Sunday, July 13, 2014

Critter spottings while hiking on Lamma one hot summer's day

Shy, or just wary? A grasshopper hopes the creature that spotted it 
resting between two long stalks of leaves will do it no harm

  Not shy -- and without shame!  A pair of dragonflies

 Not camera shy -- a bird photobombed my photo of

In recent weeks, I've had irrefutable proof that summer's most definitely here in this part of the world.  Among the signs that this is the case has it having become hot enough that the Hong Kong Observatory have been issued its "very hot weather" warnings.  (This past June has been so hot, in fact, that the observatory has declared it to be the hottest June in Hong Kong since records began to be kept back in 1884!)

Further signs that I noticed while out hiking have involved different wild critters.  Firstly, on a June 1 excursion over in Lantau, I spotted a significantly larger number of different creatures than I had on the hike just before it.  Then, on a later hike in northeast Hong Kong that month, I spotted a couple of beetles that had decided that 'tis the mating season

Then last week, just one day after telling a couple of friends I hadn't seen any live snakes in Hong Kong yet this year (only snake skin and chopped up snake), what did my hiking buddy and I see but a snake swimming in the waters of a Hong Kong Island catchwater!  And on the same hike, we caught sight for the first time this year of spiders, particularly Golden Orb Weavers, of a pretty significant size. 

For much of today's hike -- which took us around the northern section of Lamma Island before my hiking friend and joined up with the Lamma Island Family Walk and headed southwards to Sok Kwu Wan (where we treated ourselves to a Rainbow Seafood Restaurant dinner and boat ride home) -- there were so many big spiders about that I was getting flashbacks to the big spiders hike that my then regular hiking companion and I went on in the eastern portion of this same island!

Still, it wasn't the many large spiders that provided me with the most memorable sights and moments while out hiking on a super hot and humid day.  Rather, I will recall with fondness how much -- and far -- I could see this afternoon on account of it being a super high visibility day.  And I will remember our trek up to check out the Lamma Winds' impressively large wind turbine -- and how, along the way, my friend and I caught sight of two dragonflies going at it, and flying about from one resting place to another while joined together!

Furthermore, I won't easily forget catching sight of a circa 6 foot long snake crossing just a few meters ahead of the part of the Lamma Island Family Walk that I was on!  I wish I could have snapped a photo or two with my camera but frankly, my reaction when seeing a snake is to just plain freeze in shock -- and in this case, I was particularly surprised to come across a snake because I had just been thinking that the more popular sections of this particular trail had so many people on it that that was why I hadn't spotted many critters at all while on it!! ;b 


Carver said...

Beautiful shots. I like seeing the critter visiting the plants and the sky and scenery are gorgeous.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

Thanks for visiting and commenting! Have plenty of better scenery shots from the day's hike -- but focused on interesting critters for this post. :)

Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

Your photos and text of this latest Lamma entry truly rekindled my interest in this island and merged with my own memories...I took the Family Walk way back in pre-Handover days. I recall the small Buddhist temple in Yung Shue Wan, a town that had a lot of expats who were semi-bohemian-hippie types...I thought the walk was memorable, passing free roaming roosters, a vicious dog I had to repel with rocks, a walk down to a pleasant beach, and some interesting boulders before catching a kaido from Sok Kwu Wan to Aberdeen...But this was only a small part of Lamma and I look forward to another one of your posts on this island.


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Maybe it's my imagination but the Lamma Family Walk has expanded quite a bit in recent years. In any case, the first time I went on it many years ago, I just went straight from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan.

More recently, however, I've also gone on the section of the trail that allows one a circular tour of the eastern section of the island -- while this part Sunday saw a friend and I checking out the northern section of the island we hadn't previously been to. :)