Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :Not my fault

Monday, October 27, 2008

Off the beaten track

Roads sign like this is very common in logging roads. It is very important that you know what it means and strictly follow the rules. Logging road is very dangerous and only experienced drivers are allowed to navigate these roads. The above sign means that you have to drive on the right hand side of the road and give way to the in coming traffic. In this case, the incoming traffic might be lorry laden with some 27-30 tons of timber.

This is the typical view of a logging lorry carrying logs. Please observe the load, road width and condition.

This sign means that you have to drive as close as possible to the left hand side of the road. Look for the incoming traffic and always give way.

This is the petrol kiosk and those tanks are full of diesel. Fuel supply as placed at strategic location so that the lorries and other heavy vehicles can have easy access.

Take a break

Tonite, wayang pacak was brought back to life donning a new name of layar bestari. Wayang pacak or layar bestari is an open air movie played using a projector which projected the image over an erected giant canvass screen. This was famous in the 70's when the Information Department travels through villages, explaining govt. policies to the rural masses. This type of approach was very successful then.

This is a very very rare sight. Roads were jammed with vehicles and the town square was full with people.

Mostly there were curious people as most of the present generation was not born yet then. I was one of those lucky ones. I could still remember that, boiled maize was the craze then. Corn was cooked using tins and sold at 10 cents each. Now it costs 10 times dearer.

Then the movie was still black and white. Most of the movies shown were about govt. policies and development that have been achieved. Once a while, hit movies were shown.

Tonite it was totally different, a modern drama was shown. In fact it was the first time it was shown to the masses. To make the occasion more memorable, both the MP and the Minister of Information were present.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Engkodok in malay means violet. Engkodok plant is normally about 3 t0 5 feet tall. Sometimes, it could reach a height of more than 10 feet.

The bright colour of the flower attracts many insects and thus the pollination of this plant is very good. You could find the fruits in large numbers, so do the plants themselves.

Unripe fruits looks the this and the outer skin is very tough and thick.

When ripe, the outer skin will be burst and the fleshy inside will be exposed. The flesh is thick and looks dark. In the morning and late evening, the flesh is soft and moist. It is during this time that the flesh is sweeter. During the afternoon it is dry.

The ripe fruit is edible and tastes sweet. When eaten, the tongue will turn violet and stays for quite some time.


This is the ripe fruit of pop plant. The taste is sweet and there are 10 to 15 seeds inside.

The outer covering which protects the fruit is soft.

Pop plant is more of a vine type. The unripe fruit is green in colour. The name pop derives from the sound of the young fruit when squeeze between your fingers. The young fruit is soft and flexible and when it bursts, a very distinctive pop sound is produced, and so it is call pop plant.

Both the young fruit and tender leaves are edible and cooked as veg. The taste may be not so appealing to some, but then it is a good source of vitamin and fiber.

When the fruit is fully ripen, the outer covering peels by itself. The fruit is then exposed, so that birds and small mammals could eat it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How to eat Musa acuminata microcarpa

First you select a ripe fruit. A ripe wild banana is hard, and you can only recognize that it is ripe if the colour is yellowish.

Hold the fruit like this and roll it many times, until it is soft.

Then you can peel it like you do to regular banana. By then the fruit is soft.

There is not so much flesh and you could see the seeds. The taste is like regular banana but less sweet. Do not swallow the seeds.

Musa acuminata microcarpa

Wild banana which is also known as "lengkik" by the ibans and "pisang kera" by the malays.

It is edible, but just that there are more seeds that flesh. The flesh is not as sweet as the regular bananas.

It is grown wild and abundance along the logging road tracks.

The stem is much smaller that ordinary banana and the leaves are not as flexible.

This subspecies is characterized by the yellowish tinge and virtual waxlessness of the foliage, by the intense chocolate brown pigmentation of sheaths and, often, midribs, by the fading purple flush on the peduncle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shifting Cultivation

Shifting Cultivation is still practice in Sarawak. It is mainly done for the purpose of planting hill paddy (padi bukit). The land is cleared by cutting down trees, usually in hills or slopes of mountains. The land is cleared as early as July and left to dry up until late September. By then the trees will be dry enough for burning.

The trees are then burn. In fully burnt fields, the tree trunks are reduced to ashes completely. This will in turn acts as fertilizer for the young paddy plants, and this will then produce good yields.

Partly burnt tree trunks are cut into manageable size and re burn. The green growth that you see here are paddy plants which are starting to grow.

From this picture you can easily recognized the land cycle that is involve in this shifting cultivation. The land is left to fallow until the trees are grown to 6-8 inches in diameter. This may takes up to 8-10 years. By doing so, there is enough time for the land to heal itself. As shifting cultivation is done on a small scale basis, the environmental effect is not so much.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wished Were There

On the Southern Westerly top of Australia, where the Indian and Southern Ocean meet, stands Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse as a solitary structure.

The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was officially proposed in 1881 but did not come into service only 15 years latter. Built of local limestone, the tower has an elevation of 56 meters above mean tide level with an intensity of 1 million lux. The light is visible for a range of approximately 25 nautical mile.

Welcome to Cape Leeuwin.

Meeting place of two oceans.

Cape Leeuwin marks the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. At various time of the year the differing ocean current, waves and swell patterns are evident in the waters around the cape. This can create unusual conditions in the nearby waters.
The Antartic Circular curved circles Antartica West to East, between 40 degrees and 70 degrees South. It's northern edge turns North and heads up along the Western Australian coast. From May to September each year, the Leeuwin Current transport warm tropical water southwards around Cape Leeuwin and along Western Australia's Southern Coastline.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :Edible

Unripe Ficus racemosa

Edible Frogs

Birthday cakes

Litsea garciae

Phaseolus vulgaris

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Litsea garciae

A relative of the avocado, this wonderful little savory fruit comes as a welcome change from the usually sweet tropical fruits.

The tree comes from Sarawak and South-west Sabah where it can be seen growing along riverbanks and scattered near villages. The foliage looks somewhat like that of the avocado, however the leaves are longer and droop more gracefully.

These are flowers of Litsea garciae and each staminate umbels may consists of 7-9 flowers.

A closer view of the flowering plant.


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