Friday, March 30, 2007

Clouds painted with a brush

The clouds this morning were so pretty. It was like an artist had placed the clouds against the blue sky with intricate brush strokes. Btw, this was taken with a camera phone so quality is not like fantastic.

{click on the picture to enlarge}

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Under a very green sea

Pulau Jarak (N3°59', E100°06') lies 38 nautical miles from the coast of Lumut, Perak. Topside is pretty much as it looks; uninhabited (by humans that is) with the radio communications tower as the only man-made structure there.

However, a different world awaits those who venture beneath the surface of the surrounding sea.

A Honeycomb Moray Eel aka Tesselate Moray (Gymnothorax favagineus). A handsome fella and used to be abundant around the island of Jarak, now off limits for divers due to reasons we can only speculate.

Another moray eel but of the specie Strophidon sathete. Commonly known as Slender Giant Moray. This is still a juvenile but already photogenic.

A triggerfish but one that is quite harmless unlike that of the very aggressive and infamous Titan Triggerfish. This is (I think) a Halfmoon Triggerfish. Tried googling and got all sorts of 'halfmoon triggerfish'. Most were more like half-baked *snigger*.

This is the very pretty Dendronepthya soft coral. Some divesites have a whole wall covered with it. One of the wonders of the underwater realm that no image can fully capture.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Flower of the Cannonball Tree

Cannon-ball Tree (Couroupita guianensis) as it is commonly know due the woody fruits it bears that look like cannonballs. It is an evergreen tree allied to the Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa). The Indians call it the Nagalingam Tree. It grows to 30-35m tall, with leaves in whorls on the ends of the shoots. The flowers, which are borne only on special stems on the main trunk, are orange, scarlet or pink forming racemes up to 3m long. They mature into large spherical woody fruit 15-24 cm diameter, containing numerous (200-300) seeds. The pulp of the fruits oxidizes bluish, and has an unpleasant smell.

The flower is what attacts one's attention. The flowers are heavily scented and appear in a riot of colour — red, yellow, pink, cream, and white. The six, thick petals are concave and within them lies a circle of barren stamens without pollen and fertile stamens with pollen. This odd arrangement ensures self-pollination if insect pollination fails.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Raptor Watch 2007

After missing out on the past few years, finally managed to witness this spectacular raptor migration. I don't have good lenses (yet) to capture the finer details of the raptors but I hope you enjoy this sequence of these majestic birds of prey riding on air currents to gain height.

They came in small and great numbers. I have yet to witness the sky just filled with these beautiful creatures but for now, this will suffice.

Good closer-up shots of the raptors are found here:

Milo's and Moggie's