Thursday, June 28, 2007

Big Birds!

A White-bellied Sea Eagle banking when it spotted a potential prey.

Wings sweeping back for the dive...

Errrr... doesn't look like it caught anything.

Ah well, back up soaring and better luck next time.

Spotted this heron high on the tree top.

Getting a little uncomfortable with the lenses trained on it.

And off it goes...

Monday, June 18, 2007


This is normally a distress signal but for this case, is a signal for another type of 'emergency'; SOS is Save Our Seahorses. Development without proper EIA and not taking appropriate measures in the interest of preserving nature leads to a domino effect of destruction. Unfortunately man often place his needs over that of nature and it is our children and future generations that will suffer the consequences.

This sea-grass bed is grazing ground for the dugongs(sea-cow). It looks large and it is, but how long will it stay that way for the marine-life that depends on it?

Some sea-grass are long, leaves up to 1.5 meter in length. At low-tide it is unable to support itself upright. This is one of the better times to spot Syngnathids or more commonly known as seahorses & pipefishes.

Moggie doing the moonwalk?

Researcher, student and volunteers gather round a found specimen.

The syngnathid males carries the fertilized eggs. In the case of pipefish, the eggs are external sort of like 'glued' to the underbelly.

Can you see the eggs?

A juvenile alligator pipefish.

Record sex, size, pregnancy, colour, evidence of injuries/scars/diseases:

Isn't she adorable?

This is a male seahorse. Males have a pouch to hold the eggs inside as opposed to the pipefish.

"I got you wrapped around my little pinkie... oh wait, you are wrapping my little pinkie!"

From the seahorse's eye-level...
"Nyeh, nyeh ... cannot find me."

"Now can I get on with my life?"

More photos posted here ->


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pisang Falls Chronicles II

What would be the first thing one would do after arriving at a beautiful waterfall? Off comes the backpack and into the lovely cool (or cold for some) water! This pool at the base of this fall is shallow so one can wade right under the falls for a head & shoulder massage. Just be careful that your pants are secured least the water curtain brings forth an additional show ;-)

Narrower falls to the left of the main fall.

View from the top of the gorge. The sun decided to show and together with the mist-spray, produced a rainbow.

A closer look at the rainbow.

Time passes all too quickly. We decided to trek out via the alternate route which is easier and brings us out onto the Karak highway. This steep path out of the gorge leads to the camp grounds above and from there, it is easy walking.

Another angle of the way up. It is not as difficult as it may seem as there are good hand-holds. Actually, coming down is more difficult, and great care should be taken to avoid mishaps.

There are lots to see on the trail. Although this is a rather common butterfly, the markings on closer look are remarkable.

The pretty Peacock Fern. During our school days, we used to press this between the pages of books for weeks/months to be used for bookmarks. The beautiful shade of green/blue color never fades.

A map of the area and our tracks. We went in via the river route (green line) and out via the easier h/way route (purple line). Walking distance from Pump House to waterfall is approx 2km. Yellow line represent the road in by car.

That's it folks, for this trip.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Banana (Pisang) Waterfall Chronicle

Our 1st attempt a month ago to visit Pisang (Banana) waterfall did not succeed. While attempting to take a shorter route, we ended up mapping a aboriginal village and some roads for the GPS Mapping community. This time round, having armed ourselves with more detailed information and taking the "known" route, we reached the waterfall and added more images to our ever growing photo-bank. Here's a short pictorial journal:

The starting point of the trek was a pump-house off the old Gombak-Bentong road. From this place named Alang Sedayu, the trek starts from across the river. The Karak Highway can be seen at the top-right of the picture.

Follow the track along the river....

... and sometimes in the river.

Moggie wondering if the "pau" (dumpling in the plastic bag attached to his bag) will get wet.

The river crosses the highway via this twin tunnels. This is a river and not a drain so the water is clean and clear.

Crossing to the "other side" ... head toward the light...
hmm.. that sounds like.. like...

After crossing the highway, follow the river upstream.

Further up, you will reach a confluence.
Now let's see. Which do we take?

Fortunately, a wood nymph was there to point to the correct way
"Take the river to the right"

Ok, ok.. so she was not a wood nymph.
This is the real nymph.
Common names: Tree/Wood Nymph butterfly, Rice Paper butterfly, Paper Kite butterfly
Classification: superfamily Papilionigiae, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Danainae, Genus Idea, Species Idea Leuconoe

Yikes!!! Some bamboo(?) specie with long and sharp thorns just off the beaten path.

A magnificent old tree.

The sight that greets the visitor signaling you have arrived.

Fish-eye view of the waterfall surroundings with the main falls on the right.

Amazing where trees can grow.

More photos coming up later.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Water Fascination

There's something about the early morning in the countryside. When the sun rises to light up your surroundings, remnants from the cold damp night present visual delights.

View from a spider's eye level. Each line of webbing have been beaded with water droplets.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Gunong Tapis (Rainbow) Waterfall

To reach this magnificent waterfall, we endured a bumpy one hour ride at the back of a truck and a 45 mins trek across rocky terrain with an uphill dash at the last leg. The sight that awaits the visitor ...

{Click on the photos to view a larger picture}

I estimate the height to be 100 meters or more. See how tiny the person is in the right foreground?

When the conditions are right, one will see why this waterfall is also known as Rainbow Falls.

The mist-spray from the waterfall catches the morning sunlight and a rainbow forms. During this visit, the rainbow was just over the pool of water at the base of the falls. Having rained the night before, there is a lot more water than desired hence the mist-spray is lower.

There are also times when there is no water at all so this "flattened" rainbow is better than none.

A fisheye view of the falls, the pool below and the some of the visitors that clambered over the slippery rocks to reach the waterfall base.

Can you see the rainbow?