When the sun's out and the sky's blue, the outdoors call
-- and for some people, the beach and sea particularly! :)
If this butterfly had chosen to rest on a brown leaf,
it'd have been far more difficult to spot!
And if this colorful caterpillar had been a bit quicker, it'd have
vanished into the hole before I could get a snap of it! ;)
"Spring is here", my Vermont-based friend sarah sbk announced on her Pictures, Thoughts and Comments blog yesterday. Meanwhile, my feeling since I returned from Japan -- where it also felt like spring -- one and a half weeks ago is that summer's already arrived in Hong Kong; what with temperatures over here having passed the 30 degree Celsius mark more than once in the past few days!
As it so happens, summer is my least favorite season of the year; and this particularly so after I moved to the Big Lychee and experienced its ultra-hot and humid summers. And I have to admit to wondering -- and dreading -- how hot it will get over the next few months after the record-breaking summer we had last year, during which temperatures climbed up (very close) to 38 degrees Celsius one particularly baking August day.
But while a number of people -- locals as well as expats -- have told me that they stop hiking during the summer months, I consider my favorite outdoor activity to be something that can be done all year round in Hong Kong. And as a recent Lamma hike excursion showed, compensations for having to deal with the high heat and humidity come in the form of noticeably higher visibility, a greater chance to see bright blue skies and -- this is something I truly do look forward to -- increased cool critter spottings!
If truth be told: Lamma's very clean-looking Hung Shing Yeh Beach -- and the beautifully clear waters off it on the day that I was there -- called to me as never before that afternoon. But although the friend I was with and I did go onto it and spent some time in the area admiring the scenery and taking photos, we did manage to tear ourselves away from there and continue with our planned hike.
Along the way, we came across some interesting-looking critters, including colorful caterpillars and the first stick insect I've seen in months. And at Sok Kwu Wan (where we enjoyed a delicious seafood meal before hopping on the ferry back to Hong Kong Island), we were treated to the sight and sounds of a Cantonese opera taking place in a bamboo theatre set up to continue commemorating Tin Hau's birthday despite the actual festive day having taken place last month as well as the amazing vision of a large tree with so many beautiful flowers -- and lots of butterflies hovering over and around them -- that, as my friend remarked, it looked almost too wonderful to actually be real! ;b