Here is a small collection of images of the unfortunately named Golden Shower Trees [Cassia fistula (阿勃勒)] taken in Jhongsing Village [中興新村] in early June. Several Golden Shower Trees can be found in the 500 Household area [wǔbǎihù (五百戶)] on Guangrong East Road 2nd Street [Guāngróng dōnglù èr jiē (光榮東路二街)]. The area gets its name from the original plan which called for civil servant dormitories to be built featuring 500 units.
Every winter, the family heads down Provincial HWY 14 to Guoxing Township [國姓鄉] to pick strawberries. We stopped at one of several organic farms in Guoxing and were told that due to rainfall the previous week and a busy morning there weren’t too many ripe strawberries. The owner of the farm did give us some encouragement by saying we should have no trouble filling our box.
The recently remodeled playroom at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute [台灣工藝文化園區] in Caotun Township, Nantou County boasts an incredible eight-meter long bamboo caterpillar tunnel. I visited a week ago on a field trip with students and managed to take a handful of photographs. Here is a small collection of pictures that miraculously didn’t have children running around in the background.
Several years ago, Taiwan went through a beetle-craze. Pet stores had rows devoted to these insects and students would proudly show off beetles they found or exotic varieties their parents purchased for them. The fade didn’t last long. Nowadays, a lot of families keep dogs that fit in purses while children prefer to catch Pokemon over insects.
In mid-June, I found out via a post on a Jhongsing Village Facebook group that it was breeding season for beetles. We set out for a row of trees along Guanghua Road and were delighted to find more than a dozen Japanese Rhinoceros Beetles [Allomyrina dichotoma].
We went hiking on the first day of 2017 to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. The Ninety-Nine Peaks Forest Trail [九九峰森林步道] is a 1,930 meter long trail in Nantou County’s Caotun Township [草屯鎮]. We brought the kids here because we figured they were getting tired of the trail we frequent in Jhongsing Village. Furthermore, being a holiday weekend, most of the popular trails in Nantou County were probably going to be packed. We only encountered a couple dozen people on the trail. Amazingly, both kids made it through the whole trail without asking to be carried!
I’ve visited the Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布] of Zhongliao Township in Nantou County several times in the past few years. I’ve made frequent stops there on cycling trips through Zhongliao and taken my family there a few times for recreational hiking and firefly viewing. In recent years Nantou County Government has taken steps to turn the county into a tourist wonderland by initiating the construction of several projects like the one I’m featuring here. Continue reading
I usually make a habit of visiting the lotus ponds on Shengfu Road in Jhongsing Village several times to photograph during their blooming period which falls between late May and early June. This year was somewhat hectic however due to work obligations and juggling contractors for renovations prior to moving into our new abode. Thankfully, I managed to squeeze in two brief visits late in the season: one with the family and one on my own before work. Looking back at previous year’s posts is interesting to see how the mood of each series is different due to my post-processing tendencies of the time.
Pandas World Tour
The Pandas World Tour stopped in Jhongsing Village over the weekend. An outdoor exhibit of pandas [Ailuropoda melanoleuca] and Formosan black bears [Ursus thibetanus formosanus] took over a park near our house. The exhibition spotlights the importance of protecting endangered animals. The 1600 paper-mache pandas were created by French artist Paulo Grangeon. On the Taiwan leg of the tour these pandas were accompanied by 200 Formosan black bears – an endangered species endemic to Taiwan.
A couple months ago our family visited the 2014 Nantou Sand Sculpture Festival [南投市貓羅溪畔沙雕藝術節]. One thing that separated this year’s festival with previous years was an emphasis on health and environmental issues. A few prominent sculptures warned on the dangers of nuclear power, deforestation, marine pollution and food safety.
Despite our complaining about how unsuitable our town was to hold the 2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival, that didn’t stop us from visiting several times. This post is a compilation of photographs taken at the Jhongsing Village Children’s Park during our visit with our son one evening and a visit with both of our children a few days later.