Nature Walk Series
Wasteland / Deserted Land
20 August 2011


The destination of this outing was only determined while I was on my way to the train station. Three potential places were hovering in my mind. Eventually, I decided to go to the wasteland that I had visited about a year ago. The weather was cloudy but not too dark, ideal for a wasteland adventure. At least it was not burning hot in this open space where I shade would be a luxury.

My usual entry point was now occupied by tall Lalang Grass (Imperata cylindrica) with height up to my waist. I had push my way through which reminded me of my army days. The hard work was not without rewards --- 2 dragonflies and a butterfly.

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Left to right: (1) Sapphire Flutterer (Rhyothemis triangularis), (2) Common Scarlet (Crocothemis servilia) and (3) Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe contubernalis).

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After the lalang adventure was a large clearing where the weeds have been trimmed regularly. There was not a lot of excitement except for one colourful butterfly that I was trying really hard to get close to take a decent picture. The initial attempt was not successful, resulting with only a side view photo from a distance. At the end of the trip while I was exiting from this same location, the butterfly was still around. I mounted my second attempt for a picture but again was not too successful. It happened to be the Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei).

I decided to venture back into the tall lalang. The next dragonfly encountered was rather small when compared to the usual one seen. Again, there were butterflies for this second serving.
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Left to right: (1) Scarlet Pygmy (Nannophya pygmaea), (2) Nigger (Orsotriaena medus cinerea) and (3) Logania marmorata damis.

Besides the insects, there were also spiders. The first one was a small unknown spider that happened to catch an ant much larger than its size. The second was a white crab spider (Thomisus spectabilis), also with a prey, an unfortunate cockroach. Both spiders were seen on the Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum). photo photo photo photo The last one was the most interesting of the three, a bird drop spider (Cyrtarachne bufo). It stayed motionless even when I flipped the leaf around for the photo-taking session. An egg sac was hanging nearby on another leaf of the of the Common Acacia tree (Acacia auriculiformis). The egg sac should belong to this spider.

On the plant side, there were some interesting finds as well. The most interesting one was this new fern, Tropical Bracken Fern (Pteridium arachnoideum). At first, I had thought of it as Resam (Dicranopteris linearis) which was quite common around the area.
photo photo photoUpon close examination on the fronds, it turned out to be something else that I had seen for the first time.

photo photo photo photoBesides the fern, there were at least 4 other new plants. Two of them had been identified to be Yellow-eyed Grass (Xyris complanata) and Red Star Sedge (Rhynchospora rubra). [Update: The two remaining unknown plants are Mitrasacme pygmaea and Sauropus bacciformis.] All of them were found at an open area which used to be water-logged. Due to the recent dry spell, the area was dry and made access rather easy this time round. Previously, I had avoided this area so that I do not end up with a pairs of muddy shoes.

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I will end with this unusual ground (root) parasitic plant, Centranthera tranquebarica. Interestingly, it is one of the host plants for the Blue Pansy butterfly seen earlier. I came the last time trying to locate this plant but found none.

In all, it was a very fruitful trip. I probably will not be back for a while. Hopefully, the land will still be at its current state when I am back the next round.

Photo Gallery:

Below are selected photos from this trip arranged according to the sequence that they were taken. There is a text link under the photo that will direct you to more photos of the same species if they are available in my website.

Pycnoporus sanguineus
(Bracket Fungus)


First shot: 8:05 am
Last shot: 11:29 am
Total number of shots: 478

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.