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Monday, October 15, 2007

I love autumn. Even here in the subtropics, the light turns a more golden shade, some trees even lose their leaves, and everything alive has had the entire summer to fatten up. The plants seem greener, which makes for even more verdant landscapes, and the insects and reptiles are nice and chunky.

Here are some impressions from the last two days, much of which I spent walking in the hills behind the house.

Roadside shrine

Shell ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

Phat Phungus

Treefern, Cyathea lepifera. Very common in these woods, and my favorite tree (although it's not a tree)

Medieval-looking tomato, Solanum aculeatissimum

No two ways about it - with a six-inch span from toe to toe, this golden orb spider (Nephila pilipe) is the baddest ass in the valley. I'm always fascinated with the shining black armor encasing the legs. If you look closely, you can
see her snacking on a freshly caught bluebottle.

Another knight in shining armor: Neolucanus swinhoei

Endemic Taiwanese Damselfly, Euphaua formosa. Love the racing stripes!

Papilio memnon heronus, one of the many papilio species around here

Symbrenthia lilaea formosanus, another endemic butterfly

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