Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spaces and Viewpoints (Part II)

( Note: All images taken between 24 - 28 June'16)

Ever free ferns from Kruak wetlands

A mixture of 'Miding' and 'Paku Uban' ferns at Kruak Wetlands

Paku Uban (foreground)
Miding (background , at left of picture)
 You can enjoy plucking  free ferns any day of the week within minutes of walking.  This phenomenon is made possible by developing an area of about half an acre within the park focused on the 'cultivation' of edible ferns.  Two species of ferns that grow naturally here are the Miding ( Stenochlaena palustris) and the Paku Uban (Nephroplepsis acutifolia).  These ferns love bright sun, damp ground mixed with tall grasses as natural support.  At the moment I am developing part of the Kruak wetlands specifically for this purpose.  I have blogged a fair bit about these ferns and how to cook them.  Please follow this link to know how...>>>>http://kambatikpark.blogspot.my/2014/04/wonder-fern-at-park.html
Young leaves of Miding

'Miding' ferns freshly collected from Kruak wetlands

Miding served with rice
Kruak wetlands
Zone B

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Pipit Wetlands

View of Pipit Wetlands, taken from Zone A looking south east.
The landscape consists of tall grasses at the ground floor level and as the land scales up the slope and surrounding hill, the thickets of Shrubby dillenia, are intermixed with natural stands of trees. At the far back the original jungle is retained for its ecological diversity.  The intermediate storey is filled up with introduced oil palm cultivation.

Pipit Rawa (Malay) - Chestnut munia
 There are two areas of wetlands at the park called the Kruak Wetlands and the Pipit Wetlands. The former is located between Zone B and A, while the latter is sand-witched between Zone A and G. The Pipit Wetlands is named after the 'Pipit' bird (Chestnut Munia)which frequent the area and build homes at the location. Other species of wildlife seen in the area are Snipe, Little Green Pigeon, Bulbul, Squirrel, Prinia, Butterfly, Waterhen,  Frog and Snakes. The Waterhen and Snipe occupy the ground areas , the Pipit and Prinia  birds forage among the tall grasses.  The Bulbul and Pigeon birds  build homes among the thickets of mixed vegetation at the edge of the wetlands.  The wetlands ecology is important for the park because it absorb and contain excess runoff that function as an essential reserve source of water for the natural trees and shrubbery growing in the area including the grasses and ferns. The thickets of ferns are a renewable source of 'Miding' and 'Paku Uban' ferns which are edible and can be plucked on everyday basis.  The Pipit Wetlands is thus retained due to its wildlife promoting value and ecological diversity. 

'Miding' ferns need the tall grasses to help them scramble and obtain necessary sunlight for maximum growth. Note: Young 'Miding' leaves appear light red in colour and turn green as they age.
Location : Pipit wetlands

Friday, June 24, 2016

Spaces and viewpoints

Highlights today at the park - 25 June'16

Flowering 'Jering' tree

Orange Stinkhorn fungus

A pair of Black Hornbill

Black Hornbill - male at top of picture and female, bottom of picture.
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

 Hearing the loud brays and grunts originating from Zone I,  made me hurry for my camera.  Within minutes, I  quickly climbed the  Licuala Hill at Zone I,  My focus was on the loud calls and next thing I could see was  a pair of hornbill perching on the tallest dead tree at top of the hill.
I took pictures of the birds from a distance of about 150 meters and the lighting conditions was not ideal but this shot is largely for the record.  This is one of the rare times when the Black Hornbill drops by in a pair.  The male has a white to pale yellow bill whereas the female bill is dark brown to black.  It is interesting to note that the Black Hornbill is a bird of the primary forest of Sarawak or Borneo. It is overall covered in black plumage with the female having a long band of white flurry feathers from head to nape.  In the middle of the band is a thin strip of black (by zooming in the picture).
Favourite perch of the Black Hornbill at Licuala Hill, Zone I.

Letup-Letup or Lesser Bladder Cherry (Physalis minima)

Lesser Bladder Cherry or "Letup-Letup" (Malay)
Physalis minima
Family : Solanaceae - Tomato family

Fruit and flower
 There are plenty of 'Letup-Letup" fruits now at the Butterfly Garden area.   The more well-known variety is called the 'Chinese lantern', the variety we have here is the 'Lesser Bladder Cherry' which is the lesser Chinese lantern.
It is a short-lived herb bearing edible berries which are yellowish when ripe.  These berries taste like tomatoes and are hidden inside the inflated calyx resembling a delicate Chinese lantern.
This plant could be planted as part of edible landscaping or Sara landskap (Malay) in the Malaysian garden
I have done a photo rendart (i.e. photo rendered digitally artistic) below on this plant.
Photo rendart by MOOD, June'16.