I have mentioned on the forum a few times already that the rainy season transition has started here in Central Thailand. Well we are now out of the transition to the rains and firmly in grip of the rainy season.
The rainy season brings many changes for the naturalist with a camera. Most mammals are less visible as they have ample water and food deeper in the forest now and predators will change their habits to take into account their prey species movements. Thats not to say we will not see mammals, its just not as likely as in the dry season for the majority of mammals.
The rainy season is a special time though. The forest is, without a doubt, at its most beautiful. Its lush and green and new growth abounds. The term jungle becomes the perfect adjective to describe the forest with the vision of a jungle that we grew up with in our childhood imaginations. The sights, sounds and smells are magical. The additional difficulties in trekking, keeping gear dry and the appearance of the ever freindly leech population are a small hardship to pay for the experience of Thailand's forests in the rainy season.
It is also the time when when my photographic desires turn to my favourite subjects. The arthropods. The transition to the rainy season and the rainy season itself bring about a large increase in the arthropod populations. Spiders, butterflies, moths, planthoppers, mantids, katydids, true bugs, beetles, millipedes, et al. They are all in abundance compared to the dry season and present any camera owning naturalist with great photo opportunities.
Indeed I think the act of looking at my attempts to photograph arthropods brings me as much enjoyment as does trying to find them and photograph them. Macro lens and cameras with macro capabilities let the photographer personally delve deep into the splendour, beauty and complex forms of the arthropods. Forms that exist on a tiny scale that our eyes themselves struggle to focus on - but magnificent and interesting details are revealed with a camera and a computer screen.
The rainy season gives us a great opportunity to explore the splendid yet mysterious world of the arthropods. A world were less is known than is known.
Currently, just over 1,000,000 different kinds of living land arthropods are known to science. This represents over 80 percent of ALL of the world's known species. The true figure of living species of arthropods can only be estimated from what we have actually explored and documented. It is universally believed that there are more land arthropod species that have not been described (named by science) than there are that have been named. Conservative estimates suggest that this figure is around 2 million, but estimates extend to 30 million!
How can you not pull on your wellies and poncho and go and explore that? Thailand's forests are a perfect place to start your exploring.