Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cool critter spottings along Stage 4 of the Wilson Trail

Scenic views of land, sea and sky abounded 
on the hike I went on earlier today

Closer to the ground, I spotted this small grasshopper
clinging on to a blade of high grass

Also out and about this afternoon was this skink
whose tiny legs are not as easy to spot as the rest of it! ;b

When I checked the weather forecast for today this morning, I saw that the cold weather warning was in effect along with a strong monsoon signal.  But no rain was predicted -- and it looked like the ground had (mostly) dried after yesterday's rain.  So my hiking buddy and I happily went ahead with our planned hike for this afternoon -- one that took us along Stage 4 of the Wilson Trail.

Stage 4 of the Wilson Trail involves a fairly lengthy climb up 533 meter high Tung Yeung Shan (Hong Kong's 39th highest peak) to Tate's Pass (AKA Tai Lo Au) and 544 meter high Tung Shan (Hong Kong's 34th highest peak) nearby that feels satisfying to complete and also worth it for the scenic views to be had along the way and after that westwards to Sha Tin Pass.  The earlier part of the trail isn't replete with vistas but still is pretty interesting since it passes through a village, former farming areas and woodland -- and an uncompleted white building with stained glass, construction on which looks to have been halted for some reason or other. 

Adding to the visual interest this afternoon were two creatures that I was surprised to see moving around since I thought that the cold weather would have sent them into hibernation or hiding with the rest of their cold blooded ilk.  (One of my reasons for loving hiking in cooler weather is because there's much less chance of coming across snakes even while I do miss seeing such as butterflies since they tend to become inactive when temperatures drop below 22 degrees Celsius.)

I have to admit to feeling a sense of achievement in having managed to spot the brown grasshopper and skink -- especially since my hiking buddy wasn't able to do so even after I tried to point them out to him.  To be sure, they were on the small side and fairly well camouflaged.  It's also amazing how still they can become after they realize that they might have attracted one's attention.  In any case, I trust that they can be pretty clearly seen in the photos of them at the top of this blog entry -- and that they will get people marveling at how cool nature can be. :)

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