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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Park

Read about moss all the while and saw even in up-close thus suggested me to picture some. I really tried within lapse of seconds during which any passer-by was temporary blocked by the "twist and turn" of the trail. Yes, how can I get a good picture in seconds without a second or more try. I had not managed to dance with the moss successfully at where the moss grew picturesquely, somehow I did manage to do something on this trail as long as I want.

This is the path leading to a pavilion besides the stream with a series of falls that we can see at the background. A rolling stone gathers no moss, but spoils the moss. We do not have any rolling stone nor many people coming here, this is the reason why this moss could have stayed for all these times.

I was here hoping to uncover every hidden wonder that yet to be registered. I might not get it this time but continuous effort would surface a hoard of gold later.

Peeping leftward was one of the two car parks available at Cerok Tokun and this is the smaller among the two. Anyhow adding up both is still a problem for us during the peak hour in the morning. Then you may understand why I had to grab any opportunity happens within seconds if I wish to bend and squat for a lovely picture before I turn out to be a clown in front of the crowd.

This is a better parking lot whereby the other one seems to invite frequent visits of monkeys. I did see once a monkey played around on top of a car bending and pulling the aerial of car audio.

Not much excitement from today, but continuous non-stop excitement is tiring and harmful to health.

Good night...........

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monkey and the Cat

I would like to bring you back to the dam for a short line before telling you my new encounter today. I checked through my hard disk and discovered the first picture. Feeling kind of uneasy if I have not registered it in my website. That it's.

As usual, I had my hunting for something interesting with my camera ready on hand after the one and half hours trek. Of course, I was soaked in sweat and stank to high heaven. Surely you would not like to get any nearer.

This was what had happened to a monkey. I spotted it, I got closer, anyway it tried to move away for a safer distance. Was that assumption right? Absolutely no, there were actually something that had attracted this monkey. If you look carefully, you may find many raw green fruits on the ground. They were Rambutan. I am not going to tell more about them today. But I'll come back when these hairy fruits are fully ripen in red colour.

As I moved step after step, this monkey somehow finally reached to the bottom of a Rambutan tree. My next move will then see it going up the tree, leaping to the next and back to the wild.

Incidentally, a cat should have observed our game and appeared suddenly between us from nowhere. This was a very close encounter that kept the monkey in surprise. It was alert, it screamed, it jumped, its eyes looked as much fierce as you could imagine and it signalled why not go for a fight. The cat seemed to be not interested to go nearer. The monkey kept jumping and waving its hands in an aggresive mode. Before a real fight started, the cat roared and retreated quaickly to the underneath of a car.

All these happened within seconds, though it is lengthy in writing.

It was weird to see such a rare happening.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Green-eyed Monster

You are entering a restricted zone right now and may be then towed away like a illegally parked car. It is your decision now and you are taking at your own risk.

Well, you have made up your mind with no regret. Let follow me to the inner part for some nice waterscape. As you can observe, this is really a small dam. The images of tree have almost covered half of its surface.

The quiet and empty security post seems to have retired from its usual function, and most importantly, there is no any riffle being pointed towards me through the window. If you take a look at my previous post, there is an opening under the walkway and above the wall. This is where water is released during a few days of continuous heavy rainfalls. By the way, I thought I have captured a blue Kingfisher flying across the water, but it is not really after a few reviews and scanning.

A interesting quiz strikes my mind when I am writing and looking at the shadow of the metal fencing in the picture. What do you think the time was at that moment?

Looking to my right side, the second picture thus reflected what has actually been imprinted in my mind. I always love the mirror-like water surface that tells the true story of the actual things. You should have enjoyed a few if you have walked along with me for all these times. If not, these water colour or not an ugly duckling are nice as appetizers. Otherwise you can find some similarities at Mengkuang Dam.

Please do not be over jealous of the vastness of greeneries which almost overwhelms my surrounding, either on top of or on the water and you will then end up as a green-eyed monster.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Small Dam

I shall take you to another new place at Cerok Tokun today. You must know that not many local people are aware and not all the hikers have ever visited this place. I was one of them before. And you are not one of them now.

On the way to another adventurous journey, there was a surprise which hid itself on the other side of a piece of dead wood. The focus might be a little bit out but the mushrooms looked much uniquely white.

I stayed for a while trying to figure out the best angle for the pictures before MyJourney continued for next stop.

