Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pins and Needles 27 ~ Cameron Highlands and Birdwings

Hey ya'll

Ray was on his semester break last week and so we decided to take the risk and brave a trip up to Cameron Highlands. Never having actually gone to the place for almost a decade now, I must admit I found the trip rather daunting, but when Ray even raised the suggestion of backing out the stubborn/adventures/desperately-in-need-of-a-holiday part of me refused to back down and so, we packed our bags and headed off, early on a Friday morning to cross two states and up one very steep and winding road to make our way to Cameron Highlands. The journey was a nightmare. Long... took us about two hours or so to finally get to the mountain road and when we got there, I belatedly realized it was the 'old-road' we were taking which meant that they were extra narrow, extra winding and, when a truck was chugging its way up in front of you, excruciatingly slow moving. The bright side about taking the old road, however, was the amount of waterfalls we seemed to pass by on the way up (and the many butterflies that were attracted to these spots!) but after awhile, even waterfalls and butterflies start to all look the same and it wasn't long before I started to have my suspicions that we weren't going up, but rather, going around and round in circles. We finally made it, though, laying my suspicions to rest and it only took us an extremely taxing 3 hours... but it was worth it. Contrary to what people might have been saying, Cameron weather is still pretty cooling by my reckoning, even more so, when the clouds blocked out the sun. Here are some pictures of our visits there.

But of course, my main purpose to visit Camerons was to check out the butterflies there. Needless to say, I wasn't dissapointed and it was only belatedly that I realized I had already placed my butterfly net in the back of my car several days back or I'd have been kicking myself over it the entire trip. But bring my net, I did, and we managed to capture LOADS of butterflies, some of which I have never seen before (though I'm sure to my more experienced counterpart they hardly stand for anything) and I was quite pleased. Perhaps even more pleasing was the moment when the old uncle who ran the butterfly farm produced live pupae for us!

A rough idea of just how many butterflies we found that day
Anyway, I would so love to talk about ALL the butterflies in one post but there are really just too many of them and I haven't even begun to attempt to identify some of the butterfly specimens so I suppose I'll just start with the birdwings butterflies, so named for their large wingspan and majestic, bird-like flight.
Assortment of Troides sp. and Trogonoptera sp. birdwing butterflies
Trogonoptera brookiana albescens (Rajah Brooke's birdwing, male)
Troides amphrysus ruficollis (Golden birdwing, female)
Troides amphrysus ruficollis (Golden birdwing, male)
Troides helena (Helena's birdwing, male)

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