Taiwan: Yangmingshan National Park

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Flower clock, unknown conifer, and mountain view photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

My wife and I recently returned from a vacation to Taiwan. One of the high points was Yangmingshan National Park, located in the mountains northeast of Taipei.

Mountains photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Mountains photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

This region is undergoing collision and subduction of various island arcs and tectonic plates. The result of this complex geologic structure is an area that is very seismically and volcanically active. Perhaps my favorite geologic features were the fumaroles in the mountains. These volcanic vents release gasses and flash-steamed groundwater, creating plumes that often reek of sulfur. The stench at this large fumarole was impressive:

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Large fumarole photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Between the geologic mayhem there were many places that were very serene:

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Mountain view photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Quiet spots free from other tourists provided moments of peace:

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Shadowed bridge photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

There was also a bit of Chinese architecture and culture mixed in:

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Pavilion and pond photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

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Gift shop Buddha photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Numerous reflecting pools in garden areas were also nice:

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Pavilion and pond photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Along the way we came across many plants we hadn’t seen before. I knew a few of them, but I’ll have to identify the others in the future:

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Unknown conifer (Pinophyta) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Many flowers dotted the landscape, and to Michiganders like us they provided a welcome escape from our native winter cold:

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Unknown plant photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

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Unknown plant photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

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Unknown plant photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

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Unknown plant photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis, Poaceae) was common throughout the mountains. Found throughout much of east Asia, this plant is an introduced and invasive species in North America:

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Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis, Poaceae) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Perhaps my favorite plant was this Chinese taro (Colocasia esculenta, Araceae). My wife has cooked with taro root before, so it was interesting to see one up close in its native habitat. The gigantic leaves were spectacular:

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Chinese taro (Colocasia esculenta, Araceae) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

We also came across the largest fern I had ever seen. The fiddleheads were as big as my hand:

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Unknown fern (Pteridophyta) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

The stems were thick and woody, leading to tall and shady canopies of thick leaves:

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Unknown fern (Pteridophyta) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

We also came across this Pallas’ squirrel (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Callosciurus erythraeus). This little guy emitted some loud cries, but stood firm as we walked past:

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Pallas’ squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus, Sciuridae) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

There were also some common mallards (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Anas platyrhynchos). I often see these here in my home area, but they range throughout much of the world:

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Mallard ducks (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Anas platyrhynchos) photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

On the way out I got one last shot of the subtropical mountain scenery:

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Mountain view photographed 12/06/2012 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.

Yangmingshan is only one of eight national parks in Taiwan. After seeing this amazing example of Taiwanese nature, I would love to go back and see more of their beautiful national parks.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Culture, Ecology, Geology, National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Taiwan: Yangmingshan National Park

  1. That fern looks like a scary animal! Wow! Great pics.

    Like

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