A Day Of Great Encounters

Posted: September 26, 2009 in butterflies, macro photography

Note on photo above: I have never ever ever seen the tree nymph land at eye level before and then stayed there for more than 1 minute while I shuffled around in the thick foliage, unable to get any closer.

Rare Encounters

What started off as a really bland day turned out to be one real adventure.  For starters, the tree nymph above which I had chased many a time, ignoring swipes across the face and all, decided to land just a few metres away from where I was standing, waiting for a fellow photographer to be done exploring an abandoned house for odd insects.

Note on photo: I've never had much luck with the skittish tree yellows.  Today they were clustery all around in groups of 4s and 5s puddling on the wet ground, totally obliging.

The butterflies came in bursts.  After the tree nymph's condenscending to be photographed, we had nothing until we hit jackpot at the water's edge on a small bank where we not only found groups of tree yellows puddling away busily, we also found an extremely friendly stork billed kingfisher. 

They continually came back in different combinations after being disturbed by our movements.  Singles, couples, trios and groups.  And I had a field day taking photos of each combo.

Note on photo above:  I think it's cute that they group together so closely to puddle, all facing the same general direction.

Note on photo above: A rare encounter!!!  And it was perched so close, this photo was taken with a 180mm Macro lens instead of a birding lens!

I've never seen this kingfisher in the wild before, much less photograph it.  What was even more amazing was that it perched no more than few metres away from us and our huge lenses.  It didn't get spooked when we used fill flash.

It's got a higher pitched, lighter laughter than the ones I hear from the white collared species.

Note on photo: A tiny blue speck turned out to be a brilliantly striped jumping spider

We also came across a blue striped jumping spider I had encountered in the forest in Kuala lumpur.  The Boy said he didn't remember seeing it here before.  So I guess it was kinda a rare find.  I was just excited because it was pretty and shiny. 😛









Another bug which was quite uncommon.  Its got some pretty cool wings.   

Things That Go Crash In the Forest

As if the day hadn't gotten exciting enough after all the butterflies, bugs and all, things got even more exciting when I lied and said: "Let me show you another trail" when I had never been down that way at all.

I got more than I bargained for (I think about little flitty butterflies and forget about everything else) when a nearby tree crashed so loudly both of us stopped in our tracks.

I forgot I was supposed to shut up in such situations.  I said: "WHAT WAS THAT?!" 


We got out of the stretch of unfamiliar trail and back onto familiar ground.  I thought all was good until there was a huge CRASH and a large black something landed together with several broken branches on the broken logs right in front of our faces and threw itself into the water so fast all I saw was a blur of black.

My fellow photographer cussed in disbelief: "#$%#!.. what was that?"

I fell backwards on him in my fright.  I don't recall ever being this frightened in this area of the forest which I've walked over and over again by myself.

Other Rare and Ahem Encounters

No we're not done yet.

I also saw emerald doves for the first time today, even though I didn't get a shot either.  They were glimmering away as they bobbed away into the cover of the foliage.   

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  1. Waterbaby says:

    that's some adventure!

  2. I think it's the former (hard boiled nature boy)…:P
    Well… if your theory was correct then…imagine this:
    [Large animal falls from tree]
    [Ellen dies of heart attack]
    Large animal A ambles over and nudges Ellen. There is no response.
    Large animal B: "Now look what you've done! There goes our family portrait!"

  3. Sure was! Too much actually! 😛

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