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Cracking bamboo

October 7, 2011

Yesterday we had northern winds and blue skies – terrific! The Chinese landmass is cooling down and cool air streams south making the monsoon to yield. Less rain in Chiang Mai in other words.

While admiring the clouds, I suddenly heard a loud crack. It sounded like a really big branch breaking, and so I went to investigate a nearby longan tree. Another loud cracking, and I saw the culm sheaths of a bamboo fall to the ground. Wow, bamboo does grow so quickly you can hear it! When I enquired Nived and Densak Seehamongkol about this phenomenon they looked surprised – they had never heard bamboo crack like this. Ketsanee said that once in school she and her playmates heard and saw the phenomenon. I guess you simply have to be there when it happens. The cracking sound appears when the spear-like main shoot suddenly unfolds its side branches. Cool!

Eric Danell

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