Friday, July 31, 2009

Gateway to My Wonderland

I thought I should run short of story some days to come; my camera simply refused to talk the story in some of the days, it was not excited at all. But now I am still writing, or murmuring, in this midnight. I am surviving, "the pot of golds" is driving me, and Cerok Tokun continues to provide me with hint after hint on new wonder.

There is a gateway which was newly formed by a thunderstorm on my hiking trail and it leads the way to an adventure in my Wonderland. I would like to tell, though I followed to no rabbit hole, I descended very slowly down a tunnel lined with creeping plants and vines into a beautiful garden.

I then found a field of porterweeds; I was too overwhelmed by all the flowers, and only managed to talk about one.

The little purple buds apperaed small at the top, sprouted up in the middle, and fully bloomed at the next look. A bug was found sort of practicing meditation, so cool and calm, and I could not differentiate which was its head or tail. Anyhow I could not confirm this at the other end since I was beside a steep slope.

I proceeded further to discover some yellow flowers with smiling faces were inviting me. Luckily I saw no living playing cards nor the Queen who ordered "Off with their heads!". I saw only little unknown insect. It was harmless.

As I walked further, I found myself was back to civilization. The good journey was short, and my journey in the Wonderland had to come to an end.

This is another bag of flowers for you, and they are my pot of golds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Babbling, Wednesday

When looking back to the trail after hiking for these years, I asked myself how far I have travelled. Will I reach The Grand Canyon, Michigan or Sri Lanka one day? But am sure, however, I have covered more than the distance to Singapore, Bangkok or Philippines.

I do not need the help of a rope now, but who knows how the next day will be . It is not easy to climb up this far, that's why most people try to use the alternate way.

But it is a quiet path at which I find little little wonder, and to share out most of them, but to keep one or two as secrets to myself. Who knows these secrets may not be secrets anymore some days to come, they simply pop out like what the mushroom does. It is pale and dull.

But I like brighter stories, as bright as the flowers buds, ready to bloom. There are then countless of wonder between the petals.

At the time I shall reach The Grand Canyon, you will be rich with bags of mushrooms and flower buds.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Critters: Fiddler Crabs

Since then, I was found still squatting, and waiting for the little crabs before any bites by mosquitoes.

The following pictures though appear in sequence, those crabs actually came out from the holes at the same time. They moved partially out from the holes, checked the surrounding and the unprepared me, and retreated immediately when I started to response.

The game continued until both sides got tired, but they actually were semi-paralysed by the flashes.

This black one was found behind a rock. A little cautious while coming out, but became a immediate star who was stormed by flashes. Anyhow, it lasted not long.

A new target was waving its claw to me. The male crab has an over sized large claw that is used in clashes over a female.

"Ugh, I do not has any interest in your girl friend. I have mine."

The stare discomforted me. I moved my camera to the nearby handsome.

These fiddler crabs communicated to me by a sequence of waves and gestures, in an unfriendly manner. They are not afraid of any fighting. If they have lost legs or claws, a new one will grow when they molt. If the large fiddle claw is lost, one will be developed on the opposite side after the next molt.

Anyway I was not here to start a fight. They were only tiny crabs, the largest being slightly over two inches across.

I only wanted to take a few nice shots to share with my friends. Somehow I have accomplished my mission. I then called it a day, it was getting dark now.

Bye-bye my friends, see you all in my next trip.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

About my jogging trail

I did not talk much about my jogging trail though I have posted a few stories before.

I did not talked much, not because either me or she is shy. The sky is always dim when I am there. The monkeys, birds, crabs, lizards and some others have either returned home or well hidden by the dim light. I have nothing much to talk about.

The above picture on a river beside my jogging trail has appeared once in my blog, that is why it is downgraded into a dwarf. My story today began along the shore line, a swamp area, because I reached here very early today. And this very early had ended up seeing me taking pictures instead of dripping with sweat.

I wanted to show you some beautiful little crabs, this was my intention. When I got nearer, they disappeared into their hiding holes as fast as the squirrels. Then, there are no crabs today, except for that blue dragonfly. It never flied away even my camera was only two inches away. Poor little thing, my early series of flashlights should have made it losing its brain.

