Lions

Not the ones you find roaring (hopefully) outside your tent in darkest Africa but the Lion’s Nature Education Centre, where most of my recent nature photos have been taken.

It is an odd place in some ways. It is what it says – a resource for educating the people of Hong Kong. It is not strictly speaking a park nor a reserve. It is as much a recreational area for dog walkers, keep fit enthusiasts, tai chi practitioners and photographers as it is for school children and others on the organized trips that arrive most days.

There are plenty of photos of LNEC around and I have linked to their website above. However I took one this morning to show the first section I see when I walk from the car park.

It is advisable to stay on the path  as much as possible. There are plenty of venomous snakes in HK and from where I took this shot I have seen and photographed a snake taking a frog. These trees and the ones behind my position here are frequented by noisy groups of Hair-crested drongo. They are invariably also plenty of insects and spiders on the trees.

After that I follow a different route according to the time of day and season. At this time it is peak bug time. The only birds are the commoner ones but many have young so it is fun to watch them. Today I found a butterfly in almost exactly the same location as Friday – same species, same plant species – much the same result 🙂

Chilades pandava

The problem at the moment is the wind and it is virtually impossible to take sharp images at decent speeds. Unless the butterfly is exactly parallel I need something in the region of F8-F11 to keep it sharp. And they are rarely completely still.

On the back of my black & white leaf image (see previous post) I tried a fern shot today. It is not so successful but I experiment and this blog is not to sell my images, it is to share with others who may be interested the journey I am on. Sometimes I get quite frustrated and disillusioned and then occasionally I get a spark of satisfaction (but not with this one).

On most visits I play hide and seek with a particular dragonfly. I know where it will be. The question is whether I will win the battle of wits on the day. It rests up under drooping foliage low over a pond. I have to stay on the bridge and get down low. I juggle the tripod legs to try to find a clear line of vision. Sometimes the dragonfly wins and now and again I get an honourable draw – as I did today….. I think.

Polycanthagyna erythromelas

And my final offering for today, a rather snazzy grasshopper of the short-horned kind.

Traulia orientalis

This was taken from a boardwalk step and originally the gropper was a little too high. After a while it edged its way slowly down the tree trunk and as it made a brief pause I fired my final frame. And with that the rain started and I scuttled back to the car and homewards for a well earned lunch.

 

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