The summer is fading away

At the West Lake in Hangzhou, there is a quiet corner with a large patch of lotus plants. Ling spotted two late blooming flowers and I found  a “shower head” with lotus seeds inside which will soon fall back into the mud. Next spring the seeds will germinate and in summer the lotus blossoms  will be back in their full glories. For more than a thousand years, the lotus, the plant with its leaves and the flowers, has symbolized purity against its muddy origin, and  has attracted generation after generation of Chinese poets and painters. The lotus pond is also a small ecosystem. Wait! What is stirring underneath the leaves? Ah, a duck peddles in the forest of lotus plants searching for her next meal.

In Shanghu Lake in Changshu, workers  picked up buckets of lingjiao (water chestnuts) early in the morning. Our hosts bought a few kilos and we ate the tender ones right away. So fresh, so juicy!

In the wetland countryside of the Yangtse River delta, water-born plants will soon  shed their leaves  and  go to sleep. The summer is fading away…

 

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