Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mengkuang Dam

What can I tell from a picture?

First of all, if you have followed me regularly, you can tell it is Mengkuang Dam, and I have almost pictured its full view from Cerok Tokun.

The far left corner with green patch of grasses is where the entrance and car park are located. The well visible pathway until the sharp tip at the top is a portion of the jogging trek, another part is hidden behind the woods from the entrance to the the right after the first bend and goes uphill and down, until then, there is a junction. If you choose the right turn, there is a durian plantation waiting for you, or there is a long long way for you to further you trekking, along the dam, alone, ascending and descending, and adventurous, as shown in the picture, if you choose the left turn.

I usually spend around half and hour jogging at the normal jogging trail. Mengkuang Dam is not too far from BM town or Berapit. If you would like to hike with me, Cerok Tokun is slightly further away, but you can have its clear view from both places.

I am writing this because I have received an email asking where one can go trekking nearby Berapit. And I am happy if I can answer correctly.

I have read these in the Internet:

In 1904, the New Year's ball dropped for the first time in Times Square, New York City. In Japan, everyone laughs at the stroke of midnight to ensure good luck in the New Year. In Philippines, children jump ten times when the clock strikes twelve, hoping to grow taller in the new year. In Mexico, some people take out their suitcases and walk around the block, hoping it would help them travel during the next year.

Have a great New Year! I have started counting: 100, 99, 98, 97, 96.....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Are Birds Educated?

Are birds educated? Do they attend classes like we do? If yes, do they ever skip school like some of us?

I am not too crazy to ask this question. It has its own reason.

I saw a Kingfisher perching at this signboard which read as "a restricted area", and you can read the universal language as an alternative.

"A man is holding a rifle, the other is shot".

This educated Kingfisher was laughing. No bird was shot.

It was laughing so loud and was teasing me with its mouth wide open, body shook to left and right, up and down. Though impolite, and somehow its body language hurt me, it was picturing the truth. The truth is sometimes cruel.

I turned away from the place which was intended to be my paradise, where I had spent many hours taking pictures, pondering and observing. This educated Kingfisher simply shied me away, from the dam this morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Colours of Shadow

I had asked this question since the early morning, and continued while I was in front of my notebook. I went hiking, and did some garden jobs in between, the question followed.

What is the colour of a shadow? A trivial question? Is black the answer?

Internet told me when we stand in the sunlight, some of the light is stopped while other rays pass on in a straight-line path. A shadow is formed where light ray cannot reach. Then a shadow should be in black, this is the law of Nature.

But trees told me differently when I was at Cerok Tokun. That is only an assumption of human which cannot be applied in the kingdom of trees. They insisted.

Yes, I shall honestly not to argue. All advices from my friends are valuable.

As I followed, I noticed their "shadows" appeared to be reflecting the original colours and were very lively. Then there is no reson shadows must be in black?

The "shadows" were seen twisting and dancing with the ripples, and I was reminded to record down this moment while being too focus on this beauty, and that of the blue sky with white fluffy cloud.

I was led to the shady area again. Everyone of these trees was simply too overwhelmed with my trivial issue. They showed me more evidence.

And finally I have to agree that shadows are not limited to only black. They are colourful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Yellow-bellied Bulbul

Everything seemed to be quiet this morning. The sky was not as blue as before, and no breeze was whispering through the little leaves.

The only two monkeys around were too happy to enjoy their sweet moment.

As I was moving away, I spotted a Yellow-bellied Bulbul, (if I am right, but the tail looks slightly long for a Bulbul) perching at the same guide rail where a Kingfisher was seen a few weeks back.

It was then seen strolling along the rail, back and forth, like what could be seen at a circus.

And then it made an intentional dive the moment I started my continuous shooting mode. This is what we call consensus whereby no talking is required.

It landed at the side of the pathway, and started to stroll again. Flying might be too tired at one time, and walking would be more relaxing. Hmmm... I must be right. If I am able to fly, will I feel the same while flying against the gravity?

I rather prefer to stand firmly on a solid ground.

