Saturday, 13 February 2016

Another Brilliant Morning: At The North End Of Tseng-wen Reservoir

After Tuesday's trip to Nantou, the weather clouded up and rained on and off again from Wednesday through to Friday. Today however, the weather was once again brilliant with the temperature back up to twenty nine degrees centigrade by about one in the afternoon. Astonishing. Remember: three weeks ago I had been driving around in Nantou in temperatures like the inside of a refrigerator. So with the weather forecast to be good today, I decided to take the other motorbike out to the north end of Tseng-wen reservoir as early as I could. I had wanted to set off at 5 a.m., but in the event couldn't raise myself from the crypt until 4.30 a.m. which meant leaving at just after 6 a.m. I should explain: after the earthquake, my borough of Tainan's north district is no longer connected to the water mains whilst repairs are being done. This means that all washing, cleaning, cooking (and toilet flushing) needs to be done by means of bottled water - which is a considerable inconvenience, and takes up time.

At about three hours after setting off, I arrived at the north end of Tseng-wen; this was only the third time I had been here, and the first time I had been here in the morning rather than the late afternoon. And this made all the difference...

Looking south over a tributary at Tseng-wen's far north end; the town of Dapu is just out of shot to the left of the image.
The view southward from just above the northern wharf. Tseng-wen is approximately 12 km long, and you can probably see something like 8 or 9 km of its' length in this shot before the horizon interjects. 
The tiny northern wharf below; it's just a short path leading down to the water with a couple of pontoons and other bits and pieces lying around.
A long dead tree beckons you to keep looking southward.
To see and yet not be seen. There is a secret of sorts on the other side of those mountains; a remarkable and controversial engineering project which is still not finished yet.
Gazing eastwards to where the reservoir begins to form as the river passes out from the valley between those mountains.
Back up on the ridge road, looking southward over the reservoir at sometime after 10 a.m.
A telephoto shot over the reservoir; unusually for this time of year, the reservoir still has plenty of water. When full the muddy jetty to the left is entirely submerged (including the tops of the trees), but when almost empty, the water drops another fifteen meters or so leaving all of this area behind and to the right of the muddy jetty exposed to the baking sun.
Light and shadow play over the mountainside behind Dapu village.
A close up shot of the muddy jetty; there are some fishing vessels there and, some distance behind them, you can see that the red and white crane is now joined by a second crane at the construction site for the new pipeline. So... there's been some action since last time I was there with Niki.
The 300mm lens at full stretch; the second crane is immediately behind the standing pipe section which was there last time, but there now seems to be some kind of structure on the other side. I didn't have time to go and investigate further.
The road to the northern wharf crosses over a tributary which has its' own specially designed barrage; I have never seen anything of the same or similar design anywhere else in Taiwan. So there may be a story there.
Before leaving the valley, the eagles came to check us out.
Just the pair of them, but we'd been hearing them from about 9.30 a.m. onwards.
Magnificent birds.
Not a single flight feather missing; this fella is in tip-top condition.
These are better pictures than those I managed on Tuesday; this time I did in fact switch to automatic focus, and though it does mess you around sometimes, it did in fact work now and again.

You can just about see the bird's left eye in this image.
On the Tseng-wen river upstream from the reservoir; this is one of the largest weirs in all of Taiwan. There is another secret in this shot, but that can be left for another day.
Looking downstream as the river rounds a corner and approaches the highway 3 bridge (just visible in the distance).
Viewing platform with public toilets and vendors; the amazing weather had brought out the tourists; two of them were likely from Taichung (inferred from the accent with which they spoke Taiwanese).
A close up shot with the 300mm lens on the spillway gates; there is still plenty of water on top of that shelf behind those gates. As I said earlier - almost full.


  1. What a nice landscape, and without many tourists, a little piece of paradise!

  2. Thanks Sylvie. There are actually quite a few tourists at Tseng-wen, but it's so big that you don't notice them if you go to the right areas.


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