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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Night Walk At Mount Faber Park (18 Nov 2016)

It has been more than a year that I last been to the Mount Faber Park and so I decided to go there for a walk. Here's a photograph of the city area taken from the top of Mount Faber Park.


The first beetle was a bronze-colored Leaf Beetle found hiding under some leaf cover.


It could be the time of the day (slightly before 7 pm) that all the beetles I encountered at the beginning were pretty skittish. Here's a photograph of a 2 mm Jewel Beetle which promptly flew off after one photograph of it.


Near to the Jewel Beetle was a 5 mm Leaf Beetle which was also very alert like the Jewel Beetle.


There was not much action until the sky became totally dark. On the way to The Peak, I found this 5 mm Darkling Beetle at the base of a small tree.


Moving further along the road leading to The Peak, I was surprised to find this large 25 mm Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis). This type of beetle is quite a pest as they make quick work of their food plant because of their size.


It was also about this moment that an unfortunate incident happened.

While I was photographing this beetle at the edge of a forested area, I was approached by an Indian security guard. I was rather puzzled as to why I was approached as the place where I was photographing was no where near to any commercial building or protected installation. The first thing the security guard asked me was "Who give you permission to take photograph here?" I was surprised by the question and so I did a quick look around to make sure that I did not trespass any private property unintentionally.

I am very sure that the spot I was at is a public place as less than 10 meters from me was a group of 法錀功 members exercising.  I replied saying that this is a public place and I don't need to have any permission to take photographs. Not sure if the security guard didn't hear me or he is just persistent as he kept asking "Yes, so who give you permission to take photograph here?"

I kept telling him that this is a public place and not a private property nor is it a protected area, I don't need to have any permission to take photograph. Not sure what was wrong, the security guard kept repeating his "Who give you permission..." rant and refused to back-off.  In my mind, I started to wonder if he is one of those crooks who pretended to be CID or government agent to prey on unsuspecting people. This went on for a good 10 minutes until I ran out of my patience to tell him that I am in a public place and I do not need permission to take photograph. As a last resort, I called the police to seek their advice on how to handle the situation. The police responded and came to the location within 10 minutes.

For those who where wondering if I got another 10 minutes of ranting from the security guard, the answer is no - thankfully the security guard decided to get his boss to back him up after I called the police. Anyway, the boss of the security guard came before the police arrived and started apologizing saying the security guard was new and don't know what he was doing. In all honesty, I don't buy what the security guard's boss was saying as he was the one who assigned the security guard to guard the place for whatever reasons that eluded me.

After some "interviewing" by the policemen, the policemen clarified that I didn't break any law and I am fine to take photographs at the place. By this time my mood for taking photographs has been badly dampened. I decided to call it a day and walk towards the Marang Trail that leads to the Harbourfront MRT station. Before reaching the Marang Trail, I would need to pass through a stretch of covered walkway where the roof is made up of thick foliage of creeper vines. This is also where I encountered most of the beetles the last time I visited Mount Faber.

While I was still calming down from the incident, I was glad to find this Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis) at the base of a pillar at the walkway.


Near to the Fungus Beetle was a lone Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) on a creeper vine.


A small 3 mm Darkling Beetle was found on another vine near by.


The first beetle found on a pillar was a first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.


A stone's throw from the Darkling Beetle was another Darkling Beetle (Strongylium erythrocephalum)  found on another vine.


Walking further down the walkway, I was surprised to find this lovely 10 mm first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle on a vine.


On an overhead pillar near by was this small 4 mm Click Beetle (Xanthopenthes schawalleri).


On a vine further down was a small 1 mm Fungus Beetle.


When I was almost reaching the entrance of the Marang Trail, this small 5 mm Broad-nosed Weevil was found on a pillar. I like this particular photograph as the white pillar bakground made it looked like it was shot in a studio.


At the base of a small tree near to the Marang Trail entrance was a 5 mm Darkling Beetle.


The Marang Trail starts from the top of Mount Faber and ends somewhere near to the Harbourfront MRT entrance. Sadly there was not a single beetle encountered along the entire Marang Trail. It was only at the end of the Marang Trail that I found a colony of Tiger Beetles (Cicindela aurulenta). Here's a shot of a portion of the colony.




The trip was a fruitful one with a number of beetles encountered, albeit the experience was dampened by the unfortunate "permission" incident. Reflecting on the incident, I think NParks should do something about these over-zealous security guards (possibly from the commercial outlets further down the road) to spoil the experience of visitors to the place, locals or foreigners alike.