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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Journey

Different people may have different exposure and perspective from which experience and knowledge are gathered. But to the same person, because of different times and places that things have appeared to us, the understanding may vary as well.

I have thought and written about looking from bottom-up. Things were absolutely in the other way from what we use to perceive.

We move along from day to day, we may indulge ourselves in nature occasionally. We smell her breath and listen to her. The trek may be winding, bumpy and slippery but we take up these challenges bravely and persistently. We may not know what is waiting for us upfront but we enjoy the peacefulness along the journey.

mountain trek, Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

We move along from day to day, we may climb from one staircase to another and from one building to another. The higher we go, the more and better we see and the more minute we think we are. We make mistake, we seek for pardon and we correct it.

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

These are our journeys. We may start at different points but we shall meet at the same end point finally. Life can be complicated but the end is simple.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour

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Earth hour...My house had been lit with candles and with no Internet and TV yesterday.

By the moment the candles were blown out, did we achieve what we have intended to?

I greeted to Trees and told them about Earth Hour this morning. They whispered their happiness to me and wished us all the best. They are simple and naive to believe in what we have done. Anyhow I chose not to look at the drinking bottles that were lying at the other end of the slope.

I saw water flowing and little fishes were swimming in this clean and clear creek. I enjoyed the quite, cool and fresh atmosphere. I trekked and breathed, left behind the squirrels, monkeys or birds that might not like to be disturbed today.

I choose to be happy today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

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I like to witness and enjoy calmness in different perspective. It was late when I reached this estuary. These fishing boats had settled down from a hard day's work. They were now safe from any thunderstorms and roaring waves.

This place is a synonym to our home as to the fishing boats.

Home shelters us from the elements. The tired man will finally return home. No matter how far we have travelled, we shall go home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Durian

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I picked the other side of the junction at the end of normal jogging trek today. I was going to further my adventure as a continuation of my incomplete story from last week at Mengkuang Dam.

But it turned up to be not so eventful along this winding path. Little butterflies and dragonflies were the only living creatures I had met so far . A brook should be hidden behind the bushes on my right as I could hear the sound of flowing water. One thing that worth mentioning but may not to the local readers is that there was a Durian plantation here.

This was the first time I ever saw the Durian flowers and even interested to know that Durians are pollinated by cave fruit bats. The Durian fruit matures approximately three months after pollination. But different species from different trees may mature at different times, this is why I see Durians are being sold right now though trees over here have just started to bloom.

Durian fruit is revered locally as the "king of fruits". The key word is locally, others may tell the other way. Try to search Google for “how smelly is the Durian", you will get a long list of result with two extreme answers, Travel and food writer Richard Sterling said “its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” Further to this, Anthony Burgess, a British novelist wrote, “Eating Durian is like eating sweet raspberry blancmange in the lavatory”. A British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace did describe that taste as “A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds…but there are occasional wafts of flavor that call to mind cream-cheese, onion sauce, sherry wine and other incongruous dishes.” Its smell can last for a few hours in the car though I keep them for one hour from the stall to home. Anyhow, I love Durian the most, the more I eat and the more I want.

By the way, the name Durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) plus the suffix -an (which form a noun in Malay). If you have the chance to take Durians at your place, you may get the species that are not too smelly because they were cut from trees before ripen. Those fall off from trees after ripen fully are considered good Durian for their aroma and alcoholic taste.

Before I leave, one point you have to know: There must be squirrels around beacuse Durian is one of their favourites.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I was a Hunter with no gun

"Hey!! The coconut tree may be uprooted at anytime." A passer-by shouted the joke upon seeing me staring at the tree. Ha! I replied yes but in fact I was a hunter. A hunter who was scouting around for wonder up and down. This must be quite odd a behavior in the eyes of a stranger for a hunter with no gun but carried only camera.



Anyhow I discovered a Cockoo Dove on top of a coconut tree as a compensation for the earlier embarrassment. This was the first time I found it up so high. This brown Cuckoo Dove usually looks for food in the open space and returns to the bush immediately when someone is approaching.



Hold on, I can hear your whisper. Yes! Yes! I did not forget about the hunting for squirrels that I have mentioned in previous post.

By the way, I used to be cautious when branches and leaves started to shake. So far this method worked very well though it should be much more easier to detect a squirrel on a bare tree.

By the time I had myself beside a messy bush, my experience told me there should be a squirrel around. I stayed put and waited for its appearance. This tested my patience since nothing happened within my eyesight for a while. I had enough time for the game, this had effectively forced the squirrel to surrender finally.

Though I managed to hunt the creature, the click action was too fast for any focus. Was the image at the center of the picture a real squirrel? In order to prove I am not telling a lie, I continued my hunting game.


This came my photography skill for a dummy. I pointed my camera towards the area where I predicted the squirrel would appear and I waited. Whenever I detected any movement, I simply clicked continuously without second thought. This is the concept of a machine gun whereby out of hundreds shots, there should be at least one hit target.

The next picture is the only one that I have successfully captured the squirrel. The squirrel was quick and tricky, but I was the better one at the end.