What if I pull an emergency stop during the flight? What if I get tired half way up in the sky? What if .......

The Bulbul was bored with my many what if's, it flew to another lower level, to the top of the overflow passageway. It was thirsty. It needed some drinks.

But then my story was forced to end abruptly when we saw the monitor lizard. It might be heading towards its home at the top of the dam.

And everything had returned to normal within a minute. The Bulbul flew away. The lizard was out of sight.

It seemed like nothing had happened before.

(I have these problems for quite a long time. 1. Blogger reduces the size of my pictures immediately after they have been uploaded, no way for me to edit using Edit Html. 2. they are sometimes cannot be clicked to view. If someone can help, please tell me).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ordinary Beauties

I have been spending more time by the dam recently.

There was a farmer in ancient China who found a fainted rabbit after it had bumped against a tree. He returned the next day, staying by the tree day after day, hoping to see another reckless rabbit. At the end, his paddy field was left unattended, and of course, his luck had never returned.

I am not as foolish as the farmer spending the whole day waiting, and my luck seems to be far better than his.

This weed is as ordinary as any little girl who stays next door, but she always pull our attention whenever she shows up.

And if you happen to know, the colour of water over here has changed from muddy brown to forest green after a few days of rainfalls. And it floats this little white flower that had showed its beauty when it bloomed, and continues to decorate and provide a good composition to the picture before return to the eternity finally.

And this green post is dedicated to my friends who are having white snow of the early winter.

And Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mushroom Cookies for Christmas

Christmas is around the corner. Everybody is by now overwhelmed with the festive mood, and my hand phone is playing the seasonal songs during my hiking.

Santa Claus is coming to town?

What if I see those flying reindeer pulling the sleigh of Santa Claus, sliding down from the top of Cerok Tokun, Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho while he is laughing, Santa Claus starts to deliver Christmas gifts to us, what can I offer back?

I have these mushroom cookies for him if he is willing to stop by, and if he can stand the bad smell of my sweat-soaked body.

I have
cups of wine to cheer with him, but I do not think he likes this idea. Wine would not go well with his thick red and white suit in this humid weather.

Does he drink Chinese tea?

Yet I do believe the mushroom cookies with vanilla icing must be his favourite.

If Santa Claus happens to come by, he will come back the next year again. Otherwise, he will miss the mushroom cookies.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I took one but was gifted with three

I had spent two and a half hours to come back here, but you were here waiting for me. As usual, the only thing that would have attracted me in a distance is that you, the one in red.

Sorry, I had to move away fast in order not to get myself a really deep suntan. I had been looking, waiting and spending too much time on the Dusky Langur and the baby. I was just too excited to have learned a new experience.

I aimed at you, but got three in return. One red and another green dragonflies. Then what was the third?

This is how our life is supposed to be. Just let it be, and surprise will be there waiting for us. It may be a wonder, or a trivial encounter. And it can be a positive or simply a negative surprise.

So what was the third?

The green had left, the red was flying away. The third was statued at the same spot. It was not clear in picture due to the shallow depth of field.

The green had returned now, and you had landed. The third one remained undisturbed. But I really had to leave you all behind due to the intense heat.

(All the three, both dragonflies and the grasshopper continued to enjoy their day. They are born to be stronger than me, at least, when facing the burning hot sun).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Baby

I have bought a book on photography recently. Since then, I have experimented on some features of my camera which have not been explored before. It certainly brings excitement, the only thing that has annoyed me are the negative excitements.

I have shown you a long-tailed Macaque with her baby during last Mother's day. The baby was cute, and sort of like mother like son.

But thing cannot always be assumed in the same logic. I saw a Dusky baby was born bright orange in contrast with its grey mother or parents. This was a real excitement to an ignorant me. I confirmed later that this orange colour has nothing to do with any illness or disease.

Here come my negative excitement.

I was cleverly manipulating my different settings when the mother came into sight. I pointed and shot immediately without thinking twice. The picture was not clear as expected, but luckily the creature was still identifiable as a Dusky Langur.

