Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bako National Park – picture series, Pt. 1

I started posting pictures taken at Bako (a different picture each day) on a social networking site (friends only, not public) a while ago and thought I’d also post them here. However, I cannot be updating my blog every day so I’ll just post a group of photos all in one single entry now and then. So here’s the first set of 10…



A boat carrying Japanese tourists (or Korean, I don't remember, but they departed before us) to the park. This boat is seriously overloaded! I can see 12 in there, including the boatman and at least 2 of them are without life jackets. Look at the back of the boat!! Don't take the risk, people. Split into two (or more) boats if your group is 8 or more, then share the costs evenly.



Man with a funny looking hat? Giant rock eagle? Mayan lost in Borneo? :)
Photographed from the boat as we left Telok Pandan Kecil. Different angles, different appearances. I've got 3 or 4 "faces" of this one.
Bako is such an interesting place. Did you know that you can find all seven of Sarawak's vegetation types right here in Bako?

From the S'wak forestry website: "Beach vegetation, Cliff vegetation, Kerangas or heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest. "

It's a compact all-in-one park!



Two more photos of the rock "face" I posted yesterday. The appearance changes when viewed from different angles. The left one is a monkey that got hit with a rock on the head. The right one is a man wearing a hat. See the white markings near the middle of the pic? His left eye. :)



Coelogyne rochussenii, one of the many wild orchid species that can be found in Bako. C. rochussenii is a widespread species found throughout most of SEA and given the right conditions, is capable of producing a spectacular display of hundreds of flowers on multiple inflorescences.



Seemingly out of the blue, a thick haze settled over the entire Bako and Santubong bay area. In the lower left picture, the sun appears to be setting behind a mountain, but it's actually disappearing behind some thick clouds.

This was a great time to go for a walk at Teluk Assam. It was so quiet that you could hear people talking softly a few hundred feet away on the mudflats. Something to do with the physics of sound waves, hot air, cold air, diffraction and all that.



This peculiar looking mushroom (Dictyophora indusiata) has many common names. Among the more commonly heard ones are Devil's Horn, Stink Horn, Veil Mushroom, Lady's Veil and who knows what else.

See also:



It is bone-dry on the open, exposed plateau. The smallest spark can set alight dry leaves that carpet the ground and there are signs posted prohibiting smoking in the "bush fire" zones.
By midday, it really feels like a desert up there and coupled with the high humidity, loss of water is a serious threat.
We were totally unprepared the first time. But I can spend hours just exploring the kerangas (heath forests) of Bako. Lots of interesting things to find and photograph if you know what and where to look. :)



Ever wondered how these holes in rocky shores or any place with moving water were formed? The picture on the right gives you the best clue...
Imagine what would happen when the tide comes in. Strong waves and water currents will move that pestle-like rock in a circular motion, thus making the hole deeper. Likewise, pebbles and sand carried by water currents have the same effect on rock and is probably how the hole on the left was formed over time.



Pitchers of Nepenthes rafflesiana, neatly arranged in a row. Carnivorous pitcher plants grow abundantly in the nutrient-poor, loamy soils of Bako. Besides N. rafflesiana, other species found here are N. gracilis, N. mirabilis and N. albomarginata.



Besides pitcher plants, various species of ant plants are also found in Bako. This one is a Dischidia species. The green pods are actually modified leaves which harbor ants. The plant itself is a climbing vine and part of the vine is visible in this picture, just above the Y-fork of the host tree. Dischidia plants are epiphytes and only need a host tree for support, not food. They are often spotted planted in small pots or shells in the plant section of supermarkets like Giant or Tesco (about RM15 each).

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