Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yet another Luk Wu Plateau hike with sighting surprises!

The Hong Kong wildflowers I most like spotting 
around this time of the year :)
Not the easiest plateau to get up to!
Small wonder then that this cow didn't make it completely 
up there, though it really did go up way further than 
I'd expect any member of its species to ;D
Around this time of the year, I look forward to catching sight of a bell-shaped pinkish white flower that only blooms in winter, and for a short time at that.  All in all, Chinese New Year no longer seems quite complete any more without my spotting some Chinese New Year flowers on a Chinese New Year (period) hike or two.  And their presence can even brighten up a disappointingly misty festive day's hike up one of Hong Kong's highest peaks!    

But although I did make a point to look out for them during the hikes post beach clean-up in Lantau on the first day of Chinese New Year, on the Keung Shan Country Trail (on the second day of this Chinese New Year) and last Sunday in Tai Tam Country Park (on the ninth day of this Chinese New Year), I didn't catch sight of a single one of these special seasonal flowers on any of those days -- or, for that matter, any of the first 15 days of this Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster.  So imagine my surprise and joy to spot a number of trees bearing whole bunches of these particular wildflowers while hiking today, the 16th day into the new Chinese calendar year!

In retrospect, I guess the recent bout of cold(er) weather -- following the hottest January on record -- may have finally got these flowers to decide it was indeed time to reveal themselves.  Then there's the matter of my tramps along the relatively short -- at less than 5 kilometers in length, but so hilly that its estimated time of completion is 3 hours -- but still pretty satisfying Luk Wu Country Trail seeming to offer up at least one interesting sight each time I've been on it. 

For the record: the first time I went on this Sai Kung East Country Park trail that leads up to and then down the beautifully rugged Luk Wu Plateau, my hiking buddy that day and I caught sight of the dried up skin shed by a snake on the floor of a ruined as well as long abandoned village dwelling.  Then, on a return visit to the area with two other friends, a seasonal waterfall dramatically revealed itself, as did what remains the largest lizard I've spotted in the wild!    

This time around, not only did my hiking companion for today and I spot so many trees bearing Chinese New Year flowers, with each successive one seeming to have more than the previous one we came across on the trail, but we also unexpectedly came across a cow that looked to have been the only one of its herd to have decided to venture at least a couple of hundred meters above sea level.  Happily, its climb did not appear to have been in vain as it looked to have found a small shady, grassy space to peacefully lie on for a time; and not even the sudden appearance of humans excitedly clicking their cameras out of it seemed to bother it much at all. ;b


Carver said...

What a great hike and I love the wild flower you began with.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

It was indeed a great hike, and I've managed to follow it up with another just two days later! Thus far, this February has had wonderful hiking weather! :)