Wednesday, 25 November 2009

another side of hong kong

Everyone is familiar with the popular image of Hong Kong—high-rise buildings, crowded streets, bustling markets, a spectacular harbour—but venture into the countryside and a different picture emerges. Apart from wild pigs, which are surprisingly numerous, and a few porcupines, there are no large mammals, but there is still a lot to see: particularly reptiles, insects and flowers. The following photographs were taken with a cheap digital camera, but what they lack in technical quality they more than compensate for in interest. All were taken in the Sai Kung area.

Mangroves are one of the very few plants with leaves exposed to the air that grow happily in seawater.

Competition for space is intense in the forests. This tree has solved the problem by growing atop a large boulder.

There are more than 200 species of butterfly in Hong Kong. This is Papilio palinurus.

Papilio rumanzovia.

This leaf-mimicking butterfly hasn't chosen a good place to settle.

However, this leaf-mimicking butterfly really does know how to hide.

The Hong Kong countryside is a noisy place. This cicada is one of the many reasons.

Back in the leaf litter, land crabs are also no slouches when it comes to camouflage...

...while in a nearby stream, two toads mate oblivious to the prying eye of the camera.

It was obviously too cold for this skink to run away.

Strangely, this large flower, the only one on the tree and very close to the ground, faced directly downwards and was very hard to spot.

Nothing is wasted in the forest. Here a bracket fungus is in the process of polishing off the last of a fallen tree trunk.

Meanwhile, back in the mangroves, it's low tide.


  1. very interesting pics dennis. it seems that the hardy mangroves perform their functions all over the world, even in modern day hk.
    as you know plenty of mangroves here in tin can bay and kayaking into them is a tranquil experience, especially around daybreak when all is still, the reflections are a mirror and the sounds of nature a choir. might get myself a new camera & have a go also.

  2. Interesting photos Dennis and interesting blog! I have never seen butterflies like that before especially the green one, the Papilio Palinurus. I'd love to visit Hong Kong someday to see for myself!

  3. Thanks for showing me the other side of Hong Kong, and especially the butterfly images. Very beautiful and showing Nature's diversity.

  4. The pics are amazing..
    I loved the huge flower one! :D


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