Monday, September 17, 2018

Unusual -- typhoon-related? -- animal behavior!

Large gray clouds still loomed over much of Hong Kong 
when I decided to go out for a walk earlier today

There also were a lot of dragonflies flying about
near the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter this morning!
Two dragonflies spotted stuck together -- but in not quite 
After feeling obliged to stay indoors for the entire day yesterday to stay protected from the wrath of what's now officially Hong Kong's most intense storm on record, I was relieved to see that the T8 Gale or Storm Signal had been replaced by the time I woke up this morning by Strong Wind Signal No. 3.  And while remnants of Typhoon Mangkhut remained in the area, it was mainly in the form of large dark clouds in the sky and the gusts of wind that blew today were actually quite welcome as they brought the temperatures down a notch or two below what they usually would be at this time of the year (which may officially be autumn in some places but still feels very much like summer here).
Soon after I had my breakfast, I headed outside for some fresh air and exercise by way of a walk that took me from my neighborhood to the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, past the Jardines Noonday Gun and through Victoria Park, among other places.  While quite a bit of clean-up work had already been done by the time I ventured outdoors, there still were signs of typhoon damage about, primarily in the form of downed trees -- some of which caused the closure of sidewalks and even whole roads -- but also visibly in the form of wrecked scaffolding, shards of broken glass on the ground and -- this at the typhoon shelter which turned out to provide insufficient shelter from the typhoon for some -- sunk sampans.
Something else that I found to be out of the ordinary was the veritable swarm of dragonflies that I saw by the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.  This is a sight that I tend to take as a sign of impending rain (rather than departing typhoon) when encountering it while out hiking in Hong Kong.  But among the things that the visits of Typhoon Hato and now Mangkhut have taught me is that T10-rated typhoons can get animals behaving in unusual ways!  

During Typhoon Hato's visit last year, far more ants than I cared for decided to seek refuge in my kitchen.  And my apartment got only its second ant infestation since I moved into it the day before Severe Typhoon Mangkhut beat a path close to Hong Kong.  As more than one person has observed, many animals have better advanced warning as well as survival instincts than many of us humans!
Still, this doesn't explain the unusual behavior of the dragonflies I saw today -- including one pair that might have been on the randy side, yet weren't positioned the way I usually find them and also seemed far more intent on flying about while stuck together than staying put in one place than would normally be the case for dragonflies in that situation!  And this especially so since -- unless they know better -- there's not supposed to be another typhoon coming to these parts for at least the next few days!!  

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