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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Night Walk At Upper Seletar Reservoir (26 Jul 2017)

I happened to be free in the night and so decided to go for a quick walk at Upper Seletar Reservoir to get use to my new camera set-up. To my dismay when I reached the place, it looked like it just rained not too long ago and the vegetation at the place were pretty wet. Notwithstanding I pressed on to search for beetles among the wet vegetation.

To my pleasant surprise, I found a Stick Insect that I have not encounter for a long while.

The first beetle found at the place was a 10 mm Ground Beetle.

It took a while of searching before I found several of this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on some low bushes.

After some walking, I came across several fallen trees and on a dead vine near to the fallen trees was this 4 mm first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.

Near to the first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle was this roundish 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

More walking before finding several of this commonly encountered Darkling Beetle on a rotten log.

Coming to a patch of Clidemia hirta plants, I was glad to find another 5 mm first-time-encountered Chafer Beetle. This looks like the metallic bronze color Chafer Beetle that I encountered previously, but differs in its size and the more slender shape of its body.

More walking without finding any beetles until I reached a fallen tree overgrown with white fungus mushrooms, where this Darkling Beetle (Promethis valga) was found.

On another tree nearby was this small 1 mm Fungus Beetle. Please pardon the not so good photograph taken as I am still trying to get use to the new camera setup.

On a tree further down the trail was this 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

The last beetle of the trip was a large 10 mm metallic bronze color Chafer Beetle mentioned earlier.

Although the number of beetles encountered on this trip was relatively small compared to my other trips, I am happy that I am still able to find two first-time-encountered beetles.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (21 Jul 2017)

The cost of repairing my Sony SLT-A58 camera that malfunctioned during my last trip was almost half the price of the camera, so I decided to buy a new camera since I had the camera for more than 4 years already. After doing some comparison on the various camera options, I decided to stay with Sony and bought the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. Although it is an older model, the specification of the camera is more than I needed for macro-photography.

The decision was also based on the fact that I need not replace all my lens, especially the 1:1 macro lens which is pretty expensive. All I need to do is to buy a Sony A-mount to E-mount adapter at half the price or less of the macro lens.

Although I was at the tail end of a bout of flu, I am eager to field test out my new camera, and so I chose the night's macro session to be at the nearby Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, just in case that I need to cut short the trip due to my flu. Nothing special encountered except for this Stink Bug which don a rather bright underside coloration.

The first beetle for the trip were several of this Darkling Beetles found on a small tree.

My friend HW was with me on this trip and both of us found it strange that the number of beetles encounter was exceptionally lesser than our previous trips to the place. Nevertheless, we continued and found this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) after walking some distance.

After walking a distance without finding any other beetles, HW called out to asked if I have photographed this Leaf Beetle, which I have missed.

It was pretty odd that the number of beetles encountered was so low and it was only after a fair bit of walking before I found this Ladybird Beetle hiding under a leaf. The beetle looked like Epilachna indica Ladybird Beetle except for the extra spots on its pronotum.

The last beetle for the trip was another Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) resting on a leaf.

This trip was a let down as the number of beetles encountered was surprisingly small. I will likely to give this place a miss in the near future due to the massive development work that is going on near to the entrance of the Coney Island.

Nevertheless, this was not a total washed out trip as I managed to test out my new camera. My initial feel of the camera is that the grip of the camera is rather small for comfortable one hand operation, and the dials and buttons tend to be in the way (or rather I kept accidentally activating them) when trying to take photographs with one hand. I guessed it will take me a bit of time to get use to the handling of the new camera, but it was a good buy as the quality of the photographs taken were pretty good in my humble opinion.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (30 Jun 2017)

For this week's night macro session, HW and I decided to go to Windsor Nature Park and we were resolute to start from our usual turn around point and not be "distracted" along the way there.

There were several interesting critters encountered (apart from beetles) during the trip and the discovery of a Pseudoscorpion "tree" was one of interesting encounters for the night. The tree that we found has easily a dozen or more of this 3 mm Pseudoscorpions.

The first beetle for the trip was a surprise as a few tens of this 3 mm Sap Beetles were found swarming around a group of fungus mushrooms growing on the side of a dead tree.

On the same tree was this lovely Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi).

Centimeters from the Ground Beetle was a commonly encountered Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassiornis).

Next to the Fungus Weevil was a 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the dead tree was a Ground Beetle (Onypterygia longispinis) resting on a small tapioca plant.

On a tree nearby was a lovely 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

On another tree nearby was this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle resting on a patch of lichen on the tree.

Coming to another dead tree, a 8mm Darkling Beetle was found on it.

Next to the dead tree was a 10 mm Weevil Beetle resting on a low bush.

On a fallen log near to the Weevil Beetle was this small 4 mm beetle of the Ceratocanthinae family.

Coming to a large dead tree stump, I was pleasantly surprised to find this 5 mm long time didn't encountered Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis).

On the dead tree stump were several large bracket mushroom where several of this 4 mm Rove Beetles were found roaming on them.

On another part of the tree stump was another pleasant surprise - another long time didn't encounter 5 mm Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus nobilis nobilis).

While photographing the Fungus Beetle, HW call out to me that there is a beetle on his camera flash diffuser. The beetle turn out to be a 5 mm Fungus Weevil.

While looking out for other beetles, HW call out to me again that there is another beetle on his flash diffuser. The beetle turn out to be a Darkling Beetle (Phymatosum rufonotatum).

The highlight of the trip was to witness a wrestling match between a Flat Bark Beetle and Straight Snout Weevil on a large dead tree stump. The Flat Bark Beetle seemed to be on the winning end of the match.

Besides the special treat of the beetle wrestle mania, the 10 mm Straight Snout Weevil is also a first-time-encountered beetle.

On the same tree stump was this 8 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the Darkling Beetle was a 4 mm Ground Beetle (Pericalus tetrastigma).

At the base of the tree stump was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis).

On the higher part of the tree stump was this first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.)

Moving further down the trail, several of this 4 mm black Darkling Beetles were found on a tree by the side of the trail.

It was just about now that my camera started to display "camera error" and refused to allow me to take any more photographs. I tried many other camera settings but still get the "camera error" message. This was the last photograph that I was able to take for the trip. Pardon the bad photograph as the camera defaulted to F2.0 aperture and hence the shallow depth-of-field.

The trip ended on a sad note with my camera malfunctioning, nevertheless the trip was fruitful and yielded a number of beetles, especially the two first-time-encountered beetles. The problem with my camera is likely to do with the camera's shutter and I will have to send it in for repair. Hoped it will not take to long to repair and I can resume my macro photography session in the near future.