When I arrived in Chiayi, the black motorbike started up again without hitch (due to the new battery), but the tyre pressure had fallen. I took it to a mechanic and had the tyres pumped up and the oil changed (note to self: at 18,500 km). I paused briefly on the uphill road that passes by Lantan reservoir to the north to take some shots as the weather was glorious...
|Overlooking Lantan reservoir from the north; as the weather was spectacularly good, the mountains were visible in the distance; the first of which is "Pillow Mountain" which overlooks Baihe reservoir in the north of Tainan.|
The possibility of following the stream in a north-westerly direction toward Lantan reservoir was made difficult by the presence of abandoned or semi-abandoned (and hence especially dense) banana plantations. Instead I followed the stream in the opposite direction toward its' presumed source (Renyitan reservoir) and along the way I noticed something odd - a crayfish suspended from an electricity cable by some kind of thread. At first I thought spider web, but looking at it again the threads seem to be too thick to be those of the common golden orb weaver, and they are also oddly arranged - as if by repeated loops over and over the cable from which they hang. It looks like human rather than animal work, though quite why anyone would want to catch and hang up a single crayfish to dry in the sun is not obviously clear...
I once again lost track of the stream among the betel nut farms (and private land) and arrived at Renyitan reservoir without finding what I was looking for. Since the weather was so much better and brighter than it had been on my previous trip, I decided I would take more pictures. I started with pictures overlooking the northern tip of the reservoir from a hill to the west...
|The higher apartments in the building in the background must give excellent views out over the reservoir; indeed a Taiwanese woman I know offered to sell one of them to me (they are not particularly expensive either, considering prices elsewhere).|
|The little spits of land on either side are not sediment build up, but are actually part of the reservoir bed's natural contours.|
|Overlooking Renyitan reservoir from the west end with the monitoring station just below. The mountains in the distance mark the beginning of Chiayi County's Alishan district.|
|From the west end looking northwards up to Renyitan's westernmost corner following the curve of the dam.|
|Standing on the main section of the dam at its' western end gazing eastward; after Agongdian reservoir in Kaohsiung, this is the longest dam in Taiwan.|
|The mountains to the east can only be seen on a clear day.|
|From the south-west corner looking northward toward the apartment buildings that overlook the reservoir.|
The water runs off from a natural rill in the hillside into this concrete culvert...
|There is also a step to allow excess flood water to overflow onto and over the newly constructed road.|
|The water rill in the hillside which feeds the culvert, with the flood opening in front of it.|
|Looking up at the culvert from the loosely packed soil on the hillside below.|
|The water in the sedimentation tank was now static, as the level was insufficient to provide flow over the broad-crest.|
|The people from the Water Bureau had carved two channels into the river bed to ensure maximum water flow toward the entrapment pen during the dry season.|
|Looking eastward upstream toward the Bazhang's source in the mountains of Alishan district.|
|Note the square-shaped "door" cut into the cliff to the center-left of the image, with rubble piled up beneath it.|
|Like most of Taiwan's reservoirs, Renyitan is shallow: the depth here is about ten meters or so.|
|I've always loved this view across the downstream face of the Lantan reservoir dam with the mountains in the distance.|
|Looking over the little reservoir in a north-easterly direction from the south-west.|
|Looking directly eastward across the upstream face of the dam; there is a height of about two meters before the first grassline appears on the dam, which will be the usual high-water mark.|
|Looking directly northward over Lantan reservoir from the south end.|
|Probably my favourite view of Lantan reservoir; looking eastward from the water intake towers toward the spillway aperture with the little bridge running across it.|