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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dull and Dim

I shall be locked in prison for these two days, Saturday and Sunday. I was sentenced to work.

It was day one today with a rainy morning. I had a look at foggy Cerok Tokun from my window. This is my habit and daily routine. We are so close to each other to the manner that I can close my eyes and count my steps for a turn and sense the surrounding for a landmark.

I did an "imaginary hike" before I surrendered myself to the authority.

I managed to take some pictures virtually but I am using this only one. And you must understand, though I love my work and I always love my work, to be in jail during these beautiful days is a bit gloomy.

The picture needs no explanation but it tells a thousand words. I shall let your imagination runs, runs, runs, and stops. Do you feel like I feel?

Before I ended the virtual trip, I decided to put up another. The usual clear and blue sky was missing, it was cloudy instead, the car park was dull and dim, no playful monkeys and less noisy people around. I spotted some charming red flowers enlightening my way to the prison. It sounded very odd then, yet I have to be happy no matter how, it is the prison that provides me and my family with a living.

A very happy weekend to you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Moss

I am reluctant to categorise flowers as masculine, in order to make up a balance between "yin" and "yang" in Chinese philosophy, I rather identify this moss as one of the male principle of the Nature.

The long stretch of moss has never enchanted many people. Nobody really stops by and shows "Oh!! What a moss" kind of excitement.

I love this long stretch of green carpet just because it enhances the natural beauty of the jungle. It is simple and again simple, in the colour of green which is different from the charming and sexy look of a flower.

A close-up of a flower reveals its beauty in detail. I have nothing to tell on the close-up of this moss . Put a man like me under a magnifying glass, there is nothing much can be said by my wife as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wild Orchid

I normally do not know what I shall get for my post when I go hiking in the jungle. The places I have visited before can sometimes turn out to be my today wonder, but it really requires some inspirations, imaginations and observations on the searching works.

I spotted these parasitic wild flowers atop a tree. It must belong to one type of orchid, if I am not wrong. It stayed high in order to survive strong in the wild instead of being a well taken care house plant by one of us.

Anyhow, the plant stretched its stalk low enough to pull my attention though the close-up has not revealed its feminine charms. Sorry, I never like to categorize any type of flowers as a muscular male.


For the feminine charms, I mean those appealing colors like a brighter red, pink or purple which appear on the lips of a lady, and not this simple orange color.



Just because of the sexy lips I have mentioned, there were muscular followers camouflaged in green kept squeezing, trying to squeeze others out from the line.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bully

It was a slightly busy Sunday Morning. As usual, I spent my great time with Cerok Tokun and she has taken up three and a half hours of my morning. She made me feeling exhausted but fresh. Isn't it funny? Tired and fresh are possible to come together. Then, I went for blood donation that was arranged by the nearby Buddhist Association. This is my number sixteenth donation since 1993.

Blood donation is good. It helps to speed up my metabolism, and it helps others at the same time. To be good to others is what I have been taught since young. Anyhow, this might not be right for all the times either in our civilizations or in the animal kingdom.

The first picture has well described what was happening when I was on my way to take my car. This monkey surely behaved like a human, or the other way else.

Its big round eyes showed how desperate it was. It dived forward and managed to snatch something from the innocent little. If you observe long enough, or you can enlarge the picture for a clearer view, the arrogant one was actually holding the metal pipe for a firm support.

We may say, "Uh! What a monkey." Yet we are actually looking at our reflection in the mirror.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Experiments on Spider Webs

My weekend lover always provides me with countless wonder she owns for my various experiments. It then solely depends on how good I am to discover them. To my new visitors, Cerok Tokun is my weekend lover. I shall miss her so much if I ever skip any hiking trip during the weekend. The experiments I have done or am going to do are nothing related to test tubes, beakers or whatsoever. The only equipment I use is my camera.

