Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Climbing Jiannan 劍南山

In Taipei there are many mountain paths and walks that one can climb and enjoy the nature just above the city. Today, during Ania's nature class, we explored one of such walks.

We drove to Dazhi 大直, right next to the big shopping mall and ferries wheel, Miramar 美麗華.
The MRT stop is called Jiannan Rd. 劍南路. Right next to exit nr.1 there is a lane leading to a staircase going up to the Jiantan Temple 劍潭古寺.



This temple has an interesting history. Originally it was built at a completely different site in 1773! During Japanese occupation Japanese decided to move the temple (1923) as it was too close to the Taiwan Grand Shrine 臺灣神宮 (Taiwan Jingu), the largest Shinto shrine in Taiwan. Not long after that the shrine was demolished by Chiang Kai-shek 蔣介石 and the Grand Hotel 圓山大飯店 build on it's site (1952).

Climbing further up we got to a road which we followed for a while. Even by the roadside we found some interesting things:


This nice capsule is the cocoon of a parasitoid wasp. 
A moth cacoon.
A bit further down the road we entered a path going steep up the mountain.


We climbed and climbed and finally got to the top. On one side we had a view of the city ...



... and the other side ... jungle.


Kids learned that long, long time ago this mountain was under the sea, that's why we were walking on sand.



After playing with the sandstones it was time for a snack.


And soon after time to continue our walk:



A very wet spider web.


Zanthoxylum nitidum - shiny-leaf prickly-ash - 雙面刺

New leaves are starting to grow.

Ants attracted by sweet sap from the leaf scare other bugs away.

What kind of forest is this? It's moss!


This caterpillar will become a beautiful butterfly.

Wonder what will come out of this cacoon? A moth maybe?

A familiar grasshopper.

What's hiding inside? Maybe a caterpillar?

Alocasia odora - Giant Elephants' Ear - 姑婆芋

A very prickly tree, don't even try climbing it!

The double leaves of a pomelo plant.

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