Pretty flowers with delicate dew (mist?) drops
hanging from some of them
This clump of Chinese New Year flowers added welcome color
to the generally dark green, beige and grey mountain landscape
Yesterday, my hiking buddy and I commemorated its being the first day of Chinese New Year by trekking up -- and then down -- Sunset Peak. Ideally, I'd like for there to have been greater visibility on one of the most challenging hikes I've been on to date -- especially when we were at the misty top of Hong Kong's third highest mountain. At the very least, it'd have been nice for the mist to dramatically clear for a bit like when we were atop Cloudy Hill around this time last year.
But I'll content myself with having spotted some pretty -- as well as pretty rugged, considering where they grow -- flowers along the way. For the most part, the ones that attracted my attention were small and purple in nature. But near the top of Sunset Peak, I came across a clump of one of my favorite flowers to spot out in the wilds of Hong Kong.
Its Latin name of Enkianthus quinqueflorus is quite the mouthful and its Chinese name (which translates into English as "hanging bell(s)"), while descriptive, doesn't quite do this dainty, elegant looking flower aesthetic justice, I feel. Instead, I prefer this pink flower's English name of Chinese New Year Flower -- not least because the first time I spotted it was on the 12th day of Chinese New Year 2008 and it's a sight I find myself looking forward to seeing while hiking around this festive time of the year.
Almost wiped out by deforestation at one point in Hong Kong's history, the Chinese New Year Flower now grows in various parts of the Hong Kong countryside. (I've caught sight of it on Hong Kong Island, more than one country park in the New Territories and now also on Lantau Island).
I've read in one of my Hong Kong flower books that the Chinese New Year Flower is one source of nectar for hummingbirds. Maybe one Chinese New Year day in the future, I'll spot hummingbirds as well as this flower. Should that ever happen, I'd truly feel blessed indeed by Mother Nature. :)