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Two Tibetans measuring snow on the Amnye Machen mountain in Qinghai Province. Photo: Kyle Obermann

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain outside Lijiang, which is sacred to the Naxi people. Photo: Kyle Obermann

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Professor Yang Fuquan’s statement about the Naxi people’s relationship with nature, written in the Dongba pictographic script used by the Naxi. Photo: Yang Fuquan

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A stone carving in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, portraying Shu, the Naxi people’s god of nature. Photo: Rose Niu

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Statue of the Buddha in the famous Yungang Grotto in Shanxi Province, close to where I was born. Photo: Took (Pixabay)

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A map of China, including the places mentioned in this story. Map: Account #1343024 (Pixabay)

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Green on Green. A green lacewing on a bigleaf maple.

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Fern in Hand. Sword fern sori, or spore-producing receptacles, visible on the underside of the leaflet.

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Leaf Light. A Gunnera leaf with sunlight illuminating the veins.

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Simple cabin on the high mountains, above 6000 ft in the Valle Germanasca.