Thursday, July 31, 2014

A little rain at the park

 A little rain at the park has brought much relief to the birds and plants.  The dry spell has been felt for more than a week already and this little rain means so much to residents of the park.  The Eurasian Tree Sparrow was slightly drenched.  The Drunken Sailor became an attractive plantlife study and so was the Tongkat Ali flowers and fruits.  The Tongkat Ali is a man's best friend.  To find out why check it out in my other blog here....>>>>
A small Tongkat Ali tree specimen
Location : Zone C

Tongkat Ali flowers and fruits.
The fruits are still very small.

Ong Lumok tree in the rain..

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Highlights today at the park

Eastern Crimson Sunbird - Kelicap Sepah Raja (Malay)
Aethopyga siparaja

Tabebuia rosea
Family : Bignoniaceae - Bignonia family

Heliconia psittacorum
Family : Musaceae - Banana family

Photoshoot session with the Tree Lizard

 The tree lizards are curious little creatures that will spend sometime admiring surprised onlookers.  They are attracted by many tiny insects that visit rotting or over-ripe fruits.  They also like to snatch fruit flies.  They are make fine  models because they  do not seem to leave in a hurry.  They are  colourful subjects and can be seen on every day basis at the park.  Here's more poses ....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Photoshoot session with the Little Green Dinosaur

Green-crested lizard

 Something moved by the Japanese bamboo.  It was a little green creature.  Rushing to get my camera, I hoped it would still be there for me to photoshoot it.  Yes! the Little Green Dinosaur was a pleasing capture.  It seemed to be curious of me.  Why this human creature is so trigger-happy about me?  Is it my ancient crown that I wear for many million of years?  Or my sexy long legs?  My big black round eyes? Scaly skin that is jungle green? Or my steady moves?...Here's my poses....

Friday, July 25, 2014

The many bird's nest ferns

The making of a bird's nest fern collection... proposed site

Asplenium nidus - removed from oil palm
temporarily nursed
 I would not have done justice to the oil palm ecology if I don't have a mega  bird's nest ferns collection at the park.  It is an ongoing project now to collect as many young bird's nest ferns from the oil palm trunks and re-group them in one location.  The oil palms produce ideal conditions for these epiphytic ferns and as such sourcing is of no real problem.  They grow here from spores that are blown by the wind.  It is at the sporophyte stage that we recognize the bird's nest fern by its tightly clustered leaves forming a funnel or 'nest'.  Among the Berawans of Sarawak, the slightly older leaves are heated for about 1-2 minute and applied to the area meant to cure cancer and tumour.  But for now we are focussed on making it an ornamental landscaping potential. 
Bird's nest fern growing in ideal conditions at Botanic Island One

Bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus)
Location : Botanic Island One

Young bird's nest ferns on oil palm, attached to the cut bases of oil palm leaves

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Morning, morning....and welcome back!

Blue-throated Bee-eater

Little Green Pigeon - female of species
 A pair of Blue-throated Bee-eater and a pair of Little Green Pigeon came out early to say good morning.  But it was a special good morning from the bee-eaters because for quite a while they have not stopped by at the park.  Their visit is always met with joy and excitement.  It is a real delight to see their beautifil blue and green feathers.  While the Little Green Pigeons are residents of the park, building nests on oil-palm branches, fruit trees and other jungle trees, the Blue-throated Bee-eaters are temporary visitors and pit-stoppers. When bee-eaters are around it is a sure indication that there is a swarm of bees to be hunted. 

A pair of Little Green Pigeon perching on the Cempedak tree
Location : Cempedak Hill, Zone G.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Landscape photography at the park - (Pt.9)

All images taken on 23 July'14

Undoubtedly it is the Pandanus dubius

Pandanus dubius grows well in full sun, but does fine too in semi-shade location
Location : Zone C

 This plant is easy to propagate and plant.  It is vigorous and can stand rough handling.  It produce many plantlets which can be separated from the mother plant.  What I like about this plant is its glossy green leaves.  The leaves have tiny spines on its margins and are arranged in a tight spiral formation.  There is another species of the pandan that is used widely in the Malay cooking called 'Pandan' (Panadanus amaryllifolius) which are already planted in massive numbers at the park.  I guess I'll need to use more of the Pandanus dubius now in landscaping the park as I can raise them in quantities cheaply.
Pandanus dubius
Syn : Pandanus pacificus
Family : Pandanaceae - Pandan family
Location : Zone C

Does the nectar tastes spicy?

Kantan (Malay) - Etlingera elatior
This is a spent inflorescence.
 While we normally chop into small pieces  the 'Kantan' (Malay) or Torch Ginger's inflorescences as spicy ingredient for the making of laksa, the Little Spiderhunter today surprised me with a new finding.  I have lots of pictures to show the Little Spiderhunter sipping nectar from the ixora flowers and many species of heliconia plants but to see it sipping  nectar from a spent Torch Ginger is a novelty.  The inflorescences bear torch-like cones of pink to red bracts and newly fresh ones  are excellent material for the floral arrangement. Checkout my blog about plants for more pictures of fresh Torch Gingers here ..>>>
Little Spiderhunter sipping nectar from the Torch Ginger flower

Landscape photography at the park (Pt.8)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Every day fruiting at the park

Clean cut leaf base for harvesting purpose

The thicker the yellow flesh the more
oil yield is obtained in better hybrids.
 The oil palm tree bears and produces fruits on everyday basis for the next 25 years, which is the economic life of the palm. When harvesting the oil palm fruit bunch, the thick and broad leaf base below it needs to be clean cut.  The bunch of fruits is held by a soft fruit stalk which is easily cut by a sharp curved pruner even at great heights.  Today many varieties of oil palm fruits are produced to obtain more oil yield for the manufacture of cooking oil.   Besides the oil from the yellow flesh (mesocarp), the center of the the fruit which contains the pure white embryo or kernel is also the source of kernel oil.  The seed's protective covering (endocarp) needs to be crushed at the factories to collect the kernel oil.  The remains of the waste endocarps can be used as road metalling.
Oil palm fruits are ovoid and are basally angled due to close packing.  The fruits are coloured variously yellow or orange and overlain with deep violet or black in exposed parts.