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Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:01 pm
by KoutaR
Neil,

I enjoyed every photo you posted. Highly interesting place!

I tried to search internet for hiking possibilities in Changbai. Wikitravel says "If you want to hike besides the tourist routes you have to have a guide". How are those "tourist routes"? Are they short boardwalks to a few famous sights, or are there longer hiking trails which are allowed to enter without a guide?

Kouta

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:15 am
by Neil
Hi Chris - I didn't get a chance t o meet many other people besides my host, our driver (Mr. Sun - more on him in a minute), scientists and managers at three institutes and Dr. Chen's students. So, I do not have a good feel for that. Having said that, the people I did meet are as tied to the forest as we are, as the NTS community is. They might approach it differently and use it differently [like, the way they consume forest frogs....], but there is no doubt the possibility of some Manchurian NTS. Mr. Sun is a great example.

He was our driver and was something akin to a technician at the institute hosting me. I'm not sure he had his BS degree; my host jokingly said Mr. Sun was lazy. If he had a better command of English, I'd bet another word would be chosen. I saw Mr. Sun as someone so curious about everything that he likely has some troubles focusing in an academic background. This man was def a jack of all trades. We leaned on him to track down the scientific names of trees and plants. He must have taken 800 pictures during our 3-4 days in the field. He was focused, no...ok, pun intended, on getting pictures of leaves, buds, seeds, cones, etc. He climbed onto a roof to get pictures of some spruce cones and expressed to me the desire to get tree climbing equipment to get better canopy pictures. He was someone on whose team I'd love to be a teammate.

Of course, the big issue with China is their attempt to control its population. I had no access to the NY TImes, FaceBook and any URL with the word 'blog' in it. Maybe this site would work? Interesting article in the Times to day on China and censorship: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/world ... ml?_r=1&hp - i have a cousin in China who has access to these banned internet sites. You have to pay extra for a 'very private network' to get there. Not many Chinese can afford this [economically and politically?].

I could see it happening someday, a Manchurian branch of NTS...some day, I hope.

Hi Kouta - yeah, the information about that part of the world is hard to get. I briefly tried to get more information on where I had been. It is a mess. There are long hikes available in the Changbai Shan preserve. We didn't have time to hike on the longer trials. But, opportunities exist. They are just hard to find in an easy way. I'd bet there are touring groups that might have these opportunities.

neil

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:32 am
by Neil
NTS - continuing on on the way to and at a research forest near Changbai Shan.
BetulaCostata_Platyphilla.jpg
Betual costata in the foreground, Betula platyphilla in the background.


ChangbaPineMixedForestInterior.jpg
general scene in the Changbai ShanForest Ecosystem Experiment Station experimental plot

FlakyTiliaBark.jpg
flaky Tilia amurensis bark. Tilis made up an important component of this forest


TiliaSmoothStemVert.jpg
smooth Tilia bark - apparently, i got pretty fascinated with Tilia here



KoreanPineMongolianOakForest.jpg
Pinus koriaensis and Quercus mongolica forest - Q. mongolica can, at times, be a spitting image of Q. montana


QuercusMongolicaPlusLargeTrees.jpg
large Quercus mongolica


PinusKoraiensisSeedling.jpg
Pinus koriaensis seedling [EWP, no?]


PinusKoraiensisBarkAcerTriphyllum.jpg
but, Pinus koriaensis' bark matures into P. viginiana, a bit, as is gets larger.


ZhenjuMrSunChangbaiExForestStonePAth.jpg
apparently this forest gets so wet that researchers have put in stone paths to ease field research.

more botany from the Changbai Shan Natural History Museum tomorrow.

neil

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:37 am
by jamesrobertsmith
The forests certainly do look familiar.

My nephew married a three-time Chinese Olympian (fencer). They go to China to visit her relatives every year. One thing that Chuck has noted about the people is their attitude toward animals--even more than with Western folk, they view them as merely a resource to be consumed--either as food or as medicine.

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:11 am
by Neil
Joe - a thought about the naturalness has popped in my mind about this part of China. my host constantly talked about how much of the forest dated back to Japanese occupation and extraction in the 1930s, i think. i haven't looked any of that up yet, but he seemed to suggest much of it was cut down by the Japanese back in the day.

James - that sentiment that nature is to be used rings true with my experiences. even the professionals who are into managing and studying the forest seemed to think the miles and miles of drift fence to collect forest frogs for consumption was normal or ok. i would never say that all the folks i met felt this way - deep conversations were limited. with a billion brains in that country, no doubt there are many who feel different. but, as a society? yeah, you can see it, especially in the way the Chines gov't is buying mountains in other nations and tearing them down for resources.

neil

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:29 am
by Neil
Dear NTS,

After some time in the forest, I was brought to the Changbai Shan Mountain Research Institute and the Natural History Museum [two different institutes]. Here are some botanical pictures from those visits.

JuglansManshuricaWoodCut.jpg
I didn't see as much Juglans manshurica in the forest. So, here is a wood cut.


MaackiiAmurenseWoodCut.jpg
Here is a wood cut of Maackii amurense

MagnoliaSeboldiiBotanicalPress.jpg
A press of Magnolia seboldii

PhellodendronAmurenseWoodCut.jpg
Phellodendron amurense - i did see many seedlings, saplings and poles of the Chinese cork tree

PhellodendronAmurenseYellowCambiumAndBark.jpg
the inner bark is a stunning yellow-gold. and, it is said to be medicine, too.

PhellodendrumCambium.jpg
more Phellodendrum cambium

ForestFrogsForSale.jpg
to follow up on James' comment: these forest frogs were for sale in the gift shop of the museum. to be fair to the plant world, cones of Korean pine seeds were for sale, too.

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:33 pm
by KoutaR
even the professionals who are into managing and studying the forest seemed to think the miles and miles of drift fence to collect forest frogs for consumption was normal or ok.
Maybe we should remember the difference in standard of living. GDP based on PPP per capita (2011, current international dollar):
USA: 48,147
China: 8,394
Source: imf.org
but, as a society? yeah, you can see it, especially in the way the Chines gov't is buying mountains in other nations and tearing them down for resources.
I don't think the UK/Great Britain, for example, treated its colonies better in the past.

Kouta

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:43 pm
by Joe
Kouta Räsänen wrote:
even the professionals who are into managing and studying the forest seemed to think the miles and miles of drift fence to collect forest frogs for consumption was normal or ok.
Maybe we should remember the difference in standard of living. GDP based on PPP per capita (2011, current international dollar):
USA: 48,147
China: 8,394
Source: imf.org
but, as a society? yeah, you can see it, especially in the way the Chines gov't is buying mountains in other nations and tearing them down for resources.
I don't think the UK/Great Britain, for example, treated its colonies better in the past.

Kouta
Right on, Kouta! All imperialist powers were/are ruthless. The nations of the world (most of them) have taken turns at this- except the Finns of course.
Joe

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:55 pm
by KoutaR
Joe,

If Finns had been bigger and more powerful nation, they would have done it, too.

Kouta

Re: Manchuria, aka northeast China

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:19 am
by Neil
Yes, I understand it and I'm not saying the 'royal we' are better. I know that nearly all people's have exploited their environment, from the First Nations people in the Americas to today and most other people; from the Dutch setting up wind-powered saw mills on the northern tip of Manhattan in the early 1600s to deliver wood back to Europe. It is basic human behavior. But, I do feel there is a difference in China. I understand they have many people to feed and thus you eat almost everything. I get it. But, it is time for all great societies to change human behavior so that we can sustain a decent quality of life. We actually have the data to know better now, to truly understand the large-scale, long-term impact.

neil