The harsh cold had wiped out all the greenery in a group of northern Chinese villages. Snow lay fallen wherever the eye looked and people could scarcely be seen leaving the comfort of their homes. But for the occasional smoke from a chimney, there were no signs of any life. As harsh as it was, that winter too eventually passed. And like every year, the winter gave way to the warmth and beauty of the spring. Life was breathed back into the region. The ground thawed, flowers blossomed, and the area started recovering its greenery. Bamboo forests that had lain dormant and freezing for months shook of their white coats and started growing again. Bamboo was a symbol of prosperity and well-being and its reemergence from the snow was taken as a sign of good fortune by the people of the area.
The central stalk of bamboo in the photograph was around 35 feet in height and 15 centimeters in diameter. That may not seem like much, but one must remember that bamboo is not a tree, it is a grass. In fact, Giant Bamboo is the tallest known grass in the world. The largest stalks, found in Asia, have been known to grow as tall as 100 feet and as wide as 30 centimeters.