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  • Home / Ningbo Times
    Beauty of Nature: Celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity
    Source: Insight Ningbo  | 2022-05-30 09:40:09

      A Asian barred owlet fed nestlings with a lizard.

      A swallow lightly touched the surface of water.

      May 22nd is proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity. Every May, Ningbo enjoys good weather, pleasant temperatures and abundant rainfall. Diverse animals and plants can be found along your leisurely stroll to the city center or the outskirts like Siming Mountain. Come on; let’s explore and enjoy the beauty of nature across the urban and rural areas of Ningbo!


      On this early morning, I came to Yinzhou Park. In my telescopic view, a little grebe (small water bird) floating on the lake just caught a prawn and constantly tossed its head to remove the prawn head for a meal.

      清晨的鄞州公園,在望遠鏡里可以看到,湖面上有只??(pì tī)剛剛捕到了一只大蝦,只見它拼命甩頭,把蝦的頭部處理掉了,才開始吃肉。

      A flight of swallows flew across the lake while the little grebe was busy hunting. They swooped and then lifted off sharply, with their bodies lightly touching the surface of water. Their movements were amazingly brisk and neat, yet graceful.


      In the nearby reeds, a couple of scaly-breasted munia occupied themselves with collecting dried leaves and branches to nest.


      In the river of the Ecology Corridor at the Eastern New Town, a raft of little eastern spot-billed ducklings and their mother were swimming and foraging at ease. You can imagine how adorable it is to see these fluffy ducklings flapping their wings over the water.


      Above the new lotus leaves, herds of vibrant damselflies flew. (Damselfly is the non-technical term for coenagrion in the order Odonata. Two of the two main species of the damselflies are Ischnura senegalensis and paracercion calamorum.) A mating pair of Ischnura senegalensis were forming a heart-shaped "wheel" on the new leaves.


      In the course of filming the damselflies, frogs were heard croaking in the riverside grass. That sound must be made by a male black-spotted pond frog. “In the green grass and ponds, frogs are croaking” (a line of Chinese poetry from Appointment with a Friend, by Zhao Shixiu, who lived from 1170 until 1219). This reminds Ningbo locals of their childhood. It is really amazing to hear frogs croaking again at a metropolitan park.


      In late May, Chinese Spiranthes flowers begin to bloom at Sun Lake Park. This wild species of orchid – commonly known as "panlongshen" (a Chinese herbal medicine) – produces pale blush-pink flowers circling up around the scape and featuring ice-crystal petals.


      Now let’s take a drive for half an hour or so leaving the city center for Siming Mountain. Hydrangea chinensis flowers bloom on both sides of the mountain roadways between late spring and early summer. It is interesting to learn that these larger "white flowers" on their edges are actually sterile sepals primarily aiming to attract insects. Their real and fertile flowers are the little yellow-greenish flowers in the middle.


      Up along the ancient mountain trail, a pair of lycaena phlaeas was found mating. This type of beautiful grey butterfly has bright orange-reddish front wings with distinct dark spots.


      Further on the side of a nearby brook, a lovely dragonfly was resting under a grass leaf. Out of our expectation, it was a rare dragonfly species (namely Macromidia kelloggi Asahina). Its body is typically yellow and black, while its breast and back are blue-greenish and metallic-colored.


      Deep inside the forest the flowers of paris polyphylla were still in bloom. Amazingly, their blossoms last a long time, from early April to the end of May.


      Upon nightfall, the Asian barred owlets started to be fully engaged in feeding nestlings with lizards and the like. This type of bird is a commonly seen species of small owl, usually dwelling in the hollows of large trees.

      傍晚,正在育雛的斑頭鵂鹠(xiū liú)開始忙碌起來,親鳥叼來蜥蜴等食物喂養雛鳥。這是一種本地常見的小型貓頭鷹,常安家在大樹的樹洞里。

      The beauty of Nature takes us back to a widely acclaimed line from the great Song Dynasty poet Xin Qiji (1140–1207): "Charming are mountains green. I would expect the feeling to be mutual, for we are somewhat alike, in mood and mien." Human beings should live in harmony with nature, right?


      Reporter Zhang Haihua

      Translators Mei Jie, Huang Dawang

      Proofreaders Puyang Rong, Lü Chang, Jason Mowbray

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