The life of the mountains in Qingdao is deeper than most people assume. Day in, day out; some people assume that the mountains are same old, same old. Ha! And once again: ha! I mention this because right now, we are in the midst of Water Season.

For most of the year in Qingdao, the mountains are dry. The streambeds are dry. All of those rocks and boulders- which have been worn smooth by thousands and thousands of years of water- are dry. That’s the simple reality. Normally, the rivers and streams of the Qingdao mountains are dry. But not during Water Season.

The Spring and Summer of Qingdao comprise Water Season. The perennial Qingdao fog cycle brings us fog, rain, and beautiful days (generally in that order), but for now, it’s the rain that concerns us, for it is the rain that creates Water Season.

After a good solid rain- say, 4 or 5 hours of heavy rain, at the least- the mountain streams come alive.
It’s much more effective with 8 or 10 hours of rain, but 4 or 5 is enough. After the rain falls, it usually takes 6 hours or so for the rain to (1) fill up the water table and then (2) come flowing down the streams.

Qingdao Water Season Rush

What that means is that if there is a good rain in the afternoon, it won’t be until the *next morning* that the rivers will really be running. (Also funny is that with the first rain of the season, if it’s not big enough, it won’t even cause the rivers to flow. It will just fill up the water table. That’s what happened this year.)

If it’s a strong rain, with about 8 or 10 hours of good, solid rain, the rivers will usually run for about 3 days. During the first day after the rain (e.g. starting from the following morning) that is when the water rush will be the strongest. After about 10 hours or so, the flow starts weakening. If there is not any more rain, the flow will stop- again, usually after about 3 days.

The beautiful thing about this water is that it is so clean. It came right from the sky! There is no
mystery. It’s not like the water was meandering from more pool to another one before coming down. It wasn’t hiding in some crevice. It fell from the sky and now you’re walking in its beautiful essense.

Check out the photo with the millipede. Look at the water on the right. It is luscisously clean and pure. Just look at it!

Qingdao Water Season

When you immerse yourself in that water, it feels really good on your skin. It literally fell right from the sky. You can drink it. There are no poisons between the mountain and the stream. Water Season is
good for you, no matter how you think about it.

Walking in the rushing rivers has been proven to be good for one’s mental health. Even the “whoosh” sound that the river makes has therapeutic benefits for those who experience it. This is another secret of the mountains of Qingdao. Those who can- and do- go out and find the rushing rivers during Water Season will undoubtedly find themselves feeling happier.

Over time, as it becomes clearer and clearer that Water Season brings happiness, it can start to become like a religion. The ancients worshipped stone idols. People here have been worshipping Mountain Spirits. Why not the water? It’s the cleanest, most pure thing around.

But get out there quickly, because it’s usually gone in September.

(Boy, is it great to be in Qingdao!)

Qingdao Water Season White Water

Qingdao Water Season Flow

Relevant Links:
The Cloud Line

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