Monday, 30 December 2013

White Cobra

Totally love days like this when I get a 'NatGeo' moment and was lucky enough to witness such a beautiful, magnificent creature right in front of my eyes.  This might even be, for me, a once in a lifetime sighting of an albino or white Cobra in the wild!  After all, I do not go looking for them intentionally, as in venturing out on herping trips.  

It truly is such a beautiful creature and, indeed, a rare sight to behold!

I must have stood there for over ten minutes, just watching it.  The Cobra stuck its head into a hole in the ground, slithered a short distance in, then backed out from the hole, went to another nook under a rock and seemed to be on the prowl, looking for something.  Although I did not manage to get the best photo with the compact camera that I had with me at the time, I've got the image of this albino Cobra imprinted in my mind's eye to be replayed over and over and over again at any time.  How much better can it get?
I was thinking at the time that this albino Cobra might be foraging for food but since it is supposed to be a nocturnal creature, had it somehow been disturbed from its den and was looking for another safe place to hide away?  Whether it was looking for food or looking for a den, I will never know.

Anyway, I had googled the symbolism of a White Cobra and there were many different takes on it.  Most websites discuss seeing sacred white animals in dreams. However, I had particularly liked the one that I'd read on eHow and here's an extract:

"The most common view of the white snake is a positive one. In the Japanese culture, if someone encounters a white snake in their life, they are considered to be lucky and will continue to have luck." 

I hope so.

And I shall keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Little Froggy

Recently had 'wildlife' visit me right at my doorstep.  

A little froggy.

I had just reached home after a kayak trip and had walked up the stairs to my front door and walked pass it.  If it wasn't for my keen eyes, I would not have realised there was this spot on the wall that was not supposed to be there.  Anyway, turned back to look and found this little frog there.

Ummmm...... it wasn't exactly very well camouflaged after all.  

But I guess it wouldn't have been any better anywhere else considering the colour of the wall is the best match it could find to try and hide itself.

I'm guessing it is one of the species of tree frogs, perhaps the Common Bush Frog?
Anyway, it is a good-looking little light brown, beige frog.

 The tips of its long fingers are dilated into round disc pads.
And, I suppose it had decided to remain as still as possible hoping that maybe I still hadn't seen it after all or if I thought it is dead I'd leave it alone?  

 So I took the chance to get lots of photos of this tree frog, from as many different angles as I possible could to make sure I have all the features I could need for identification.

   Totally loved looking at this frog's soulful eyes!


 Here's a view of its flattened body against the wall.


And I'm estimating it measured about 65-70mm in length.

So I had a 'field trip' right outside my doorstep.  

Friday, 15 November 2013

Not Odonata, Only Mangroves

Have been kayaking as usual.....

 Anyway, wanted to take a few photos as I normally do and it turned out this way.

No, not any special settings on my compact camera though I hardly ever use the 'Auto' and it is usually on 'P' so that I can easily change a few settings if I need to.  But I hadn't planned on taking these photos any differently than I usually do except perhaps I was in a bit of a hurry and got this interesting vortex effect quite by accident.

Even if you'd asked me to, I wouldn't know how to do that again.  It was supposed to have been another usual photo such as this next one.....

Saturday, 9 November 2013

On A Bicycle.....

After all these years cycling with my guests through the padi fields and village roads, I have finally taken a few photos of the scenes that I have always enjoyed looking at and always wanted to snap but never did!

As it happened, it was another beautiful morning on this Friday.  And even though it was the weekend, the roads were quiet and there weren't many people up and about as yet so it was really peaceful when cruising through the small country roads through the padi fields and villages.

As most of the padi fields had recently been planted, the contrast between the fresh green fields and blue skies certainly made it all the more scenic!  Green padi fields that stretched out to meet the foothills of Gunung Raya.  With cloud covered peaks and a swirl of clouds in the skies this morning, the whole scenery was exactly like it would be on a painted picture.  It conjures a rather dreamy feeling....

