Do please click to enlarge this photo of this usually difficult
to photograph butterfly (that's possibly a Chinese peacock)!
When this damselfly spread its wings for me,
I thought that I had got my pic of the day... :)
...but then I spotted and managed to snap a photo
of this blue spotted beauty! :b
When I checked the Hong Kong Observatory's Weather Information for Hiking and Mountaineering pages this morning and saw that visibility was around 40 kilometers, I knew I had to go on the Lantau Island trek that I had planned for this afternoon -- this despite my two usual hiking companions bailing out of today's excursion.
After thinking some more though, I changed the end section of the hike -- as, to be honest, I find certain sections of the South Lantau Trail west of Pak Kong Au to be on the hairy side. So, while I did begin my hike from Lantau's Ngong Ping plateau, I ended up heading downhill all the way to Tung Chung town via Shek Mun Kap and Wong Ka Wai (a village I've long wanted to say I've been to just because its name is so similar to Wong Kar Wai's!), with a stop along the way to check out Tung Chung Fort.
Although I expected to see a number of other people along this popular -- and entirely paved -- route, I guess today's very hot weather warning scared off many folks. Consequently, I spotted a whole lot more insects on this hike than humans -- and perhaps because of the lack of people (and the attendant loud noises they are liable to make) about, these often colorful critters seemed much more willing to stop and pose for pictures than is usually the case!
Over the course of a few hours, I spotted many spiders (but, maybe because it's still early into the summer, none that were all that big!), a few beetle-type bugs and, especially, a variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. Interestingly, many of the butterflies I saw this afternoon were of the same species as many that I spotted while hiking up and down Ma On Shan Country Park's Ngong Ping plateau last week. And while I didn't spot a single dragonfly or damselfly last week, I was treated to the sight of quite a few of them this afternoon -- and of different colors and species in the bargain!
I consider the damselfly spottings to be the highlight of a very enjoyable hike -- for unlike butterflies (which really do like to flutter and flit about), damselflies (and dragonflies) often stay in one place long enough for one to really gaze at -- and take unhurried photos of -- them. And even while the long distance views to be had this afternoon were indeed pretty beautiful, it also is the case that those small creatures that many people often simply walk by without noticing often present pleasing sights that I truly treasure. :)