How things looked up at the Ngong Ping Plateau when
a friend and I got there to begin hiking this afternoon
Fortunately, the sky and weather soon cleared up so much that
we were treated to clear scenic views like this of Tung Chung,
the airport and way beyond into the New Territories
How things looked at the beach at Tong Fuk, where we
ended our hike close to four and a half hours later
For all of the scenic views to be had along the way though,
the hike's highlight for me was my managing to spot a
stick insect -- can you see it too? -- out in the wild :)
Last Sunday, I forewent my usual hiking outing to march along the streets of Hong Kong. The weather that day was on the hot side but still would have been really fine for hiking, and I spent much of this past week fervently hoping that we would have similar weather today.
So imagine my horror when it started raining on the bus ride that a friend and I were taking to the starting point of today's planned hike. And as the photo at the very top of this blog entry, not only did we find that it was raining up on the Ngong Ping Plateau when we got off the bus but it also was on pretty misty to boot!
Rather than abandon our hike however, we decided to press ahead... and were we glad we did because less than half an hour later, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear -- and the air along with it. And while some sections of the trail were more slippery than I would have liked, other portions were okay enough for me to feel comfortable walking along them without always having to just look at the ground and path immediately ahead of me.
Put another way: I was able to enjoy the views that opened up along the trail -- and also look about for interesting critters as well as flora. Despite this being what I'd have thought would be a prime time for flowers to bloom, I didn't see many particularly eye-catching colorful flora this afternoon. However, many cool critters were out and about -- such as a couple of species of dragonflies I don't think that I've previously spotted, a small lizard, an unusually colored grasshopper, and spiders of various sizes (including the first big spiders I've seen this year).
Additionally, at one point in the hike, I noticed a rustling in the grass and the thought did cross my mind that I'd be adding a snake to the list of creatures spotted this afternoon. Very fortunately, it was a far more benign creature that I had noticed disturbing the underbrush -- one that is often so well camouflaged that I really did feel proud of myself for being able to notice it. Adding to my happiness is my having managed to snap a couple of photos of it even though it was trying hard to make itself scarce or, at least, hidden.
So... can you see the stick insect in the fourth photo from the top of this blog entry? If so, my congratulations -- and do tell me which you found it easier to spot in a photo: the stick insect pictured in today's entry or the camouflaged creatures featured in my blog entry of two weeks ago? ;b