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
Tucked away in the mountains of Xinyi Township, Fengguidou [風櫃斗] is an amazing area for seeing Plum Blossoms [梅花] every winter. I visited Fengguidou on New Year’s Day this year and some of the plum trees were just starting to bloom. Here’s a small collection of photographs from the trip.
Euploea mulciber [端紫斑蝶]
Despite passing Puli’s Muh Sheng Museum of Entomology more than a dozen times I’ve never had the opportunity to step in until recently. If you’re into insects than you ‘ll likely thoroughly enjoy the museum. Outside the museum is a butterfly greenhouse while inside hosts a few display cases of various insects from Taiwan and around the world [including a walking stick about as long as my forearm]. The museum’s second floor houses display cases filled with several thousands of preserved insects. The most notable of these is an extremely rare hermaphrodite butterfly [one-half of its body is colorful while the other-half is dark].
Sitou’s Monster Village [妖怪村] is a small Japanese-inspired tourist curiosity located next to the Mingshan Hotel. We visited the Monster Village along with the nearby Sitou Forest Recreation Area [溪頭森林遊樂區]. The village is filled with charming wooden buildings and lanterns and is populated by a handful of cartoonish monsters who disappointingly don’t seem too interested in devouring tourists.
Last month, I had some free time to kill so I headed to the Jhongsing Village Lotus Ponds. This was my first visit to the ponds with my Micro-NIKKOR 105 f/4, which I acquired last year. The Lotus Flowers [荷花] in Jhongsing Village always attract quite a crowd when they are blooming and the day I went was no exception. Given the bad light from my late start, the heat, and the crowds – I decided to make this a brief trip.