Sea of Flowers 花海

Years and years ago when I started this photography adventure I tried as best I could, as any momma’s boy should, to take shots (that I’m not particularly interested in) that would make my mother say "wow."  

My mom has always been my biggest fan and she is also a big fan of flowers. So it was only natural for me to take as many shots of flowers as I could for her. 

- A field of flowers near the resting place of Chiang Kai Shek

Growing up in the tiny Canadian province of Nova Scotia where it is winter for almost nine months of the year - the opportunity for her to enjoy the flowers in her garden isn’t as great as it is here in Taiwan. My mum always tried her best to fill our house with plants and flowers and spent a lot of time taking care of them. 

- A field of flowers near my home 

Taiwan grows flowers year round and while the country might be much more renowned for the variety of fruit that it produces - it is also known by locals as a flower paradise

I’ve tried using this in the past to my advantage to entice my parents to make a trip to Taiwan to visit the country that I love, but so far due to the distance and their apprehension to leave the dog in the care of my sister, those attempts have been in vain. 

I'm not writing this to put them on a guilt trip - although I do hope though that eventually they’ll succumb and come over to not only enjoy the mountains, ocean and sun of this beautiful country - but also some of the flowers that I'm sure my mum would be crazy about. 

- A field of flowers near my home. 

The topic today isn’t just about my mum however, its also a bit about the randomness of Taiwan (from the eyes of an outsider)

Something I’ve noticed over my years of living here is that every year just before winter, in fields where rice or vegetables usually grow, immense fields of flowers seem to randomly pop up for a few weeks before the cold winter weather eventually kills them. 

Update: According to one of my friends who read this post - the reason farmers do this to their fields is so that when they plant their next harvest, the land will be healthier and the crop will be much more prosperous. They also grow a specific type of flower that will help the soil repair itself. 

- A field of flowers outside of a local temple 

In Taiwan, people usually call these areas “花海” or a “Sea of Flowers.” and people spend their weekends driving around to find the most beautiful fields of flowers.

At this time of the year it is common to see Taiwanese people stopping along the sides of the road to walk among the flowers, take family pictures and enjoy the scenery. 

I often think of myself as a bit of a Taiwan expert, but it's things like this that remind me that there is always still something to learn about this country and all of its complexities. 

- A field of flowers with dragon-fruit growing on the side of a building. 

The collective appreciation and respect people here have for flowers and the natural environment as well as all the beauty that this small island, known to the Spanish as "Ilha Formosa" (beautiful island) has to offer is admirable and that I think, even an outsider who may not fully understand why these things happen, can still appreciate it and come to love just as much as the Taiwanese people and my mom do.  

Gallery / Flickr (High Resolution Shots)