Sunday, May 22, 2011

From Dairy Farm Park To The Summit

I had another training session with my friend on a fine Sunday morning. We started rather early at the Dairy Farm Park. Walking towards the trail leading to the summit, I saw this wasp hovering and then resting underneath a leaf. I went down, looked for a suitable angle and snapped a few shots.
As usual I didn't get many chances to shoot when we were ascending the hill via Seraya Loop and Jungle Fall Path - one of the toughest trails leading to the summit. Occasionally, small critters like this Soldier Fly may just appear in front of us.
Of course, fungi were abundant but sometimes I ignored them. Here are some small and fleshy wild mushrooms found on a dead wood.
A rather large and conspicuous dragonfly, this male Camacinia gigantea is a permanent resident at the summit. While resting at the Summit Hut, I could see a few male C. gigantea darting, chasing, hovering and perching on the twigs. But where are females - I have not seen one !!
We usually descend along the Dairy Farm Loop as it is shorter and it leads us to a spot where a Lantana bush is - yes, hoping to shoot butterflies.

This small lycaenid is Pointed Line Blue (Ionolyce helicon merguiana) which has lost its tails. According to Seow, one of the features of this species is its rather sharp vertex angle of space 3 (next to the eye-spot) on the hindwing.
At the Wallace Education Centre, some Raffles Girls' School students were hosting an art exhibition entitled Illuminating Nature (see here). We spent some time there listening to their presentations - I am glad I met Mrs Hoo and other familiar faces.

While on our way back to the carpark, some showy orange-red flowers of the Rose Cactus or 七星针 (Pereskia bleo Family : Cactaceae ) attracted my attention. A spiny shrub that has ornamental and medicinal values, Rose Cactus has been one of the research areas for some researchers in Malaysia. A detailed write-up about this potentially useful plant can be found in Gardening with Wilson

Lastly, I found a pristine Pointed Line Blue near the toilet -it was fluttering and puddling on the ground.
I hope we have time for another training session before we head to Sichuan province in early June.

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