Sunday, April 26, 2009

China 2009 - 14

15 February 2009 - Kunming Institute of Botany, Yunnan Province.

After Jim Doyle's talk, we were given a tour of the institute's botanical garden by Professor Li, the director. First, though, there was a bit of socializing and an opportunity for YQ to meet some very important Chinese botanists.

I don't recall the name of this eminent scholar, but YQ was really keen to meet with him. I have to apologize for my poor memory of details this long after my trip. I should have taken notes.

I took the opportunity to do a bit of an explore around the building. The institute is very modern and very clean. Conservation for electricity is practiced. There are hardly any lights on in the facility during the daytime. The new buildings are designed to catch a breeze for cooling, and to maximize natural lighting.

Scholarly intensity. There was a student who wanted some input from the American scholars and so there was an impromptu session after Jim's lecture.

Professor Li's very spacious and comfortable office. We went there for some refreshments and to visit for a bit before the garden tour.

I got a kick out of this very practical umbrella locker that was in the building's lobby. What a great idea!

A group photo of the visitors with our host, Professor Li. R to L: Sean Graham, Andi Wolfe, Jim Doyle, Professor Li, YQ.

It was a very pleasant afternoon. So many lovely plants were in bloom around the campus that the walk over to the garden was very enjoyable. Of course, we received a tour along the way as well.

You, know, I have to say that there are a lot of very ugly dogs in China. Many of them roam the streets and probably end up as "happy meat" on some menu.

Others are obviously pampered, but are unleashed. I'm not sure if this is a mutt or some breed endemic to China. It's rather homely, I think.

I didn't see a lot of cats in China, but I'm sure there are many kept as pets.

This is the entrance to the botanical garden. The Camellias were in bloom and it was a spectacular show of flowers.

The entry court had a display of potted Camellias to exhibit the cultivar diversity.

I didn't write down the names of these cultivars, but they were spectacular.

The garden was very popular during this pleasant afternoon. As customary, there were games of Mahjong, cards and that strategy game I mentioned in an earlier posting.

Here are some more pictures of beautiful Camellia flowers:

A very impressive specimen of Manglietia megaphylla. (Magnolia family) The leaves were about a foot in length.

It was a magnificent garden to explore in the late afternoon.

Spent blooms gathered up into a sort of offering.

This is a war memorial (if I recall correctly).

So many people enjoying a pleasant Sunday afternoon!

Family portrait, anyone?

How about another group photo? Boy, I'm tall compared to everyone else. I towered over most of the Chinese I encountered on this trip.

Parasitic plants up in the tree.

The garden was a productive study for this artist.

Living sculpture in the making.


Bamboo leaves


Tetrostigma vine (grape family).

I don't know the genus, but this palm foliage is gorgeous.

Ornamental kale

The camellias were a huge draw to the garden. I enjoyed my time there.

These remind me of prayer flags, but they're just decorations.

Finally, here's a very short video clip of a little boy making a car alarm go off. I watched him kick and hit this car about a dozen times before I finally thought to record it. Everytime he ran away from the car, the alarm would stop and then he'd run back and kick it again to make it go off again.

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