Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monkeys along our hiking trail

My friends, have you checked your weight after accompanying me for these few days? The roughness and exhausting hike should have successfully built a fitter you. It is rewarding, isn’t it? No matter how, I am not a good guide before being able to show you some monkeys, though this cannot be planned.

Though cannot be planned, I am feeling so glad the monkeys are over here now. Listen to the rustling and crunching of leaves, and creaking of tree branches above us, the monkeys are jumping from one tree to another. Just a word of precaution, dry twigs may break and hit our head at anytime.

This monkey comes very near to me, and I do not have intention of moving backward. I want to have close up shots, specially for you.

It looks not perfect but seems to be either a little friendly or simply ignorant with my presence, and these are sofar the nearest close up shots I have taken; thanks for your support from behind.

This second one is having a peaceful set of mind while it is scratching its head. I am at a right timing to aim at him.

The third looks like the leader who would fight against “intruders” for its people. It pull its lip the moment I am lifting my camera, along with jerking the head and shoulders forward. Let’s move away before situation getting out of control. No point to challenge back someone who is giving a clear and stern warning signal.

And no photo of the third one.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tie a Knot

Good morning.

I hope you slept early last night and ready for the steep challenge this morning. Though short, the slope may hold you back if you ever overestimate yourself.

Both moving ahead and turning back are difficult at current stage. Anyway, most people prefer not to go downhill using the jungle trail. Risk of knee injury is high when it absorbs the impact of the body weight while going through the roughness and gradient.

But Cerok Tokun is kind enough not to deter you away; "when you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”. A few of you may be strong enough to laugh away this trivial matter, but who knows when you will need this.

I have not so far presented you a gift for accompanying me during my hiking. This simple green beauty is dedicated to every one of you, and our journey will continue. We can only discover new wonders when we keep moving, and "to keep our balance, we must keep moving" as well.

Have a good rest. No alcohol. No cigarette. See you tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Respect to Nature

Our hiking today is slightly different.

We have been taught to be humble, and cannot choose not to respect Nature; when coming to the right places, we are required to bow to Her.

Right immediately after the first exit, this is where we are to bow and to bend in appreciation for the simple surprises we receive every now and then.

You should know that I have been feeling so great to see birds, awful spider webs, spiritual sun beams and am delighted by the countless photos and profound experience I have gained. So, no second word. Let's bow.

One is certainly not enough. We need to bow and to bend for the second time not too far away. And we just cannot do it only by lowering our head this time.

Have I ever told you I did have an interesting perspective the moment I made my bow? Yes, I am always enlightened as long as I am ready to lower myself and open up my heart.

You may think this is a very weird hike you have had so far. Somehow these are parts of the journey as we move on.

And the old wisdom says, "The sky and ocean will be very wider if we take a step backward."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The first exit

We should already have enough at Wonderland, let's stretch our muscles for the next move.

"1,2,3,4. 2,2,3,4. 3,2,3,4. 4,2,3,4, and a long, deep breath."

It is a warm morning; Rain came, and rain was gone. This is a quiet morning; monkeys and birds seem to be lazy to spy on us, or they are spying on us silently, with their eyes half closed.

This is the place where I had a close encounter with an orange-headed thrush. It is my lifer. I have seen flying critters hopping very close to me for a few times, and these always happened all in a sudden.

They may be waiting just around the corner of your eye. Can you sense them?

We are now at the first exit to the main hiking trail: the tar road. I don’t think we need to make a left turn to this easy and plain track; I have more to share with you in the jungle. Alright?

"Hi friends, why are you peeping at the bench?"

"Okay, I get it. Just go ahead."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Walking into Wonderland Part 2

Life has changed a lot over the past 100 years. It has been projected that by 2020, mankind's knowledge will double every 30 days. We will be very wiser, at the same time, will we continue to show a selfish disregard for Nature?

I am having a wonderful morning today; hope that I shall have it forever.

I can see the icon of Wonderland from a distance. They are the showers of excitement and joyfulness.

The nearer I am to Wonderland, the more amazed I am. I am seeing thousands of loose silky webs swinging in the air. The usual feeling of eeriness has never prevailed in the end.

The different shapes of webs have kept me wondering whether I am in the world of cartoon, or Wonderland is a reality.

I do really enjoy being showered by this blessing. I do not need to double my knowledge every now and then at the expense of Nature. How about you?

By the way, there will be no further hike today. Just relax and enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Walking into Wonderland part 1

I am amazed, and you are lucky.

We are seeing Wonderland is showered with rays of morning light. It is bright but not glaring. It is misty white. For those who are not hiking with me, please wait for the next post to witness the shower of light; I just cannot wait to show you the next few photos.

Actually I see a Babbeler while looking for White Rabbit, then am overwhelmed by the spider webs all around me. I am not ready for the bird right now, I cannot help but have to indulge myself in these lovely spider webs. This must be the arrangement of Alice.

Alice has arranged all these specially for you.Thank you Alice.

I like this view which was often seen in magazines or in movies. I cannot believe to see it in real by myself. The sunshine has lightened up Wonderland. All the webs are so visible.

I have not seen any web of this design before. So you are. I am excited. So you are. I am as happy as little Alice. So you are.

This is the macro view that I have been urged for. I heard your calling.

