Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Plum Rains/梅雨/梅雨

I mentioned in my last post that we are now in the rainy season here.  The season is poetically named "Plum Rains" in Chinese.  Because of the tilt of the earth, and the effect of the Himalaya mountains to our west on the winds, every year East Asia experiences a rainy season in spring.  It arrives earlier in southern areas like Taiwan and the Ryukyu islands in Japan.  Here in Tainan, the season's start perfectly coincided with the start of May this year.  Up in Japan, Korea and northern China though, the rainy season comes a month later in June.
I've always liked this season, ever since I lived in Japan.  Sometimes it's a pain that it rains every day, but thanks to the rain, everything turns green and beautiful.  More importantly for us in southern Taiwan, without this rainy season we'd probably have droughts every year.  It barely rains at all in the winter in southern Taiwan, and the sun is strong and the weather not particularly cold, meaning that there is a lot of evaporation.  Most of the rain that falls throughout the year falls during the rainy season, or during the typhoons that pass through in the summer.
Because it's been raining just about every day here recently (though, admittedly, as I write this, it is sunny out) I'm going to post some nice, sunny flower photos that I took last month here.




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