Waiting for me in front was a giant wall. The mysterious pathway although reached to a dead end, it did oversee this giant wall day in day out. I mean it was a giant wall if I looked far away. Actually it was the side wall of a small dam.

The "giant" side wall of a "small" dam. What a weird description.

The wall was quite steep and it must be slippery on the left side where I could see traces of water mark. It was interesting to note that I saw monkeys earlier staying on the wet part of the wall. They should be taking some drink with the capability of Spiderman. When I came nearer they disappeared themselves in the wood.

Wandering around further I met a signboard showing "Kawasan Larangan" which meant restricted area. Having a peep at the surrounding, I ignored the gun shot and decided to push open the sliding door. I'll take you to the inner part of the top of the dam in the next post.

(Hopefully this post will not be the evidence that I have broken the law).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Tarnished Pathway

Not much further away from the mangosteen tree, as I walked, I found a staircase that should have hidden away from hot sun for most of the time. It was tarnished, aged and looked dark in colour. I did not intend to link this place to any ancient structure but it was sort of similar to that I could imagine. It might not be abandoned but surely was less frequently visited.

The staircase was not obvious to the public as it was located behind a turn, and this turn turned this pathway into a mysterious trail, within the surround of a forest , that I tried to conceive.

Indiana Jones might have visited before, together with his crew in this tropical jungle, running a booby-trapped gauntlet to fetch the lost Ark.

As I walked on this archaeological pathway, I pictured myself holding the Raiders whip on the way to discover the artifact at the other far end, though having myself exposed to attack from fighters hidden in the turrets and ramparts above.

As soon as I reached the "end", I stopped, I pondered should I continue my search for the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors.

I had never tossed the coin, yet I decided not to adventure into the jungle or rather the bush. I was no Indiana Jones the archaeologist, I was Rainfield who did not welcome any mosquito bites or snake dance. It might be very adventurous inside, there might be really some treasures hidden inside centuries ago. But I had returned to the real me.

And I returned home safely though without holding the lost Ark.

Related post you may like to read:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mangosteen, the queen of fruits

My recent adventures in Cerok Tokun have become more and more interesting and full of excitement after I expanded MyJourney from focusing solely on the altitude to area surrounding the park. This place somehow is so "new" to me now although I have been here for years.

I have re-visited the tree with termites building their nest covering up the tree bark for about 8 feet high from the ground . The scratched area has not been rebuilt, thanks to my damaging power.

In the neighbourhood, I found some juvenile mangosteen fruits scattering around the ground. These were not seen during my previous visit and this simply showed that I has not been able to recognise a mangosteen tree without any clues.

This juvenile fruits are pale green in colour. On the bottom of the rind, there are raised ridges or remnants of the stigma that correspond to the number of aril sections.

The one in the middle of the picture is a mangosteen tree. It is about 40 feet tall but may grow up to 75 feet. It looks nothing much different nor unique from some of its neighbours, this must be the reason it has been overlooked by me so far.

Mangosteen is called “the queen of fruits" in Asia that contrary to what durian is named "the King of fruits". The creation of both is considered the goodness of nature since we believe too much consumption of durian may cause "excessive internal heat", taking mangosteen will then cool down our body. It is interested to note further that both fruits ripen in the same season. What a terrific arrangement.

The matured fruit contains a dark purple softer rind and is roughly about the size of a tangerine. The edible inner white arils are sweet enough when the fruit is fully ripen, thus we always receive black little ants as a supplement at the time we bring the fruits back home.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Swallow, my flying guest

I have a few regular guests that spend their night in my house. Most of the times they come in pair, sometimes there are three of them. My son says the third is their kid. It may be so.

They usually check in at around seven in the evening and leave either for a living or wandering around as early as seven in the morning. They may be forced to wake up so early by the noises when my wife is ready to leave for school.

There are bushes and rice fields nearby, they do not need to worry about flying a far distance to search for food. Then this tiny little corner, though not really five-star rated, serves the best place for them to have a long night rest.

A close up view seeing them turn their head towards me. Suspicious. Cautious. Almost all the animals always keep their precaution against the curiosity of human. Wary. One more flash or one more movement and they will flap their wings furiously and fly away.

Do not be fooled by their sleepy eyes, they get energised as fast as a Ferrari, they will simply lose in sight within seconds.

