Nature is simply breathtaking


 Malaysia is home to simply thousands of floral species. Would be amiss not to celebrate the floral bounty of this on my blog.

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Above is the grand Heliconia and next to it, a gorgeous yellow Hibiscus.

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The truth is, I can’t name this white flower above. Tried looking it up, but it was futile.

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A bunch of lovely cream-coloured daises.

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The Bird’s Nest Fern that is easier to find in a garden than in a forest these days.

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A solitary white daisy.

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I believe the yellow orchid is of the Cattleya family but can’t be more specific. The magenta/fuchsia coloured one is a Phalaenopsis hybrid

floral-24.jpg A tri-colour chrysanthemum.

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A muted yellow daisy, after the rain.

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There is something iresistible yet poignant about this solitary pink rose whose petals are rain-drenched.

Protest by Police?


Last night’s drizzle did keep some people away from the planned Anti-ISA vigil at Dataran Merdeka. In fact, I would say just about 300 people turned out.

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It was a peaceful enough walk with most people holding candles. Met some familiar faces, including Uncle Zorro and Black.

But that was not news. What’s interesting is that there were at least 500 cops there, including the FRU drones, the vest-clad tired-looking CID fellas (and a gal) and uniformed policemen.

They commandeered the entire stretch of Jalan Raja from Sultan Abdul Samad building all the way to the Jalan Tun Perak/Tuanku Abdul Rahman junction, filling the closed roads with the trucks.

From 8.30 pm till 9.15pm it was quite a quiet walk without much fuss. Then the cops decided the waiting game is over. And began marching.

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It really looked like a rally by cops. I wonder if THEY got permit. Heh!

At 9.30pm the one truck they brought all the way through to Leboh Pasar, started spraying its chemical-laced water to disperse the truck.

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There were a lot of uuhs and aaahs kinda noises…(like the spartan warriors in 300). They even ran screaming down a backlane. I thought they were beating up people but no…just the sound effects.

It was funny…I tell ya.

Then everyone went home….(dunno if they lived happily ever after).

A Yellow Day to Remember


Indeed it was. There was tremendous police presence, roadblocks everywhere in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and the blue-grey fatigues of the Federal Reserve Unit was a familiar sight everywhere you turn.

At the end of the day, it was just a bunch of Malaysians, who wanted to see their sovereign to raise their plight. But the executive used instruments of law and order to stop them from doing so.

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Welcome back to Birdland


It has been quite a while since pretty pictures graced this blog. Too many things have been happening around us that required some literary blood-letting. So much so, I forgot the simple yet increasingly elusive pleasure afforded by communing with nature…and its inhabitants.

Kampung girl that I am at heart, living in Kuala Lumpur sometimes gets to be too much. It is a view shared by many friends, including Tony who once said he ends up in the jungle pretty often. Me? I am greedy for bird sightings. It’s not easy to see exotic birds these days, so I headed to KL Bird Park.

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Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it. This Cattle Egret perched on a tree branch, one-legged. I suppose if you have wings to fly, it doesn’t really hurt to push your luck, gravity-wise.

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This is a hawk….ostensibly. I know its not a buzzard. Eagles are bigger. It could be a kite too. I’m no bird expert. HELP! Identify this lovely raptor for me. This one got tired of the shutterbugs’ lenses and flew away to hide among some plants.

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This is one hell of a portrait shot of the White Crowned Hornbill. Man…check out the eyelashes. I met this guy at the Malacca Zoo.

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A tranquil, ethereally lovely shot of two Greater Flamingoes in the pond…cooling off the effects of the sweltering sun. This pic was captured at the KL Bird Park. These birds are the most widespread members in the flamingo family.

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Australian White Ibis  feeling right at home on this leafy tree. Found this at Zoo Negara. As its name suggests, this long-beaked birdie is indigenous to south western Australia. One of the classier looking members of the Ibis family.

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And this biggie mouthie is aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa White Pelican. Big fella, can weigh up to 10 kg and is found from Europe to Asia, and Africa. Can cause a racket.

That’s all folks, for now at least. Keep on drooling : )

Welcome to Birdland….


Viewing the world through camera lenses alters your perception in more ways than you know. I made this happy discovery quite a while ago, and this fuelled my love affair ever since. I have certainly started paying more attention to the little things around me in the recent years.

Malaysia is one of the biodiversity capitals of the world, so it certainly is home to many many bird species. I’d like to share some pictures of birds i found in my surroundings, and hopefully, you readers can help me name some of them. Here we go….

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This bird was on a tree in front of Rumah Universiti, University Malaya in KL. It turned around a few seconds later n I got a closer shot….below.

