Children's Day in Huaping

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


By Hillary Burgess, Fairchild Living Collection Manager

Karst HillIt has been raining since the middle of last night (monsoon might be the right word) and our sampling sites are too slick to access, so today is a day for data entry.  It also happens to be Children's Day in Huaping.  Schoolchildren get the day off and there are activities and programs for them.  We were startled by an elaborate mid-day display of fireworks next to the Forestry Department headquarters where we are working.  This slower day is giving me some time to reflect on the trip so far. I’m curious to learn more about the geologic history of this region.  There are similarities to South Florida; it is also limestone karst, defined by dissolution of bedrock.  But this landscape is much older and instead of flat land with dramatic relief being measured in inches, there are large and varied mountains, sinkholes and caves.  Some mountains, or hills, rise as solitary peaks, seemingly out of nowhere (such as the one above).  How did this come to be?

Paphs on Rock

Orchids love the geology as much as I do.  These Paphiopedilum hirsutissimums thrive in abundance on limestone cliff faces.