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Hiking photos - Mr. Mao’s Chestnut Orchard, 2011/03/09

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At the start of this hike in Huairou County north of Beijing, our group met Mr. Mao, our guide, near a village and started hiking toward a ridge. Although the hike is not too strenuous overall, it does have some short steep uphill sections, but as we got higher, the views got better and better!

As we made our way up the ridge, we encountered a variety of things related to the flora and fauna of the area, like praying mantis cocoons, abandoned wasps’ nests, cicadas, birds’ nests, and interesting plants, all of which were explained by our resident naturalist, Betsy.

We continued hiking toward a wall of high peaks but later descended into a shady valley where there was a frozen stream at the bottom. We had some snacks there before continuing to the end point of the hike. After having a hearty, filling lunch at a restaurant in a village not far from the base of a section of Great Wall, some members of the group hiked up the Wall for about 20 min. in order to get more views of the closest peaks and frozen reservoir below before we all returned to the city.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Terraces and flowers on the chestnut trees.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

A closer look at the flowers.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Sheep in a pen.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Hiking along a valley trail.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Heading up into the hills.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

A hiker and our local guide.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Yellow flowers on a unidentified tree.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Rocks, trees, and an old wall.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Walking out past terraces.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Tadpoles in the stream.

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Is it a frog or a crab on his shoulder?

, Beijing Hikers Mr Mao's Orchard, April22, 2012

Tall trees and a place we've used as a campsite.