I traveled from Chengdu to Xiaojin to join the census team in May 2013. Throughout the course of my work, I climbed over the Balang Mountains and approached the snowline on Four-girl Mountains (locally known as Mount Siguniang),along the transect lines, that were pre-determined from a global positioning system (GPS). I had the great fortune to visually feast upon the charm of these magnificent mountains on the periphery of giant panda habitat.

Field investigation was a tough job, as daily we ate only simple and spicy food, which often made us have sore throats or irritated eyes. The transect line location was covered in thorny bushes that left the teams’ once neat clothes tom, and caused scrapes and cuts. The hot sun burned our skin, while our feet had to balance on unsteady earth as the ground surface was loose from landslides. There were moments where I nearly slipped down steep cliffs. However, when we reached the mountain top, we were in awe of the snow covered peaks and the rolling hills. We forgot all our struggles thanks to the charms of nature.