Kolsai …. a family outing with friends…9 years ago

April 25th and Kulsai 2006 057 - 2006-04-30 at 10-44-52 April 25th and Kulsai 2006 007 - 2006-04-29 at 11-56-52

The Kolsai Lakes are one of Kazakhstans most beautiful places to visit. From Almaty you drive +- 330 km to the east (direction China) and after Sharyn-Canyon and over the “pirival” you turn right direction Zhalanash. Via Saty you then get to Kolsai.

The “national park Kolsai” consists of 3 lakes…..at different heights above sea level 1800 – 2250 and 2700 m respectively. We did the “hikes” from one lake to the other always with horses which we rented from the local herdsmen. At the first lake you can rent these days cottages or you can stay in a cheaper “room” in the village of Saty about 10 km away.

Back 9 years ago we had the Director family from Astana International School visiting. Barbara & Peter Reynolds, who are now living in Saigon – Vietnam, joined us for this trip. As I was “digging” a bit in our digital archives I came across these pictures with Alexander Schepens, Constantijn Schepens and Natasha Schepens.

Could not resist to share them today …what a memories come to mind.

Advertisements

Flabellina – A dream for any underwater photographer

Flabellina
Flabellina

As the colder days are settling in in Almaty I will be digging during the evenings a bit more through the “treasure” of high resolution pictures I made during the past years holidays when diving.

Nudibranchs are one of my favourite. In fact they are very artistic in any sense of the word and they get to everyones imagination. They inspired me even to start diving with a magnifying glass (next to carrying my camera (;,.) so that I can enjoy them in all their glory. Nudibranchs come in all kinds of bright colours and shapes. They look like butterflies under the water. Long time ago they gave up their protective shell that protected their prehistoric ancestors. To protect them in a world where the name if the game is “to eat or to be eaten” they developed over the years incredible sophisticated protection systems. There is still a lot of study that needs to be done to better understand the entire world of Nudibranchs. Over the next months I will be posting some of the different “members” of the nudibranchs family and share with you some more background information.

Today I am sharing with you a few pictures of the FLABELLINA family which belongs to the bigger suborder of the AEOLIDINA.

Aeolus is the ancient Greek god of the Wind and son of Zeus….when you look at our friends you see how they love living in the “underwater wind”. Their elongated bodies bear clusters or rows of cerata (elongated processes) on their backs and they love to hang in the “waving currents”. All the pictures were taken at different moments in time at Koh-Doc-May in Phuket Thailand. To dive Koh Doc Mai I recommend the best dive operator of Thailand Seabees and ask for “Sacha” or “Alexander“….he will show them to you.

© All for a smile

Johnny

Almaty – Autumn & Cancer

September 20th ….a nice autumn day in Almaty. Natka and I hiked up the hills in Shymbulak away from the crowd of tourists. Autumn is always beautiful in the mountains. This year it gave us a special feeling. My Dad is fighting an aggressive stomach cancer and started this week after 6 weeks of Chemo his 5 weeks of Radiotherapy…..he is doing well even though life is literally sucked out of him as I write this …..collateral damage may you be in control. Luckily he has fantastic support from an other part of “wise” doctors who use natural means to make him stronger en resistant when collateral damage happens. We are so grateful to all of them.

We are sure that after this Autumn we will post for you great pictures of a regaining spring….just as Osiris becomes green after a long winter and resurrects  from Abydos to bring prosperity for whole of Egypt after the Nile flooded the land with his fertility…

Please enjoy some of the Almaty Autumn pictures Natka and I took during our hike…

Enjoy the Autumn in Almaty,

© All for a smile

Johnny

Good things …..are going to happen

Last week we enjoyed a sunny day hiking the higher Almatynsky mountains. Next to a mountain river we came across this very small flower…just a few mm wide. We got our photo gear out of the bags and were lucky that the sun was lighting up the day, the flower and the future.

This morning outside it is cloudy and rainy…..inside our little flower of last week is whispering.

Good things … are going to happen.

© All for a smile.

Johnny

Frog Fish we love you…..

in August 2015 I was diving with Alexander Schepens and Constantijn Schepens at Racha Yai Bay III with SeaBees. We approached the artificial reef cubes at Bay III and got down to 25 meter….nothing special untill the “orange started flashing”.

In all fairness … at 25 meters there is not a lot of “orange” left after the water filtered the sunlight….so thanks to my buddies who saw our friend who was luring in a nice dinner…….

Thanks for allowing a nice “selfie” that day dude.

© All for a smile

Johnny

Yoga forever

After a busy workday I had the honour to attend another Yoga session at Almaty International School. Frankly professionally SUPER …and a world class Yoga teacher …..great fun with an international group of folks “who are all better then me” but encourage me smartly to keep on coming (to the yoga class)….I will folks …thanks again for having me.

© All for a smile (;,.

Johnny

Making a Blog for my better second half….

Thailand Summer 2015 1994-imp
Chromodoris Anulata – Racha Yai – Phuket

I embark today on a new chapter in my “coding” life. I studied over the summer weeks a bit of HTML, CSS and even a few lines of JS resulting in a website for Alexander Schepens at www.schepens.me. As we were a bit brainstorming with my better second half over the weekend and with some advice from Constantijn Schepens and Amaryllis Schepens I decided to give it a try and make with WordPress a more user friendly blog for Natasha Schepens. So trying this out right now with this blog before I start tackling the “serious” stuff for my beloved.

© All for a smile.

Johnny

Advertisements

© All for a smile

%d bloggers like this: