Bali Rice Fields

Photos from an exotic vacation tend to be a smattering of all sorts of photography, from documenting the family trip, to unusual landscapes, to capturing the essence of a culture. Here is one of my favorites from the middle category – unusual landscapes.

Maybe it’s just me, but the rice terraces of Asia seem completely under rated. They speak straight to my soul. Maybe it’s the simplicity of hand agriculture, or the fact that this one grain, rice, feeds the vast majority of the world. But the engineering marvel of capturing water from the mountains and directing it methodically through every farmer’s field, so each rice paddy is kept full (or dry) at the right time – that seems magical to me. And it’s all done with hand tools, in bare feet, often by toothless, smiling farmers. Beauty and simplicity. Then I look at the landscape. Even if I had never set foot in one of these fields, I’d love them. They are a visual treat, with organic, curving lines, soft, green leaves, and pools of calm water, thrust into a steep hillside, as if the hand of man has succeeded in making the mountain’s harshness yield, but only on nature’s own terms. Dotted with palm trees and taro and occasionally a thatched hut, it’s one of those places where I could sit and reflect on the beauty of the space and its purpose for a very long time.

This image is one of  my favorites from our rice walk. The rest will go up in story form some day.