19 Feb 2022

The World from boxes of old slides - Guizhou 1991 and 1992

The “Sea of Grass” - Caohai - lies at an elevation of over 2,000 metres.  It is a lake in which the water level varies a lot, surrounded by low hills with villages at the edge of the higher ground.

In the early 1990s over one hundred Black-necked Cranes wintered in the area.  These birds were breeding on the Tibetan plateau.  (And I believe they still are !)

Bar-headed Geese and Ruddy Shelduck were two other species characteristic of the area

White-browed Laughingthrush...

and Meadow Bunting

It seemed to be a tough existence for most people.

Villagers walking to Market in Weining across the foreshore of the lake.

Handicrafts, some other produce, and woodwork could be carried, but pigs had to be driven.

This woman was taking a break from carrying a heavy leg of ham.

At the end of Market Day, some ride home on a cart.

But sometimes it was quicker to walk.

The characters on the stone read (top to bottom) “Grass Sea Big Bridge”.

A lot of water must have flowed under it in the thirty years since I took this photo.


  1. These pictures are quite amazing, John, and seem to reflect back into history more than thirty years. If you have more, please publish them. I find it a fascinating record of a world seen by few of us and I certainly never will. You know what can happen to Canadians caught wandering around China!

    1. Thanks, David - the world seems to be a less innocent place these days..

  2. Wonderful! Brilliant series of pics. Sometimes the old days and old times seemed the best (but the reality was probably quite different). Still, from an artist's standpoint, visually stunning!

    1. Thanks, Jeremy, the ethnic minorities in China are very interesting, and Caohai made a fine backdrop

  3. wonderful photos John, from a much simpler time!!!