Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sweetest Girl

Back to my storeroom cum office after my lunch break on Sunday, 21st June. A large sized paperback was hanging on the doorknob and my name was written on it. My immediate thought was, "Yiiippeee! Present from my guest...who?" I peeked into that bag like a curious kitty and saw a bunch of "long beans". Mangrove seedlings! and little note that read:
"This is Amnah, (you took me for a tour yesterday and a nature walk). I found these seeds on the beach, in the water and I would like you to have them for your project. I will keep the two found at the mangrove and grow them. I will send you pictures of their process when the leef, etc. progress. - Amnah (Thx for everything) :)"

Such a sweet young girl about 12 years old from India and now residing in Singapore. I'm so glad that Mother Nature has opened up her heart and soul towards appreciating simple things in life.
What makes this job a rewarding one is when you know that the education has reached someone and the purpose achieved. This would be one of my best moments in this line of duty.

Well, Amnah, the seeds you have saved are now being kept alive in containers with water until they are release into the wild. All the best to you and I wish that you will become someone that would advocate and protect our natural heritage someday.

You have to open yourself to natural spectacle, but willing it to happen is a difficult as willing yourself to fall in love. Like a child, you have to be empty of expectation, have to possess eyes that see and ears that hear. It takes practise, like anything. - Jerry Dennis; The River Home.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

A "Suspender" suspending on a branch

Someone pointed this to me and what I thought it was a huge black suspender hanging off the branch. As I got closer... woooowooowwww! This is amazing! Being a city homosapien, I have not seen such a huge congregation before.

A black "suspender" suspending on a branch. Is almost a meter wide and half a meter lengthwise.

Yellow "bumble-bee" like. Thousands of them.

These pictures were taken on a hot afternoon on June 6th 2009. Any bees expert out there who can help me identify what species of this bee?

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Mangroves Planting after the 3rd

Tide level on 31st May 2009 was about 2.30m and a hot afternoon. At this level, these creatures came nearer to the shore to play.

A mudskipper resting at a pole (top) and Fiddler crabs (uca vocan sp, bottom pic) fighting for that one mud hole.

I expected these fiddler crabs to shut their burrow by then. Instead some of them quickly moved into the thick mud and sank in. They were really cute. It was fun seeing them covered themselves with the mud and with their antenna eyes sticking out.

Planters of the day: Aida & See. Is great to have a high tide at this area, so we can clean ourselves up after the planting. This time we planted the seedlings with the visible roots. Read

The soft mud is a lot thicker as compared to other planting days. The swift current has washed up the silt during the spring tide. As I scanned the area for our previous seedlings, I was upset that 80% of the previous planting has gone. I couldn't even find my babies Ceriops Tagal & Brugeira Parviflora together with the 9 "bodyguards". This area is crazy. The current and waves are very strong. At some point, I just thought if I should give up this place. Before I would actually do that, I will give another attempt or strategy, which will be planting nearer to the beach. However the ground is so much hardier. Days later, we consulted Seng, environmental engineering from FrangiPangi Resort, Langkawi. He had a look via Google Earth and suggested that is a current washing from the river mouth. Therefore, we should move our planting further away. However the direct strong wind and current from the open sea is inevitable. Hmmm... sigh...
Oh well, as a reward to ourselves at the end of each planting session, we always look forward to a glass of ice cold sirap selasih at Warung Pais...slurp... This refreshing drink looks like tadpoles eggs in watery blood. Selasih is basil.
Thanks to Aida for ordering this drink.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

With the Wind

The wind hit directly onto my main sail as she breezed the last 200 meters towards the white sandy beach cutting the waves silently. You should have seen my smile.

Yes! Yes! I've sailed on my own on the Hobbiecat for the first time today without having the mast knocking on my head, my tacks and jibes were executed smoothly and without any capsize.

Now I truly understand the tack and the jibe ... leeho!
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Dead Turtle... Identification Needed

These images below were taken a year ago while I was on the boat with my guests at Tanjung Rhu coast, Langkawi.

Gee... I know these pictures are staled by now since they are more than 1 year old. I started digging out these images since my colleague spotted another decomposed carcass of a similar turtle recently about 500meters away from the spot of the first dead turtle found.

After a meeting on "Sustainable Tourism" at LADA yesterday afternoon, a naturalist on the island claimed that many years ago, green turtles actually nested on Langkawi.
Is that right? Could this be a green turtle (chelonia mydas) or Olive Ridley Turtle (lepidochelys olivacea)? Any marine expert who could help me confirm the Id of this dead turtle, that would be appreciated.

Thanks much.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Do we need soil ...?

Fascinating discovery! About 30 seedlings I collected were sitting in the plastic bag half-filled with tap water and placed in the bucket. They were sitting in there for more than a week. I was about to change the water in the plastic bag and Wow! Roots! They were so cool.

Ingredients to allow roots to grow without any soil:
water, plastic bag (seedlings must be in the water at upright position)

Strange but true. I have no idea why. To get the roots out, the seedlings must be in the upright position. I have put seedlings in a huge bucket half-filled with water and the seedlings were horizontal position for 2-3 weeks; no roots.

Rhizophora apiculata sp. (bakau minyak) with their roots.

From left: Rhizophora mucronata sp (Bakau kurap); Center: Rhizophora apiculata sp (Bakau minyak); Right most: 15-cm ruler. Compare the length of these two different species but same family.

Average length of the root after more than a week is about 1cm.

In future posting, I will show you where the shoot of the young seedlings come from.
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