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Meteorological Landscapes

 Meteorological Landscapes

4.1 Cloud and Mist Landscapes

(1)Huang Mountain Cloud Sea

The cloud sea on the Huang Mountain is extremely exotic and unique. There are graceful and overlapping peaks standing erect, dangerous and steep cliffs and crisscrossing serene gullies in the Huang Mountain. The air currents pass through the chain of mountains in a lively circumfluence. The cloud, mist and cumulostratus all over the sky float with wind. They sometimes go up, sometimes fall down, sometimes turn around and sometimes stretch out. They constitute an exotic and daedal spectacle of Cloud Sea.

(2)Mao’er Mountain Cloud Sea

The Guangxi Mao’er Mountain National-level Nature Reserve is located in the north of the international famous tourist city, Guilin. It is the first peak (also called the summit of Huanan) in Huanan Area (the four provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan and Hainan) and tops the “five ridges” in our country. It is the cradle of the three rivers of Lijiang, Xunjiang and Zijiang and more of the main headstream of the Lijiang River. There has long been a saying going around that “there will be no Guilin without the Lijiang River and no Lijiang River without the Mao’er Mountain”. Hence, the Mao’er Mountain enjoys a good reputation as the “lifeblood” of Guilin landscapes and the “heart” of the Lijiang River. The reserve has extremely abundant landscape resources. It is mainly composed of towering mountains, forests, streams, waterfalls, astronomical phenomena, farmland, national flavor and historical culture, etc. The main landscape characteristics of the Mao’er Mountain are grandeur, serenity, mystery, danger, grace, rarity and oddity. Lu Dingyi, a veteran revolutionary, says that the Mao’er Mountain blends “the grandeur of the Tai Mountain, the danger of the Hua Mountain, the Grace of the E’mei Mountain and the serenity of the Lu Mountain.” The type of landscapes in this reserve is the primitive forest landscapes. There are exotic peaks, queer rocks, exotic flowers, bizarre grass, forest landscapes, water landscapes, cloud sea, mist landscapes, mist bloom and snow landscapes in the mountain. The Mao’er Mountain is the sea of flowers. There are thirty nine species of cuckoo flower in all in the reserve. From middle April to late May of every year, red, purple, white and yellow cuckoo flowers vie with each other in blooming with vigor of hundreds of flowers vying for beauty and glamour. Some appear like Kwan-yin sitting on a lotus and others seem like the spring of young girl, which make you linger on without any thought of leaving. The cloud sea of the Mao’er Mountain is an exotic sight of the reserve. Its clouds and mists are very changeable. It is like a waterfall with water rushing down a kilometer from the top; then it suddenly turns into turbulent floods come rolling in; once again it is like permeating fog. When people stand on the top of the mountain, they will feel carried away as if entering a fairyland. 

4.2 Rain Landscapes

    (1)Misty Rain in the Lijiang River

People all know “night in Shanghai”, “mist in Chongqing” and “rain in Guilin”. Without rain, Guilin will become much less lifelike and charm. The Lijiang River under the hazy drizzle is a bit bashful. Along the Lijiang River, layer upon layer of peaks look as if being shrouded in thin gauze, dreamy and fantastic. Taking a boat on the river will be another taste. This is the so-called “misty rain in the Lijiang River”. The Lijiang River in misty rain is definitely not only a picture, but also a poem, a graceful poem.

(2)Rain Landscapes in the West Lake

The West Lake in rain looks most interesting. Strolling on the Su Causeway or taking a boat in the lake, you will find distant mountains and near water under the misty rain. The pavilions, platforms, storied buildings and houses on terraces, which seem as if being clothed in a white gauze, now appearing, now disappearing, are exceptionally charming. The breeze blows gently and the drizzle blows on the face, producing a poetic conception that white raindrops jump into the boat like beads, which make people even-tempered and good humored and deep intoxicated among it. The rain of the West Lake also has a romance. The legendary White Snake was encountered with Xu Xian by a rain in the West Lake and hence a world-shaking romantic love began. 

