My daily walks continue. I leave around 8am and finish around 11.30am. It is hardly a strenuous workout after the first 30 minutes but it keeps me out and active. On a whim I climbed High West last week. I had researched this short but steep climb a few weeks earlier. The blogger writing on his experience was not impressed. If I recall correctly he said it was a slippery, snake-ridden path up and that he had been chased by a swarm of angry bees or wasps on the way up. I started with the intention of seeing just how difficult it is, thinking I could always turn back if the cobras and giant hornets tried to overwhelm me. Well it took me 20 minutes to ascend. Dry, No snakes and just a couple of buzzy things. I was far more concerned with being blown off the summit. There is a trig point up there and not much else except glorious views. The path onwards was closed for unstated reasons. The muscles grumbled a lot on the way down, which took me all of 8 minutes. I won’t climb again until we have a calm, clear day.
I continue to explore Lung Fu Shan and feel I am getting to know it a little now. Last week I found a good bird. At the time I thought it was something reasonably common as a passage migrant. It was high up in a tree and the light was awful. The advantage of digital photography however is that you can see in real time what the picture will look like and so I took some shots with the exposure compensation on +5 stops! That was a first for me but it produced a useable image. When I looked at the bird on the screen I had some doubts so I decided to post it online and sure enough, I was wrong. Much better. A female Mugimaki flycatcher. The photos won’t win any prizes but they did what I needed.
There are also several regular residents willing to pose occasionally. I always go up there thinking I don’t need any more photos of Daurian Redstart or Blue Whistling Thrush. But what do you do when they fling themselves at you?
Butterfly life is slowing down as the temperatures drop and the breeze picks up. One day last week we had dense mist draped all over The Peak and Lung Fu Shan. I almost stayed in. Mrs. Ha encouraged me to go out anyway and it was a good decision. Fewer people, almost silent and some great visual effects. Dampness settled on my clothes. Not enough to soak through but enough to blur the vision as my glasses were coated in droplets. My bonus was a butterfly classified as very rare in Hong Kong. Jamides alecto. I wonder what else lurks unfound in Lung Fu Shan. I am sure I am the only regular checking it out.
It is a rest day today. I am sitting on the balcony to type this. It is cool, bright and the sounds of traffic and birds flow upwards on the breeze, mingling as they reach me. It is December the 3rd. Yesterday would have been my mother’s 91st birthday. I can relax and reflect. My only worry is where the next coffee is coming from. Life.