Saturday, 28 November 2009

My New DSLR!


My father was really kind and bought me a CANON EOS D500!
It is totally awesome. It is 15 mega pixels. Anyway, Here are some photos.
Below is a ground nut flower I shot around my house.

I also shot this bougainvillea flower all dried-out but with good
quality bracts.

We also went to the SBG. That is where I took this male dawn
dropwing.

There were many spotted doves around, so I decided to
snatch a shot.

This post will end off with this pretty flower. (dunno what it is)

Please comment.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Photo of Today

I'm back with the Wednesdaily post, The Photo of Today!
The photo of TODAY features a newly eclosed rare mangrove
tree nymph. It shows how butterflies simply hang from perches
motionlessly to dry their wings.(after eclosure)
This gives people great opportunities to photograph skittish ones,
or rare ones. Hope you liked the photo and stay tuned
because next Wednesday there will be another one!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Dairy Farm Nature Park


The new Dairy Farm Nature Park is totally awesome. Its
really the place for a butterfly lover and I have yet to see the
rare dark blue jungle glory there. Well, on my trip there, I
saw quite a few butterflies. We started at car park B. Walking
into the forest, chocolate grass yellows are always there to
welcome you. Here, pictured puddling with a three spot g. yellow.

Then, a passing swallowtail caught my eye. The blue helen!
I was really excited but it flew off into the canopy before long.
I did not have to walk very much before a glistening caerulean
showed up. I watched it for a while but couldn't shoot it as
it kept flying. Just then,(this is a moment of excitement) a rare and
sought after fluffy tit settled to sunbathe, as below.

It was awesome but like the the helen, it flew off shortly.
Feeding on plant sap a few meters away was a faded
common posy.
Notice that the tail has been cut off. Probably during a bird
attack. This shows how the tails can lengthen the butterfly's
life by tricking the birds into thinking the hindwing and tails
is the insect's head. After this was a lot of leaf litter, and yellows.
For a long time, the forest appeared completely still. There
were many common fauns along the way. Then, came sunlight.
The track had small rocks and had foliage surrounding.
That meant blues. First a common hedge blue puddling.
Then a pointed line blue. I snapped a shot while it was resting.

It too came down to puddle.

Now it is coming to the end, so there wasn't much. Not even
a chocolate grass yellow. We walked to right where we started,
and instead o the yellows, there was two male branded imperials
sharing some plant sap......

Well, That is the end of this post, so I hope you enjoyed
reading it!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Speedy Skippers

Have you ever come across something darting out from some leaves?
Or seen something like a moth? They could be skippers. Skippers are
butterflies with large heads and hairy bodies. Most have hooks
at the tips of their antenna and fly at high speeds. However, some
species fly similarly to bush browns, flitting around the ground.
One of the the more common skippers is the chestnut bob.

The palm bob is more common but is not featured in this post.
Below is the palm dart feeding on wild lantana at a forest fringe.

Some skippers look very alike so if coming across one, it is
better (I find ) to be patient and try to get a good shot of it first,
then when you are back home try to identify it on an online checklist,
with photographs. A beautiful skipper, the lesser dart.
If anyone wondered, awls and flats will not be included in this
post. This rare grass demon skipper's caterpillar feeds on the
turmeric, so it seems they like spicy food!

Well that is the end of this post and remember to look out for
skippers from now on if you don't!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The photo of Today

Here's a new series of posts about nature that will be published on
Wednesday every week. Something like a newspaper, just that
its not news and its really short. The photo of TODAY features
a common tiger being photographed by a little photographer
that I know. It shows how tame some butterflies can actually
be.

Hope you enjoyed the photo and stay tuned because
next Wednesday there will be another one!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Pygmy grass Blues and Lesser grass Blues, whats the diff?


Lesser grass blues are so common that anyone could just
accidentally step on one flying around a grassy roadside.
They really like the nectar of the Common vernonia and
Coat-button flowers. However, there is another butterfly
that accompanies the lesser grass blue at the roadsides.
That, is the Pygmy grass blue. They look very similar and
are often mistaken for one another. There are some
differences, and that's what I'll be talking about.

Above, is a Lesser grass blue, and below this
description, is the Pygmy grass blue. You can tell a
lesser from a pygmy by the spots on their hindwings.
That, meaning the underside. A lesser's spots circle
around a slightly curved line. However, the circle isn't
quite neat. It is rather broken. With 6 on the left
of the line, 2 above and 4 on the left. The lowest of
the 4 on the right of the line is tiny and often not well
seen. For a pygmy, the spots around that curvy line
are in a nice circle. There are 13 spots in total, 1 spot
that is tiny. The pygmy is also slightly smaller.

An extra thing to look out for: on the forewing of the
pygmy grass blue there is a deeply down-curved
line that the lesser grass blue does not have. There is
one exception. The pale grass blue. It is larger than the
two and has a more pronounced wing boarder.
So the next time you find a grass blue, be sure to know what it is!

p.s. : photo on top is a lesser grass blue taking off.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A spider......