The are as many spider webs as I want in the jungle, but not all are picturable. Most of them are either hide in dim corners or the spiders are simply too tiny to be focused on without the help of a tripod. I have tried over past weekends, most of them failed by the shaky hands, yet I am still eager to share the better among the bad with you.

This third picture shows the kind of spider that we have normally seen. This "normally seen" never helped the auto focus function. My last resort was to focus on the piece of wood that of similar distance from my lens.

I like the next spider web more mainly due to the silky gold that was reflecting the morning sunlight.

I do not know why the spider built an extra thicker layer within the web which looked a little odd. This has not been seen or read before. Somehow it did enhance the shape of the web.

I was able to capture the spider webs with the help of spiders or some other foreign objects, but yet to do so on a clean and empty web.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Like a Monkey

I was doing nothing at the moment. No no, some clarification, I was doing nothing except pictures taking at the moment. I simply watched at those monkeys playing around atop the trees.

They are called crab-eating Macaque or long-tailed Macaques because the tail of these macaques are usually about the same length as their body, and they are called kera in the local language. These monkeys are very playful and aggressive. According to statistic, there were 5374 cases of complaints on the their invasion on human in West Malaysia in 2006. But to my experience, not to stare at them and avoid disturbing them can normally prevent any unpleasant incident from happening.

Watching at them were similar to watching at naughty little kids fooling around.



When you are said to be a monkey, you are categorised as an active species that will not settle down but keep making a lot of noises.

If you are one of them, I am now watching at you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Host Today, Papaya Tree

I was annoyed by the raucous noise made by some birds out in my garden while I was surfing Internet in the afternoon. It seemed like they were having a fair, enjoying and inviting friends. They were simply too noisy and had aroused my interest. I took a peep through the window.

I could reach and pluck my papaya easily in the early stage. Later on, I needed the help of a ladder. But now, it grows so tall until sometimes I have given up to bring the fruit down.

And incidentally, my papaya tree was the host today, to the Mynah birds. I recognised they were Mynah from the sound that was similar to that of a common Mynah.

I rushed to my reading room at upstairs, walked slowly to the window hoping to get a few close range pictures. They were as alert as a squirrel and flew away immediately once I raised my camera ready to point at them.

From the shape of the papaya, it should not be the day one that these birds have visited my garden. They might have their breakfast and lunch over here after my last visit to my garden over last weekend.

They returned after I have waited besides the window for over ten minutes. But a slight movement drove them away again. I then played this hide-and-seek: I was behind the table, rested the camera on the window grille, and these birds were in the open.

In the end, I managed to get some good shots.


There appeared to be another species that I could not identify. It came together with the Mynah, may it be either a female or the other way round? But that was not important. I had accomplished my task of the day and felt very satisfied.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Mengkuang Dam, view from Cerok Tokun

There are not many viewing points along the hiking trail. I see trees, and again trees, in most of the places. Anyhow, these rare viewing points do provide me with different appealing vistas. Somehow, some of the scenic view never come easy.

I missed the downpour today, it did not come, but the crowd came back. All the familiar faces came back this morning. Anyway the higher I hiked, the lesser people I had in company. And the higher I hiked, the further and the more I could see.

Yet it is not easy to see Mengkuang Dam from Cerok Tokun. The view is blocked by layers of fern and trees. There is another trouble to have a nice picture due to the eastward direction, you know, in the morning.

I had to climb up the guard rail for an clear view.


Both
Mengkuang Dam and Cerok Tokun are the favorite places people go for exercise in the neighbourhood. The aerial view simply shows I have trekked only a small portion of Mengkuang Dam, the far left corner of the first picture.

There is a Durian plantation nearby Mengkuang Dam which I have written before.

I managed to get some more pictures from another viewing point. This one was captured in a zoom out view on the other side of the trek further away from the hill side.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fern

I should have taken you to visit Cerok Tokun and had some close-up of fern much earlier, but I hesitated. I thought those were okay yet I turned down at the final minute. I had reconfirmed my feeling after numerous shots from a few trips. And now I am ready.

