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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring's back! (Part 2: Assorted Greenery)

While the cherry trees might be the 800-pound gorillas in the special effects department, a closer look around quickly reveals thousands of other beings that also have arrived for the spring bash. Beings that might not be as obviously spectacular, but highly attractive nonetheless.
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Fern trees...

Things that grow on trees...



..and even those usually better known for their no-frills attitude than their frilly accessories.

Of course, once the afternoon fog rolls in from the sea, even the palm trees find it difficult to keep up the feeling of spring in the tropics.

Spring's back! (Part 1: Cherry Blossoms)

The bittersweet days of back-to-back cold fronts from Mongolia, soaking in hot springs, and six-pepper-alarm fondues are over, and nothing proves it like cherry trees in bloom.

There are only two native cherry species in Taiwan, but in their effort to thoroughly Nipponize all their colonies, the Japanese spared no effort and brought at least eighteen other species to La Ilha Formosa – and all of them are in full splendor from February through April, during which time Yangmingshan National Park (our quasi-backyard) displays breathtaking vistas: entire hillsides covered in rich greenery and interspersed with all sorts of pink splotches in every conceivable shade from almost white to deep magenta. Here are a few impressions from the last few days.

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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

I just realized that I haven’t posted anything in over half a year, so I decided to start the new year (which, of course, is already three months old) with a bang:

Under no circumstances approach these two boys! They are armed with an unlimited supply of wicked impishness and will not hesitate to apply it with extreme prejudice against anyone crossing their path.
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