Sunday, April 12, 2009

China 2009 -10

14 February 2009 - Xishuangbanna region, Yunnan Province, China

After lunch we went to a park that features a canopy walk through the tropical forest. That would have been ideal for birding, but, alas, we took a wrong turn and missed the canopy entirely.

There seemed to be some misunderstanding at the gate and YQ, Jim, Sean and I were kind of on our own at that point.

This is the path we took rather than heading on to the canopy walk. It actually was a very nice walk, so the afternoon was well spent. Given the fear of heights some of my colleagues have, I suppose this was probably a better route for the group anyway.

This stem is covered in aphids, which the ants were "milking" for their honeydew.

Trees that have fallen over the path were still there with a bunch of epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) littering the trunks.

The trunks have buttresses to support the size of the trees.

This strangler fig has already encompassed its victim.

Light filters down through canopy breaks. The lighting is a diffuse green, which makes the whole place seem tranquil.

We pretty much walked along this stream the whole path, and it was lovely to hear the water together with the singing of the birds.

The biggest surprise on this walk was this huge tree with Dai offerings scattered around the base in each of the bays formed by adjoining buttresses.

Each of these flower offerings were presented with a Dai weaving and some beadwork. I have no idea what this was about, but it seemed very sacred. I walked around the circumference of the tree to look at each of the offerings. Notice the Dai candles at the base as well. I photographed similar candles in the cultural museum at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden.

The path came out to this plaza where people were eating lunch and playing games around low tables.

This was also the tourist trap area. You are supposed to sit here between the peacocks to have your picture taken. I was appalled that the birds are tied to the arms of the bench.

I did take a few photos of the brilliant birds while I was there. They seemed pretty content to stay there, even if they had no choice. The rest of the peacock feather pics are at the end of this posting.

Ahhhhh - this was what we were missing. I think I would have enjoyed the canopy walk very much, but, as I said, the afternoon was well spent anyway.

An advert for the park restaurant.

Botanizing on the way back to the entrance yielded a fern that is on the early lineage branch of the family.

Spores are presented along the margins.

It's kind of neat seeing plants that we have in the greenhouse from their native habitat.

I did see drongos at this park, so I did get another life bird out of the afternoon. I also scored a pond heron on the drive back to the garden.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the feather pictures!

don't ya just love peacocks!

it is disturbing to see the rural treatment of animals!

Andi Wolfe said...

Yes, I agree. I was rather disturbed by seeing these magnificent birds tethered to a chair.