Archive for the ‘papillon’ Category

We only put up at Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort for a day and a half worth of shooting time.  But the location did not disappoint in terms  of common butterfly species.

View from mountain resort bungalow

View from mountain resort bungalow

One of the best features about the resort is its breathtaking view.  From the bungalow, if you have requested for a bungalow at the top of the steep climb, you can enjoy a view like this from your bedroom window.  However, prepare for a steep climb up a rocky path and try not to bring too heavy a luggage because this would be unwieldly up the slopes.

Romantic room in mountain resort

Romantic room in mountain resort

Another nice touch to the room is the availability of mosquito nets.  If you are up late and leave your light on, you can spend a good few hours poking at the denizens of the night who have decided to get stuck on the mosquito net. Another amazing feature of this place is the availability of HOT SHOWERS.  YES!  HOT SHOWERS! I just can’t caps that enough.

mountain resort path

Typical mountain resort trail

Because the garden and surroundings of the bungalows are not treated with insecticide and chemicals, you can find a whole lot of critters in the night.  But we’ll leave that for part 3.  To find out more about this popular resort, click here.

field outside mountain resort

field outside mountain resort

There are some trails and plenty of puddling grounds around the Mountain Resort.  If you follow the path along the resort to the back where Mr Son (the owner of the resort) lives in a house watched over by a red cheeked bulbul (Mr Son is an avid breeder of singing birds), you’ll come to the field above.

Psolos fuligo

Psolos fuligo

Halpe porus

Halpe porus

If you walk in the other direction, however, all you get are rubber plantations.  However, Mr Son says these paths and the waterbodies around the resort are home to King Cobras and other snakes for those interested in snakes and other amphibians.

Zographetus satwa (The Purple and Gold Flitter)

Zographetus satwa (The Purple and Gold Flitter)

It was along the trail past the fields above where we came across the skippers.  Unlike the fuligo which was large enough to be spotted sunning its brown wings, the other two were zipping around in a frenzy across the trail.

Tagiades japetus atticus (Common Snow Flat)

Tagiades japetus atticus (Common Snow Flat)

Thankfully the sun is behind you when you walk this trail in the morning.  Note however, that the sun disappears behind the mountain after noon, which means not much sun on this trail past lunch.  If you want lots of activity, be sure to go early!

Rapala pheretima sequeira

Rapala pheretima sequeira

Besides the large number of skippers and flats, there are also a huge number of different Lycaenidae flying around and driving the photographer with poor tracing skills mad.  One would like to think they were all common Caeruleans.  But how can one be sure of that?

Rapala iarbus iarbus (Common Red Flash)

Rapala iarbus iarbus (Common Red Flash)

Having to wait and photograph each frenzily flying tiny butterfly with more or less the same topside colour and same flying pattern will probably ensure that you will still be standing there 3 hours later and past prime butterfly shooting window.

Polyura athamas athamas (Common Nawab)

Polyura athamas athamas (Common Nawab)

We had been hoping to catch a glimpse (and hopefully photograph) the Chestnut Rajah (a very rare and beautiful large butterfly) and the Blue Yam (a very tiny rare butterfly that looks very much like a common Blue where far away).

Pathysa-antiphates-itamputi-(Five-Bar-Swordtail)

Pathysa-antiphates-itamputi-(Five-Bar-Swordtail)

However, we had no such fortune.  But this did make us attempt to investigate every tiny butterfly.  Something we don’t usually bother to do.

Parantica aglea melanoides (Glassy Tiger)

Parantica aglea melanoides (Glassy Tiger)

On this trail, be prepared to cross two streams which will be too deep and stepping stones too far for the average photographer to leap across.  Taller, more athletic photographers can probably leap his way across.  Shorter, less inclined to play basketball photographers will have to wade across the waters while keeping the camera high.  This I did, much to the unhappiness of my already peeling toes.