4.3 Ice and Snow Landscapes

    The Top Eight Snow Landscapes in China

(1) Sunny Western Hills after Snow —— Located in the Xiangshan Mountain of Bejing, it is one of the eight views of Yanjing. The Xiangshan Park now still preserves a monument with the characters of “Sunny Western Hills after Snow” inscribed by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. Whenever it is clear and sunny after snow, the peaks are covered with pure white snow. It is really a beautiful scene.

(2) Accumulated Snow on the Southern Mountain —— It is located at the north foot of the Chengde Summer Resort. Whenever it is clear and sunny after heavy snow, peaks pierce into the clouds as if coming from nowhere. The characters of “Accumulated Snow on the Southern Mountain” were inscribed by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty.

(3)Accumulated Snow on the Jade Mountain —— The Jade Mountain is the highest peak of Taiwan. It is covered by accumulated snow all the year round. Hence, it is called “Jade Mountain”. In the middle of winter, pure white peaks set off against verdant woods, which is quite a charming view.

(4) Silvery Cangshan Mountain and Snow White Erhai Lake —— The Erhai Lake in Dali of Yunnan Province sets off against the Cangshan Mountain covered with accumulated snow on its west bank. It is one of the four local views of “wind, flower, snow and moon”.

(5) Melting Snow at Broken Bridge —— It is one of the scenic spots of the West Lake. It acquires its name from a verse of the Tang Dynasty that “desolate mosses join together at the broken bridge”. Whenever it is late winter and early spring, accumulated snow will be melting; spring water will just rise; the arched bridge will be reflected in water with extraordinary charm.

(6) Everything on Earth Covered by Snow —— It is one of the ten exotic views in the Jigong Mountain, Henan Province. Whenever after snow, branches and leaves covered with accumulated snow are all over the mountains, which is very refreshing.

(7) Snow by the River at Dusk —— Located in the Juzi Islet in the Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan, it is one of the eight famous views of Xiangxiao. When night falls and snow flies, standing for a long while at the top of the islet and overlooking the river, you will only see a vast expanse of sky and earth.

(8) Accumulated Snow on the Taibai Mountain —— The Taibai Mountain in Meishan of Shanxi Province is the highest peak of Guanzhong Area. It is covered by accumulated snow all the year around. Li Bai once wrote a verse that “the Taibai Mountain is covered with accumulated snow even in June”. It is one of the eight views of Chang’an.

4.4 Mist and Rain Bloom

Mist bloom is a white or milky white opaque ice barrier accumulated on the surface of ground objects (such as branches and electric wire) facing the wind. It is also formed by the coagulation of super-cooling dripping. When super-cooling rain, drizzle or fog drops come into contact with the surface of objects which has a temperature equal to or below 0℃, an ice cover is formed. It is called rain bloom.

(1) Lijin Mist Bloom

Jilin Mist Bloom, which is reputed as one of the four exotic natural landscapes in China (others are Guilin Landscapes, Changjiang Three Gouges and Yunnan Stone Forest), is reputed as “a unique view in human world” by tourists at home and abroad. It is popularly called air hoar. In the middle of winter, when numberless rivers prostrate themselves and catch their breath blow the ice layers in the north, only the section of the Songhua River surrounding the urban areas of Jilin (about 50 kilometers) flow slowly. In the evening, when the river water is moist, rising mirage come across cold air, coagulate on the tree and gradually form the wonderful, pure and magnificent ice bloom, namely mist bloom. In early morning, when the morning bloom unveils the yarn curtain of mist, along the ten li of long bank, there are pines and willows covered with snow, jade trees in the wind, snow light, misty air and slowly rising rosy clouds. Tourists who wander along the river will feel as if being in fairyland. When Chairman Jiang Zemin came to Jinjin and watched mist bloom, he sighed with emotion and wrote for it, giving such praise: t “The willows covered with snow along the cold river, jade trees and flowers and Jilin air hoar indeed live up to their reputation.”

