Thursday, March 26, 2009

Song of the Flower XXII

I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.

But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.

- Khalil Gibran, 1914 - 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Feathery Residents of Fraser's Hill

We were at Fraser's Hill for spiders but along the way had some encounters with the feathery residents. Unlike those who came to Fraser's with fancy-spamchy bins (binoculars) and spotting scopes, we made do with what we had; Nikon & Canon dSLRs with 70-300mm mounted and Canon G7 & G9 among the uninitiated.

* Special thanks to Seng & Carol for their assistance in identifying and giving a brief commentary about the birds*

Long-Tail Sibia - always in a pack, quite noisy, moving along as they feed.

Long-tailed Sibia taking flight.

Silver-eared Mesia - the Jewels of Fraser's Hill; a babbler, also moves around in small groups. Males have red rumps, females yellow.

Large Niltava, female - Irresdescent blue/purple patch on shoulder and on top of head. Male is the same except the brown is replaced by black. Has a sweet 3-note call. Usually in a pair.

*Following pictures were shot under high ISO (1600) due to low-light conditions. The Digic-IV gives excellent image quality with little noise. Btw, I was not paid by Canon to say this.

Friday, March 13, 2009

From Semporna - Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Tun Sakaran Marine Park in Semporna, Sabah is the biggest marine park in Malaysia. Just gazetted as a marine park not too long ago, this is the first marine park to encompass the sea, land and people living in its zone.

Pulau Bodagaya, one of the bigger islands and on one of its shelves, is a reef YL calls Seafan Garden.

Pulau Bohey Dulang. There was an oyster/pearl farm here that was run by a Japanese for 40+ years until it was suddenly adandoned in the late 90s. Now there is a Marine Police base and the Sabah Park Station here. This is where I bunked down for my stay. Lovely place indeed.

This is why I was here; to look for the Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) and assist in its research under the SOS Programme. They are only found on the Gorgornian Seafan of the genus Muricella and in depths of 16-40 meters. This was found in 26 meter depth.

Other side attractions; The Bristlebrush aka Christmas Tree worm.