This next photo is of one my guests approaching a pretty looking cow for a better photo of the animal.  Both sizing each other up and both probably a bit wary and nervous at the same time.  Too bad there weren't any buffaloes to be seen this morning.  Buffaloes are another of my favourite subjects for photos.

And, finally, a photo of the rubber tree.  
This young rubber tree had been tapped this morning and the latex was still dripping into the cup.

This is why I enjoy doing what I do...........

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Grooming Session In The Mangroves

Was kayaking in the mangroves again and came across these Long-tailed Macaques in the midst of a grooming session. 

First stop was the rump.....

Then the arm and shoulder.....

That definitely looks like total bliss!  
As you can see that this macaque is certainly enjoying this jungle spa session!

These are some of the scenes I get to enjoy from time to time while kayaking in the mangroves.  

Mind you, these monkeys are not the 'gangsters' that are used to eating potato chips and soft drinks and would hang out at touristy hotspots to terrorise people and grab anything that's in a plastic bag.  

Once we got closer, they scrambled away into the forest......

It is very refreshing to see these natural behaviours of the macaques in the wild!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Unpredictable Weather!

 The weather is rather quite unpredictable these days.  

Although it is still the South-West Monsoon season, which usually is the rainy season here, we have been getting a lot of hot, sunny days.  Not that I am complaining.  It's been great to have such beautiful, nice, warm weather and I am totally loving it!


It would be bright and sunny one day, and I would be seeing blue skies while out kayaking, and the next day it would be storming up!

Anyway, the sky is always interesting when it is stormy.  

The weather can also change really quickly.

 And when it's been raining and it gets all misty. 

 While the mangroves would always be evergreen.  
Such a contrast!

And if you've been wondering..... Yes, I did get drenched while out kayaking today!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

My Patio Garden Of Potted Plants

Snake Plant, Bird's Nest Ferns, Spider Lilies and Jasmine Plant.

The Japanese Bamboo Plant that's been growing taller with all the composting over the years, so the flower pot now looks really small in comparison.....

More Snake Plants in the corner and the Cheese Plant that's finally looking lush and beautiful after a lot of tlc!  

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Feeding Your Plants!

Am still feeding my potted plants with vegetable dregs regularly and quite frequently and I guess this Japanese Bamboo is quite happy to sit in its pot even though the pot really looks like it is getting too small for the size of the plant.  However, I don't think I'm even going to try to repot it at all.

Anyway, new shoots have started sprouting up recently and it looks like there'll be another giant stem.....

Just compare this new sprout to the older stems in the pot and you will understand why I call it a 'giant' and you will see there is a huge difference in size as it is getting a lot of nourishment from the compost.  And it is about the thickness of my index finger, which I found to be quite amazing.


And since, I was out there taking photos of the Japanese Bamboo, I thought I'd take a photo of one of the new fronds of the Bird's Nest Fern that had caught my eye...... 

Yeah, I guess I probably have too much time on my hands, eh?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Monitor Lizard On Vertical Limestone Wall

Was out kayaking in the mangroves this morning and came across this Monitor Lizard making its way up the vertical limestone wall.  

Eventually it decided to stop right there at about 10-12 metres above the water, and it stayed there for a very long time.  When I kayaked pass it again a half hour later, it was still clinging there at that same spot on the wall!

It is quite interesting to note how the Lizard had dug its claws into the cracks on the wall and it had rested its weight on its hind legs.  These Monitor Lizards are very strong swimmers and strong climbers!   

It's giving me the urge to want to go do some rock climbing again!  How I've missed that!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Again And Again And Again......

How could I not look forward to spotting these snakes each time I am out kayaking in the mangroves?  
These Mangrove Pit Vipers are such beautiful creatures!

Yes, they are venomous.  
Yes, it can be scary if you were to stare at one in the eyes directly in its face!
Yet at the same time, it is not so scary after all.  
Just do not disturb it or provoke it or get too close.

And it really is quite cool to get to take a peek at these Mangrove Pit Vipers in their natural habitat.
Must have seen hundreds of them by now.....

Loving it!