Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kuala Koh, Taman Negara

Kuala Koh is the Kelantan (northern) entrance into Taman Negara National Park. It does not have hoards of tourists bringing in noise from wherever they came from.

Young bamboo shoot. The colours and shades are so pretty.

Over the Sungai Lebir...

Pic above taken from the suspension bridge.

Height of bridge over the river.

Looks higher here but estimate it to be approx 16 meters (50 feet) above river level.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kuala Koh - Common Birdwing

Mother nature can present its beauty at any time. Many of those moments are only stored in grey cells but once a while, a camera is on hand with the right lens to capture these moments to be shared.

Common Birdwing (Troides helena) is a beautiful and large butterfly belonging to the Swallowtail (Papilionidae family).

Kuala Koh - Spider Hunter (Sunbird)

I told myself that I might regret it if I did not change to my tele-zoom lens as we sat for lunch. When the photo opportunity presented itself, was I glad the 70-300IS lens was mounted on the camera and ready to shoot! So my lunch was cold but tasted so much better after gettig shots like these :D

Sunbird, common name for tropical, Old World birds, including more than one hundred species in the family Nectariniidae. Spider hunters, of the genus Arachnothera, are members of the true sunbird family and are found in Asia. Spider hunters (e.g., the little spider hunter, A. longirostris) feed largely on insects and spiders.

Kuala Koh - Atlas Moth (Attacus Atlas)

Like a magnificent vintage aircraft of old.

Atlas moths are considered to be the largest moths in the world in terms of total wing surface area (upwards of c. 400 square cm or 65 square inches). Their wingspans are also amongst the largest, from 25-30 cm (10-12 inches).

Atlas moths are said to be named after either the Titan of Greek mythology, or their map-like wing patterns. The chinese name translates as "snake's head moth", referring to apical extension of the forewing, which bears a passing resemblance to a snake's head. The purpose of these dramatic, gossamer portals is not clear, but they are thought to play a role in predator avoidance.

Same moth retreated high up on a bamboo groove after refusing to cooperate with photo-enthusiasts for a head-on profile.

From the road journey - Wings

If a journey is an hour's drive, add another hour if traveling with photography enthusiasts. Take a pair or two of keen eyes and you are likely to encounter mother nature's splendor en route to the destination. Ultimately it is the journey, not the destination that counts.

Just another tree but more than that, there's a raptor sitting high up.

At maximum zoom and some cropping yielded the image below; A Serpent Eagle. Even from afar, we could make out that this was a big fella.

Another tree some kilometers down the road, another Serpent Eagle was spotted.
Yet another stop and more megabyte filling moments.

An elusive subject; Kingfisher. Many attempts to shoot it only to have it fly off before we can get in some decent shots. Every time that happens, we can hear its cry like it was mocking us.
This was the first time I managed to get a shot of it before it took off.

Another opportunity to shoot another kingfisher presented itself and it would have been the best due to our close proximity to where it was. Alas a car that zoomed by before I could train my lens on it. Ah well, blurry colours are neat too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Port Dickson - Tanjong Tuan (Cape Rachardo) & Blue Lagoon

The oldest lighthouse in the country, originally built by the Portugese in the 16th century. After the conquest of Malacca by Portugal in 1511, they wanted to build a lighthouse to guide its ships. Tanjung Tuan was chosen and the cape was named Cape Rachado by them.

The lighthouse still holds vigil today but no longer just a vantage point to view trade or enemy ships sailing close to the coast. It now houses a revolving MEASAT Radar used for transmissions and communications.

More than just famous for its lighthouse, this site is a conservation area for migrating birds. Cape Rachado is well known as a popular stopover point for migrating raptors especially honey buzzards. Other birds that stop here during their annual winter migration include swifts, hawks, and eagles, which can be spotted between September and March every year.
See entry on Raptor Watch.

To reach the lighthouse, take a short uphill trek. Keep your eyes open for there are many things to see along the way.

View of the Straits from the lighthouse surroundings.

Wildflowers around the lighthouse.

We stopped over at the once-famous Blue Lagoon (nothing to do with the movie of the same title) to watch the sun set.

Banana boat...

Here's something different... at least for me it was... a view of Moggie in my frame, and Moggie in viewfinder.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Countrygirl

This is for Sandra:

In the midst of turmoil,
When things seem to be more than what you can handle,
Think of this; A port for safe haven.

This is one place where I go not just for diving but to rejuvenate. It is serene and breathtaking.
There is beauty above and beneath the surface; A lovely place to hang out while the rest of the world go by out of sight.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Workstation Guardian

Irish Wolfhound here sits on my table and "guards" my stuff while I away from my desk. Been faithfully doing that for years and I just realized that he (she?) does not have a name. Suggestions welcomed ;-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Another Hill to Save

Yet again the same story of the "need to develop". It is never a need but a want/ desire. There are many other places if you want to build housing but why should it be at the expense of Mother nature? I would not say no due thought has been given but as always, money speaks the loudest and the greedy will only heed its call.

So, it leaves other communities labeled environmentalist, conservationist and other whatnot-ist to lobby for nature to be preserved. That makes then the "bad guys" but in the end, let us see who shall stand for judgement.

For more info: http://www.savetamanmelawatihill.com/

Milo, LH and I went out in search of this place and after a round of discovering Melawati, we finally found the place, thanks to the bright yellow orange tent sent up for the raptor watch. We were too late for the watch but there are always other treasures that nature has in store.

Pretty butterfly at the max zoom of my lens.

This fella just gave me a bum-bum profile. This was the best of the 3 I managed to shoot before it flew off.

Limestone cliff ridge nearby as seen from the top of the hill.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Watch the birdie

Birdie having a Grandstand view of the setting sun.