It was a fine early Sunday morning and a perfect weather for outing on 29 Aug. After a delay due to miscommunication (sorry, my fault), we (Bobby, Ellen and I) were finally in Khew's car, heading for Changi Village. Thanks, Khew.
During the boat ride, we were shock and of course disappointed to see how fast the dark clouds gathered overhead. When we disembarked from the boat, the rain started to pour and we had to have a second round of hot drink at a Malay stall, waiting anxiously for the rain to stop.
The rain never stopped but subsided a bit after 20 minutes of so. With an umbrella at hand, we made our way to the Butterfly Hill. The drizzling rain though turned heavy with gutsy wind at times never dampened the fun of hunting and shooting - we were still able to find a few species to photograph.
This Biggs's Brownie (Miletus biggsii biggsii) was displaying its erratic and random flight pattern in front of me under a big tree. This guy was full of energy and kept fluttering for at least ten minutes. I had to wait very patiently for it to settle down before taking a few shots from a very difficult angle.
This male Leopard Lacewing (Cethosia cyane) was quite alert initially, taking off from his perch whenever I came close to him. Eventually, he succumbed to the rain, the cold breeze and perhaps my persistence, relaxing himself comfortably and elegantly on a leaf. The underside wing patterns are quite pretty as well. Shooting this guy in the rain and gutsy wind was a big challenge as well as a test of my patience. There were quite a number of Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides) at the foot of the hill. Most of the time, they were resting with wings closed in a very cluttered environment. I was fortunate to spot this occasion when one of them opened its wings after it had just settled on its new perch. This was one of the hungry ones feeding on the yellow flower heads of Bidens alba (or Bidens pilosa, not sure at the moment).
The month of August is usually hot and dry. However, we experienced a rather different kind of weather this year - more predawn thunder storms and rainfall than before. Perhaps this was due to the passage of Sumatra squalls during the Southwest monsoon season.
It was a disappointing outing in terms of number of species we encountered, however we definitely enjoyed our chit-chat sessions during breakfast, lunch and in-between shootings. Of course, the "thrill" of shooting with umbrella in the rain and on a scenic hill top was a memorable one.