Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exploring a limestone hill 09.11.21

This post has two videos.

Before my leg muscles could rest and recover from the Santubong climb on the 20th, they were put into 3rd gear again the next day when we went climbing a limestone hill. Our hope was to locate and photograph Paphiopedilum stonei in flower.

As always, we started our day trip with a bowlful of energy. Pretty unhealthy actually, lard, carbs, oil, cholesterol (but quickly burned off during the hike). This particular bowl came with pork liver and intestine! More about this bowl of noodles here (click).

An orchid photographer needs proper gear to get good photos. Since my stupid money plant is not producing money yet (when do these things start to flower and fruit anyway???), I only had a kit lens and a Sigma 105 macro lens to work with. No proper flash, no ring flash, no tripod, no camera bag even! Hmm, Christmas is near… (hint hint!) hehehe.

Vertical limestone cliffs and rock walls. The highest one we came across is about 30 or 40 meters above, from where we stood and it was amazing to see paphs growing high up on the rock face.

Climbing a limestone hill is risky business.
I wore Levis for protection against the razor sharp edges. Even then, I still received a bleeding gash right through my jeans when I scraped my leg against a sharp edge. No damage to jeans but I got a painful cut and the area around it is now bruised. Imagine what would have happened if I wore only hiking shorts or softer material! I’d probably have needed stitches.

When climbing a limestone hill, gloves are not an option. They are a necessity. White gloves are easier to spot in case I need to wave to get one’s attention when in the dark forest. Some limestone hills like Bukit Kapor can be done without gloves or long pants as the trails there are so well-used the sharp edges have been rounded off.

Pictures really do not do justice to the real thing. This outcrop had edges sharp as a knife. Don’t want to trip and fall onto this! They are everywhere, all around.




Some places, the ground is a mix of lose sandy soil, clay and limestone grits. Kinda hard to photograph orchids when standing on such crumbly and slippery ground.

There are too many photos from this outing to put on one single page (slow to load) so I am posting 5 other separate entries:

Jewel orchids (Malaxis and Dossinia species):
Corybas species:
Bulbophyllum species:
Paphiopedilum stonei:
Coelogyne species (includes Pholidota photos):
Other orchids and plants (Dendrobium, Trichoglottis, Oberonia sp.):

A short video made during the hike:

It started to rain when we made the descend. Good thing I had my raincoat with me! Here's a short video I made when it started to pour:

Do leave a comment if you like this and related entries!

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