Wildlife – Shing Mun Reservoir Part II
This post is the second and last of a series on our hiking trip to Shing Mun Reservoir.
Through the Land of Monkeys
After our ascent on to the hills, a winding road led us farther and farther away from the great lake. Here the noises from the monkeys grew louder, and the primates seemed excited about our entry into their territory. With acrobatic skills they found it easy to swing and jump, while we recalled frightening stories of these monkeys attacking passers-by. Indeed, we have heard that you should never carry a plastic bag with you (which they will snatch it away) and never to provoke them. The feral monkeys inhabiting this territory are known to be unafraid of humans, and the crowds of monkeys we saw fearlessly prowled around our footsteps, hungrily eyeing our bags. We carefully trod on, avoiding their gaze and tails. As we finally left the main family of monkeys, we cautiously captured a monkey resting on a tree, away from its noisy crowd.
After venturing through the wild woods, we could see an electricity transmission tower far away – and it marked where we came from. We hastened our pace, since our empty stomachs were already hoping for a speedy return.
We were near the end of our journey. To our pleasant surprise, a line of blossoming flowers caught our attention. It marked the early signs of spring!
The special flower is the floral emblem of Hong Kong, indeed it is on our regional flag. In Southeast Asia there are various types of similar orchid trees – or “Bauhinia” and the name leads to confusion. From our education in elementary school, we have learnt the historical tale of Bauhinia: the true Bauhinia (that is referred to as “Hong Kong Orchid”) was discovered back at the turn of the 19th century by a foreign missionary along the western coastal shores of Hong Kong Island, and was later named by a British governor. It is a fruitless tree, itself a hybrid of two Bauhinias, and only propagates through cuttings. We were glad to take pictures of other flowers as well.
The morning dew drops on the petals were beautiful like gems.
The destination of our long hike was in sight. The valve tower, the steel bridge and the gigantic dam itself were evidence of the marvelous construction works that helped retain precious rainwater for our fellow Hong Kong citizens. We decided to return to this fascinating photo spot when the weather becomes nicer.
The full gallery: