Friday, February 27, 2009

Grassroots and top of trees


I love Nature and I shall talk about Nature today again in my post, but I am going to try to write this in a very different way. Then you may think I am crazy to mean "grassroots" when there are no grasses except trees in my pictures. Anyhow I still insist on calling them "grassroots" instead of "treeroots" since "treeroots" are not found in any dictionaries, and this is what you cannot refuse.

The grassroots appear on my jungle trek every time I come near to the rest house. It makes me thinking in depth for a story to record their, as well as others', existence since every creature should have its own unique story in the history book.

So here come the story of grassroots. We can see the grassroots live close to each other harmonically in the first picture, though crowded and less comfortable, but they tolerate. They get to know and care about what happens to each other. The only difficulty is that the list is too long for me to write down.

What then to see in the second picture are top of trees. They keep themselves in distance in order to hide away their ugliness and secret agenda. They are even arrogant enough to show their power in the thunder storm, they wave their arms and they shout in funny voices.

They grow so high until they are too far away from the grassroots. They have forgotten they were grassroots earlier and they are being supported by the grassroots currently. At the time they wave their arms, they have neglected intentionally the grassroots are absorbing the vibrating pressure with great difficulty.

Then come my third picture which has never come into picture initially, not until I discovered an animal which can be identified as a monkey wandering around on top of the tree. Indeed, there may be only one occasionally but sometimes there may be more.

Finally, I need to tell you the truth. When I tried to have a close snap on the grassroots, I encountered some wonders. I saw a beautiful piece of mushroom. I bet no way the top of trees do ever have any opportunities to appreciate and enjoy that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Raining Days


I was locked by the rain either in my house or in my car these few days. Most of us like raining day as it cools down the temperature, I mean the tropical hot and yet hot climate, at the same time, we also hate it for minimum outdoor activities can be done.

It was a heavy rain on that day, a Sunday which suppose to be a beautiful outdoor day. Instead I spent my time to shoot at the rain and make fun of it before it managed to fail my day.

In my first picture, I make the rain no more invisible. There were thousands lines of rain in every second. This is the type of rain that I always have at my place, seldom be gentle, but trying to show muscle. If it continues for a few hours, the next days newspapers will be flooded with news on floods. Luckily we have yet to see any flood.

I took the second picture in my car when I was on my way back from work. It makes me ponder as where I am. It seems like a picture in winter with snow balls falling down.

The late evening sun almost showed no more effect in the picture. It was pale without seeing the green. I did not pull over for the pictures, I took them in the middle of traffic with trial after another. Isn't too funny having my sweet times for the best picture though I have been late to fetch my son from class? Traffic jam is always a subset of heavy rain. A 20 minutes jam created a good "wintery" picture, but it must not be in a direct propositional manner.

"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, And today? Today is a gift, That’s why we call it the present." I think today is still too vague to be mentioned, living in the now is a gift. And I have to keep reminding myself in this traffic jam.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waterfall, the path of time


It is always a surprise to encounter something that is not expected or planned for. The only response I can have is just a O shape "Wow".

The waterfall is located not right in front of Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum, but it will not be missed out no matter how because of its size. By the time I arrived, the hot afternoon sun might have driven people away and that helped me to capture some "silent" pictures.

It is not dangerous to go up to the top if walk with precaution on the wet slippery surface. Top of the fall was nothing but a slow moving little stream by the time. It was gentle enough to be a mirror for the daily make up of the flower and gentle enough to make people losing imagination on her tremendous look later.

Further then I could see water had gathered some momentum, started to turn from gentle to a little bit furious. I meant a little since the fall must be drumming down loudly during monsoon season. The water flow marks would never have chances to hide any secrets but to show us how and what the falls have done onto the rocky surface.

It has done the most when the falls keep rushing and drumming down repeatedly in day and night. The traces of dark unrecoverable carving proved to be the most memorable parts of past ages.

Anyhow, the final fall before water returns to ground and converts into a creek provides a good natural massage to those who have chosen the right location. It is located at the bottom right corner in the next picture.

The power of time and nature can never be underestimated which you must agree with me. The gorgeous artistic look on the last picture should have given us the answer. At the same time has registered down the path of time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum


My agenda of the day was actually to hike Mount Jerai. Unfortunately massive landslide that blocked the trekking trail for a couple of months then diverted me to Lembah Bujang (Bujang Valley) for the Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum.

Anyway, it should not be a bad idea to re-visit history occasionally.

Mount Jerai can be seen at the far side behind the museum. The lush tropical rainforest greenery in the background of the museum was really a good replacement after the earlier setback.

