Chung Yeung is a Chinese festival. It is also a public holiday. We took a tactical decision not to visit the family today but to wait until there are no crowds and the humidity has dropped a little. Instead we went to the Lion’s Nature Education Centre. This small park is excellent for common birds, plants, insects and general wildlife. Occasionally a ‘decent’ bird will turn up too. I found a Bull-headed shrike there a few years back, which caused a minor twitch. It is barely a 5 minute drive from our house so of course we don’t go there nearly as often as we did when we lived 20 minutes away! I tend to be put off by the crowds but is an educational park so I should be pleased that coach loads of grannies and kiddies infest the place. But I am not. I’d rather like it to be peaceful.
Today we used it as a day to walk the dog. Now Lulu is an Odd Dog at times. Occasionally as aggressive as Odd Job although I have never seen her try to decapitate anybody with a bowler hat. Generally however she falls into the broad category of lazy. In fact it may well have been Lulu the teacher had in mind when teaching typists to bang out “The swift brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”. Walking is not her forte. She will demonstrate fits of energy, hurl herself around the room chasing nothing in particular and if she gets a sniff of food she will charge at you like Cerberus guarding the gates of hell.
I am quite happy with a slow moving dog as it gives me time to potter, pause, press and potter a bit further. No pressure to keep up with a would-be whippet. Pomeranian’s would never chase a clockwork hare – way beneath them. Today I decided I was too tired to carry the big tripod so I just took my F3.5 , 180mm macro lens and stuck a flash on top of the 1D mkIV. This guaranteed that the shots were not sharp. At least as not as sharp as I wanted. But here are a few rescue efforts:
This is Punchinello, or Zemeros flegyas if you want to be formal. Quite why this butterfly is named after a character in the Commedia dell’Arte I know not. This is the wet season form, which is pretty damned good as we are in the wet season at present. In fact if I look out of the study window now it is formally raining.
Now I am closer to lobotomy than botany so I don’t actually know what this is. It is red with 5 petals and some pointy green leaves. And that is about it. It reminds me of the Ixora growing in the garden but I have no idea if it is.
This is a ladybird, Lemnia biplagiata, on another green planty type thing. (Memo to self: must get a decent flower field guide). Now the beetle is a coccinellidae and as any school boy knows, the stuff your mother (or to be politically correct the word mother should also include fathers and those of indeterminate categorization) put into the cooking to make it go red was called cochineal. And cochineal is basically squashed beetles. So when you thought your mother was feeding you grade A nutrition she was really giving you bush tucker in a slightly refined form. I resisted the temptation to collect a whole bucket of these small coleoptera to bring home and put through the food blender. Lulu seemed a tad disappointed. Her tail dropped and she looked woeful as we shuffled on to the next bit of the park.
And that’s it for today. Back to work tomorrow. And next time I will take a tripod.