(This may be the trick: bombard the crabs with flashlight!! This must help).

Then came the lone mudskipper that seemed to lose its way. It was heading towards a hiding hole of a crab, at where my camera was pointed, waiting for the emergence of that little critter. Mudskippers are completely amphibious fish. They are able to spend days moving about out of water.

Since then, I was found still squatting like a statue besides the swamp, waiting for the little beautiful crabs before the sun set, before the guerrilla attacks by mosquitoes.

I could not deviate from my initial plan. That dragonfly or mudskipper had not successfully distracted me. There is an aim, there will be some pain, then come the gain.

I shall come back.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Black Mushroom

Hiking at Cerok Tokun every weekend, though has been a routine to me, is a process in which learning and joy can be derived from every step I have made.

It is not difficult to find mushrooms along my way, it requires only some attentions and a little bit of slowing down.

These little mushrooms managed to squeeze themselves out from the ground.

I saw these new born mushrooms on Saturday, when returning in the next morning, they had been smashed.

They had chosen to live at a wrong place.

You may also like this: Mushrooms From Cyberspace
and more mushrooms over here : Mushrooms - Gallery

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frogs, and their story

I learn and become more knowledgeable inch by inch every each time I go hiking, though I shall not grow further inch by inch as age gets older. Sometimes, I learn through hard finding, whereas some come easily; they invite me.

Yes, these frogs tried to make them noticeable by their call, until I got near to the pool. But how stupid I was, I could only see tadpoles, just because common sense told me to look at the water. I did not have difficulty in distinguishing their black body from the sandy base.

Where were the frogs?

They were keeping their silence to play the hide and seek game with me.

After a thorough search, I spotted them at the corner of the pool. I took their picture, felt satisfied, thus I continued with my hike. Not until I reached home, reviewed them under a bigger screen, and surprise again.

Before I continue, and before you go ahead to enlarge the next picture, please guess what I have seen. .. ... ... .... .....

Yes, I have seen two, or 2 frogs. I mean one frog each on top of the frogs you have seen as well. I first thought of the mother monkey who carries her baby and cleverly I thought I was absolutely right.

Why did they carry their baby in this manner? I know surfing Internet for an answer is one of the best way. (The monkeys do not know).

I found out I was wrong, and very wrong. (But why the size of male frogs are so small that lead me to think they are actually baby frogs).

These are what I have found:

"Once at the breeding ground, male frogs call to attract a mate, collectively becoming a chorus of frogs". "The male and female frogs then undergo amplexus. This involves the male mounting the female and gripping her (sometimes with special nuptial pads) tightly".

Then you know, they did not actually call me. They did not have any interest in me. I was too naive to assume the other way.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monkey Story

Do you need any workout after a forty-five minutes hike?

There is a new playground recently at the second stop where people can build muscles of other parts of body. This must be the theory. Otherwise we shall look very odd if we stress only our leg muscles the whole year long. But then, it must be too early for the rest in this morning. This place was empty.

Except for a lonely monkey, and this triggered my imagination again.

It is well known that monkeys learn, catch up and imitate what they have experienced from human behaviour very fast. What will happen during some quiet moments when there are no visitors around? Will the monkeys flex and stretch their muscles as what human does? I do not have the answer, but there certainly have some funny and interesting hidden stories.

The monkey showed me its suspicion and uneasiness when I tried to approach for some clarification. Its size was so small in comparison to the equipment. They must then look very cute and weird when trying to play around. What if there is a huge group of monkeys, fighting with each other in order to occupy the equipment, how the actual scene should be?

Anyhow, it was only a monkey available and it refused to tell me the interesting part of their story.

It simply walked away as I got myself closer. It did not have the interest in me. What a deadly dull monkey! It preferred to keep their secret. Maybe I shall ask some nearby trees for clues next time.

I do not have the answer, and so you are, yet there is no harm to let your imagination flying wild. Anyhow, those monkeys never bother what we have thought and how we shall tell the story.

They never surf Internet. They have less problems and worries.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I was on another trail

This entrance to another unknown was marked in a non-environmental-friendly way. It was alright to me anyhow though used bottles were being hung on branches of trees. MyJourney would still carry on.