Parantica aglea melanoides (Glassy Tiger) (2)

Parantica aglea melanoides (Glassy Tiger) (2)

There are opportunities to shoot puddlers at the banks of each of these streams.

Jamides virgulatus nisanca (Dusky Cerulean)

Jamides virgulatus nisanca (Dusky Cerulean)

Be sure to check each tiny butterfly sipping away happily because they may turn out to be something you’ve never seen before.

Everes lacturnus lacturnus (Indian Cupid) - If you're not careful, you might miss the Indian Cupid, a butterfly we don't get to see very often in Singapore

Everes lacturnus lacturnus (Indian Cupid) – If you’re not careful, you might miss the Indian Cupid, a butterfly we don’t get to see very often in Singapore

The above two butterflies look the same from far but are actually very different.

Caleta roxus pothus (Straight Pierrot)

Caleta roxus pothus (Straight Pierrot)

Caleta roxus aberrant

Caleta roxus aberrant – look carefully for the difference

Or they may actually be the same but look different (as with the Caleta roxus above).  Ah! The confusing and amazing world of butterflies!!

Hypolimnas bolina jacintha

Hypolimnas bolina jacintha

Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Great Eggfly)

Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Great Eggfly)

If you go past the second stream, there is an immediate path to your left.  If you take this instead of the one leading up the hill, you may come across the Great Eggfly above.  Of all the eggflies I have had the priviledge of sighting and photographing, this would be the largest I have ever seen.

Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (Common Palmfly)

Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (Common Palmfly)

Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (Common Palmfly) topside

Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (Common Palmfly) topside

Along this path you will come across a small dam.  Within the dam amazingly, is a great puddling patch for butterflies.

puddling grounds

puddling grounds

It looks shallow from the picture.  But in order to get to the shallow parts, you do need to plunge down knee deep into snake infested waters at the edge (yes we beat away two snakes at least in trying to get into the water).

view from the puddling grounds

view from the puddling grounds

The puddling ground has got some interesting nooks and crannies to investigate and some pretty scenery to boot.

Cigaritis syama terana

Cigaritis syama terana

Charaxes bernadus crepax (Tawny Rajah)

Charaxes bernadus crepax (Tawny Rajah)

Past the dam and the puddling grounds, you will start seeing larger and larger rocks.

Arhopala aedias

Arhopala aedias – There are a good number of these flying around

We encountered a large group of cavers heading to Tiger Cave which is in the vicinity, but after walking along the trail and even passing a hut which looks like a ranger station, we didn’t see the opening to the cave.

hut outside trail around tiger cave

hut outside trail around tiger cave

We encountered the Commodore here and a few other flitting butterflies we didn’t manage to identify or photograph.  If you have more time, this would be a place you would want to spend more time exploring.

Castalius rosimon rosimon (Common Pierrot)

Castalius rosimon rosimon (Common Pierrot)

If you do decide to climb the hill leading along from the path past the second stream, expect to find a whole plantation of rubber trees waiting to welcome you.  Don’t say you’ve not been warned!

up the hill slopes past the second stream

up the hill slopes past the second stream

rubber treees

rubber treees was all I found after the steep climb

Next up: What creature has the legendary nose of Pinocchio, is more colourful than some butterflies and likes to sit on a tree trunk with its nose pointing to the sky?  And what slithery creature comes into your house at night, is as large as the width of your roof beam and says hello in the most animated voice ever?

My little Papillon is all grown up.  I heard their ears are supposed to slow down so that the rest of the body can catch up but it looks like his ears have continued to grow!  But look how elegant and refined he is now, trotting past the sofa he used to knock into and pee on without any shadow of the childish fluffy puppy that he once was.