Their stay is always free of charge, but I would like to ask for some clean-up fees if they don't mind.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Penang is one of the World Heritage Site. Yes, I mean there are handful of colonial heritage to be spotted anywhere in this small island. I am the man who like wandering around with camera and showing off every beauty available.

The foreground of the first picture is Fort Cornwallis where Captain Francis Light first set foot on this island in 1786. In the background is the Penang Harbour Lighthouse. Climbing up the lighthouse and looking forward we can see Peninsular Malaysia. If you would have shouted loud enough you should receive a shouted reply across the Straits of Melaka from me who stay in the mainland. There is red flash from the lighthouse in every two seconds. I do not think it serves any navigational purpose but much of giving us a heads up that it have survived for over 120 years.

On the other side of Fort Cornwallis, here is the Jubilee Clock Tower that was build to mark the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Victoria. It is interesting to share that the clock tower look more like a minaret of a mosque from which Muslims are called to pray.

This is the place where people gather around for the New Year Countdown. When the clock strikes twelve, the clock tower should be proudly announcing we are entering to a new era, but most of us must have refused to accept that we are getting older by another year.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Network

My wireless network to the outside world had totally been cut off for one and a half day. It was so frustrated and looked crippled until I managed to find time to shop for a replacement for my damaged modem.

Our broadband link to external is advanced and complicated but it is weak and fragile. It just ceased to function after a flash of lightning.

Back to the nature and jungle, the networking between trees is bonded mechanically; I recall what I had studied during high school on the strong bonding between the molecules in organic chemistry.

The network system which made use of these "overhead cables" might be primitive, but I believe it work effectively and rigidly, and it will grow stronger over the years.

Fancy does not always be better than simplicity.

Anyhow, it is beyond my imagination if we are to be connected in such a way illustrated by the picture that was found in the eyes of A Poets View.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stream, Cerok Tokun

I always know there is a stream on the right of the trail at where I start hiking. I can see its side view everytime I pass by. It had never attracted me until today when I went over to look for something new. Then I knew I was wrong in the past. But I decided to continue my hiking first and came back for some pictures later when this place got brighter.

Yes, the bright sunlight really helped to disclose its full natural beauty. It originated small and grew wider as it got around. It travelled further under the bridge where I was standing. The scene was greenish, clean and clear.

When I moved to the next bridge, the scenery changed to a little artificial but I liked how it appeared to be. The combination of series of falls from double to three created a unique view. These falls looked much whiter in picture than the trasparent actual. I did not see many people came over here. They must have also wrongly assumed as what had happened to me.

I shall come back on next week to explore further.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monkey

The Monkeys were wild today. They might be in holiday mood right now.

I did not need to locate them since from all the noises, I was sure they were nearby having their early morning carnival. On my right, they leaped from one tree to another that caused smashing sound on the leaves. They screamed and fought with each other, I could hear dry twigs falling down and hitting onto the metal awning above me. They even ran and chased on top of the awning. They were super active today.

I was not able to capture all these simply because my point-and-shoot camera just incapable of producing sharp images under foggy and dim condition. Anyhow I did manage to get a few close shoots before the animal turned its back towards me.

One of the monkey appeared on the side of the awning and stayed there for a few minutes looking around. I took some distant shoots with flash off in order not to frighten it away. (Unluckily no pictures turned out to be good). With some close eye contacts, it might then think this skinny guy with glasses should not be a threat, so it decided to come down.

It picked up a piece of fruit on the ground, smelled and started biting. It would never stopped keeping its eyes on me while eating. It has a very suspicious nature.

It then decided to move away for its troop. The party was still on in trees. "No point to be alone down here having a different species keep watching at me."

It thus made a move and so was me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A quiet day

It was a quiet morning as usual. The hiking path was fulled of people in both ascending and descending direction, but the environment over here would never make you feeling very noisy nor uneasy spiritually.

The lush green is soothing. It first healed the eyes, travelled further to clear the recycle bin in the brain and checked in at one of the cluster as the soul booster for the next seven days.

This was a sea of green fern leaves. It not only cured our soul, but also protected my weekend lover from any landslide.

The monkeys were also quiet in the way I had almost neglected their presence. It might be I had been too negligent to discover them up there all the while. They were not too playful or naughty sometimes. These might be a group of educated monkeys.

Luckily they did not have their class in the morning. I was then imagining their school life kind of similar to mine.

