Thursday, 3 November 2016

Good for hiking, disappointing for butterflying

I hate cold, Iran has sunny shining autumn and winter days but they are cold nevertheless and I can't go for butterflying or investigate mountains in search of interesting flowers. so I'm stuck with my old trips and here is one of them, a gloomy one like these days of autumn.

In this trip we went to north-west of Iran to experience one of the most popular treks in Iran. People are crazy about this trek because most of us leave in semi-desert or arid areas, so when we see anything green we get excited but if you ask me I will say it's a good trek but not an eye-tearing one and the best time for going there is the middle of spring not the middle of summer which was when we went there.
The start point was a lake with elevation of around 2500 m and the vegetation around the lake is mostly Astragalus, Acantholimon and Cyperus sp:

start point

some of butterflies of this part of trek:

Agrodiaetus lukhtanovi

Pch daghestana savalanica

Hyponephele amardaea

Pch pelopea

Melanargia larissa hylata

then we ascended a little in this road and entered a scene like Windows xp, I was focused on this Gentiana and ignored the scene but by this picture it seems I lost both of them :

Gentiana and poor Windows XP scene
then a fog covered the area and temperature changed from near too warm to must-wear-something-warmer. I was angry "what should I do with this fog?"

disappointing fog

houseleek (Sempervivum iranicum)

around lunch time a shy sun looked upon us and I catched a photo of this three gorgeous blues making new blues:

Agrodiaetus masulensis

then we continued in fog again with mud crawling up our feet to over our knees. I skip this part of trek because I don't like it :-) and go to where the forest started (it means the next day around noon). In a sunny day in this trek, you will get a little baked till you arrive to jungle (around 20 km), in our case jungle meant the end of muddy path or almost the end of it.

arriving in jungle

here jungle means Elder (Sambucus nigra)

sunrise in our overnight camp

another shot of our camp

so we spent second night of our trip in jungle and the next day we started to decrease elevation:

heading to the end of trip

in this part of trek with fog almost disappearing I came across these guys:

Bath white

Argynnis pandora

Leptidea sinapis

Vanessa cardui

Vanessa atalanta

So with Agrodiaetus lukhtanovi, Pch daghestana savalanica, Agrodiaetus masulensis and the Red Admiral, it wasn't a very disappointing trip for me but I like to exaggerate things a little.
In this trip we crossed Elborz mountain again but with a little cheating because here in Iran, roads almost reach everywhere from top of mountain to bottom of valleys. 

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