Mt. Huangshan   a Marvel of Natural Beauty (二)


     The Yellow Mountains also provide the natural habitat for a wide variety of fauna. Among the animals there are monkeys, goats, deer and David's deer. There are rare birds such as the red - billed leiothrix, the silver pheasant, the octave-tone bird and the oriole, all good singers. The red-billed leiothrix (called ''love birds'' in Chinese) are so lovely that they have become favorites of foreign tourists and are exported by pairs. Besides, chukkas from the streams is good to make delicious dishes with.
    The temperature in Yellow Mountains is agreeable all the year round. It is cool in summer, averaging 20C at the North Sea Guest-house (1,630 metres above sea) and 25C at Hot Spring (630 metres above sea) in July (the hottest month) . As clouds often shut out the sun, hot weather never stays long, and this makes Yellow Mountains an ideal summer resort.
    Though looking fresh and young, Yellow Mountains have a long history to which ancient books, poems and paintings as well as carved inscriptions all bear witness. Li Bai was not the only poet who sang in its praise, Tang poets Jia Dao (779-843) and Du Xunhe (846-907) also came here and wrote poems. In the succeeding dynasties people kept coming and giving expression to their admiration in poetry. Xu Xiake (1586-1641), the great geographer and traveler of the Ming Dynasty, devoted two of his travel notes to Yellow Mountains. Jian Jiang and Shi Tao (1642-1718), master painters of the Xin'an School in the Qing Dynasty, left behind them many paintings. Li Siguang (J.S.Lee 1889-1971), the late celebrated geologist, summed up his personal inspections in his book the Quaternary Glacial Phenomena in Yellow Mountains, Anhui Province. Inscriptions of the past generations meet one's eye here and there: "Clouds in a myriad of forms'', "Peaks piercing sky", ''A cool world'', ''Fantastic and beautiful'', "Scenery of exceptional charm'', to mention just a few of them. Such poetic phrases in handsome calligraphy are not only decorative, they are themselves part of the fascinating scene.
    Today, through government care, Yellow Mountains' scenic spots have been renovated and opened to tourists. A longest telpher in the Asia Area at present has been built from the Cloud Valley Temple in the mountains to the White Goose Ridge on the top mountains. The  mountain paths which used to be dangerous have been repaired and widened, with a total length of more than 50  kilometers. Guesthouses, pavilions and other buildings have sprung
up one after another. High-tension lines have been extended to the summit of peaks and a weather station erected on the Brightness Apex. 

Scientific researches such as geological prospecting, botanical meteorological survey, medicinal herbs collecting, etc. are carried out by respective work teams from all parts of the country. There are artistic activities here too, with painters, photographers, writers, poets, musicians and actors, Chinese and foreign, coming to do creative work or enrich their experiences.