Friday, May 16, 2008

Lake Tai (太湖)

I saw 太湖 for the first time in my life last Sunday. This photo was taken looking towards Suzhou on the eastern shore from a spot approximately on the north eastern shore. Looking over the lake, my mind was flooded with images and memories of history, poems, songs, rock formations, and ... seafood (it is well known for its fish and crabs).

Lake Tai is the third largest freshwater lake in China, after the Poyang in JiangXi and Dongting in Hunan. But at about 2250 square kilometers, it is a mere midget compared to the Great Lakes of North America. For example, Lake Ontario is about 9 times as big. There were patches of vegetable-looking stuff floating on the surface. I wasn’t sure whether they were the famous blue-green algae which was said to plague the lake a few months ago.

And what about these? They are yellow but they look like some kind of algae.

If you think 太湖 is in bad shape, then you should know 洞庭湖 and 鄱阳湖 are worse. They are supposed to be bigger than 太湖 but you would not think so looking at satellite images such as those in GoogleEarth. It is because they have shrunk tremendously. So much so they are now a mere fraction of what they were.


Anonymous said...

Reading your blog reminds me how widely-read in Chinese history and Chinese Literature you were when I first knew you in the 70s! I still remember vaguely who was one of your favourite author. Ann

StephenC said...

Thanks. I guess it is a bit odd since I am not majoring in history nor literature. Sometime I feel I may be in the wrong profession - but not really. It is just that I am interested in too many things.

Favourite author? Thanks for remembering. I did read through the 20+ volume "Complete Works of Lu Xun" 魯迅全集 - thanks to my friends. It has a great influence on me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my memory is correct! Ann