I have been reading that ferns are very graceful and lush and invoke an image of coolness, calmness and peacefulness. I took these pictures after a raining morning, hopefully you can get the feeling by then.

This humble bowing young frond was unrolling, in not a question mark look, as all the doubts have been cleared by the droplets found in the lush bokeh.

This fern that showed an ET look having a finger on the mouth asking for some silence from me, especially in this peaceful morning. It must be a baby ET.

I was seeing a monkey clinging from one branch to another in the last picture. What a funny green monkey.


The hiking trail is about 3km long, these lush ferns line up all the way, waving in the manner that signifies calmness and peacefulness. Very good morning.

To you, and to me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rushing Water

I managed to get many good pictures during the last trip to Cerok Tokun. The morning sunlight after a heavy downpour was soft enough, and so was the scenery that looked very clean and clear.

There was no giant waterfall around, instead I noticed that water was rushing down from everywhere along the hiking trail. This was not the normal look during my usual visit.

The fall in the first picture was found hiding behind the bush. I tried to play with the shutter speed for a softer look of flowing water. The fern was lively wet and green beside the splashing water. The water was rushing, but not me.

This second one has obviously showed the power of heavy downpour. I kept the fern in the background, I mean, to show there were abundance of them in the hillside like Cerok Tokun. Not to forget about mosses which were visible on the wall. I always tried to have a close up of these mosses, hoping for some wonder to match those found in WiseAcre Garden, anyhow they had never turned out to be my gold mine.

I managed to get the last shot when this water finally reached the foot of Cerok Tokun. There was no change in the momentum before a bent, where it slowed down a little and joined with others to form a small river.

This was my first time to see vibrant flows of water all over this place. A rainy morning, a new experience. Unforgettable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hardcore hiker

When I left home for the hike of the day, the sky looked cloudy and dark. This was not a good sign indeed, but I really did not want to miss my weekend lover for two consecutive weeks.

It was a very difference experience to find out the trail was so quiet to the extent that I had not left my camera idle for most of the time, and without much annoyance. It was cool, and droplets were continuously shaken off from the leaves along the trail, either by wind or some animals up there.

Anyhow the worst that I had expected finally arrived. The heavy downpour though kept me in the wayside pavilion for some times, but I was still able to get maximum fun from this eight feet by four feet pavilion.

If you looked at the first picture, you might be misled that there were only two leaks on the roof. Somehow, you should have the feeling on how heavy the rain was, and it came inside in all directions, from the top, front, back, left and right.


I was actually not able to avoid my camera from getting wet, yet still stubborn not to keep it inside my backpack. I zoomed in and out for everything that came into sight.


This was my world. A fantastic fresh world.


On my way going downhill, I just wanted to share with you that there were still a few hardcore hikers around.

Did you ever hike with umbrella before?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day # 2

I'll continue with the mothering story in today post as I like the affection shown by the mother monkey, and this applies to all the mothers.

What I want to show today is a working mother monkey. In the modern mankind, we have the so called nursery whereby our kids are well taken care while we are in the office. For this simple monkey kingdom, the baby was being carried around to everywhere the mother would go. And this bring my memory back to the old times during which I could see woman farmers worked in the rice field with their baby at the back.

The little baby looked so cute in the picture staring at something that attracted his attention.


The second picture shown the mother moved down from the top of the pillar to the fence, out of her instinctive behaviour, holding the baby with one of her forearms.


The mother moved so swiftly on top of the fence, the baby just simply held firmly to his mum, showing the greatest trust that he was, and would be, always safe with his mum.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day # 1

I have longed to take pictures on mother Monkey that is carrying her baby for a long time. I did see them many times before but failed to snap a presentable few. Going after them thus became one of my itinerary as long as I located them. Of course, this "them" and another "them" might not be the same "them".