There are always second chance, as what we expect in our life. And this is my second chance with the assumed correct setting.

I did not ask for third or forth chance. The mother had carried her baby to behind some dense woods.

I saw the branches shaking left and right, up and down like a cradle. The breeze was singing lullaby. The baby must be sound asleep.
Have a good sleep, my friend.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It Thought It Could Hide itself

I saw a Kingfisher uttering to itself nearby the dam. Its voice was not sweet but dry and rattling. This might be the sound of lonesome. It murmured, stopped, and continued, and repeated. I kept my silence. It might not see me. It was too focus on its ownself.

It looked high and low, like what I always do. I did not know its purpose, though I know mine. This can't help to answer my question.

I did see some insects flying just in front of this kingfisher, but it was never bothered.

We remained the status quo for a few minutes, until I took time to change my camera setting.

The Kingfisher must have noticed me. It turned its back to me thinking this would help to camouflage itself againt the blue sky, or it was to shy to face me further.

It did not intend to fly away. The murmuring continued. It turned its head back occationally to check out whether I was still around. I should have left, but I never, just tried to find out some unknown secrets.

I was then interpreting that it might be waiting for its mate that failed to turn up. That was not proved even I insisted on staying further.

During my next changing on the setting, it flew away. This left me without any clues, and was just busy for nothing, on a bird's affair.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the Road Again

I placed my backpack on the ground, unzipped and took out my camera, zipped back, switched on the camera, checked the setting, removed the lens cap, laid down and, ready to take the shots.

I was supposed to see a few swallows circling above the trees in my pictures. The golden and white colours that were painted on their feathers by the morning sun had magically changed from one side to another, when the swallows were flying in different directions.

I was supposed to, but actually not. When I was ready, the birds were gone. I had captured only some bright and dark branches.

Yes, I was on the road again, and was as strong as before, kept overtaking others and exercised my heart to the extreme during the ascending trail.

This is somewhere near the peak where I make my turning back nowadays. I do not like to hike near the telecommunication towers.

And all these trees have thus become my closed friends, they housed the monkeys for my pictures, and they change as when the weather changes; they can be mysterious behind the foggy weather, or stand up uniquely against the blue sky.

I am happy with the pictures without any birds, they still look good in their own way. What if I remove the second picture, can I tell I have snowflakes atop the trees? I am in winter time too even it visits only the other side of the world.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Saw A Rainbow

Ohhh...have suffered from food poisoning, and did not attend to my virtual office, or simply did not get near to my PC for last two days.

Just let's cheer up with the rainbow which was captured at my balcony last Monday evening. Though it looked faded and light, it was still a rainbow before disappeared totally.

At the same time on the opposite direction, that was a kite flying high. It kept a few of us asking whether it was a kite or an aeroplane before that.

A simple rainbow or an ordinary little kite has never failed to attract our attention if we still open up our eyes.

There is always an exception, I slept day and night for last two days.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Journey

This is my journey. As long as always follow the trail, I shall reach the destination at the end, be it easy or rocky, bright or dim, ascending or descending.

There are always twists and turns awaiting me somewhere, or I may pick my pot of gold on some of the days, otherwise it is just one ordinary day to me.

This is the journey which I have chosen.

And this is the journey of the colony of ants. They have their own invisible trail which they will follow by the rule.

They have to ascend or descend along the journey which is not much different from mine.

They may occasionally stop for some checking, but the travel will continue.

Same as mine, just keep going on.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sky Watch

I am having many unsolved problems. They tend to trouble me the time I am awake. I have lost my appetite though plentiful of berries are an arm reached from me.

What can I do? Who can help me?

I am totally lost.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Web

I do not understand why and how I am attracted by the web, and this continues to bother me. I have landed on it, and have myself sticked to it. I am its prey by now.

Is it a world of monochrome, or the other way? There is a pair of hollow eyes looking out from there, and a big mouth keep yelling.

I have been getting bored with it occationally.

Are you a victim as well? If yes, how do you feel? If no, why is it?