Monday, 16 April 2012

The Katydid

Had a visit from this insect some weeks ago. 

I had first spotted it on my kitchen window as I was going out. 
And, as usual, I grabbed my camera and took a few shots before I headed out.

It's always great when these insects are perched on glass windows as I can get a view of its abdomen from the underside too!

Anyway, I had forgotten all about these photos till this morning.
A quick check in my insect chart and book confirm that it is a Katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae).

These are extracts from the Encyclopedia Brittanica website at

Katydid, any of numerous predominantly nocturnal insects related to crickets and grasshoppers and noted for their loud mating calls.  Katydids have large hind legs and are distinguished by their extremely long, threadlike antennae and the thick, upwardly curved ovipositor (egg-laying structure) of the females. Often large and green, many katydids have long wings, but some common species are nearly wingless.

-  They live on trees, bushes, or grasses, often matching the appearance of their surroundings. Many species resemble leaves. Owing to such adaptations and their lack of daytime activity, relatively little is known of this group of insects, despite their ubiquity, abundance, and variety.

This Katydid is a very attractive-looking insect. 
Checking further on the internet, I guess this would be one of the species of Angular Wing Katydids.

Learning never stops!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

At The Waterfalls

Two months since my last entry in this blog.
Two busy months for everything to do with work... and play!
And, two beautiful months for everything else but dragonflies.

The last time I went to any pond with the intention of observing dragonflies was two months ago.  It was a disappointing visit.  There had been more development around the ponds, more disturbance in the surrounding areas, more siltation and hardly any dragonflies.  I was down-hearted...... what hopes do we have for nature and the conservation of biodiversity in Langkawi?

Anyway, during this time, I have also had a short visit to Sabah.  Though I did not devote any time specifically for hunting dragonflies, I was greeted by a few common dragonfly species here and there to brighten up my days and overall, it was a truly great trip.

It was also great because it renewed my faith that there are some authorities in Malaysia who know what they are doing when it comes to nature and conservation and that all is not quite lost.  Not just yet.  It is really unfortunate that I just can't say the same about certain authorities in Langkawi.

While in Sabah, I had the chance to visit a beautiful waterfall.  There are more than two waterfalls in this area, actually.  The first is very easily accessible by the public via a short walk along a nice jungle trail. 

This Kipungit Waterfall is only a few meters in height with a small pool naturally surrounded by large rocks.

There is no ugly man-made cement embankment along the Kipungit stream and only these rocks to naturally contain the clear water in the pool and to channel the flow of water within truly natural jungle surroundings.

To get to the next waterfall is another 90 minute walk on a beautiful uphill trail.  There is nothing along the path going up towards the Langanan Waterfall but the beautiful jungle trail to lead you.  No ugly broken cement steps and no ugly blue pipes for sore eyes.  Here's looking back down the trail.....

And you could hear gurgling water at most places along the upper reaches of the trail with the sounds of crashing water to motivate you along.

So there is plenty of time to become fully absorbed with the rainforest surroundings and become one with nature along the entire walk.... until you get the first peek of the waterfalls as you climb up the last slope. 

And then, all you can think of is, "Wow!"

No ugly man-made structures here apart from a brightly coloured signboard to name the waterfall. 

The surroundings of the waterfall is breathtaking!

The water flows along on its own natural path strewn with large rocks.

And again, no sign of any ugly man-made cement embankments to disrupt the flow of water down the rocky stream and only lots of foliage growing between the rocks along the edge of the pools. 

You get a great feeling just standing there, feeling the spray of water mists on your face and listening to roaring water of the cascading falls!

The Sabah Parks have got the right mind to ensure that these waterfalls are left untouched as much as possible to conserve it in its naturally scenic surroundings and the area remain pristine in their efforts to protect and conserve the natural heritage within the national parks and forest reserves in Sabah.

Hurrah to Sabah Parks!