Sunday, May 1, 2011

From MNT to Ranger Station On Good Friday

Hiking from MacRitchie Nature Trail (MNT) to the Ranger Station in Sime Forest is quite a long route. On Good Friday, 22 April, I began my slow hike from a slip road along Upper Thomson Road.

My first shot of the morning was this Selaginella willdenowii (Family : Selaginellaceae) - what a beautiful fern quietly growing under a big tree just a few steps away from a bus stop where I alighted.
I love the fragrance of these flowers of Jasminum sambac. Some J. sambac shrubs along the road leading to the forest fringe were covered by blooming flowers.
Presumably a migratory species, Chocolate Albeltross (Appias lyncida vasava) is a very common species in Malaysia. But we usually encountered it in the month of April and May. A skittish and a fast flyer, it gave me no chance at all for a better shot.
Along a stretch of very damp and shady forest trail, I could only spot one leafhopper.
Just before I reached the main forest trail, I saw a Bush Brown hopping on the forest undergrowth. I usually would not bother chasing a Brown. But it suddenly became quite tame and stayed stationary when I approached closer. Wow, it turned up to be a Purple Bush Brown (Mycalesis orseis nautilus) - a rather uncommon species.
Strolling slowly along the forest trail, I looked around for fauna and floral that that would interest me. At one shady corner I saw this dome-shaped mushroom on a fallen tree trunk.
From the flight behaviour of this Common Lascar (Pantoporia hordonia hordonia), I khew she was looking for the host plant to lay eggs.
True enough, she laid one green tiny egg on an old leaf of a Petai tree (Parkia speciosa).
This sun-loving Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana) was spotted in front of SICC. Perching on top of a flower stalk of a grass for a short while before it hurriedly fluttered away when a group of hikers passed by.
Along the service reservoir road, I saw quite a few green squash bugs (?) on one particular Singapore Rhododendron shrub.
A very hungry and hairy moth caterpillar munching furiously.
One small green immature katydid I supposed - all on one shrub. A young boy and his father asked me what I was shooting because they didn't see anything on the plant. Yes, we need to see nature with our eyes on a special focus point before we can see its beauty and wonder.
Finally I arrived at the Ranger Station. Many Common Four Ring (Ypthima huebneri) lycaenids were seen feeding on some small white flowers of Leea indica.
But only one lonely Common Five Ring (Ypthima baldus newboldi)
The competition for nectar became intense when a few Common Caerulean (Jamides celeno aelianus) also feeding furiously on the L. indica flowers.
I noticed that the barricades to the Tree Top Walk were removed - a sign that the maintenance work has been completed. But the sudden change of weather forced me to abandon the plan of going up there. In fact, I had to withstand the onslaught of the gutsy winds and heavy downpours under one small umbrella while I was on my way out along Venus Drive. We have been experiencing very strange and bizarre weather these days - the effects of climate change will wreck havoc to our normal life one day.

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