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Entries in Guizhou (27)


Sleeping Dog

Slow pan around the Miao village of Wudong (see Wudong) in Guizhou, China. I filmed this mid-morning when everyone was out working in their fields. Village was mostly abandoned. Good time for a dog to get some sleep. 


The View from Leigong Mountain (from the Archive)

Leigong, or God of Thunder, Mountain is a 2,200 meter peak in Guizhou province of southwestern China. There is a small ranger post with several antennas and a weather station at the summit.  During my visit last June to the Leigongshan Nature Reserve, I went out on the roof of the ranger station and shot some footage of the surrounding panorama. SPOILER ALERT: The view was like nothing I have ever seen. [NOTE: It was so cold and damp that the rangers were using their electric hot plate as a heater].


Hanging Out To Dry

When the rains stop in Guizhou, Miao villagers move a lot of things outside to dry in the sun, e.g. corn, tobacco, and clothes. [NOTE: Image is from the village of Wudong (see Miao Decor, Carpenters, and Sawmill for Hire)].



Miao still life from the village of Wudong in Guizhou, China (2010). 



A lot of different types of people are drawn to the Miao community of Xijiang in Guizhou (see Xijiang Landscape, Road to Xijiang). Some people come to see the elaborate costumes and beautiful dances; others come to count tree rings (see Counting the Rings) and study traditional patterns of resource use (see Fields of Gold).  A final group, perhaps the most attentive of all, come to sketch the local people, the houses (see above) and the landscapes.  


The Web at Wudong

This magnificent spider web is on the gate, just before the bridge, at the main entrance to the Miao village of Wudong. People walk by it all day long, glancing up, then continuing on their way. No one bothers it. Nice metaphor for Wudong. A web of complex interactions, cultural norms, and government policies woven carefully together into something very beautiful. 


Species Determinations

The critical piece of a forest inventory is assigning the right names (both local and scientific) to the trees that you are counting and measuring. Call things by the wrong name and the data aren't worth much (a fact that is seldom appreciated, unfortunately).  During the recent fieldwork in Guizhou (see First Plot and Counting the Rings), Mr. Yang Chenghua from the Guizhou Forestry Academy (shown above looking through his Checklist of Plant Genera in China) was in charge of making sure that we called things by their right names.

Not only would he write the correct scientific names of all the trees in the field book after each transect:

But he also made Excel spreadsheets with the names of all the associated trees, shrubs, and herbs, that he recorded on each site:

A competent and hard-working botanist. A great guy. And a pleasure to work with. Xie xie, Mr. Yang. [NOTE: He carried that book with him everywhere - rain or shine]. 



Boys playing with boxes in the market district of Leishan, Guizhou. This was shot right outside of the store where I was buying rope for the transects (see Transect Rope Redux). They were having a great time - until they noticed that I was filming them.


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]. 


Road to Xijiang

On traveling in southeastern Guizhou:

"Obliquely implanted, the tapering mountain summits are strangely shaped and placed;
Hanging in balance, the precipice walls form multiple fortress gates.
Disordered pine trees hug the slopes, as the first rain clears away;
Before the old postal relay doors, fog makes the hour seem late.
Lightning strikes on the tops of the crags, pouring down hundreds of streams; 
The blue-green confusions of sunken depressions are filled with millenial trees

-Jing Daomo, et al.
Guizhu Tongzhi (Comprehensive Gazetteer of Guizhou), 1741 C.E.

The road from Leishan to Xijiang through the morning fog (shown above) is not trivial.