Research showed that because of its favourable location along the trade route, Bujang Valley became an important and prosperous kingdom attracting traders from China and India.

The treasure trove showed Bujang Valley had a thriving Hindu and Buddhist civilisation from third to 14th century AD.

There are ruins, including temples (Chandi), that may date more than 1,500 years old in Bujang Valley.

Ganesha is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Statue of Ganesha is no doubt to be found during the excavation in 1938 and 1939.

A sitting Budda Statue

Having gone through a brief history lesson, then come a big surprise to me. I got to know some stories of Cerok Tokun, my weekend lover, 40km away from her home. I do not know whether she was too shy to tell me on the spot or her caretaker did not bother at all.

Cerok Tokun inscription chiseled in Sanskrit meaning 'while Young' dated to the 4th century AD.

A sailor named Buddha-Gupta was wished a safe voyage in the inscription dated in 5th century AD were discovered in 1845. Every now and then, when the trees start talking, I shall know and appreciate that they will be telling me stories back to few hundred years ago.

By the way, for someone who are interested to track my footsteps at Bujang Valley, then once you exit Sungai Petani at the southern toll, follow the signs and you will be led on a 20km drive to Bujang Valley, Merbok where the museum is located.

I shall come back in the next post showing you some pictures on waterfalls at Bujang Valley.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My tree at Lembah Bujang


It is interesting to discover some fruits grow differently from what we have observed normally. Usually fruits emerge from branches but fruits in my post today are not.

When I first found the tree with "climbing plant" along the trunk, my perception told me this was nothing but just another ordinary climbing plant. When I followed the vine until to the bottom, I was wrong that the vine was actually part of the tree.

No fruits were detected on top of the tree, (it might not be now yet), but grew on the vine. It was their striking colour that pulled me for a closer encounter.

But there are always hidden danger behind the beauty. Once I indulged myself in the colour and tracking for the origin of the vine, I overlooked the necessity to check the proximity for any red ants which we usually do.

This story is not the continuity of previous post. It is just a coincidence that you may think I have made up.

The red ants were not only found on the vine, but they were
everywhere. And this everywhere is located at Lembah Bujang of Kedah State, somewhere nearby Gurun.

I'll continue in next few posts on some stories about Lembah Bujang. See you then. But before I leave, my words to you: "Again, curiosity kills the cat".

(According to Chinese, by the way, cat does have nine lives. It affords to be curious anyhow).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Ant Story

I was mistaken to think it as a bird nest when I looked from a distance, actually it was a capacious nest built by red weaver ants. Added more pain to the mistake when I got close for a confirmation, the red ants moved silently but quickly to my legs, when I jumped up and down tried to shake off all of them. Only my luck was with me to get rid of them before they started their attacks which would then result with a few burning and very painful bites. Otherwise I always use my saliva as an immediate cure, somehow it helps psychologically. My recommendation to your laughter is to try it out first, and please stop laughing right now, although you think it as very extreme soft.

It is advisable not to get near the tree for no purpose once the nests are spotted. There must be colonies of red ants busy wandering around. They maybe on the trunk, the branches, the leaves and even on the ground that spreads a couple of meters from the perimeter of the tree. Again, this is experience that talk, Alice may not know that.

I found a few of the nests on the tree actually. A close up look showed the leaves were bound together by the excreted silk. These weaver ant's nests to my belief must be strong and impermeable to water in order to face frequent tropical rain storms.

I rather not to talk too much and to move away fast before I got into trouble with the big red ants again. Before that, the size of the ants is measured at about 10mm in length. How big is 10mm? It is equavalent to a couple of hours of pain if you are bitten. Sorry, I can only relate the red ants to my bad experience.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

River Bank at Sunset


I came back to Perai River today evening. This is the place where I stayed nearby a few years back.

There are Mangrove trees along the whole stretch of river bank. Crabs that dwell in the swamp used to be trapped for a good meal.

At the far side, a wader looked like white Stork was seen wading along the wet land.

I walked around searching for some good angles for my pictures on sunset. My luck might be good as I found a few fishing rods which I believed can help to talk my pictures better than human. The silent talk must be the best, if there is any.

I smiled to the owner of the fishing rods. We smiled to each other tacitly.

I have never thought of taking pictures over here before. I have never imagined how can I produce good pictures at this river bank which looks nothing special, muddy and, I hate to say, dirty.

At this moment, I do not know whether I have been fooled or you have been manipulated.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is it a Kite?


There were quite a handful of birds that I met during my trip to Kangar which I have failed to do at my Cerok Tokun trekking trails.

