I took an impromptu hike up a farmers’/tea growers’ trail near our tolou. It’s amazing how many paths you can find winding through the mountains; turn a corner on the road, and it’s likely that you’ll see a set of stairs hacked into dirt. There are no fences or signs to demarcate private areas; it looks like you can walk where you please as long as you don’t disturb anyone’s crops.
I walked up and up and up, first past terraced farms of cabbage and mustard greens and turnips, then up to terraces of tea plants …
… and then up to a bamboo forest! I was so excited to be walking in a bamboo forest in China!
By the time I was up that high, all of the noises of town had vanished. And the town itself was just a tiny dot in the distance.
It’s not common to see flowers in this part of China, though those that I found were largely familiar. I recognized cosmos and zinnias, magnolias and bougainvilleas. I’m always excited to see azaleas (that’s the Baltimorean in me):
Some people line their walls with masses of these orange flowers, which grow on a vine:
I also found tiny irises …
… and what I think was a small cherry tree in bloom:
There were a few mystery flowers, like this red one that grew on a large bush…
… and this purple flower that had been planted along many of the roadsides:
We did not see a lot in the way of wild fauna (I did see a few new birds, but I don’t know enough about the species of China to be able to identify them). But there are ducks in the rivers …
… and every family seems to have chickens walking around somewhere.
The tulou in which we stayed had a very cute, very skittish little kitten:
And I found many dogs with whom to make friends: