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Straightening her back and craning her neck, my mother now declared we were really close. With discernable excitement she recalled there stood a prominent thicket midway to Daizhu from here, and tilting her head northeast, she attempted again to read it as a road sign: "Perhaps it is this thicket, perhaps Daizhu is only a kilometer away." Indeed, at where she pointed, a thicket hulked prominently by the roadside. Yet only slightly ahead, an even bigger thicket jumped into our field of view like an imposing castle, followed soon by a third, a fourth, and even a fifth of the same kind. This was another proof that the land had been greening due to the state's conservation efforts, and it was thus no longer possible to dub trees as unequivocal road signs.