Monday, 30 December 2019

A metasequoia forest by the Siminghu reservoir (China)

Hi Sign Hunters,

I have been trying to put together this blog post since the 9th December, or at least, trying to put together a blog post in general - but all this have turned out a difficult action due the lack of time I have been having since December knocked on the door (or maybe the many many interesting stuff that drive my life away from doing only one thing). Being a teacher around this time of the year has always been difficult no matter in what country you are working at, but hey! I am not here to complain really, just trying to fill this page up with content haha. Apart from joking, of course, I am also trying to give you a little background story why I am lacking with time (and sometimes motivation) to meet my monthly, at least one, The Sign Hunters blog post requirement.  

Anyway, if you regularly follow our activities on the most common social media platforms, you know well that the last bigger trip we did was on Monday, the 9th December. We have done smaller trips since then, but those do not apply here now or they are not (yet) blog-worthy. Irregularly to other trips that we normally do with Etravelclub on Saturdays, Katie and I had to work on Saturday the 7th, which explains why this trip, that I am going to introduce to you, happened on the 9th.

It was only a day trip with a few sites to see, but the main thing was to visit a unique and beautiful metasequoia (or dawn redwood) forest that is situated only a few hours away from Hangzou (杭州市)spreads across a tiny area by Henglu village (橫路村) next to the Siminghu Reservoir (西明湖) near Yuyao (余姚市), Ningbo (宁波市). But before I carry on with showing you lots of photos, I ought to tell you a tiny bit more about metasequoia trees.

Wikipedia has a very detailed article on this particular deciduous conifer, so it is no rationality to go into much details here. But, I would not like you to navigate yourself off this page, because then it is a risk you would forget to come back and check my photos out. So let me post a few lines but important facts about metasequoias here. 

Although it was commonly known from fossil records from across the northern hemisphere, the Metasequoia glyptostroboides was, until the mid-20th century, considered extinct until a small patch was discovered in central China around the early 1940s. Since the tree's rediscovery, the dawn redwood has become a popular ornamental tree in parks and gardens worldwide. It is fast-growing and much smaller tree than some other species within the Sequoioideae subfamily (such as the giant sequoias in California - Sequoiadendron giganteum), which helped making their spread, mostly in the USA and in the UK, faster. It is, however, still an endangered species and these beautiful living creatures should be looked after in a protective environment. The metasequia forest that we visited here in China is a popular destination, and during the early December time (the time considered the best to visit) it attracts a large number of visitors, who are let freely into forest to roam all across the forest as they wish. Maybe this should be regulated a bit more...  

Besides visiting the metasequoias, we also had extra time to go to a strawberry farm and taste some very fresh fruits, and the group also went to Hemudu (河姆渡) where there is a large open-air museum and was a site to a Neolithic culture that flourished just south of the Hangzhou Bay (杭州湾) around 5500 BC to 3300 BC. So, a long time ago. The site was discovered in 1973. Our group got there late, so we could not see the excavation sites, but we explored the surroundings and tried a short boat trip too. 

Time to come to the end now and for you to check out my photos. Enjoy!

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2019). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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