TROPICAL RAINFOREST

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 11:36 PM



Title: Tropical Rainforest
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Time/Date: 9:00am; 29 May 2010
Venue: Tioman Island
www.buanaseni.blogspot.com






.....when in the forest, you feel that mystical aura. A feeling that transcends epitome serenity. A connection to Mother Earth. An appreciation of life. A gratitude to the Almighty Creator. A taste of heaven really. You simply cannot ignore the forest particularly the trees. At least 2 major religions mentioned the existence of trees in their garden of heavens, Christianity and Islam.

















Y wife and I decided to go for a 2nd honeymoon after a 6-year marriage and a son. We did go for various holiday trips within the 6 years but by definition, "honeymoon" means, No Kid(s)!

Anyway, this trip was to Tioman Island, an island of 4,000 population only. There are a lot of photographs to show on Tioman but I'd rather save those photographs for my other blog posts which are more appropriate. Normally, when Tioman is mentioned, you'd imagine scuba diving etc. Yes, corals, fishes, etc did happen but for this post in particular, I want to share photographs of the magnificent tropical rainforest that Malaysia has to offer. We started exploring Tioman not by the sea but by the jungle - simply because on that Saturday 29 May 2010, loads of tourists were already dipping their pathetic bodies in the surrounding waters of Tioman. So we decided to do sea stuff on Sunday. Anyway, back to rainforest. Truly magnificent. This is just Tioman. I can't wait to explore Taman Negara (Malaysian National Park) and of sorts. We started our jungle trekking from a golf course nearby the Berjaya Resort (where we stayed). From the golfers' green, you can see the vast spread of rainforest over the hills and mountains - see photograph above.

The ramble, even before entering the forest, was interrupted by an educational mumbling by the guide. What you see in the photograph on the right is a tree called Hujan Panas by the locals but having Glochidion spp as the scientific name from the Euphorbiaceae family. A local vegetation that has healing properties whereby blood circulation can be improved, hence address lethargy. All you need to do is boil the roots and drink it like tea - almost the same method as the Ginsengs of the orients. There are a lot of medicinal plants in the Malaysian rainforest but the one that I was hoping to see, i.e. Tongkat Ali, unfortunately, was not found at our trekking path. Perhaps other days I will be lucky. Nevertheless, you will find different things to be facinated with each time you embark on a jungle trekking.

Next discovered (in the photograph on the left) was the infamous Poison Ivy. There are many species of Poison Ivy, but this particular one is typical to the Malaysian rainforest with the scientific name Toxicodendron Radicans from the Anacardiaceae family, also known as Jelatang to the locals. This is a famous skin irritant. You don't want to get your skin in contact with it. It itches like hell and mind you, such irritant in tropical climate is no joke. We were told not to touch or have skin contact if we see more of these in the jungle. There are some tips for identification if you lack photographic memory: (a) clusters of leaflets, (b) alternate leaf arrangement, and (c) lack of thorns.

We continued the journey with facination only to bump into our dear enemy who haunts those with untreated wood panel floorings in their homes. Yes, Termites, also known as the White Ants. This insect group builds its nest from the earth piled up into a hill-like shape as shown in the photograph on the right. White Ants feed on dead plant material, hence why your untreated wood planks in your homes often get attacked by these insects. Like other insects, White Ants have their Queen. These insects normnally grow up to 0.7cm but the Queen, can be as long as 15cm, of which, 99% accounts for the abdomen. You can imagine the amount of eggs that kind of abdomen can lay which makes White Ants, a pretty efficient population boomer... and you don't want that kind of pest multiplying under your homes.

On the left is a photograph of Pulai tree, or by its scientific name Alstonia Angustiloba from the Apocynaceae family. This majestic tree is around 400 years old, approximately 50 metres high and 4 metres in diameter (at the bottom part of the trunk). It is huge. This is probably the biggest and tallest tree we had come across in this particular trekking. Come to think of it, this is probably the biggest and tallest tree I have come across! The guide demonstrated to us how to make an SOS signal out of this tree. If you ever get lost in the forest, and you so happened to find this tree, with a piece of rock nearby; start hitting the trunk of the tree with the rock (in Morse code if you wish) - amazingly, a gong-like sound gets vibrated across the forest that can be heard a mile away.

Like any other jungle trekking, when you start hitting the right altitude, you'd probably find an early part of a river with clear slow flowing water. The locals call thi Ulu Sungai, ie Ulu means a starting point and Sungai means river. The photograph on the right is a pond that is linked from an incoming river from the top of the hill and linked to an outgoing river to the bottom of the mountain all the way to the ocean. Usually, such pond supplies clean and clear water for trekkers to wash and drink - but I'd prefer not to meddle with Mother Nature as too many movies had such ideas ending up with a huge phython striking from within the water. My distance was adequate to just snap the photograph on the right.

When in the forest, you feel that mystical aura. A feeling that transcends epitome serenity. A connection to Mother Earth. An appreciation of life. A gratitude to the Almighty Creator. A taste of heaven really. You simply cannot ignore the forest particularly the trees. At least 2 major religions mentioned the existence of trees in their garden of heavens, Christianity and Islam.

As you may have already guessed it, such trekking will usually end up with a discovery of a paradise-like waterfall. Surely indeed. I present you (photograph below) the waterfall at altitude 170 metres from sea level on the slopes of Mount Kajang (1,038 metres) of the Tioman Island:






God created rivers, and there was waterfall to manifest beauty...

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