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Photographer's Note

Yuanyang is about 300km south of Kunming at 2000m elevation, renowned for its rice terraces, which claim as the world's largest and most spectacular one, crafted out by bare hands by the 'Hani' people one thousand years ago and is still in use today. The rice farmers have had to practice ecology and land preservation centuries before those concepts were widely accepted around the world. Without hard work maintaining the terrace walls and irrigation system, the precious top soil would wash down the hillsides into the rivers.

Yuanyang Rice Terrace is a self sustaining ecosystem. During winter to early spring, the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and getting prepared for the next season. The 'Hani' people have repeated this for more than a thousand years. There is only one harvest in a year and planting season is from March to Nov. This is a perfect example of symbiosis with nature. The water evaporate from the rice terrace to form cloud, the rain is collected and trapped by the forest on the mountains, the spring water flow down to the rice terrace and the whole cycle repeats itself perpetually.

The landscape changes vividly through the year. The flooded fields from Dec to April create reflecting pool effect, which is a photographer's dream. In summer, the paddies are brilliant green and ready for harvest. After harvesting the fields become naked bare earth flooded with water again.

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8188 W: 150 N: 18288] (81558)
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