Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not Vegetables, But Vegetation

During the Lunar New Year in Chinese cultures, you hear a lot about "Spring Coming", or see it emblazoned in gold on red paper, hanging or pasted on doorways and windows.  There is no hint of Spring coming in Pennsylvania with temperatures playing around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but Spring is definitely present here in Baihe, which sits on the Tropic of Cancer in a humid subtropical climate.  Check out these balconies:
Baihe District is about a tenth the size of York County, but with approximately the same population density (which means Baihe is as country as it gets in Taiwan, which otherwise is the second most densly populated country in the world), but with some of the region being mountainous, most of the population centers around Baihe town.  

Not only are balconies filled with potted plants but also store fronts from 7-elevens to mom-and-pops are lined with a tropical variety of fragrant and strange plants.  What are the plants exactly?  
Osmanthus, fragrant enough to smell across the street and a great plant to have if there are "off" smells on the street outside your store. 
This is a type of hanging fern that has antler-shaped leaves. 
Orchids are everywhere, as are cosmos this time of year!
Strange bamboo.
Baihe is known for its lotus flowers.  Here a rice field has been left for lotuses. Yes, even here in the town there are lots left for farming!  
On the outskirts of town, a vegetable garden!

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