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Monday, September 12, 2011

Take a hike, eh?

This last day of the three-day holiday weekend saw Mr. & Mrs. Kaminoge and daughter embark on that rarest of family activities, going for a long walk in the hills. I enjoy hiking and walking, of course, and Amber also likes stretching her legs, but for my wife, using one's feet as a form of locomotion, especially climbing up things like stairs and slopes, is something usually to be avoided. So I was rather surprised this afternoon when Pamela suggested the three of us go for a walk. Which we did, for about 2½ hours in the former rural township of Shihkang (Shígāng) 石岡.

Amber takes a whiff of an orange jasmine petal, or what the Chinese call Ch'ilihsiang 七里香, or "the flower than can be smelled from seven li away", a li being a traditional measurement for distance, equivalent to 500 meters (1640 feet) away.

Amber poses in front of "The Divine Tree of Five Blessings" (Wǔfú línmén shénmù) 五福臨門神木. Supposedly formed by a camphor tree (zhāngshù) 樟树, a Taiwan acacia (Táiwān xiāngsī) 台灣相思, a banyan (róngshù) 榕樹, a Chinese hackberry tree (pǔshù) 朴樹 and a cedar (xuěsōng) 雪松, the tree is a local landmark in Shihkang:

Mother and daughter make their descent from the big ass god tree:

In addition to spotting the usual butterflies, dragonflies and ants, Amber got a chance to eye some bees up close:

The rural idyll, done the Taiwanese way:

A last look at the scenery from the walking trail before the rain started coming down in buckets. Fortunately, we didn't have far to go from here to the car:

This night being the occasion of the Moon Festival (Zhōngqiū jié) 中秋節, after getting home this evening, I went up to the roof of our apartment building to have a look at the full moon. This is the best shot I could get with all the cloud cover:

What you can't see in the picture above are all the fireworks going off to the left of the moon, and the flashes of lightning in the sky to the right. What you can't hear is the sound of all the fireworks and firecrackers that are accompanying the competing light shows.

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