Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pink bromeliads

A Bromeliad species that grows well in 'open' sun

 In its original setting, bromeliads grow in the cooler areas of our rainforests.  They thrive as epiphytes in the tall forest canopy.  Taken out from its natural habitat, these plants can be grown as houseplants.  Up on the trees they absorb moisture and other nutrients from the air, sometimes stealing nourishment from their host plants.  A recent visit to the Orchid Park in Kuching convinces me that this particular variety grows extremely well in 'open' areas.  The pink flowers were of great appeal amidst the greenery.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Away from the city noise

Taman Botani Perdana, KL.

Taman Botani Perdana

Taman Botani Perdana

Taman Botani Perdana
Shah Alam recreational lakes and parks area

Shah Alam recreational lakes and parks area

Shah Alam recreational lakes and parks area

Shah Alam recreational lakes and parks area
Note: The above images were taken in October'15 while on a visit to Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam.
Most cities and municipal areas in Malaysia lack any structure plan that incorporate urban green areas as a matter of fact.   Almost all urban areas in Malaysia evolve in unplanned and haphazard  happenstance which over time have little consideration for green belt areas or urban lungs, nature passageways and parks.  Thus whatever we see in KL or Shah Alam are rare cases of afterthought.  This is a lesson that must be learnt for newly developed and expanding town and city areas in Sarawak.  Will we?

"Bengawan Solo" in keroncong gamelan style.

Gamelan ensemble from Kampung Jawa, Semengoh.
18 Nov'15
The Gamelan music ensemble entertained us during a fund raising dinner at Hikmah, Kuching last nite.  The atmosphere of the hall was filled with soothing and nostalgic songs rendered well by the group like 'Bengawan Solo' in 'keroncong' gamelan style.  The ensemble is from Kampung Jawa, near Semengoh, Kuching.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holy grail of the Yellow rain tree

'Yellow' rain tree - Samanea saman
Location : Taman Botani Perdana , Kuala Lumpur.

Taman Botani Perdana
 We can create a perpetual autumn in our tropical landscape.  It is a matter of selecting the correct tree species.  One tree that can serve this purpose well is the rain tree ( Samanea saman), not the common kind but an "albino" of the species.  Some assign a new name to it as  the 'Yellow' rain tree due to the strong yellow pigmentation of its leaves.  I found that at the Taman Botani Perdana in Kuala Lumpur recently, the gardens people have begun to re-group a half dozen or so of these yellow form of rain tree at a certain location in order to have them provide the maximum effect of a perpetual autumn look.  It is a right thing to in order to provide vibrant colour to the cool green wash of our local  urban landscape.  It is no exaggeration to say that if anyone can propagate this variety or form, he or she can be a multi-millionaire very quickly.  But how?  To replicate by cloning has not been known to bear any result.  Further, this yellow form has not been known to produce pods or seeds.  So there you are, if you want to get rich try beat this holy grail of the Yellow rain tree.

The long and variegated leaves of the Pandanus sanderi with stilt roots
Taman Botani Perdana, KL.

Monday, November 16, 2015

'The World of Pustaka' coffee table book launched

Me with contributors to the book after the launching of the book ' Alam Pustaka' (Malay) or The World of Pustaka
Date: 16 Nov'15 at Pullman Hotel, Kuching.
Attended the launching of a coffee table book today in Kuching, of which I am part contributor.  For full story please follow the link .. here

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A photograph ends my search

This aerial photo portrays the landscape and limit of Bintulu town's "urban" area in the late 50's to 60's era, prior to the its first boom period beginning 1979.

Finally my search for a documentary evidence came by in the form of a photograph that clearly shows the historical mango tree that has been the subject of my historical search after so many years.  This tree is important because it is the only physical structure and a living one at that which is still standing even at this point of writing while all others in the picture above have been obliterated due to the development of Bintulu town.  Thus the tree is very historical and living proof of the Bintulu that was.  For more detail story of this tree check my earlier writings on it by following ...... this link. ........and also  here

The Mango tree as seen today, 30 Nov'15.

Below are pictures of the surrounding landscape of the historical Mango tree in the years around 1950-60's (black and white) and intensive  development of the same area starting with  the first boom period (1979-83) shown in the colour photo below . Please go to this link to know more account of the area...>>>

Friday, November 13, 2015

Symphony in the garden

Water features at the garden space around IOI shopping mall, KL.
Taken on 20 Oct'15.

Shah Alam in haze

Mosque at Shah Alam, Selangor. Taken 20 October'15

Man-made lakes at Shah Alam city parks and recreational area.
20 Oct'15

The haze has kept away many visitors to the park at Shah Alam, 20 Oct'15.

Kuala Lumpur in choking haze

KL, taken on 20 Oct'15
Photo title: 'Highway to Haze'

New housing located near to the hill slopes at Taman Melawati, KL
clouded in thick haze.
This October I took a brief family holiday to KL.  An annual phenomena that caused schools to close for weeks and choked the city inhabitants happened again during our visit.  Kuala Lumpur sits in one big Klang Valley with surrounding hills that contain and circulate the industrial smog, traffic smoke  and tropical jungle clearing haze from neighbouring Indonesian island of Sumatra.  

Orchid shop at Taman Botani Perdana

A row of small orchid shops at Taman Botani Perdana, KL.
Taken in October,2015.

Orchids for sale

Love the pastel purple colours...

There is a row of orchid small orchid shops or stalls at the Taman Botani Perdana.  On my last visit there in October this year, I noticed the small shops were pleasing to browse and surprised to see a good range of orchids species for sale.  Some were native orchids and many more were cultivated hybrids.  Don't miss a chance to drop by the place when at at the KL Botanic Garden situated the  once very popular and  well-known recreational area called the Lake Gardens back in the 70's.
For more vanda orchid species that I have managed to photograph and named over many years of encounter, please go to this link 

Banded Woopecker or 'Belatok Merah'

Banded Woodpecker - Picus miniaceus

It is not a very clear picture because it was shot in the shade without the aid of any flash.  However, the image is good enough to show a bird I have not seen in Sarawak (as yet)  but able to have a glimpse at the Kuala Lumpur Botanic garden called 'Taman Botani Perdana'.  Its red forehead and cheek plus its wings convinced me it is the Banded Woodpecker which Malays call 'Belatok Merah'.

Encounter with the Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Family : Musaceae - Banana family
It is not in New Guinea that I encountered the Bird of Paradise, but at the roof-top of a shopping mall in KL called "One Utama".  The place was called "Secret Garden" where a large collection of tropical plants are housed in a garden space at the very top of the shopping mall.  Seeing it for the first time in full bloom and healthily grown I was struck awesome by its colour and likeness of a bird in flight.

Longest drawing record

Taken on 23 October,15 at National Visual Arts Gallery, KL.
with artist S. Amin Sahab
On a recent trip to KL, I met this artist who is attempting to produce the longest drawing in Malaysia.  The drawings are done on canvas using felt pen (Artline) in black.  When connected his target is to reach a total length of 1 km.  At the point of the photograph he has achieved 900 m length, thus another 100 meters to go.  His feat started in 2008 and still going......

Initial notes

Created this blog today in Kuching, 5.15 pm on Friday 13.
This blog will act as a blogs central for all the blogging activities that are current.
It's like a visit to the top ten blogs that I continually update and share stories and images  to the world.