It’s spring in Beijing, so it’s the season when people love to go to the local park to see flowers in bloom. There are two particularly notable flowers blooming in Beijing. The first is the Japanese Cherry Blossom. The other is the Peonie which is, unofficially, China’s national flower. A few weeks ago I went to Yuyuantan Park to see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom, and more recently I went to Jingshan Park (just north of the Forbidden City, and the site where the last Ming Emperor hung himself) to see the Peonies in bloom. I arrived a bit too early for the Cherry Blossoms and a bit too late for the Peonies, but what can you do? I still saw a lot of beautiful flowers.
Can you believe it’s February already and the first snowfall didn’t happen until last night? This is the first precipitation we’ve seen since October. It’s been extremely dry, and surprisingly sunny for the past few months. Many places in northern, central and eastern China are experiencing droughts this winter, the worst in 60 years.
View from 12th floor at 12 Suzhou St the morning after Beijing's first snowfall of the season.
Winter crops have been affected. The UN even issued a warning that global grain prices might rise in the spring if China’s crops fail and it has to start importing grain. We’ll see what happens come spring. I’m not sure how much this region relies on snow melt run off for its spring planting season.