(2) Mist Bloom and Rain Bloom on the Tai Mountain

Mist bloom and rain bloom are the exotic natural landscapes of the Tai Mountain. The mist bloom looks like frost, but is not frost. It looks like ice, but is not ice. It is in full bloom in the wind in all shapes. The furry air hoar, which hang all over the pine braches and shrubs, is like a giant white coral, a hall clothed in soft and light gauze and a white carpet spread out over the earth. Rain bloom, which makes rocks, the earth, the top of houses and trees covered with glittering and translucent ice layers, agglomerates everything on earth into a world of ice overnight. 

4.5 Sunrise and Sunset

(1)Riguan Peak

To the southeast of the Jade Emperor Summit of the Tai Mountain is the “Flat Peak”. The “Universe (Qiankun) Pavilion” was built here in the Qing Dynasty. Inside the pavilion, there is a stone tablet carved with “the place where Confucius thought the world was small”. The pavilion and the stone tablet were destroyed successively during the years of the Republic of China and in 1967. To the east of the Flat Peak is the Riguan Peak, which is the best position to watch the sun. 

Tourists always prefer to climb up the mountain to watch the sunrise in the morning, view the colored clouds at dusk, appreciate mountains and rivers in a clear day and behold the cloud sea in an overcast day. This Gongbei Rock (popularly called Tanhai Rock) has become an important symbol of the Tai Mountain.  

(2)Sunset at the Silvery Beach

The North Sea Silvery Beach is at the southern tip of North Sea City and faces the vast blue sea. It stretches for 24 kilometers from east to west. It is well known in the world for long and even beach, thin and white sand, warm and clean sand, soft waves. Moreover, it has no sharks and is unpolluted. It is one of the thirty five ace scenic spots in China and enjoys a good reputation as “the first beach under heaven”. 

The Silvery Beach blends sunshine, air, beach and sea water together. At sunset, it has unique flavor of the southland.  

4.6 Buddhist Light

The Buddhist light is a diffraction phenomenon formed when the sunlight shines on clouds at a certain angle.

Buddhist Light on the Golden Summit of the E’mei Mountain

Buddhist Light is the oddest natural phenomenon among the four marvelous spectacles of sunset, Cloud Sea, Buddhist light and holy lamp. This phenomenon is extremely rare in other places. However, it often occurs on the E’mei Mountain. It occurs more than 60 times on average every year. Sometimes, it even occurs more than 80 times in one year. Therefore, it is also called “treasure light of the E’mei Mountain”.

4.7 Marvelous Spectacle of Mirage

In places such as peaceful sea level, the surface of great rivers, the surface of lakes, snowfields and deserts or Gobi, there will appear illusions such as large and tall storied buildings, enceinte and trees in the air or “underground” every once in a while. They are called mirage. This illusion often occurs on the sea surface of Penglai, Shandong Province. Ancient people attributed it to clam, belonging to the category of flood dragon, which breathed out and produced the storied buildings and enceinte. Hence, it acquired its name. The mirage is produced by the refraction of light in the air courses with different uprightness direction and density. It is often divided into superior mirage, inferior mirage and lateral mirage.

In case of a strong temperature inversion, the density of gases at the surface layer will reduce intensively with the height. The above-mentioned mirage occurs when the light of the buildings on the horizon in the distance enter the eye of observers through refraction.

Shandong Penglai Seashore Mirage

The seashore of Penglai in Shangdong Province, which is reputed as “Penglai fairyland”, is one of the places where mirage occurs most frequently. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, May 24th of 2005, an extremely rare marvelous spectacle of “mirage” occurred above the sea area to the east of the “Fairyland in Human World”, Penglai seashore, the Penglai Pavilion and the Baxiandu Scenic Area. It is reported that this marvelous spectacle of mirage was the largest-scale, clearest and longest in duration. Tens of thousands of citizens and tourists were treated to this marvelous spectacle. 

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