Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Landscape trees for Sarawak

 I have been flipping through my old photo albums regarding visit to trees I've made over the last 35 years.  They appear in colour photos and  I have added recent digital images taken using digital camera from my laptop too.  These pictures taken on visits to Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia are combined randomly to illustrate the beauty of trees in the landscape.  Trees afford us a whole list of benefits and chiefly among them are :
1) shade
2) colours
3) micro-climate
4) haven for wildlife
5) identity or character to a place
6) in constant touch with nature
7) eye-softener
8) compositional space and architectural perspective.
Think of the above points while looking at the pictures below.  Happy viewing the trees.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sarikei's charm

Dawn view near the express boat terminal area

Express boat berthing at the wharf...
It's not often that I have got a chance to stay overnight in Sarikei.  But waking up early this morning  I checked out the river front to catch the early views of dawn.  The express boat terminal was quite but gradually saw activity after 6.30 am when the boat passengers start loading their goods on top and inside the fast speed express boat.  Sarikei is a small administrative town that has managed to retain its old charm despite many developments around the town that incessantly push away the old shophouses into oblivion with newer models.  This visit was exceptional because despite its iconic pineapple for which the town is normally associated, the durian fruits ruled the day.  Durians were sold along  the shophouses five-foot ways and  temporary durian market established nearby the express boat terminal.  This year is a very bountiful durian season for Sarikei and durians could be bought very cheaply like RM 1 per piece for a reasonable sized fruit.

Sarikei waterfront at dawn

Five-foot way

Bountiful durian season

Old Sarikei - view of Jalan Repok

 Sarikei today - view of Jalan Repok

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Durian stops

Temporary durian stalls by the Sarawak trunk road, erected during the durian season

 The end of year is a time of fruits festival in Sarawak with the Durian lovingly called 'king of the fruits' forever claiming its welcome place in the hearts of Sarawakians as the year is about to roll over.  Traveling along the Sarawak trunk road from Bintulu to Kuching (600 km long) is not really a pleasant trip with many winding and narrow roads that are and in many places continuously under repair or re-construction.  It is a never ending sour sad story for Sarawakians and reflecting much of the 'raw deal' episode of the Malaysia Agreement that Sarawakians have to live by even after 50 years of independence in Malaysia.  But with the end of the year, Sarawakians turn jovial and a happy lot with the durians becoming the centerpiece of conversations anywhere with anybody anyhow.  In Sarawak there is the added plus that you can find all sorts of durians here which cannot be found in Peninsular Malaysia like the 'Nyekek' (Durio kutejensis) , 'Tutong' (Durio dulcis), "Munyit" (Durio grandilorus) and the 'Isu' (Durio oxleyanus).
Selling durians at Sibu central market - vendors of all races meet to sell various durian species from their own gardens in an atmosphere of festivity, racial harmony and happy end of year seasonal bonus.

"Isu" or Durian Umot (Bidayuh) - Durio oxleyanus

Durio zibethinus - this is the more popular and easily available type of durian sold at many towns in Sarawak and also along the rural countryside stalls

When the Durian is in season, other local fruits like the black 'Dabai',red 'Kundong' or hairy Rambutan join in the end of year party.

Typical Iban longhouse along Sarawak trunk road where durian trees are grown nearby the longhouse in fruit gardens that face extinction due to the onslaught of the new golden crop - oil palm trees.

The contention of a 'raw deal' in the Malaysia agreement - poor quality roads for Sarawak compared with expressways in Peninsular Malaysia.
But this sad sour story is brushed aside at the end of the year with the durians making Sarawakians a happier and satisfied lot...
Year in year out, the pricky question of a raw deal is happily forgotten for the 'heavenly' taste of the the durians.  Sarawakians are a patient lot. Thanks to the durian - forget the pricky part, just enjoy the thick buttery flesh.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Birding in Kuching

Photo rendart by MOOD...

 On my last trip to Kuching, I took time off to join my photograhy friends for birdwatching excursions around Kuching city.  The locations were at the Pustaka Sarawak ( Sarawak State Library), Bako and our garden in Kuching.  Here's some pictures  I took using Nikon D5100.
Little Green Pigeon at Pustaka Sarawak

Stork-billed Kingfisher at Pustaka Sarawak

Photo rendart by MOOD of the stork-billed kingfisher..

Barn swallow at Pustaka Sarawak

Egret at Pustaka Sarawak

Asian Glossy Starling or Perling at Pustaka Sarawak

Olive-backed sunbird at our house garden in Kuching - female

Olive-backed sunbird at our house garden in Kuching -male

Olive-backed sunbird at our house garden in Kuching -female

Olive-backed sunbird at our house garden in Kuching -female

White -collared kingfisher at Bako..