Monday, 13 February 2012

Other Than Odonata!

It's been a great morning! 

And such a beautiful day for the outdoors!

I couldn't help myself and kept looking up to gaze at the beautiful blue sky!

I had wanted to look for dragonflies but apart from the Orthetrum sabina and two other species of damselflies, there weren't too many others about.  Instead of hanging out at the ponds, I took a stroll through the park to enjoy a bit of nature.

Getting to the park early in the morning had been a bonus. 
Not that I was so early and I caught the sunrise but early enough to be listening to a lot of bird songs.  A myriad of tunes from the Bulbuls, Orioles, Kingfishers and, of course, the Common Mynas.  The Starlings started their choruses a bit later.

This Collared Kingfisher has its hunting grounds in the ponds at the park.

 It took a while to finally get this photo of the Kingfisher.
Quite an elusive little bird!

As I walked along, a few Tree Squirrels were scrambling around on the branches overhead and stopping here and there to feed.  Then a pair of Tree Squirrels were playing peek-a-boo as they chased each other round and round and up and down a tree.
Playful and cheeky!

That was when I caught the movement of an insect flying smack into a tree.
I had to look quite hard to find it, but that was how I spotted this Cicada!

This large, brownish Cicada is quite well camouflaged against the tree bark!
It is usually difficult to find the Cicada inspite of their loud, high-pitched songs. 
Looking at the above photo, you can understand why.
This is not the sharpest shot, but it's the best photo of the two that I managed to take before it flew away!

Heading towards the shoreline, here's a view of Kuah Bay.

I was not alone on the beach though.
These crabs were busily feeding away!

The longer I sat there, the more crabs came out to feed once they realise I am not a threat.
A lot of these crabs faced away from me as they moved along to feed nearby.
Their mottled brown, algae coated carapace giving them a good camouflage on the rocky, muddy shores and making it difficult to see them.

After a while, some of the crabs turned around to look at me too!
The ones feeding a few meters away were not too bothered.
Even then, any sudden, abrupt movement will send all the crabs scurrying into their burrows and hiding under rocks.
Almost as if a predator was swooping down at them.

These crabs were not the only creatures feeding here at low tide.

A Little Heron was perched on the rocks at the edge of the water, standing still and motionless, while it stared intently into the turquoise blue water and waited for a catch.

The Great Egret was also out here catching fish.
It waded to and fro in the shallow waters, stepping carefully, stretching out its long neck to look into the surf.  From time to time, this Great Egret would retract its neck, then striking out into the water to catch a fish!

I sat there, enjoying the sun and sea breeze as I watched.
I watched the birds wading about and I watched the boats bobbing in the water.

Time stood still.
Eventually, hunger calls signalled lunch hour.
As I was walking back, I spotted this little brown bird perched on one of the branches.
The Asian Brown Flycatcher!

I think!
I hope I've got the id correct for this little birdie.

An awesome morning indeed!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Home-Grown Vegetables In A Pot

Finally, I can see the results from all the time I have spent on my 'patio' garden and all the efforts at composting too!  Most importantly, I will soon be able to harvest my own home-grown organic vegetables!

Still not much of a plant so it won't be much of a harvest but it is a good start. 
And I will soon be replanting more pots of this veg!

Not only that, the Monstera plant is growing nicely now.

And so is the Jasmine plant.
At last!


Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Orange Ball Of Fire!

Was driving westward on my way to work early this morning. 
As the sun started to rise, I could see an orange glow in my rearview mirror and orange reflections in both sideview mirrors.
I tried to peek at the rising sun from the rearview mirror.
Ummmm.... wow!
But, of course, I still have to keep my eyes on the road.
So then I decided to stop and take the time for a good look.
After all, I still have plenty of time to spare.
When I got to the top of one of the hilly stretches on the highway, I pulled over and got out of my car.
What a great view!

Totally worth every minute it took to stop for this photo before continuing on my way to work.
And now, I am also feeling satisfied that I did take the time to stop after all.
If only more people would stop to smell the roses, you would get to enjoy beautiful sights like this!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

And Another Snake.....

Have spotted this snake quite a few times previously but have not had the chance to snap a photo of it till this morning.

Quite often this Dog-faced Water Snake, Cerberus rynchops, will sneak up along the water run-off 'ditches' and come up onto the muddy banks during low tide, quite likely to prey on fish, crabs and other invertebrates. 

Of particular interest is the mudskippers, who would also be feeding on the mud bank at this time, and one of the mudskippers will soon become this snake's meal! 

I have not had the chance to wait long enough to observe and watch this water snake catch its prey. 
Hopefully, one of these days I will be lucky enough to do that!

I do love watching these snakes.
Fascinating creatures!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Two Snakes In The Mangroves!

Spotting the Mangrove Pit Viper, Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus, during the kayak trip in the mangroves is quite the regular thing. 

Quite often, this is what I would see...

Today, I had a surprise find in the mangroves!

The Reticulated Python, Python reticulatus!

Such a beautiful creature! 

Used to see one or two baby pythons from time to time some years ago but I really have not seen any pythons in the mangroves for quite a while.

Two different species of snakes on one kayak day certainly make one very happy day!