Oriental white oaks, which in Taiwan are only to be found in Hsinchu County, are facing a renewed challenge to their survival on their home ground. A team led by Professor Chao Wei-chun of National Chiayi University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources spent two days at the Kengzihkou shooting range to do a survey about how well the local wild oriental white oaks are surviving. They found that one more tree had died since three months ago, while the trunks of several others had died, leaving only sucker shoots alive. At least one eighth of the 80 surviving oaks showed signs of wilting in their crowns. There were fewer acorns than last year, exhibiting differing levels of ripeness, which is a sign of delayed ripening. These findings give cause for concern.
Chao’s team says that the reasons for the aforementioned conditions are not clear. Taking the wilting, for example, although they suspect that it has to do with insufficiently cold winters, relatively high temperatures and inadequate rainfall in recent years, there is no way to confirm this, so they are deliberating about how to prevent the situation from worsening.
They have been doing surveys on the growth of oriental white oaks in their natural environment since 2013. They go into the restricted area every season to record the number of trees in the local oak population and measure their diameter at chest height. They also collect acorns and give them to Liao Yue-ken, a professor in the department who then uses the acorns to raise seedlings, which he gives to Hsinchu County Government for restorative planting outside the restricted area. This year they have added the further task of assessing the oaks’ state of health.
Photo courtesy of Chao Wei-chun照片：趙偉村提供
Unfortunately, they say, while they recorded 81 wild oaks in their June survey, now they have to change that number to only 80 trees left, several of whose trunks have died, leaving only the suckers still alive.
This was the first time that they found signs of delayed acorn ripening. They observed greater differences in the number and ripeness of acorns, not only within the same area, but even on the same tree.
They saw plump, ripe acorns growing on some of the oaks, but there were also some tiny acorns that had only just formed and had not yet reached the ripening stage. There was also one tree in the same area that was only 20cm tall, yet had produced big, plump acorns. This discovery overturned their previous understanding that oriental white oaks have to be over 50cm tall before they can flower and bear fruit.
Photo courtesy of Chao Wei-chun照片：趙偉村提供
Despite this, the overall acorn yield this year is lower than in previous years. In the past they could collect more than 1,000 viable acorns in two working days, but they only collected 500 to 600 in two days this time.
(Translated by Julian Clegg, Taipei Times)
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文:
A: How are your legs? Not too tired? This is the final stretch. We’re almost at the top. B: So do we need to walk up that path? I think I’ll be fine: it looks like a gentle ascent, and there are steps all the way. A: Appearances can be deceptive. The path gets quite steep further on, and the steps become broken and irregular. We’re not out of the woods yet. B: What does that signpost say? If we take the right fork we will get to a temple in 25 minutes. A: Nice try. We’re going