In December 25, 2016, coincides with Christmas Day, I travel to Maros and Makassar (in South Sulawesi), with my objectives will visit the Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park. Of course, to hunt dragonflies and butterflies, because I heard that in Bantimurung very many butterflies. Even the National Park is known as “The Kingdom of Butterfly”.
Accompanied by my Mom and my brother, Hawer Diksi Ais, I stay overnight in Makassar, and tomorrow morning I was escorted by Hawer to Bantimurung, in Maros. On the way, I was expecting to find a lot of dragonflies and butterflies. I glimpsed on the left and right of the road, there are rice fields, irrigation canals, rivers, meadows and bushes. I think going to meet a lot of dragonflies and butterflies. But I realized that my time is not long, only 2-3 hours.
When arriving at the National Park, in the tourist area, I was amazed at the waterfall is very monumental. Unfortunately, the number of visitors in this area too much. So the convenience is lost, swallowed by the bustle of visitors who compete with the sound of a roaring waterfall.
I tried to watch, there was no dragonflies in this area, except Pantala that fly clustered, and Rhinocypha passing in the shadow of the trees. For 20 minutes, I explore the trails, with signposts towards “butterfly area”. Upon arrival, I realized that the butterfly was already less at home in this location. Only a few species of butterflies that I found, and I take pictures of them. Even, I haven’t met with a dragonfly. Also when I’m out of the area, and stopped at the “butterfly breeding center,” I just saw a few species, and seems less lively.
Finally, I tried to find a dragonfly in locations outside of the tourist park. On the waterways, I just found Neurothemis terminata, Diplacodes trivialis, and Pantala flavescens. I’m sure, that in fact a lot of dragonflies and butterflies in this National Park, also in the surrounding areas. So maybe I was wrong to choose the time, or the wrong place.
Yes, I’ll be coming back, at another time, with better preparation. Maybe for the next hunt, I need a local guide.
Insect and lizard photos by Geni Harefa Ais, 2016