Sunday, May 25, 2014

From Lornie to Venus

I could feel that too much eating and too little exercise during a recent short trip to Melbourne (29 Apr - 2 May) had added some extra calories to my body. So I decided to go for a long hike on a fine Saturday morning (10 May) - from Lornie Trail to Rifle Range Link and ended up at  Venus Drive. 

For a long period of time, there wasn't  any clear shooting opportunity along the Lornie Trail except for this striking red fruit (or was it a seed pot , not sure what this is).
At last, I encountered a lycaenid flying rather erratically at the reservoir edge. I stood still and locked my sight on it until I could snap a few shots.  I believe this is a male Nacaduba berenice icena (The Rounded Sixline Blue).
While it was walking on a dry tree stem, I took more shots.
I had to bear the scorching heat while walking on a stretch of  tarred road between the reservoir and the golf course. I thought some selective tree-plantings on both sides of the road not only would provide shade for joggers and trekkers, they definitely would add greenery and aesthetics to the current not-so-scenic view of this part of the reservoir.  
Another awful sight (for me at least) is this very wild "grassland" in the heart of our nature reserve - I am puzzled why it has been like this since the day I started photography as a hobby.
At last I came to a more pleasant scene at the Jelutong Hut. More than half a dozen of Striped Blue Crows
(Euploea mulciber mulciber) were flitting around and puddling on the cement floor and seats. Strangely, I could  not find any female. 
The proboscis was seen "scratching and tasting" the concrete slabs.
A male Cruiser (Vindula dejone erotella) was flapping its wings while it was puddling on the cement floor in the shelter.
This underside shot was a bonus for me after a few attempts to freeze the wings at the correct moment.
While resting at the hut and observing the behaviour of these butterflies, here came another male visitor - the Magpie Crow (Euploea radamanthus radamantus).
I continued my hike towards the Rifle Range Link. The place where we used to lie flat on the ground to shoot puddling butterflies was flooded and had become a "river". Nevertheless, I was luck to bump into a small sandy patch where some butterflies seemed to like it very much.

I have not been shooting a Tree Yellow (Gandaca harina distanti) for a long time. It was seen puddling on a patch of damp soil along the Riffle Range Link.
This Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon agamemnon) appeared from no where but also disappeared from the scene the moment I snapped an impromptu shot.
This Fivebar Swordtail (Pathysa antiphates itamputi) was slightly more cooperative.
Another common species around the area was the Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon luctatius) but they were also active and alert. Perhaps these butterflies need some special nutrients for them to stay on the ground longer.
There were a few smaller butterflies nearby. I seldom chased a Brown but this Mycalesis which appeared to be the The Dark Brand Bush Brown (M. mineus macromalayana) was on the ground longer than I had expected.
A few smaller lycaenids were flitting around nearby too. They looked common to me so I didn't bother much of their presence. Two different Prosotas species were there - the Common Line Blue (P. nora superdates) and the Tailless Line Blue (P. dubiosa lumpura); no luck for me to see and shoot a third species. 
Another male Rounded Sixline Blue was very sensitive towards flash light - but this behaviour allowed me snap a glimpse of its uppersides.

Lastly, let me pose two skipper shots - awaiting for confirmation of their identities. I suspect this is a Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans)
And this is likely to be a Potanthus omaha omaha. 
 must say this was the most fruitful hiking and photographic outing I have had this year.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic selection of butterflies. I love the lycaenids with their subtle markings, and the others are spectacular.