Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hiking along a favorite trail on a less than ideal weather day

One of those butterflies that tends to hide the more 
beautiful side of its wings when it's at rest position ;S

Those are raindrops, not dew, on the flowers and leaves ;(

Earlier today, two friends and I hiked from Route Twisk to Chai Wan Kok via Lin Fa Shan and Shek Lung Kung -- a route along which I've gone on a few times before but still am up for repeating because, among other things, I really like the views to be had from Shek Lung Kung and much of the section of trail leading from there down towards Chai Wan Kok.     

Approximately 6.5 kilometers in length, it's fairly easy -- bar for a steep descent towards the end that can leave one's legs feel like they've turned to jelly -- as well as scenic, my preference is to hike along it in the summer months because there's a better chance then of the air being clear and visibility being good, and sometimes even superb.

But although we're still in summer and yesterday was a beautiful blue sky day, such was sadly not the case today.  Adding insult to injury, not only was it somewhat hazy at the start of the hike but midway into it, my friends and I got caught in a thunderstorm -- one that most definitely not mentioned in today's weather forecast when I checked the Hong Kong Observatory's website as late as just a half hour before I left my apartment to embark on the journey via MTR to Tsuen Wan, the town nearest to the eastern and southern sections of Tai Lam Country Park!

Fortunately, the storm turned out to be a typical Hong Kong summer one in duration -- and consequently lasted just about 30 minutes from sudden start to finish.  And it did help clear the haze somewhat, so that we ended up getting better views at Shek Lung Kung and along the tail end of our excursion than it looked to be the case earlier that afternoon.

Still, for the most part, this was one of those hikes where I focused on sights near to me rather than scenic landscape views.  And looking back, my visual highpoint this afternoon actually came by way of a butterfly species that often frustrates me because it is so much more beautiful when flying (with its outer wings that have purple patches on them) than when it's perched on a flower or in a more 'restful' position (and usually only displaying only its non purple outer wings).

On the subject of insects: I've come to realize that when one comes across a whole bunch of dragonflies flying about, it can signal that it's about to rain.  And such was indeed the case just a few minutes before this afternoon's deluge.  It interesting how it is that nature does provide one with such warning signs, isn't it?  And also re how it seems to be the case that for all that myriad pavilions have been erected in the Hong Kong countryside, I'm never close to one whenever a storm suddenly breaks while I'm out hiking... ;(


Ramakant Pradhan said...

Love the picture of the butterfly. I have travelled in India to a few places during the Monsoons (the rainy season). Rains add another character to the places. But I guess while out trekking it would have put you in a fix.

The Fragrant Harbour said...

HI YTSL -- Interesting tip about the dragonflies and now that I think about it I think it's correct because the humidity is high their wings are "weighed down" so they can't fly as high as they usually do...

YTSL said...

Hi Ramakant --

Thanks for liking the butterfly pic. I'm really glad I managed to take that shot.

I like the smell of rain but don't much like rain drops falling on me, especially when I'm out hiking!

Hi The Fragrant Harbour --

Interesting explanation re high humidity causing dragonflies to fly low!

Diana said...

YTSL--great butterfly pic, you must have had to be extra quiet in order not to scare it away while you were focusing.

Great info about the dragonflies, thanks.

YTSL said...

Hi Diana --

I'm not so sure about extra quiet being needed but one does have to be patient and make sure one's shadow doesn't fall onto the butterfly in order to not scare it away.

Re the dragonflies info: credit too to The Fragrant Harbour for her explanation re why it's so! :)