A peep from the outside never gave me any hint on the inner world. In order to fulfill my adventurous desire I had then put myself inside. Here I came!! Yes, I started to, and could not stop myself from day-dreaming again: I was Indiana Jones without a whip.

The beginning part of the trail involved some twists and turns among the woods. These allowed me to see nothing far away on my descending path. Twist and turn can never tell me the true story. I could only see trees, and again trees, in this limited view. They were so many, I was confused which one I should talk to without prejudice, until I saw this tree which bore a "snaky-look". Talking to trees are very fun if you really want to, although we may use different languages, and this involves of many guess works. We chatted while I was still keeping my pace, I understood then there were surprises waiting for me upfront. Surprises? Yes, I loved them!

As I traveled further in the midst of buzzing sound of insects, I was surprise to realise my surroundings were sort of familiar to me. I was on the rocky trail which would lead me to the mini dam at the end!

Now my friend posed again in a same old look in a warm morning. This marked the end of my adventure and weekend routine.

(After all the twists and turns, the truth reveals that there are ample wonder around. And I was right when I got myself out from the maze of jungle trails).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I had seen after the rain

I am not a bird watcher and do not have patience to wait for birds to come along. Anyhow I do not think Cerok Tokun is a suitable place for this occasion though I did see bird watchers having their heavy equipment been set up on the hiking trail once upon a time. I have been hiking for years at this place, I heard not much bird chirping around.

To be honest, this is my sole picture showing a bird at Cerok Tokun. You may or may not see it. The result is nothing to do with "The Emperor's New Clothes" that cause you fear of appearing stupid.

It is the photographer's problem to have only one picture on hand besides that little bird hiding itself too well.

And I thought I could find some more birds around. Yes, I did find something that fly, but it was not a bird and was even smaller than a bird.

It should have stared at me for a long time at many different angles at one time. I know I have to picture it in my post, so everyone of you can help to stare back to this fearless insect at many angles at one time, and I can declare that human has finally win the war.

It is a nonsensical Thursday, and is just the start of the day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It was a wet weekend during which I continued with my travel. I was like a snail, carried along no shell but a backpack, moving slowly and leaving a trail behind. A trail that is visible to you in the blogosphere.

It was wet all over the places. Everything looked clean and clear after the wash out, but someone might perceive it differently. The wooden hammocks were left idle.

It was a little different for me as well as I shifted my search to something that looked very ordinary and nothing special to usual me.

And I took the picture of a leaf that was found lying on my trail. I could see the days the leaf was with the worms or bugs. I could see the water droplets which served no more purpose to the veins that originally supposed to transport water throughout the leaf, besides as a structural support. Somehow it served its final task to decorate my picture of the leaf.

My wonder started from here, and it continued.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Little Purple Flowers

They were as tiny as my finger nail, and were not as many as the ferns, but the attracting purple colours had adorned this place, good enough for me to stop for some pictures.

The flowers occupied a luxurious stay on a long green stem which was too long to be captured fully, and unintentionally the reach to the sky was omitted at which I might find Jack and the Beanstalk. (This reminds me that I have missed Alice for far too long, though I continue to look for my Wonderland, and I have never heard anything about Alice from Ratty as well).

The wet weather added some crystal looks to the flowers. The droplets formed strings of jewels on the fibrils of a cobweb. These are indications of peace and tranquillity. This is why I love trekking after rainy day, or even hiking during drizzly morning.

I have not talked much about the flowers, instead I would like you to feel them by yourselves. Feel by your heart while seeing them in pictures, what can you get?

Friday, July 10, 2009

It Continues

My murmuring continues further from the previous post...

As I travel along, I often see a place differently with the help of my camera, it is partly due to my perception, and sometimes because of the environmental changes.

I do not have much talking with the animals in Cerok Tokun recently, they either fly or leap too fast to listen to me or to reply a greeting. But I have spent some moments wondering around the corner of the sky. Yes, wondering while wandering around. The view on Mengkuang Dam, due to the distance, is easily affected by the weather. My earlier post did not manage to present her clearly due to the haze; as heavy rainfall temporary washing away the haze, she was then masked by mist in this early morning, she changed her look again in the warmth of morning sun later on.

