Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday Camera Action

This afternoon I took a break and drove out to Tseng-wen reservoir to have a look around. Although there has been a fair amount of rain recently, the reservoir is not full; it looks about half-full I would guess.

Water was running down through the tributary weirs. The aesthetics of these things is an interesting problem in that there are some people who dislike the look of them intensely - despite their importance for soil conservation. Are they tributary streams or just drainage ditches?

I crossed the bridge at the back end of the reservoir but instead of turning right to follow the Tseng-wen river up into Alishan, I turned left and followed the road downstream and uphill. As it gradually makes its way north-westward, the roadside foliage opens up at one or two points allowing brief vistas downstream. From one of these I caught a reasonably clear glimpse of the new construction work (which has been ongoing since at least 2011 if I recall correctly). I haven't checked to make sure, but I strongly suspect that this is the beginning of the new weir and tunnel diversion system.

Further along, the road climbs up right above the construction site; the new system is designed so as to divert both excess water and sediment into a tunnel running south-westwards around the eastern side of the reservoir beyond the damn to spill out again into the river. The objective is to prevent the reservoir from ever filling up with sediment again as a consequence of Morakot-scale rainfall events.

I followed the north-westerly road for another twenty minutes or so after leaving the reservoir behind. As it departs from the reservoir and heads in a more northerly direction, the road runs parallel to a second major tributary river (i.e. in addition to the Tseng-wen river itself) which also runs up into Chiayi's Alishan district. Since the road would have likely taken me a further two or three hours to arrive at someplace definite, and not finding anything particularly time-worthy, I made my way back down the mountains and stopped off beside this old weir system for a quick swim; unfortunately the water was too shallow and at its' deepest point only came up to my waist.

On returning to the Tseng-wen river itself, I took a few shots simply because of the cloud formations; this was the best one but I had forgotten (a) that I had the other filters with me, and (b) but I had forgotten the filter attachment. I discovered both of these facts later...

One of the inexplicable things that happened while I was out there today was the pageant of idle daydreams, semi-thoughts and half-remembered songs that played through my mind. This image suits that. It made a change from the usual day-to-day focus on work and work prep, looking after the dogs, doing the chores and the ambient state of nervous agitation that arises from reading the news too much. The filters and attachments need sorting out before I head north again. On Thursday night I had toyed briefly with the idea of getting up early and heading up to Yilan county to see the new reservoir nearing completion there; but the cumulative effect of too many early mornings laid that proposition to rest.

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