And now you have to know my story cannot be continued further since I have exhausted the pictures on squirrels. Yes, I agree with you my maximum is two, but these two did not come easily.

The squirrel should be asleep by now. Good night.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Kampong

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It was Saturday morning and it rained the whole morning until noon. The temperature was cool when I was on my way to a grocery. I heard birds chirping and frogs croaking. Thanked to the rain for this unusual noon. It lured me to get ready my digital camera and cycling around the kampong (village) for a refresher.

I went to the paddy field which I visited last December. The harvest season was over by that time but I was seeing golden rice stalks hanging down in front of me right now. My luck was good enough beacuse it was only a near miss for the pictures. I saw a reaping machine was being unloaded from a trailer on the main road.



Walking around to find some fishes, I found snails in the water instead. It should worth a living to collect these snails as in French cuisine, snail is a much celebrated delicacy.

I made my move to the other side of the paddy field which was behind the row of houses for my next exploration.


Hah! It was a totally different view at all after the gathering process was well over. Guess what you can see from the picture? This is not a puzzle. I found at least three Bitterns were wading on the muddy field nearby the trees and one more was on top of a tree.

You will be able to see them when you enlarge the picture, only the capability of my digital camera does not allow a good view. This similar Bittern bird was spotted later at a riverbank though the picture is yet to be perfect.



MyJourney continued then I discovered a place where squirrels played the hide-and-seek with me. I learned further some photography skills for dummy on squirrels. I'll be back on this.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"When it comes to love, sometimes tree's a crowd"

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I read a tall tale in Reader Digest about a girl who married to a quite and polite spouse. He would never answer back nor ran around. And when she divorced him, he was just wooden without any contest.

The girl had actually been told by a fortune teller that only her second marriage would work. It was easy to get divorced from a tree than a human, this was the only reason her parents married her to a nearby oak.

If I am the parents, instead of marrying her to an oak, I can marry her to some other innocent tropical trees that I know better and talk to frequently.


How about the one that cares to look at mirror day and night asking "mirror mirror on water, who is the most handsome of them all" or our thinnest little brother that grows tall among the rugged?



May be the richest in the forest with a chain of glaring jewels hanging down from his neck, or the tree that is actually a lovely Dalmatian in disguise.



Or simply get married to a banana tree that is easily found in the neighbourhood. After all, banana is still delicious and good to eat after the divorce.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Close up look at SJ


I revisited SJ this evening after the last visit one week ago. There is a request from The Retired One for a close up on "Malaysian Cherry". One week to us is a small fraction of time, but it is a life time to these flowers. I saw almost all of them have returned to their origin, some were still fresh, some were rotten over time on the ground.

By the way, some were still waiting for me in order not to disappoint my friend. Although look aged and tired, they managed to pose for some shoots in the wind.


They were as weak as a piece of tissue paper. They were too far up for a good close up using macro view and shaky hand. They have tried their last best before going back to eternity. And they were so kind enough to introduce their neighbour to me.



Hope that you like them as well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blossom in SJ

We never have four seasons in a tropical country like Malaysia, however some kinds of flowers do blossom in certain months of the year. These occurrences at different times usually relate to certain sentimental events that happened sometimes ago. Similarly when I heard The Beatles on the air with the song Let It Be, I shall never forget the moment when I was a child my neighbor used to sing it loud while he was having his bath. This is a story of long long time ago that is not in my interest today.

These "Malaysian Cherry" starts to fully blossom on March every year. The gorgeous line up can be seen at many places in the town.

One of my anonymous blogging buddies who I believe should be my ex-colleague commented in last month about the blossom. It was too early that time I saw only a few lonely flowers that emerged from buds.

We have been retrenched from the place that we have served for more than fifteen years at this time three years ago. The blossoms were as beautiful as now. They will continue to bloom and continue to witness lesser people walking out from the same building in the future.

The blossoms were really beautiful and attractive, I saw two young men were taking pictures when I reached there. They were just some other passengers in my day who would not get to know my story, somehow just let it be.


How things will be on the next blossom?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Trekking at Mengkuang Dam

I have made a change on my trekking plan yesterday morning. I went jogging at Mengkuang Dam again after a long break. I like to alternate between hiking and jogging becasue I believe different exercise does stress different muscle.

By its name, I saw most of the time water, images on water and a large crowd of people around this small dam. There was no adventure but looked more like a weekend family outing for most of the people.

Not to be adventurous for at least a little moment was not a good idea to me, I had then continued my jogging to the trek that little people have ever gone to. This decision thus separated me from the outside world, I was alone on a quite muddy track which was surrounded by more trees.


Unlike the usual track that has been shown in the second picture, most parts of this extended path were not visible behind the trees. There must be animals up on the trees! I tried to peep around and to listen carefully, yet it seemed like no sign of animal nearby.

Don't get me wrong, of course, there are plenty of fish inside the water, but they are not my aim. Adventure should be equal to wildness.

May be I shall try another side of the trek on my next visit for some new discoveries.