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Approaching storms and millet harvest in Smangus

millet harvest in Smangus

I went on a trip to Smangus this week. I carefully checked the weather forecast on Sunday night before I left. I was aware that Tropical Storm Lionrock and the low pressure system to the northwest of Taiwan would influence the weather during the week. However, it seemed unlikely that either of them would directly impact Taiwan. By the time I arrived in Smangus on Monday afternoon the potential tracks of the storms had changed. The low pressure system had been upgraded to a tropical storm named Namtheun and was heading for the north of Taiwan.

Millet harvest in Smangus

On Tuesday morning someone told me the police at the Xiuluan checkpoint had called several times suggesting that I leave the village. I asked a few people in the village for their advice and they didn’t seem too worried. At that stage there had only been a little light rain.  I decided to stay because I know that Smangus is a safe place. The most dangerous place to be during a typhoon is the roads and rivers. Travelling down the mountain in the middle of a torrential downpour would certainly be more dangerous than staying in the village.

Millet harvest in Smangus

Anyway with a possible storm approaching the people of Smangus took the opportunity to harvest the final field of millet for the season. A film crew from PTS (公共電視台) were there to film the harvesting for use in a documentary they are making about Smangus.

Harvesting millet in the mountains

I have used some photos of the harvesting to illustrate to this blog post. The group of about twenty people moved slowly through the field. They worked efficiently but never seemed to rush.


Soon all the millet was in bundles like the one pictured above. It was then loaded onto a truck and taken back to the village. It was stored in a shed, although they will put the millet outside to dry when it is sunny.

The impending storms never eventuated. There was some rain while I was staying in the village, but nothing serious. By Wednesday morning there was bright sunshine.

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