Before the rains began, I spent a couple of lunch breaks walking around some of my favorite stomping grounds in Jhongsing Village. I made a point to shoot with my macro lens – a Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/4 which has the build quality and weight of a tank’s gun-barrel. I wanted to shoot with this again because since purchasing a wide prime, I haven’t touched any of my other lenses.
Nature versus Nurture
I recently spent some time walking around the grounds of the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute [國立臺灣工藝研究發展中心] in Nantou County’s Caotun Township. The facility is located along the mighty Provincial HWY #14 that once served as the main route to Sun Moon Lake. The traffic along this road has decreased substantially since the construction of Freeway #6 which allows tour buses to completely bypass Caotun on their way to Sun Moon Lake.
Due an unexpected set of circumstances I ended up with an afternoon off yesterday. The photographs [clockwise from the upper-left hand corner] are of: Fengshan Temple, a hazy view of Yuanlin Township, the outside of a design center in Yuanlin, an iced coffee in Jhongsing Village, and mural painted on a concrete wall outside someone’s house.
Every year from May to early July, the lotus flowers bloom in the ponds along Jhongsing Village’s Shengfu Road. The lotus ponds attract an abundance of visitors from around the area. It is quite common on weekends to see a cluster of photographers and their tripods taking multiple shots of a single specimen while several other enthusiasts wait behind for an opening to step forward and compose a shot or thirty.
We visited the Nantou’s Sitou Forest RecreationPark [溪頭森林遊樂區] along with the Monster Village [妖怪村] with a friend who was visiting Nantou for an extended weekend. Despite having a fantastic time at both places and coming back with some great shots, I’ve only recently wrapped up editing the batch of photographs from the Sitou Forest Recreation Park that have been sitting on my hard drive for more than half a year.
A couple months ago, Cathy and I headed to the Nantou Flower Festival in Puli only to find that we arrived far too early. Despite news on websites clamoring about festival’s grand commencement, when we arrived work crews were still planting flowers and the “flower sea” was completely barren. The most noteworthy section was a small plot of land devoted to Dahlias.
I was off to an early start on Sunday morning. I met up with my riding partner at a nearby 7-11 for an adventure into Jhongliao Township [中寮鄉]. Jhongliao is located east of Nantou City [南投市] and north of Jiji Township [集集鎮]. Most of my rides in Jhongliao begin with a steep but manageable climb to Pingding [坪頂]. After wrapping up the climb, we stopped at the Pingding Sacred Tree; A massive camphor tree believed to be over 1,600 years old. It’s tranquil and quiet, making it my favorite spot to stop when traveling in this direction. The only sounds were those of our conversation with a ham radio enthusiast we met on the climb up and that of a nearby resident’s dustpan hitting an object. My riding partner had plans for the rest of the day, so he turned back down the hill from which we came while I traveled in the other direction towards northern Jhongliao.
This year’s Nantou Sand Sculpture Festival [南投市貓羅溪畔沙雕藝術節] runs through February 12. We went yesterday afternoon when the sun came out for the first time during the Lunar New Year holiday. This year’s theme is Taiwanese Cinema. There are sculptures inspired by recent Taiwanese movies such as Seediq Bale [賽德克‧巴萊], Cape No. 7 [海角七號], Monga [艋舺], Island Etude [練習曲], and others.
Location on Google Maps