Sunday, 22 January 2012

I Don't Like This!

There was one evening a month ago when I thought the air was a wee bit smoky and I could smell very faintly the smoke from an open fire.
I went outside to the balcony and looked around and found the source of the smoke up in the hills.

The above photo was taken at 7:27 pm on 22 December 2011.
A few days before Christmas.

I look up into the hills very often. 
On most days, if not everyday and at the very least, every few days. 
Sometimes looking for the moon rise, sometimes to look at the dawn skies, sometimes just to look at all the greenery and at other times, simply to take in the view.

And I certainly do not like the sight I saw yesterday.

The 'rocket' hill has been defaced!

These were taken yesterday, at 5:07 pm on 21 January 2012.
Chinese New Year is just two days away.

I do wonder if this is their modus operandi

Both the burning and clearing work had been done in the late afternoon towards evening, just before a major public holiday, namely Christmas and Chinese New Year.  At a time when people would be busy and would not notice or would be tied up with many other things to do?  Or is it just coincidence?

When will these people stop defacing earth for more monetary gains?

I still remember when those towers were first put up on that hill some years ago. 
It was like a sacrilege. 
The pristine beauty of the unmarked hills now marred by those man-made steel structures.
And, mind you, it did not even improve the network coverage for my handphone.
Yet, after a while, you grow accustomed to those structures and they become a part of the whole picture.

In a way, I had felt that it was only a matter of time before this hill will become defaced.

After all, there are existing farmland on that hill as it is. 
And sooner or later, more land will be cleared, whether for more farming or more development.
It seemed inevitable.

If only it did not have to happen.

Perhaps that is why I have often looked up into those hills. 
To appreciate the sight of these forested hills before they are gone.
So that I will always see the beauty of these green forested hills in my mind's eye.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Nature At My Doorstep

If I choose to stand at my doorstep all day and do nothing else, there would be lots that can be observed from my doorstep from day to day, throughout the day, in terms of nature!

This morning, for example, a troop of Dusky Langgurs came foraging for food among the trees that line the road just across from my place.  Of course, the camera came into use as I took a few shots of these Langgurs while they were feeding away gleefully on the young shoots on those bare branches.

And just recently, there was this Giant Squirrel, the Ratufa bicolor, scrambling around on one of the trees just a little further away and happily nibbling on some fruits.  These photos are not really clear and are rather 'noisy' because of the distance but you get to have a good look at the squirrel.

Other than the Langgurs and squirrels, quite often the Long-tailed Macaques would be on these same trees and sometimes scouring the garden and greedily eating the fallen fruits picked up from the ground. 

Even the Monitor Lizard comes into the garden looking for food when there isn't anyone around and I get to observe it quietly from my balcony without any intrusion on its feeding while it sniffs around and tastes the air with its tongue, then dig into the grass to feed on insects.


I must admit the garden view is not from the front doorstep.  Instead, I am watching from the other doorway. 

Anyway, if nothing else, there will always be the antics of the Common Mynas and Rock Pigeons, the chirping of the Olive-backed Sunbird, the calls and curious looks of the Oriental Pied Hornbills and a myriad of birds and other creatures to keep me entertained with a dose of nature while they forage, flitter about and feed.

Yet, what I sometimes miss and find lacking at my doorstep is the dragonfly.
I have often seen them flying around in the area but there is no reason for them to perch nearby and visit me.

Perhaps I should set up a small pond to attract them here?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Without Its Leaves

Went out with a friend for an evening walk the other day. 
We had hoped for an amazing sunset but it had been cloudy and a bit overcast. 
And there were only a few streaks of colour in the evening sky.

So I thought perhaps we could still get to observe a beautiful moon rise.
But it was all cloudy in the east as well, so that did not happen either.

Anyway, as we walked along, I stopped, looked up and muttered, "Pretty tree."
So my friend looked up as well, pondered for a few seconds, grimaced and said, "Pretty, meh?"
Ignoring her comments, I got out my camera and took a few shots of this tree.

And so my friend agreed that it is rather pretty after all.

This tree, without its leaves,
And without any glory.
Still standing tall
Still standing mighty
When you look into its soul,
You begin to realise,
You are looking at its beauty!

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Moon

Been having sleepless nights and it comes as no surprise. 
Just take a look at the moon.....

It is a fact that the moon phases influence the behaviour of some animals and even plant life.
And the moon also has its effects on crabs and fishes in the oceans.
As well, the energy of the moon keeps drawing me in......

 Took this photo at 6:15pm today.

I am sure the moon rise on Sunday evening will be amazing and it would be even better on Monday evening!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Spotted these caterpillars when out cycling this morning.

There were two caterpillars on this 'teh kampung' bush.  The young caterpillar is a beautiful fresh green, and blended in nicely with the green leaves of the bush.  Could have easily missed it as it was really quite well camouflaged.  Unfortunately, as you can see below, I did not get a good photo of this green caterpillar.  Should have taken more than just this one photo but I didn't. 

If you can make out the green caterpillar in the photo, you will see that it is a large caterpillar and I would estimate the length of this caterpillar at around 8 cm to 10 cm (if I remember correctly!) and it was almost as thick as my little finger.  This photo shows only the underside of the caterpillar, where it clung to the leave stem.

Like I said, I should have taken more photos.....

The other caterpillar, found on the same bush, is a beautiful, attractive yellow with some patterned lines and dots.  My guess is that this yellow caterpillar is already at a later stage, maybe even the final instar, and the caterpillar is probably getting ready for pupation.

Looked through the blog on butterflies at:, but no luck there.

I do think now that it is quite likely a moth caterpillar.
Could it be one of the species of the Sphinx or Hawk Moths? 
I am still guessing.

Any idea on the species, anyone?