This last week I had a couple of days off and was trying to decide what to do. At this time of year sitting out for mammals is a bit difficult as there are a lot of water and food locations in the forest for them to choose from so it was going to be an insect oriented trip.
I decided to head up to the upper section of Mae Wong National Park. I had not been there for a couple of years and had enjoyed camping out there before so the pick-up was loaded up and off I went.
Six and a half hours later I was at Khun Nam Yen (about 4 kilometers before Chong Yen) with the campsite to myself for 3 days and beautiful blue skies! Unfortunately is was also very windy and I struggled in my insect search because of this. Even when I could find subjects it was impossible to photograph them with my macro gear as the wind was blowing grass and plants every which way but still.
So I sat back and enjoyed the view and the cool (with the wind chill my bed attire included track pants, socks, Tee shirt, jacket, sleeping bag and two blankets!!) night temperatures at the 1200 metre elevation. And I was not as alone as I first thought. I woke on the second morning to find fresh dhole tracks just 15 meters from my tent!
It is a very beautiful location but it is very interesting to note that regrowth of the forest in the mountain tops and valleys - after deforestation in the past by loggers and hill tribes - is incredibly slow and it is still pioneer grasses that are predominant in virtually all of the old cleared hill and valley sections. Its a very interesting exercise to look north west and see all the grassed hill tops and then turn 180 degrees to look south. A mirror image except every inch of hillside is covered in primary forest as it has been for eons.
Whilst I did not see much in terms of insect life, I did see a couple of "firsts" for myself. Firstly a Nettle Caterpillar of a Limacodidae sp. moth that I cannot ID and secondly a beautiful (its in the eye of the beholder!) Longhorn Beetle of the species Pharsalia subgemmata which was a born poseur. Three days of relaxing in nature, beautiful weather for camping and a couple of firsts - a great trip!
kingdom Animalia - animals » phylum Arthropoda - arthropods » class Insecta - insects » order Coleoptera - beetles » family Cerambycidae - longhorn beetles » genus Pharsalia » species - Pharsalia subgemmata