I was watching a movie in my house when I spotted a
spider on our old sofa. Its front two legs were banded
back and white, and its hind two legs were brown. I was
only able to snatch a few shots as the spider kept moving.
I know the image isn't very high-quality, but that was all I got.
Yes, they are far away as my camera would not focus at that
distance. Here's the shot. ( finally )

Oh, and another one.

Please tell me its ID as I am not really a Spider-smart
person.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A day of days

I was up this morning when I saw a few small bees
flying around the front of my house. Here's a shot. I
don't know the exact ID, so please tell me in my Cbox or
on this post.

Outside my house, I spotted this little spider.
Again, ID please.

I have seen it before. It has an iridescent blue-green
head that looks purple at an angle. I had to go to my
friend's party today, at 2.30, so I left the house earlier
for lunch. It just so happened that we ate at a prata place
just next to the Lower Pierce Reservoir walk.( or something )
We had loads of time to kill so I went to take a look. My father
spotted a weird insect with long legs. I managed to get a shot of it.

What it actually is? I don't really know. I passed by
the ant plant, which is very distinctive.

Going on, I heard some noises. Rather far away, there
were many little birds flying around, presumably to
catch insects. I couldn't quite tell, but I am pretty sure
they were Asian paradise flycatchers, along with other
flycatchers. Below is a shot of a female. It is far away, so
I have circled it. Even then, it is hard to see its colours.
I know the photo is blurry, but I couldn't help it. :(
Here's another one.
After a while, we moved on. The sun started to shine
through the forest. About half a dozen sun skinks( I
think ) came out of their hiding places to sunbathe.
We had to leave.(remember? the party!) It was at
Safra Yishun Club, and I was going to be rock climbing.
At first, I didn't dare, so after a while, I went and had a
go. That's me.
I climbed pretty high, but did not reach the top.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the rock climbing wall really
towers. On my second try, I reached the top! It was
much harder higher up as there was less to grip.
On my third go, my father went with me. Below is a
shot of both of us reaching the top.

I made it all the way to the top. So did my father.
Coming down was much easier. It's like walking down
on a vertical wall at 40o . I hope to go there again.
P.S. : Okay, don't forget to tell me some ID!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Moth or a wasp or something else?

Last night, I was just in my house when I saw
something flying around. It landed on a wall. It
was an insect of some sort. The insect had long, thin
wings, and its body looked like a moth. However, the
wings were rather like the wings of a wasp. Here's a photo.
It was late and dark so I had to use flash, so it is very bright.

I was puzzled. A cross between a moth and a fly? What
could this strange thing be? Again, I need some ID.
Whoever knows what it is, please comment on this
post AND on my Cbox, to tell me its ID.
It had a gray-blue back. Another photo, but closer.

Okay I am so not an insect expert, so I need help.
I hope I see it again......

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Eat your Avocados

Just completed my latest artwork. It's called:
Eat your Avocados.
It is of a rare resplendent quetzal gobbling up a small
type of avocado. Come on! If the beautiful quetzel
likes avocados, then why not EAT YOUR AVOCADOS!
Yumm!

Please comment and eat your a..............

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Electrical storm

It was 7 : 50 at night when lightning started to
fill the sky. I went to check. There was lightning that
somehow did not come down that much. I did not hear any
thunder though, and there was no rain. Normal lightning
is caused by static electricity building up in the clouds.
Was this any different? I've two photos.


Boom! Nahh, there wasn't any sound.


Watch the video below. Sorry for the hand,( that
was my sister,) and sorry for the waiting and sorry for
the very brief lightning......

video


This time, I really need help. Pleeeaaase comment.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Parts of a Butterfly

I was just looking around at my butterfly photos when
one shot caught me. I have posted many butterfly posts
yet none are about the parts of a butterfly. That was how
this post came about. In the photo below, I have labeled
the main parts of an adult butterfly. Sorry the wording is
extremely untidy, I wrote it by hand.(click to enlarge)

Basically, a butterfly consists of 3 basic parts, which
other parts can be found.

HEAD
antenna
eyes
palpi
proboscis

THORAX
foreleg
mid leg
hind leg
forewings
hindwings
ABDOMEN-----( nothing on the outside)

So, here are close-ups allowing you to see the parts
clearer.

blue glassy tiger

Malayan eggfly

some body's wings. If anyone knows what it is, pls
comment. I know the ans, so I'm just testing.

Bali Mynas

For an art project, I was told to draw something in
relation to Bali. So, I drew a pair of Bali mynas.
Bali mynas are critically endangered and less than
60 wild birds survive.

close-up of head.

Please comment!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Dragonflies

Dragonflies. I don't really know them well, but
I do know when it's a dragonfly or a damselfly.
They are very interesting, and I like to go round
looking for them. The problem is, I don't know what species
I am looking at when I encounter one. Here are two shots.
ID? ( for both
Please comment and inform me about the ID. :)