Of course, my camera would like to tell you the story in different depths and colours, but it chose also not to tell you the full story due to its limitation. It look very quiet, but Mengkuang Dam is in fact always packed with people who come for jogging, kayaking, Tai Ci and so on.

As I moved my lens further backward, you must then see and feel differently. You are breathing more freely, and you are released, from the forest to the next heaven.

I like the last one. It is not visible if without the help of technology. How do you think about the waterscape? Or you might have forgotten about her presence.

We can be distracted and lose our focus very easily. And we can see and feel the same thing very differently at different time.

If you see the other half very differently this day, your love one is still actually the same person, except you are under illusion...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Interaction With Sky

My joyfulness at Cerok Tokun last weekend has enlightened me to search for new wonder that I have never done before. It happened when I was watching the sky, pondering upon why this and why that, and starting to murmur on the silent trail.

The morning sun was less glaring but yet not friendly to be pictured.

The sky was static in term of minutes in comparison to the critters that jumped or flied here and there, and this was good enough for me to experiment on my camera with different settings in order to have a friendly interaction with the morning sun.

We communicated, rectified problems and re-tried, my giant star had finally posed a few nice shots, with exposure time set at 1/640 sec. He looks gentle in one of them which turns out to be the first picture you are seeing, if you are not, then he must be too humble to be noticable.

He suggested to adapt a new pose whereby I could exhibit his fatherhood. I did not aware the result turned out to be far more better than I had expected, not until I reached home for a review under a bigger screen.

I can feel the rays of sunshine, other than seeing them. I was so glad to be there, inspired by him and able to share with you.

This was my interaction with sky, in the camera way, and yours may be in some different manners, but they will meet at the same end, I wish.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Happy Day

I thought I might miss hiking this week. I woke up in a rainy morning, it was 5am. By 7am, I managed to squeeze out a smile as it was only drizzling by then.

In fact, I experienced strong blowing wind for this first time at Cerok Tokun. I needed to use my pair of ears intensively. Besides watching trees shaking vigorously, I had to differentiate between rubbing sound of leaves and branches, and breaking sound of branches.

If you can imagine that type of sound when wind blowing through a tunnel, then you were with me, and we finally reached the peak hesitantly, without bringing any umbrella, but holding a camera all the way.

The temperature was as cold as about 23 degree C which could be felt by the tip of my nose.

It was misty at the peak, that can be shown, but to capture vibrating trees and strong blowing wind were beyond my limit. Somehow, the carpet of fallen leaves helped to tell the story.

I no more squeezed out any smile when I waved my girl friend goodbye. I was actually laughing happily. It was another fresh and good morning.

I would like to use the next picture to explain my passion.

A happy day to you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Behind the beauty

The visibility of distant view is yet to return to normal during these haze conditions. I have a few pictures showing aeriel views between the woods, thought of keeping them until I can get some better one when the sky is clearer, somehow my patience fails again.

Paddy field is one of the scenic point along the trail, but only visible to those who trek almost to the top. As the trail winds its way up the hill, I can enjoy different views at different points.

Behind the beauty, there are some damages which are either happening silently inside the jungle or are made known to us openly.

(The forest fires which are the root causes of haze are a regular occurrence during the dry season in every year, with timber and plantation firms often blamed for deliberately starting fires to clear land).

This landslide is not a new occurance; though the bare body never shies us away, but does expose itself to the vigorous touches of winds and rains.

Damages can be done in many ways to our nature. She may look gorgeous, but she is fragile at the same time, yet we are as minute as an ant, when embracing by her.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The footprint

I know they were here although have never met them before. They always appeared while I was not around. And they traveled in groups.

There are numerous evidences in the jungle that prove their existence.

I manage to dig out some of their information. They like to mark their trail with paper and their traditional symbol is the outline of a human foot.

They are the hashers.

I heard that they pre-laid their trails hours or days before the hash began, which involved chopping down of bushes and grasses. It must be very interesting to join them, except time is not on my side.

They may walk a long journey, trek from one hill to another, which takes hours to be completed.

At the end, I do still know not much about them.

HHH, 3H, Penang Hash House Harriers & Harriettes?