I did see earlier when farmers burnt the paddy field to get ready for next season of sowing, in the midst of smoke, birds flew around a "food fiesta". They were busy catching insects which tried to escape from the fire. There are abundant of food sources here.

While wandering around, I detected a small bird stayed atop a tree. It was easier to be seen on a bare branch.

When I moved my camera, I saw something. I was very firm to tell it was a kite, and was not a bird, a plane, superman nor UFO. It makes my life easier than solving the bird's identity.

I looked back then, the bird has disappeared.

Has the bird camouflaged itself as a kite, or the kite was actually a bird earlier? My problem arose again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The bird called back


I feel very guilty making everybody busy locating my birdie.

This morning my mobile phone rang. My birdie called to explain where to find it. I realised my guess on its location in the comment column is actually misleading. That is just a piece of leaf.

Thank my birdie for your kind help.

My birdie appeared so smart in a close up view. Our first encounter was at Bukit Ayer Recreational Park, Perlis.

A whole day research does not give it a sure name, but the closest match should be Bulbul which may not be true as well.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Look Like a Deer in Headlights


Whatever that is an object, the must be a shadow in a bright up environment. We shall not see any trees on the shadow if there are no trees around. A buffalo does not show the shadow of a deer. The shadow does always follow and image the exactness of its owner, it does not have the habit to tell lies.

Similarly, we drive to and from work everyday. This routine has been programmed into our mind. At any one day when we were not at work but went by a place which required making a turn instead of going straight follow the daily routine, unconsciously we might still go straight heading to office. At the time we noticed it was a couple of minutes later.

What we do or say at every minute, I mean, are mostly control by our sub-consciousness. The way sub-consciousness built up the data bank is from how we thought repeatedly, or from the experiences we have gone through. We will show negative behaviors if we think negatively, it is only either purposely or unintentionally.

Then here come my main point of today. I have commented when deer see headlights (, they see hell. At the first place, why heaven never came across my mind? Why only hell? I was asked, and now I am asking myself. I did not have any traumatic deer experience. I have to say they are lovely especially Bambi.

After gone through the earlier thinking process, I should have the answer by now.

If I think evil, I'll see evil.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where is my bird?


I always admire some of my friends who are able to find hawk, robin or other type of bird along their trekking trails. They showed and they talked in their posts. It is too bad for me on my weekly routine where I see monkeys and only monkeys which I have mentioned earlier.

Actually I do not know why it is so great for me to talk about birds. Ha ha!! Jealous? Maybe. Anyhow my fate changed when I have visited Kangar.

At the time I was at Kangar, I managed to find various types of bird and of course, I quickly kept them safely inside my pictures. They are mine and for me to talk and to show off.

Yes, they must not fly away from my sight. How can they fly away once I captured them in my memory card?

But everything turned out to be very funny, I have lost a few of them.

Within the mess of leaves, I cannot find my bird. I enlarged the picture, yet there is not any sign on its appearance, even with the help of my son who I think should own sharper eyes than an old man.

This is not a haunted story during seventh month of Chinese calendar. The sun was very bright in the middle of the day.

Then I asked myself a question: My friend played the squirrel game. We were asked to look for the hidden squirrel in the picture. Did he share the same experience as mine, though he managed to locate it later?

When I was at the shop to decide to buy my camera and accessories, the promoter told me it was not necessary to buy any expensive lens for a bigger image. Most of the professionals just crop with the help of software. Then now this is my latest trial result and a real weird experience.

Finally, I strongly believe the bird is still safely kept inside my picture, if you are good enough, help to bring it back to me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some other stories


You were with me for the past few posts on Gua Kelam, hopefully the journey was very much entertained with good perspective on its natural look. "Since love grows within you, so beauty grows".

Before I move away from here, I would like to share some of the other creatures which I have met.

These were not wild deer that run freely in the jungle. Their lack of activeness were common to all other animals that live in a zoo. What else they can do other than eat and sleep? They even did not bother to look at the visitors. To them, we were just another bored passengers who "hu hu ha ha" outside the fencing.

On the other way, the dragonflies were really part of the nature. They flew high and low swiftly once I got close to them.

So far I discovered only red and green dragonflies. It should be more than these, only that I had not seen others.

On the way to research around for the origin of the name "dragonfly", (I did not somehow get an answer on this), I found that in some places, dragonflies have often been seen as sinister, what a pity to these little things. They are linked to evil, horse possessed by the devil, Hell's mare, eye poker or eye snatcher.

This should not be the fault of this insect. Human is just too creative to make fun of them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My favourite bridge


This is not supposed to be a new post of the day, but I would like to share my favourite bridge photo with any of my friend who has interest in it.