Related posts that you may find them interesting:

  1. Misty Morning Trek
  2. I Heard a Tree Talking to Me
  3. Such a Wonderful Start of the Day

Saturday, April 11, 2009

caterpillar, Archduke

This is not other but a caterpillar, I swear, though it does not really look like an ordinary caterpillar.

I have read two posts talking about caterpillar today, I would like to join as the third.

It is the baby of a Common Archduke (Lexias pardalis), a forest-dwelling butterfly of the Nymphalidae family that are common throughout Southeast Asia and Australasia.

Cratoxylon Formosum trees are the host to these caterpillars. They are said to be protected from predators by their long bristles, but I do not actually understand how.

Does it look scary or cute?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

The construction of this Kek Lok Si Temple (Temple of Supreme Bliss) can be traced back to 1890, about a hundred year after Penang Island was founded by Captain Francis Light, a Colonial Official from British. It is one of the famous and worth to visit site in the island.

The temple is the biggest in Southeast Asia, but size does not tell story. This is the place where we understand and learn about Buddhism through everything that comes into our sight.

Pagoda of ten thousands Buddhas: This pagoda is having a Chinese octagonal base with the external facades of the rising levels are Thai and a Burmese crown.

The prayers talk to their protectors through the burning joss sticks in the censer. The rising smoke is the messenger.


Somehow, we can also see the world and fortune through an oil-lamp.

(We find many temples (Chinese and Indian temples), mosques and churches in Malaysia. I came across an article saying that there are at least 66 percent of people in Malaysia pray everyday, followed by those in Philippines and India, where 55 percent of Americans pray daily).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kindness of Nature

This is one of my enjoyment when I do my hiking in the morning. A green dense forest provides me with plenty of cool air rich in oxygen, and layers of mountain ranges rise and fall behind the morning fog in the far distance. In between, people down there may have started their daily chores or still have yet to return from their dream in this Sunday morning.

This is a rare moment for this beauty because the combination of weather (cool temperature after a raining night) and time (before the morning sun have lost its temper) must be right. And yet this is the best time to fall back to the bed for a nice comfortable sleep.

We do not need to pay anything, I mean, it is free to enjoy all these. Nature is always kind enough to us.

The place is Cerok Tokun, my weekend lover.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Morning Class

When I was having a rest at the park after hiking, I found out that I was actually standing beside a tree with the tree bark looked so abnormal to me. It was very different from others in such a manner there seemed to be a "coating" being attached to the bark. My gently press onto it resulted some broken pieces dropping from the surface. I tried to scratch one big section only then I knew that it was a termite nest. The coated layer was actually a mix of soil, mud, chewed wood, saliva and faeces. I could see termites moving from the exposed portion back to the inner part of the nest.

As far as I know, termites live either in large conical mounds that can be easily seen in the forest or inside a building. This was the first time I found them building their nest atop a living tree. Anyhow I have not cleared my doubt on how long the tree can survive after the termite infestation.

The termite colony has three castes, 1. dark brown to brownish black winged castes, or what are called king and queen, 2. creamy white, soft-bodied, wingless and blind soldiers; they have enormously elongated, brownish and hard heads that are equipped with two jaws, and 3. the workers that can be seen having pale colored heads.

From the information then I know further about the nest that I had found earlier on the branches was actually an arboreal termite nest.

To avoid being overpowered by ants and other predators when exposed, termites cover their tracks with tubing made of faeces, plant matter and soil. These "sheltered tunnels" on a tree trunk can be seen in the last picture.

This is what I have learnt from the nature this morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Woodpecker at work

I thought I had seen woodpecker but actually I did not. This happened in this morning at Cerok Tokun when I saw a piece of fallen wood lying quietly at one side of the trekking path. It must have fallen down during heavy rain at last night. Fallen trees or woods are not abnormal to me because on and off I find that, be it big or small and living or rotten, they have to surrender themselves to the strong wind and heavy tropical rain.


What had drawn to my attention was the round hole found on the wood. It must be done by no other than a woodpecker.

I had not seen the woodpecker around but I felt I had seen it. It was working so hard by then on the last rescue to the tree though it was in vain at the end.

(Why must it be a circular hole but not other shapes? It is funny to ask myself without having an answer).

By the way, this rotten wood had pulled my attention. I had then pulled the attention of passers-by.

"Hello everybody, I am the alien from outer space trying to capture the spirit of the Nature".