are very Van Gogh now that you mention it! If I could paint it would be high on my list of places and in fact we’ve seen quite a few art students doing plein air work here. will post about that some time later.

    • Thanks so very much Rusha! I appreciate the nomination and will definitely include it in a future post, but I don’t really participate in the award process. Your enjoyment of my posts is reward enough!

      • I know what you mean about participating in these award opportunities. But just know that your blog is quite good, and I am learning from you all the time!

    • Not right now, thanks for worrying! We head to Hong Kong on Thursday so hopefully storm will a) have weakened before hitting HK and b) be long gone by then. We’re watching it carefully.

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