This is the first time I am attacked by mosquitoes. I was mistaken for a long time to think there are no mosquitoes in Wonderland. I am very wrong.

Mosquitoes like to see me standing still. Who care.

I do not have time for these mosquitoes. I have to enjoy to the maximum before the door to Wonderland is shut.

So you are.

You are lucky to have a 2 Gb memory card. You are lucky to have your battery fully charged. You are lucky to have followed me...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our third day

Old I may be but I can still hike with you. This is the first wonder I am gifted the moment I open up my eyes. Looking back, the trail has been very rough, it will not be easy as we move on. Just one step at a time and listen to the call of the Nature, and now this is the third day of our hiking trip.

As we go along, you will appreciate these creepy roots that usually ensure us a firm landing as compared to the stone trail.

It does provide a confident grip that pull ourselves upwards, sometimes it may hold our legs too. This is one of the tricks by Nature.

No matter how, they live in their own ways; we are only one of the passers-by and happen to meet each other at this intersection.

And we happen to meet many others somewhere sometimes, and in Alice's Wonderland . Yes!! I shall take you to this wonderland in my next post.

What can we find there?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Continue to Walk with Me

Okay. We are back and let's charge up while exploring the nature.

To continue from a stone trail is not so special by the way, yet "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" from here; you are lucky to be with me.

Leaving the stone trail behind, we are now heading towards a rock hard pathway.

I was a little worry when Keke, my pet dog, was so excited sniffing and wandering around this place during his first hiking trip, but I bet you are alert enough to watch your step and cautious about the steep slope which is well covered up by the bushes on the right.

George, you may find this waterfall is so tiny as compared to your collections. It sings like a little baby, and yours sing like Pavarotti.

Obviously this little fan must have "MP3ed" those green melodies.

Hold on... Would like to show you some tropical mushrooms that mark the change in colour from green to brown of our trail. Don't you think there are so much distractions along the trail?

Are you looking for another rest? No problem. We can come back at anytime.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Walk with me

I have been talking so much and so long about Cerok Tokun. It only makes sense by now if I would invite you to walk with me on one of the jungle trails. I promise there is no danger at all. Please don't be panic since you require no warm-up as well.

And here we go!

Firstly, it is this steep stairs at the beginning of the trail which has stopped most of the visitors from exploring the jungle further. Yes, they are visitors, and you are not. You are a hiker coming along with me.

Awaiting ahead is a creek that continues talking silently every now and then, and has little attention from many people. Somehow we start learning to give way before taking up our next journey from here onwards.

This is the place where we need to be more careful. It is slippery during raining day. It is slippery in other days as well because of the sandy surface.

In fact, we have to be very careful in every step we take. Be careful in such a way not to step on the plants that I only notice through the picture.

A camera always helps to freeze a rush moment for our future reflection. May I know how do you think? Anyway, I do not think you can think much; Your brain is now not getting enough supply of oxygen. You are panting.

Alright, why don't we stop for a rest?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shadow and Reflection

The 18-55mm lens shows a wider view of my favourite dam. I can see the water level keeps going down. And if it continues, I shall know how deep it is very soon, though this is not be a good discovery.

It is a hot morning. The monkeys seem only happy jumping and swinging on the opposite side of the dam. It must be great if I could chance upon these monkeys swimming and playing in the water one day.

Until then, I have to satisfy myself with this lonely swallow. It is perching quietly but visible between the bare woods.

And both of us, me and my shadow, still feel so good in this simple morning.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Top of the World

My hiking seems incomplete if I never walk to the top. Cerok Tokun is not high enough to view the popping-up sun, but this is where I can cast the shadow of my burden behind, and drain the striking stress to the ground, like a lightning rod. (I laughed at myself at first when I thought of this weird description, but it is still in one piece after being struck by lightning. Isn't it?)

Staying on the top to embrace tranquility and freshness, and reaching the limit is always a delight. What is your side of view?

They of course concur with me though the reason may be different, and they may walk, whereas I never fly.

Every action seemed to echo, and it echoed, when I shouted on the top of the world.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brown Shrike Scout

"I've got the Scouting spirit way up to here,Way up to here,Way up to here.I've got the Scouting spirit way up to here,Way up to here to stay."

I have got the Shrike Scout scouting out the place on the very top of a coconut tree. This scouting spirit is always a good help to an adventurer like me.

And the Shrike Scout has come back.

"I saw a couple of Mynas having a date along the riverside."

"I saw many many monkeys."

"I saw Durian trees."

That's fun to have a bird scout, and tell stories in a bird's way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dry. Dam. and Day.

The hot weather over here is going into an intolerable level. I do not know how good you are, but 36°C has really made me crazy. Cerok Tokun, no doubt, is a place to escape from this, but she has also greatly been challenged.

This picture which was taken in last January depicts mystery and eeriness.

The above picture from last Sunday morning shows the water level has not only dropped by at least two feet, the dam has also surrendered her mystery and my imagination by the same depth. How cruel the simple fact is to limit my mind theater from running wild.

The further drop in water level, just like peeling off layers of clothes, will expose more unknowns. It can either be a delight, or simply an eyesore. But this dry season will on other hand change our life style. A scheduled water supply will be the next to come.

Can you pass some of your snows over?