Attempting to expose my little dog to as many sights, sounds and experiences, I brought him curling and whining to a crowded beach where he could get some exercise, enjoy the romp in the sand and have small children come up to want to be friends with him.  Since he always looked like he was struggling hard whenever he was in the water, I got him a life jacket for tiny dogs (Chihuahuas and the like) and strapped him in. However, he doesn’t seem to realise that he won’t sink if he stops moving his paws.  In fact, his paws continue to paddle in mid-air even when lifted about a feet off the water.  Occasionally he would jump right into the water with you.  But most times he would just curl near the water’s edge with or without a life jacket on and refuse to get in.

By the by, my little dog is getting prettier everyday and the incidence of people inquiring whether he is a lovely little girl increases.  His black fringes have begun to grow on the flanks of his body under his brown fur, on the start of his tail and around his huge ears.  His hocks have also begun to grow out as with the fur on the chest.  Sadly, however, his little star blazer on his forehead which I loved so much when he was a puppy has disappeared into a thin sliver of white!

The Rose

Posted: January 8, 2011 in butterflies, dogs, papillon
Tags: , ,
 
The Prince and The Rose

What’s a Prince to do with a Rose?

Smell test

 

Taste Test

The Prince was given a sparkly star.

Wear it on the head. See what it feels like

Small rose

HUGE rose

 

OK you're good let's hang out

Papillon High Fashion

Posted: January 5, 2011 in butterflies, dogs, papillon
Tags: , ,

Front view

What’s there to do if a photographer keeps getting shut indoors with rain falling on all the small windows of available weekends?  Nothing better than snuggling up with your lil Papillon watching the rain streak down the windows over a warm mug of milo.

Side View

And what better thing to do out of boredom than dress up your poor puppy?  But who out there provides nice clothes for dogs without busting your wallet?  Daiso sells doggies clothes, unfortunately mostly for girl dogs, including this nice little blue raincoat whose hood is too small to go properly over the Furry Prince’s perky butterfly ears.  The damage?  TWO DOLLARS.  S$2.  Everything in Daiso sells for $2.  YAY!

I love my new raincoat! Now can I go out and play in the rain?

Still, any more expensive raincoat would still not warrant allowing my little prince out into the storm so he has to contend with jumping up and down and tearing around the house and getting under my feet and making me spill my hot drinks while I amble heavily to the couch.

back view

Such a good looking fella. He’s going to break some doggie hearts when he grows up.

A Lone Malayan Eggfly

2nd day of the new year and thick into the monsoon period, I thought the butterflies might be random and few.  Having owed the Furry Prince a big debt of numerous walks after spending too much time in one of the worst places on earth (hospital) watching sick people in their beds, I decided I’d better bring him on a mighty long walk before he got bored and peed on every single piece of furniture he could raise his little leg over.

I'm on guard duty! ^*^

This is not my Papillon’s first long walk.  He’s almost an adult but not quite.  But this would be his first baby trek (it is considered one of the easiest treks) that completely drained him of all his puppy energy and promptly set his furry head down to sleep the moment his paws touched the floor of his crate.  The trek took about 2+ hours during which the Furry One frequently stopped to do some heavy weight training.

Monopod? Piece of cake!

I tied him to my monopod when I spotted a Blue Spotted Crow puddling unawares on the stony ground.  Down! Stay! Stay now… Mummy’s gotta get that pretty butterfly in her lens ok? Few seconds later, the butterfly dog was by my side having dragged the monopod with every ounce of puppy power from his tiny 2kg frame.

Papillons are stronger than they look O_O

 OK.  So I decided to try tying him to my whole camera set up, which weighed a few times more than the dog.  I thought there’s no way a small dog like that can drag the entire thing across such terrain.  Again, few seconds later, he had dragged the entire setup a few feet to get to my side, much to the horror of both Canon and myself.  The only weight that he could not drag was the full 7kg of my entire National Geographic bag and its contents which would put it at almost 4 times the bodyweight of my Papillon.

So you think all small dogs are pushovers?  Think again.  Meantime, check out these commercial free videos of how a tiny occasionally annoying Chihuahua gets away with living with a Doberman without getting turned into dog chow: http://ramseyandpablo.com/