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The Elements of Typographic Style

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Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

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Entries in Vietnam (81)


Hoi An

Hoi An was an important Chinese settlement during the 17th to 19th centuries, and it has recently been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a traditional Southeast Asian trading port. I spent several hours strolling through Hoi An yesterday - in the pouring rain. The insides of the houses are spectacular. The first image shows a writing desk in the study of one of the homes, the second shot frames the view through the split-bamboo partition between rooms, and the final image shows the bonzai pot flora of the courtyard. And to top it all off, the owner of the house served us tea. [NOTE: My wet umbrella was dripping water all over the floor of this nice man's house as I took these pictures].



Sao La Nature Reserve

Gave a presentation this morning at the Sao La Nature Reserve office in A Luoi on the preliminary results from the rattan inventory (see Where Are Those Transects II). That's Mr. Ho Van Sao in the image above providing information about how the field crews actually located and sampled the transects. We had a productive discussion on using inventory and growth data to develop a sustainable management plan for rattan in the reserve and a lot of good ideas came up. Stay tuned. Something wonderful - and unprecedented - may be happening here.  


Imperial City

The Imperial City or Citadel in Hue, was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The sprawling complex, located on the northern bank of the Perfume River, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Some of the buildings have been beautifully restored:

Others provide a stark testimony to the impermanence of imperial dreams. [NOTE: This was a wonderful place to spend a few hours while waiting for permits (thx, Ms. Ngoc)].



The local markets are so picturesque that it's easy to forget that there is well-defined profit motive operating here. As is beautifully depicted by the vegetable lady in the image above, markets are all about commerce. [NOTE: Love the blue rain pants].


Hue Market

The central market in Hue is a riot of colors, smells, sounds - and plant diversity. This would be a fantastic place to study the ethnobotany of Central Vietnam.


Flat Fix

I met this little guy outside of a roadside tea shop south of Hue this morning.  Not sure he was fixing a flat as much as playing with his father's tools. Spent 12 hours in a car driving down from Hanoi yesterday. Tomorrow is the first "Returning Results" rattan workshop in the Song Thanh Nature Reserve (see Song Thanh N.R.).


Where Are Those Transects II?


Another look at the location of those 960 rattan transects (see Field Books) using Google Earth and a video screengrab program. Different marker colors are used for different Nature Reserves. A total of 192 hectares of forest was sampled in this unprecedented resource survey.


Where Are Those Transects?

Have started pulling data out of the field books (see Field Books) from the Truong Son Mountain rattan survey (see Which Rattan Is That). One of the first operations was to compile a table of the coordinates of each transect, i.e. "geo-reference" them, and then to plot them on a map so that I could see how the transects were arranged throughout each Nature Reserve.  I was a little worried that perhaps the crews had done all the transects right off the road.

As is shown in the image above, a screen grab from a Google Earth plot of the transects recorded in the Song Thanh Nature Reserve, this was decidedly not the case.  Look at the group of transects in the upper left of the image. The field crews hiked way out into the forest before starting to count rattans. Each purple symbol represents a 2,000 m² sample.   


Rattan Bundles


A pan through the back of the truck that we used in the field last year in central Vietnam (see Pressing Plectocomiopsis). The bundles are filled with rattan specimens. Fifteen of these collections have been found to be new species to science (thx, Andrew). [Note: The background music is what the driver had playing (continually) on the radio. The red box of "Choco-Pies" belonged to Andrew].


One-Stop Shopping

You can buy almost anything you need on the streets of Hanoi.  Close-ups of two street vendor stalls are shown above.  Need chopsticks? Or a gaiwan? Or work gloves, sandpaper, or wooden sandals?  How about some pink glue?