Here is a very tiny tour of a tiny bit of Zhengda’s massive campus: The Admin Lions! They maul students who don’t pay their fees on time. [That’s the moon up there, and mountains not as visible as they should be behind the palm.]
And these wonderful birds were strutting about in the little park between our dorm and the pool building! There was a man taking photos of them and after he showed me their nest way up high in the trees he chatted with me for a while about the different kinds of magpies, and how the damalu parents gag up their food for their little uns. He also wrote their name down for me, so now I sort of know what they are – 大麻鷺 (damalu), apparently. It seems to translate as Eurasion bitterns, but they’re not as shy as those invisible ones back home.
Watching them furtively scuttle about as they jumped in and out of ditches was excellent, and they were soon joined by all manner of other colourful characters. I paid dearly for my drawing time though, as mosquitos swarmed enthusiastically around me and tiny relatives of theirs nibbled my hands and knees.
The campus has loads of trees like the one above (click to see larger creepers), and the dogs generously bestow their presence in packs of flopped snoozing wisdom wherever they feel is auspicious (sometimes in front of our dorm entrance). My previous roommate warned me not to walk alone across campus at night as the pack will give chase, and my Korean roommate clutches fearfully at me whenever we pass them, but so far they have all been beautifully behaved.