Shilin (Stone Forest), Yunnan, China Week 11 8th July 2011
This fruit was being sold at the entrance to the Stone Forest.

Another of those "haven't a clue what it is" things.

The Stone Forest has been well developed as a park.
Part of the welcome is the "Please Keep of the Grass" notices.

Only a minor improvement on the more demanding "Keep of the Grass" notices the English are so fond of making fun of.

The distinctive feature of the park is the pinnacles of limestone.
And the large number of Chinese tourists.
Limestone is sedimentary.

Lots of small skeletons and shells deposited over many years.

At Shilin the bedding plains are horizontal. The horizontal breaks, where more erosion has occured, can be seen in these pinnacles and others later.

Horizontal bedding plains are critical for pinnacle erosion.

The Shilin limestone is very fine grained and fairly homogenous.

Water (from rain) has run down the pinnacles eroding the vertical ridges.

Between the pinnacles there were vertical weaknesses that were eroded first.

Having seen small limestone pavement areas Shilin presents as a very large one with the vertical faults quite wide apart.

Not just pinnacles, but ridges as well.
The lower parts of the pinnacles look like they have been eroded by flowing water while submerged.

Very different erosion patterns.

It was a pleasant surprise to be able to get this deep into the chasms.

There are various descriptions of "imaginal stones" with associated stories.

The shapes are fascinating.

More submerged water worn shapes in narrow chasms.
The tracks wove up and down.

This is from an up.

The bedding planes are much clearer here.

Some time after the limestone was formed it was covered with basalt.

The forest area is in a depression so water falling on the basalt would find its way through to erode the limestone.

The basalt has long since been eroded away. There is a small patch remaining but we didn't walk that far.

This coral fossil was low down.

Probably about 270 million years old.

The low point of the area is a small lake.

The whitish marks are a bit like the formation of stalagmites where water has dissolved limestone then evaporated so had to leave some limestone deposited.

Pure limestone is white. Impurities give it colour.

We decided against needing a guide.

They were all smartly dressed. We think Yi is the dominant minority.

There was also a family of squirrels living near the lake.
We did brave the pagoda at the high point.

Too crowded, with photographers trying to make a living taking individual photographs.

There's the little forest, the big forest, and peripheral areas.

The periphery was deserted.

We also discovered there were much better descriptions of the geology in the periphery whereas the popular areas were more into the imagery.

The formations remained stunning.
For the technically minded this is some dolomite low down in the limestone.

Dolomite is limestone (calcium carbonate) with magnesium (as calcium magnesium carbonate).

Dolomitisation occurs as magnesium is introduced into the rock by water. Either when initially formed, or later (as at Shilin).

We found another high point. 50m higher than the pagoda.

We couldn't even hear voices.

Just a pretty photograph of a sharp ridge.
Some more coral fossil.

This is a long thin form of coral seen end on.

And a gastropod fossil. About 150 mm across.

Had to do some research into the difference between an ammonite and a gastropod.

And a last view of the forest as we head home.

The lower part of the nearest formations are dolomitised.

We'd spent more than 4 hours walking the tracks and hadn't exhausted them.

We believe the formations of Shilin are unique.

Dong Chuan (Red Earth), Yunnan, China Week 11 9th July 2011

Sharon Mon, 11 Jul 11 12:19:50 +1000
I think the fruit in the first picture might be a pepino also known as pepino melon, melon pears or tree melons, if this is what it is, then the purple stripes means it is ripe. If that is what they are then the entire fruit is edible.Or it could be a type of eggplant.
I could of course be wrong though :-)

Bernie Duggan Fri, 15 Jul 11 10:53:19 +1000
Yep looks like Pepino I was given a cutting about 15/20 years ago from some friends it was toted as the "new" cash crop of the time. Nothing came of it. I got friut from mine for a cuppla years then plant died thru a cold winter.

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