‘’Semangat Mark? Senyum lagi iya Mark?’’ Pak Rahim calls from a distance. I am sitting somewhere in the forest at one of the randomly chosen camera locations, scrolling through the files on my portable video viewer. Having spent last week climbing mountains and descending slippery trails to install the cameras, this week held the moment of truth, would there be any warty pigs caught on tape?
The news that I would live on Bawean for 3 months made me prepare my butterfly kit immediately I planned to grab the chance to explore the world of Butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) on the other side of the world. I had everything neatly packed when we left from the Netherlands, including a net and light trap with a 250 watt lamp. The journey with plane, car, angkut (minibus), train, scooter and boat and many people who carried my luggage made me worry about the state of the lamp all the time. Luckily it was still working when we arrived. However, when we set up the light trap the lamp kept failing and wouldn’t work longer than 5 minutes. It took a while before we discovered that the electricity net on Bawean delivers just 190 volts instead of the required 220. Pak Nur (our host on Bawean) solved the problem with an adapter and we could finally attract some moths.
The butterflies, which are active during the day, are more abundant. The warmth makes them very active and they never sit still for more than a split second. After many failed attempts to photograph them, I decided to first catch a butterfly with the net, put the net over my head and then shoot about 100 pictures in the hope there will be a good one amongst them. Luckily I got some nice results. Some of the species are huge - bigger than my hand!