Natural beauty is everywhere, even in Taipei

In Taipei there is an overwhelming majority of concrete. The buildings, the sidewalks, some of the roads, and even much of the parkland. Blacktop and shower tiles make up most of the rest of what you'll see, and then you'll find buses, cars, and scooters in nearly every open space that isn't crawling with people.

Frustratingly, the parks here tend to have paved surfaces with a few trees sticking out. Decorative plants get to rest around the trees for a season, and are then ripped up and replaced with new ones.

This shot was taken at a pocket park in DaZhi in ZhongShan district. The temple is kept in great shape year round.

But it  makes sense in a way. Mosquitoes breed like crazy anywhere wet enough to sustain their multitude of eggs, and any time you sit near a plant during mosquito season you're likely to get bit. The paving would make more sense if there weren't tons of cracks and standing surface water for the insects to breed in anyway.

Yet, here are a few uplifting photos of beautiful nature in Taipei City.

This moth could fit into the palm of an average adult's hand. It was sitting on a motorcycle tire and sitting absolutely still in the early morning. Just a quiet walk down a peaceful alley, and there he was in plain sight. What beautiful colors on this big guy.

This little leaf bug was on the go in a park in Zhongshan district (中山區. He was sitting on a cement post in a pocket park built to give neighborhood kids a place to play. Caught him moving quietly out of the corner of my eye, and grabbed the best shot I could. He was about as big as a 1NT piece.

Cherry blossoms appear all over the city during early spring. Most people in Taipei head up Yangming mountain to get good shots, but this tree was in full bloom in a park near elephant mountain. Visiting some of the bigger landscaped parks in a city can be just as productive in getting good shots as going to where they're "naturally" growing. Definitely a tourist attraction, but not as good as the season in Japan.

Tons of these beautiful lotus flowers in Yilan county. You can also find them seasonally in some of the parks in Taipei, including the 228 park and the Chiangkaishek memorial hall gardens.

You can find trees full of flowers behind the history museum at the outdoor botanical garden. Both of them can be accessed from HaiNan road, a short walk from Xiaonanmen or CKS memorial hall mrt stations. A walk here in any season is great. Be sure to bring a camera.

This is a five colored bird who has a distinctive song. Perched atop this dead tree he is one of many neighborhood birds you'll be able to find if your neighbors feed them or don't take care of their garbage. This bird is specifically famous for his mutli-colored head area which is worth a look in person if you can get close enough.

Enormous hanging flowers found in NeiHu district, slightly out of the way near Bihu park. These flowers were in total (including the green bits) over a foot long and about half a foot wide at the bottom. Not a lot of smell coming from them, but they got tons of looks and photos from the weekend passersby.