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Entries in China (37)

Tuesday
Oct262010

Forests and Fields of the Miao

A magical landscape. Golden rice fields, fruit trees, community forests, and tended stands of Cunninghamia lanceolata. Clouds roll into the valley. [NOTE: This landscape has been settled by the Miao for 1,000's of years]. 

Friday
Oct222010

Going to Work

The day that we were trudging up the hill behind Xijiang (see Xijiang Landscape) in the rain to get to the forest to layout a transect, a lot of other folks were also walking up that hill to get to work. The first image shows a man with baskets (for forage) and a hoe; the second shows a farmer with his sickle and minimalist wooden scabbard on his way to harvest rice. [NOTE: I was the only one breathing hard - and occasionally stopping to take photos - as we climbed].
Wednesday
Oct202010

Curious

This little guy stuck his head out of the window of his house as I walked by.  Luckily, I had my camera out. The construction of this house is different from that commonly employed in Wudong (see No Nails and Sawmill for Hire). Although framed with Cunninghamia poles, the walls are brick covered with sheets of Cunninghamia bark. Gives a nice texture. 

Tuesday
Oct192010

Milling Around

A group of older Miao women in all of their finery gathering in front of a local bookstore in Xijiang before heading off to a performance. It is pouring down rain. Look for the lady in the background at about 0:15 putting on her silver necklaces. [NOTE: We were heading out to run a transect in this weather (see Counting the Rings)]. 

Monday
Oct182010

Carpenters

There were three carpenters working inside the new house being built in Wudong (see Sawmill for Hire). One of the craftsmen is shown above squaring-up a cut for a window frame.

The other two workers are shown in the video clip below. The man on the left is planing a board with a combination table saw and planer. No gloves, no goggles, no ear plugs - but he apparently has all of his fingers. The man on the right is ripping a board with a handsaw for use as a wall panel. All three were friendly and clearly knew very well what they were doing. [NOTE: That's Mr. Yang Chenghua, the botanist from the Guizhou Forestry Academy, who walks in smiling at the end of the video. Mr. Yang is always smiling].

Saturday
Oct162010

Nice Backyard

 

A shot of the backyard of one of the houses in Wudong. A good illustration of the blending of forestry and agricultural activities.  From left to right: (1) a stockpile of squared Cunninghamia logs to be cut into boards for repairs or for building a new house, (2) a stack of pole-sized firewood, (3) several rows of corn hanging to dry; this will be fed to the pigs, (4) a pile of Cunninghamia boards (with bag of laundry detergent on top), and (5) some roundwood (in the foreground) to be used - for something. And everything extremely neat and orderly. The yard is swept clean.

Friday
Oct152010

First Plot

Field crew lays out the rope for the first plot in the household-use forest transect in Wudong. It is drizzling rain. From left to right: Mr. Yang Chinghua, botanist from the Ghizhou Forest Academy; Yin Jin and Zhiyao Lu, Master's students from Minzu University in Beijing; and Mr. Yu Yong Fu from the Leigongshan Nature Reserve. The transect was a bit steep and slippery in spots, but we counted 81 Cuninghamia lanceolata trees, a few Castanea sequinii stems, and some Prunus sp. The crew did a great job. [NOTE: Mark Ashton and I worked the left and right side of the line (respectively) measuring diameters].

Thursday
Oct142010

Sawmill for Hire

When you are building a house, you need some way to turn Cunninghamia lanceolata trees into boards. Not everyone has the means to do this.  In the Miao village of Wudong (see Miao Still Life and Miao Decor), there is one man (shown below) who has a portable sawmill and who will set it up behind the house you are building and make boards for you. He designed and built the decidedly simple sawmill himself.  He works on about three houses/year, and does jobs in several different villages in the area. [NOTE: The rough, dimension stock he cuts is carefully planed and fitted by the crew of carpenters working inside the house].

Saturday
Oct092010

Beijing Air

 


Arrived last night to Beijing.  This is a shot from the cab on the way to the airport to show the lousy air quality. It's not so apparent in the photo, but you can only see about two blocks in front of you and the tops of tall buildings disappear in the haze. Made my eyes burn. Flight to Guizhou was uneventful, and I am posting this from the Yidu Hotel in Guiyang. 

Wednesday
Oct062010

Work Done

 

Miao farmer in the Qiangdongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou, China heading home from the field with his plow, hat, a load of firewood - and a big smile. Love the red boots. I am very much looking forward to my trip to China tomorrow.