3 Insects of Taiwan

Spending time out in the countryside means you get to meet some interesting beings. Furry, creepy and crafty, all sorts.

Here is a Macrobrochis Gigas Caterpillar, it’s almost cute, though I feel hesitant about picking one up, are they hairs or spines, I’m not sure, to see the butterfly which will come from this, here is a wiki link.

Next up is a “Face Spider”, also known as a “Banana Spider”, more scientifically known as a I don’t mind spiders when they aren’t on me, with a name like that though, the “Facehugger” alien from the Ridley Scott Alien movie, springs to mind, pun intended!

The next insect is a “Polistes Gigas Wasp”, with it’s paper nest, I have picked one of these nests up and they are incredibly light, now I wish I had kept it, what a beautiful thing it was.

I have some more photos of amazing insects from Taiwan to post, as soon as I can find out what their names are that is, any advice on the easiest way to search for a bugs names would be appreciated, comment below.

Thanks for reading, Sam.


Hike up a mountain (part 2)

So continuing from yesterday’s post, after we finished enjoying our paddle in the mountain stream we re-shoed ourselves and took to the steps once again.

Heading upwards we continued on and on, and on, and on…… climbing slowly towards the summit, or what appeared to be, because it seems there is always another “top” just beyond the tree line.

Finally we arrived at the penultimate summit, where I was to stay, as my knees had had enough, it was a good climb, there was another peak to our right, it looked like the last, not too far, but I decided to rest, give my legs a break for the descent and have a nap in the little church shelter, where many other hikers were enjoying the shade and their lunch.

Here you can see the view, great!

We discovered some lizards, or “Blue Tailed Skinks” I did see a bigger one without the blue tail, apparently they lose the blue when they become adults, lizards are cool!

Lou and Leo continued without me, whilst I napped, 🙂

After they returned we started out accent down the mountain, it was a really beautiful hike and well worth the discomfort.

I stumbled down the mountain some way behind my co-hikers. Taking regular photos also helped me have a respite.

Here is a shot of Yilan County, there are a few towns and between them, as you can see stretching from sea to mountain, are many buildings, these are mostly small farms, growing rice and other crops.

People keep telling me that there are monkeys living in the mountains, but I have yet to see any, until the hike that is, I attempted a few shots of them here is a monkey silhouette.

After a little research I discovered the only native monkeys to Taiwan are the Formosan Rock Monkeys, which matches those I saw during our mountain hike, there were at least four in the trees around us, they kept their distance, unlike other places I have been with monkeys, I had my hat nicked (stolen) by one in Vietnam.

I was really happy to see these furry guys, and so close to the end of my stay here in Taiwan, I fly out on the 9th of August, after 4 months, a perfect conclusion, the best things come to those who wait, I guess.

Ok, so thanks again for reading, I hope you enjoyed and I’m heading to Vietnam on Friday, so am excited to share that trip, very soon, plus of course art which will be inspired and created during my trip there. Sam

Hike up a mountain (part 1)

I’m still in Touchen/Jiaoxi area of Taiwan, and on Friday I decided to accompany two other workawayers, Lou (see her Instagram for great travel photos) and Leo on a mountain hike.

The location was about 40 mins away by bicycle, so we headed out, after stocking up on food and drinks, on our random borrowed bicycles, starting at our shared ‘old’ farm house, heading through Jiouxi town and into the mountains, thankfully we didn’t need to assent anything too steep, as our bikes were old, a bit rusty and creaky to say the least.

So we locked the bikes and headed up the trail. After walking up a few hills getting deeper into the mountains, we came to the church of “Our Lady Wufengqi”, located here on Google maps.

As we were leaving this round church I spotted a very colourful plant, so grabbed a shot, I could not find the species through and image search, do you have an idea?

We headed up into the mountain again, the steps began, and continued all the way to the top, I thought I was reasonably fit, but my knees said otherwise, and started to ache, but I persevered, I’ve done long hikes before and there is always some discomfort, just nothing recently to see where I am at physically, so I was learning.

We arrived at this small waterfall, along side some other Taiwanese hikers and locals on their daily exercise routine, who seemed to be doing Qi Gong or Tai Qi, I’m not sure, so we stopped for a drink and rest, to take in the view and cool off our hot toes in the lovely cool water.

Here is a short video so you can immerse yourself into the waterfall scene for a moment.

Part 2 will be published tomorrow, I decided to break this post into two just to make it a bit more accessible.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow, Sam