Thursday, August 8, 2013

Some Flora and Fauna Shots In Kyoto Part 1

My wife and I went on a free-and-easy tour to Kyoto with KY and his family from 16 June to 24 June. We arrived at Kansai Airport, Osaka on an SIA flight around 9:30 pm and followed by a JR Haruka express train to Kyoto. It was close to midnight when we arrived smoothly at our hotel Citadines at Gojo - thanks to KY's meticulous planning and who was also our competent tour guide throughout the whole trip.

An early morning walk on the streets and small lanes behind our hotel made me feel that the pace of life in Kyoto was on a leisure mode and that the city dwellers really like flowers very much - we could see colourful blooms along the streets and in front of their houses.

My first fauna shot was this large bee taken at a small children playground - apparently it was still sleeping !
Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is situated at the foot of the Mt. Inari - our first visit on the morning of 17 June.  KY is our tour guide as he has visited Kyoto last winter.  While we were on our way to a subway station, we noticed this big heron foraging in the Kamo River (鴨川). 
Walking up the winding path lined with hundreds of orange-red wooden torii columns standing tall on our sides, we felt like cutting through a "tunnel" through the Mt. Inari. Ascending the slope gradually, I spotted a few creatures. There were quite a number of spiders like this.
Two small spiders on a same web. 
This is definitely a moth resting at the base of a torii column.
At a plateau, we saw a bird perching at a distance from us.
Of course there were many attractive wild Hydrangea flowers which attracted bees and the tourists to photograph them.
Finally, I spotted a Potanthus skipper far and above me. After checking this site, I guess this may be the Potanthus flavum.
On our way down from the hill, we saw a lycaenid fluttering around us. When it perched on a leaf, we managed to take some shots. I think this is Everes argiades.
Here is another shot from a different perch under the noon sun.
I also found a butterfly pupa near the exit gate - it looks like a Mycalesis species.
On 18 June, we went to the Kiyomizu-dera temple (清水寺) and Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) which are just a few bus-stops away from our hotel at the foot of  Mt. Higashiyama.

As we walked around the hill, we saw a Sailor-type butterfly perching in front of us. I think this may be the  Neptis pryeri
  Its uppersides.
I remember there are many sloping roads in the vicinity the temple. We encountered one fast-flying Papilio feeding in front of us at the roadside. Yes, it is The Papilio xuthus which seems to be very common in Kyoto. 
This small and shy lycaenid in fact was feeding on these roadside daisy flowers also. It looks like the Zizeeria maha (?).
We had our lunch beside a stream and I was seated near a window. Interestingly this tame bird was hunting for its food patiently just outside the window on the stream.
After lunch we took a quick look at another temple Kennin-ji and wandered around its surrounding streets such as the Hanami Lane; the Gion and finally we ended up at a public garden Maruyama Park beside the Yasaka Shrine. Here we saw a large heron posing graciously on a stone.
There were a few blue dragonflies darting and perching beside a pond.
At around 3 pm, we were on our way out of the park. We bumped into a very attractive lycaenid - the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). More information on this little beauty can be found here.
The last shot of the day was another small lycaenid at the same place as the Small Copper. This could be another Zizeeria maha - I am not sure really.

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