Thursday, November 29, 2007

Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows

The Red Arrows are renowned throughout the world as ambassadors for both the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom. Since my keen interest in aviation (rather anything that flies) in my younger years, the Red Arrows have stood out in my memory as the premier aerobatic team in the world.

One would do the darnest things to pursue their interest and this is no exception. For now, not only to see the 'dream team' in live-on-site action for the first time but also to capture the moments with my camera, another passion.

First 10 mins or so would be formation flying. These guys are so good! I know some people have trouble even just walking straight.

Then the real action begins....

The two looks almost like glued together in flight...

... but that was just the angle illusion. It really was like this:

The grand finale.

The BAE Systems Hawk T1 is the RAF’s advanced trainer, and has been used by the Red Arrows since 1979.

This picture for Ladyhawk .... his name is on the side of the aircraft :P

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tasek Bera (Out to the Lake)

Tasek Bera in the state of Pahang is the largest natural freshwater lake in Malaysia. Comprising an area of 31,120 hectares, it is a wetland of international importance and was declared a RAMSAR site in November 1994. The Semelai are the indigenous people that have been residing in this area since 600 years ago.

The boat used here were not the traditional 'flat-bottomed' boats. It has been replaced by modern fibreglass boats with outboard motors.

Moving through the thicker vegetation before reaching the open areas

Getting to the open areas.
The mengkuang plants are abundant and it is used to make mats. The Semelai make beautiful mats with patterns depicting a story.

Little birdies on top of almost every trunk...

Some parts of the lake mirrors the horizon and sky.

Playing around with light and reflection.

The sun as seen on the water surface.

This is another part of the lake. The village here is Kg. Pathir and it has a beautiful view overlooking the lake. Yes, that's the lake there and it is covered with reeds.

This is what it looks like from the water's edge.

A little further down the path, a jetty facilitate easier access out to the lake. The water is deeper here.

Again, more modern boats.

Tasek Bera (Structures)

This is the SABOT (Semelai Association for BOating & Tourism) office in Pos Iskandar. We put up the night in here. Basic, cozy and clean toilets, sufficient for what we need. About a month ago, electricity availability became 24x7. This is really good news to both residents and visitors. Previously electricity was provided by a generator from dusk to dawn only.

This is where we lunched here before heading back to the city. Located in Kg. Pathir, it is made from bamboo and tree bark. Roof however, has been upgraded to zinc.

This is the floor of the interior; Bamboo held together with rattan. Very cool as the air flows through.

A balai or a gathering place. This one is up for rental for large group of visitors/ tourists.

The local 'pub' at Kg. Paya Pelawan. Downright quaint and cozy.

Tasek Bera (Misc)

No, this is not a jet ski.

One of the sources of income for many of the Semelai; Rubber trees.

The latex is tapped by stripping some of the bark and collected in the cup.

This is Ms. Semelai 2007 ... cutest smile and very photogenic.

On our way back to the city, low clouds over the hills were a pretty sight.

Sunset, beautiful as always.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tasek Bera (Feathers)

This bird, a Kingfisher has been one of the hardest subject to capture. It is easily spooked and it doesn't help when we are trying to shoot en route to a destination. These represent the best I have managed to capture so far.

If only it stayed a split second longer ... or maybe I just need one of those Canon EF L lenses that focuses super fast ;-)

The best of the lot. The aboriginal people here call this 'kekaka', from the laughing sound that it emits. Usually we hear it just as it flies off before we manage to shoot as though it was mocking us. I call this a 'laughing jackass' tho no relation to the Australian Kookaburra.

There it goes again with the 'kakakaka' laughter.

As we prepared to move out for owling, a big bird came to perch on a pole nearby. We could not make out what it was then but just fired off 2 frames before it flew off. A delightful surprise that an owl had come to us. Bum-bum shot but better than none-none. We spotted 2 out on the road but did not manage to capture on photo.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pulau Ketam from the Air

Supposed to have posted this a few weeks ago but was so caught up with trips that the weekends just filled up the time and the camera memory card.

Enroute to Pulau Ketam, we flew over the Klang North Port.

Pulau Ketam village. Houses and everything else here is on stilts.

Sun drying catch from the sea.

Pretty much a standstill as far as coming and going is concerned when the tide is out. Other than the plank walkways connecting all the buildings, main mode of transport to and from this place is via boats.

Flock of birds (prob Egrets) taking flight.

Along the coastline over Kuala Selangor heading back towards Meru.

It was a beautiful day and good flying weather.