Saturday, June 30, 2018

Cool critter spottings on a summer Peak hike

View from a section of the Peak Circuit on a beautiful summer's day
A stick insect clinging on for dear life to a railing on Lugard Road
Flies going at it on another section of railing on The Peak! :D
Considering how spectacular they are (especially on high visibility days), the attention of people -- be they visitors to Hong Kong or long term residents -- invariably gets drawn to the views to be had of the skyscraper city below while strolling along (the northern edge of) Victoria Peak.  On the other hand, very few folks going along the section of the Hong Kong Trail that partly goes around The Peak seem to notice the bugs and more that often are just inches away from them!

In view of the reactions that some of my friends and at least one family member have had to the photos that are the result of my critter spottings while out hiking (with colorful caterpillars often appearing to revulse as much as large spiders and slithery snakes!), maybe it's a case of many people willfully not wanting to see or recognize the existence of the creepy crawlies and other creatures that they happen to get near to.  For my part, however, critter spottings can be the highlight of many a hike.  Furthermore, I love that I've come to know about the very existence of such as damselflies, stink bugs, lantern bugs and skinks by way of spotting such creatures while hiking in the Big Lychee.

Indeed, among the major payoffs of hiking during the summer months in Hong Kong (when many others decide to take a break as a result of the high temperatures and humidity that they find too uncomfortable for outdoor pursuits like this) as far as I am concerned are the cool critter spottings that are likely to occur at this time of the year.  And for those who wonder: I truly am not just referring to those coupled creatures that I catch doing "it" on super hot days!
As a matter of fact, I've come to (also) get a real kick out of being able to spot all manner of camouflaged creatures.  And especially since I had bemoaned to a fellow hiker friend earlier this week that I hadn't caught sight of any stick insects for a couple of years now, it really pleased me to come across a member of precisely that species a few days later while hiking on The Peak.  
More than incidentally, I've found from past experience that The Peak is a great place for interesting critter spottings.  You'd think that the foot traffic on the Peak Circuit would scare non-human fauna away from the area but I've found the railings along Lugard Road to be a veritable highway at times for caterpillars and other creatures!  And it was on a hike from The Peak to Aberdeen that I caught sight of what may well be my most unusual wild critter spotting to date: that of a Chinese water dragon which a passing Country Park staffer told me was a juvenile but which already looked plenty big and adult to my eyes! :)


Bill said...


Glad to see you continuing to post images and text of your friends from Hong Kong's resident insect kingdom. The close-up of the engaged flies shows them to have intricately structured bodies and heads that resemble polished stones...The stick insect is positively inspiring the way it is "clinging for dear life on a railing". Your insect discoveries have always been amongst your best entries (and that goes for your reptile photos too).


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Thanks for the comment and appreciation. Re the flies: I think you'll be amused when I tell you that the flies noticed my efforts to take photos of them and actually flew off to another spot to try to escape my prying eyes! This in contrast to most "engaged" (*cough*) critters who I love catching in action precisely because it usually means that they're more likely to try to move away from my sights! ;D