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Friday, 6 May 2016

Night Walk At Dairy Farm Nature Park (06 May 2016)

The sky looked gloomy and seemed like it may rain. Nevertheless, I decided to stick to my original plan of going to the Dairy Farm Nature Park. I have been looking forward to this trip as I wanted to field test my latest macro-flash setup. The motivation to me redesigning my flash diffuser was when people I met during my trips commented that I have the biggest diffuser that they have ever seen. :)

After thinking a bit about it, I decided to redesign the diffuser to make it lighter and simpler. Here's the end product of the redesign, consisting of a new flash diffuser that I brought online recently and a diffuser made out of mahjong table lining, crudely mounted on the lens hood using some duct-tape.

Here's a photograph of an interesting colored snail I encountered at the place. Looking at the photographs taken on this trip, I will need to tweak it a little bit more to give the results that I am looking for.

The first beetle for the trip was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle found on a branch of a small tree. I like the effect of the new flash diffuser on this beetle.

Near to the Darkling Beetle was another similar looking Darkling Beetle but bigger at about 7 mm.

Coming to a patch of Elephant Ear plants, I am glad to be able to find this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) under one of the giant leaves. This is where I encountered the limitation of my diffuser design vis-a-vis my macro-lens - the diffuser limited how close I can get to the beetle in focus, without disturbing it.

The next beetle was a tiny 1 mm Fungus Beetle found on the trunk of a small tree along the path. From this photograph, I think I need to tweak the diffuser to let in more light to brighten up the photograph.

The vegetation at the place was slightly wet, indicating that it had rained earlier. Hidden among the tall grass on the side of the path was this lone Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis). This particular photograph was chosen because of the nice reflection in the water droplet underneath the grass.

The surprise find for the night was this Long Horned Beetle (Aeolesthes holosericeus) on a leaf.  It has been a while I last encountered this Long Horned Beetle.

Near to the Long Horned Beetle was a Chafer Beetle that looked similar to the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle, except for its dark brown elytra.

Further down the path was this lovely Chafer Beetle (Maladera orientalis) on a leaf. I particularly like the effect of the new flash diffuser on this beetle.

Coming to a fallen log, I found this lone 10 mm Darkling Beetle on it. Noticed that the reflection on the beetle was not the same as previous similar shots, where the outline of the camera lens and diffuser can be seen from the reflection.

On the fallen log were several large 15 cm diameter bracket fungus, and on it were many of this fast moving Rove Beetle. It is always a challenge photographing this type of beetle due to its constant movements. But with some patience, you would be able to capture some nice shots of them.

Moving deeper into the path, I am pleasantly surprised to encounter this active Long Horned Beetle (Epepeotes luscus) on top of a low bush.

On the side of a tall tree near by was this small 1 mm shiny Darkling Beetle, among a small patch of moss growing on the tree.

Near to the tall tree was a small 8 mm first-time-encountered Chafer Beetle. This beetle looked very much like the metallic colored Chafer Beetle that I occasionally encounter, but differ greatly in its size and the coloration of the underside of its abdomen.

Coming to a rotten tree stump, I am surprised to find this False Click Beetle on it. It was a little skittish and went into a crevice after a few photographs were taken.

Near to the tree stump was a standing dead tree with a large patch of white fungus growing on. At a cursory glance, it looked pretty lifeless, until I zoomed in closer to find a number of this interesting looking Darkling Beetles on it.

A few centimeters away was another similar beetle, except for the horns on its pronotum.It looked like the male of the species.

At the base of the same tree was this pair of small 2 mm Darkling Beetle.

Time passes quickly and it was getting late, so I decided to turn back via another route. Along the route was a large fallen log where this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus) was found. It has been a while I last encounter this type of beetle.

Next to the fallen log was a small plant where this muddy Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis) was found. The body of this beetle was covered with mud which made its original black coloration brown.

On the same leaf was the highlight of the trip - an interesting looking 8 mm Ground Beetle. This is the second time that I encountered this beetle, and the last time was more than 3 years ago.

On the fallen log was a bracket fungus where I found this first-time-encountered 5 mm Darkling Beetle. Notice the interesting long horn-like protrusion from the head of the beetle?

On the side of the log near to the bracket fungus were several of this 15 mm red-legged Darkling Beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was this Darkling Beetle (Strongylium erythrocephalum).

This trip was very fruitful and I am glad to be able to find two first-time-encountered beetles, together with several long-time didn't encounter beetles. Even though I was drenched to the skin with sweat due to the warm weather, it was indeed a wonderful and enjoyable trip.