My dream was fulfilled this morning. The monkeys appeared in the car park were having some fruits which were served by one local villager. They stayed for quite a long period for their food while I was happily snapping enough pictures for my and your pleasure.

It is Mother's Day tomorrow, the monkeys seemed gentle and quiet. While looking at their eyes which I used to do to all the living creatures, they might look no differently from us. The lady on the right turned to the mother, the later just responded with some pondering look.

These were the same couple but sat at a different place. They continued their sharing whereby the lady seemed to be a senior to the mother who listened obediently. I could never smelled any fierceness nor uneasiness around the corner. Both of them tended to enjoy their topics well.


I saw the gentle mother then rendered her helping hand to pick and remove flea from the lady. So far, the baby monkey hugged her mother so tight without showing any sign of loosen grip.


The next picture showed the mother brought the baby along on the floor for some eating. Interested to see a little monkey came beside them for some share of the maternal love.


In the last picture, this was the monkey family where the mother cared for all her little ones with kindness and affection. This was the sensation of being a mother.

Yes, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bougainvillea

Bougainvilleas can be considered as family friends of many household in Malaysia. When they are in full bloom, most of the family gardens are colored either in pink, purple, orange, or white. They are easily grown and need minimum care, even the cuttings in soil.

These purple and white flowers emerged actually from the same plant. My sister had helped to insert cutting of white flower onto the body of the purple. The flowers still demonstrate their original colours which meant I failed to see a mixed colour crossbreed.

When in full bloom, I see only flowers in the tree, with not much leaves in sight. This requires plenty of sunlight.

They are beautiful, they are thorny.

I took the chance during a raining day for a few shots. The petal looked transparent when it was wet. This must be the reason why sometimes it is referred to as "paper flower".

I spent my time experimenting to capture the movement of rain drop on the tip of the petal. I managed to freeze the reality later after I have shifted my camera to continuous shooting mode.

Bye bye the rain drop. When we see each other again, you may know me but I shall not recognise you. By the way we did know each other once upon a time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Slow down day, May-5

Come across this quote by George Carlin, "Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."

If you are one of them, I am now offering somewhere that you can go for a picnic. It is big enough for a couple, though not big enough for a sleep. Anyhow why bother so much if it is just for a short stay. You can hug, kiss this tree, and even have your confession here, where there is no long queue at all.

The picnic site does anyhow look like a toad, a giant toad. I shall not elaborate further, but once you have settled yourself down, the tree will then repeat its story, the mind game between a tree and a toad. Just like what I have heard before, and some others in the past, and that giant toad is now tamely a follower of the tree, as you can see.

Where is this place? It is at Bukit Ayer Recreation Park, Perlis.

This may be a short post for today, because I tend to slow down too much this time until the next word is hard to catch up with the previous, and I have to tell, though it may be too late to you, it is Slow Down Day at the time I am writing, according to an email I received this evening.

For your health, take time to slow down. Smell some flowers, watch the birds, take a walk, do whatever you want to any tree you can see, it will not get angry.

Monday, May 4, 2009

in My Garden #3

Rain had kept me wandering around in my garden for the whole weekend. This was its power, and I had no right to object.

My only right was to be with the cyberspace at which I discovered myself as a dummy instead. I read and I confirmed, there are basically two common types of lime trees. I had the first one before which grew thorns on the bushes. I am having the second one now, but without knowledge and awareness that they are without thorns.

The chrysalis had then helped to enlighten me.

The white flowers are noticeably small when compared to raindrops. But we will be fooled later when the fruits grow, they are extremely sour. Size does not always reflect the characteristic of a fruit well.

The flowers never look much outstanding like you and me, otherwise they are now Durian and we are President or Prime Minister of our own countries.

They looked ugly without petals. Really, go look at the naked you in the bathroom mirror and you will agree with me.

By the way no matter how I have described it, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and quantities of Vitamin C it contains. It is a very common ingredient in Thai dishes. I especially like to have a glass of lime juice with ice in the hot day.