Photographer's Note

This picture has been taken from the Phnom Krom hill above the floating village of Chong Kneas on the Tonlé Sap. It it the view behind the offering from my yesterday's post.

The Tonlé Sap is a combined lake and river system of huge importance to Cambodia. For most of the year the lake is fairly small, around one meter deep and with an area of 2,700 square km. During the monsoon season, however, the Tonle Sap river which connects the lake with the Mekong river reverses its flow. Water is pushed up from the Mekong into the lake, increasing its area to 16,000 square km and its depth to up to nine meters, flooding nearby fields and forests. This provides a perfect breeding ground for fish and makes the Tonlé Sap ecosystem one of the most productive inland fisheries in the world, supporting over 3 million people. At the end of the rainy season, the flow reverses and the fish are carried downriver. The Cambodians and their fish are so interwined that the country's currency, the riel, is named after the small silver carp that is the staple of many diets here. Images of fish and fishermen are etched into the walls of stone buildings around Angkor Wat, the majestic temple complex that was once the center of an ancient empire nearly 1,000 years ago.

The receding waters also leave nutrient rich deposits of sediment in the surrounding area creating prime agricultural land for the rest of the year.

Reducing the size of the picture had the bad side effect to reduce the detail level quite a bit, at the house level on particular. Although it is likely to be unavoidable, I found it annoying and hesitated posting after seeing the result of the size reduction. After a second thought I decided to go for it, since the overal atmosphere of the picture is kept intact especially when it comes to the combination of blues, pinks and greens at a distance.

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Additional Photos by JM Hullot (vincz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2604 W: 77 N: 5252] (19113)
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