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Interesting bird. Could this be of the magpie family? I have not seen its like since. But hey, I live in Kuala Lumpur and I’m very lucky to see anything other than crows, pigeons, mynahs and house sparrows.

The one below is one I would have missed if it did not move. It was pretty small and heartbreakingly beautiful. See for yourself.

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The above pic is also of the same type of bird (CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT SPECIES?) that I took at dusk at the Lake Gardens in Seremban. I think they may be bulbuls. Could be Olive Winged Bulbul or Yellow Vented Bulbul.

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This pristine white confection of a bird is smaller than half my palm. This dainty little thing is a Java Sparrow, and I saw it not in the wild but at the kiddy zoo at Zoo Negara.

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This pair found while walking at the KL Lake Gardens. Couldn’t get a better picture because I couldn’t get any closer and my hands were shaking. Looks like something of the sparrow family but I’m not ornithologist so enlighten me please.

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This is a common bird that is lovely to look at. The Black-naped Oriole. I used to see it often in neighbourhoods with lots of trees and of course parks. Seen it near my house as a matter of fact, but these birds always stay far enough away to make it difficult for amateur old me to photograph.

I do have a collection of bird pictures from my forays around towns, villages and jungles. I’ll post more of them when I can. Meanwhile, enjoy yourselves ogling these winged darlings.

This site has some info of local birds that helped me a little.

Eye Candy


Things are getting busier at school, pretty impossible to post some thoughtful stuff for some time now. But I’m back and with some pictures from the old collection.view

The theme is Marine this time, well largely anyway. This is from a visit to Aquaria in KLCC last year. I must say it is freaking expensive and for RM28 (non-Malaysians pay more) I thought the offered fare was kinda disappointing. I had an eyeful of some huge Arapaimas(and more) at Zoo Negara for a fraction of the price.

Here are some pics from the the two visits. Enjoy, folks!

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This is a busy lionfish, refused to stay still and strike a pose for moi! Hence the blur effect : (

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Nice view through the circular glass, granted. But the picture below was kinda warmer I thought.

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See what I mean? Looks wholesome doesn’t it?

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What’s a visit to Aquaria without a shot of good ol’ Sharky Shark. Thanks to the late Peter Benchley’s seminal work and Steven Spielberg’s larger than life representation on celluloid, Sharky has got a bad rep for decades now. But lemme tell you this. Far more people died in the hands of a certain Texan hick of a president than in the jaws of these efficient predators.

Nautilus

This is a Nautilus. Until I visited Aquaria, I had always thought that Nautilus is the name of Captain Nemo’s ship and that’s it. You know Captain Nemo right? Ok, I don’t need to explain further. Now I know Nautilus is actually a cephalopod. Add that to the knowledge that author Jules Verne (whose creation was the Nautilus and Captain Nemo, among others) was an ardent naturalist who often displayed his attention to scientific accuracy in his novels. It makes complete sense to me now.

So yes, I did learn something new. And I got acquainted with the cute guy below. Check him out, basking in his reptilian glory.

Iguana

This reminded me of Malaysian musician Amir Yusoff. No, this is not how he looks, Amir is a hunk of a guy, with some mean dreadlocks, a mean voice and he’s a dab hand at playing the guitar too. Just that its a well known fact that the guy keeps two pet iguanas. About 2 to three years ago, I met him and asked about his reptilian pets. He said he still had them and they were fine.

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This was taken at Zoo Negara. Couldn’t at first determine whether its a tortoise or turtle. I do believe now that its a tortoise. I’ve never seen a tortoise like this though. It looks like its shell was stepped on by an elephant and its bent and twisted all over. Seriously though, I would appreciate it if any of you could enlighten me on the name of this species.

Arapaima gigas

This is one of the largest, if not THE largest species of freshwater fish in the world, the Arapaima Gigas. The few that I saw at the freshwater aquarium at Zoo Negara. This species is native to the wild and rich Amazon river that snakes through Peru and Brazil in South America.

A source of income for poor Peruvian fishermen, the Arapaima or Pirarucu as it is known in South Americawas hunted down in earnest until it figured in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It moves rather gently and seems a docile fish, but it measured almost 10-feet-long so, if I am in the vicinity of these giants, I’d steer clear. A whip of that giant tail could floor you easy. Remember, that stingray that killed Steve Irwin was a docile creature too.

The thing is, many of us humans forget that the most gentle of creatures can turn dangerous if it senses a threat. Hell, try taking a kitten away from its mom. I used to have claw marks from such encounters.