Selasa, 24 Juni 2008


Why people called the lovely winged insect butterfly is not my problem. The problem is they seem to be virtually unseen in the city like this.

last trip to Cilember (2006) and recently to Pulau Pramuka brought me some hope, especially when reading "Butterflies Sanctuary" boards.

"You're late, Mas. It's long been deserted. Look at the dome," said a mister at Cilember.
The dome was half open so was that at Pulau Pramuka.

The moral of the story: butterflies are meant to be free (or people should care for the wires)


Kamis, 19 Juni 2008

Fig-uratively speaking

Apis: Vit, have u been to Untung Jawa
Vit: Yes, but nothing to be seen
Apis: But the water front looks nice
Vit: Ask Sem
Sem: Haha, like i'm the expert of it
Apis: I read it has a colony of monkey
Sem: not sure. what's the date of the article?
Apis: 1995 or 1994

Speaking of monkeys, when i saw this tree of fig family, it reminded me of Borneo orangutans at rehabilitation and African apes I watched on Animal Planet (it's the only thing i miss from that mad karaokeing woman's house). This fig tree produces fruits seemingly for nobody. Perhaps bats eat one or two, I just wish that the govt brought some apes to populate the small island and harvest the entire tree.

About the monkeys at Untung JAwa Island, perhaps they have found refuge on the neighboring island, Rambut, where it reportedly house some big wild cats and monkeys, along with its mascots, sea birds.

the tree of this kind lives solely on Pulau Karya. It reaches abt 6 m high and 4 m wide.

Bamboo Song

Japanese garden has it and a hotel in Bali does too. and my discoveries at Mirota, Kaliurang, Yogyakarta are samples of genius. I've never seen this kind of version.
bamboo has long been known to be one of the finest wood to produce great sound. Think of bamboo flute, angklung, etc.

if i had a garden of my own, i will plant some ornamental bamboo like Heksa did in front of his house. Oh, with tortoises too!

Hocus Lotus!

you know, it smelt so strong that I had a mild headache. amazing, no?
(this plasticlike thing is real, I used VGA cam)

Senin, 16 Juni 2008

Orange Delight

Oh boy, finally I knew its name. It's not the clown fish (locals affectionately call it kelonpis) but it is kerapu. the stripes makes this ubiquitous fish easily spotted from the pier.

"We fry or grill it," he said, smiling triumphantly over his lunch. It only took minutes for him to catch it with squid lure.

Fish are abundant to the waters nearby Pulau Pramuka.

Historians were Right

I felt terribly sorry when I found out that the fishes I bought in Magelang died--possibly because of oxygen shortage and shake (I went home by bus). That morning I let the river took them (larung). I don't remember with whom I went home (Kak Es n Mami or with Papi). Thankfully my turtoise Ucha survived.

Perhaps that's why most tour operators ban animals and plants on their vehicles or why there are quarantine centers on ports.

what i'm talking about is about plant and animal spread. these plants on the boat were going to be transfered from mainland Jakarta to Pulau Kelapa, 40 miles apart.

It reminds me of a story in Album Walt Disney back when I was child. Kwik, Kwek, Kwak tried to escape from a villain that held them hostage. the illustration of the hardship was a rat climbing a rope. It was about to get onboard but suddenly find a barrier in the shape of a sharp and wide disk attached to the rope. "Even rats can't escape the island..."

Historians believed that's one of the ways of migrations. Simple at it may seem on the photo, those pots of aglaonemas and jasmines were making journey to find a new place at the island and will adapt soon. Their presence would affect the entire island. Think of bees who never taste jasmine, for example, or young couple in love sniffing jasmines.

If I were the major of Kepulauan Seribu, I will order hundreds of sukun tree to be planted on the beach as wind breakers and source of carbs (and income) and order some hundred thousands of Florida mangroves to be planted on the beaches (they reportedly grow faster).

Oh one thing. those eggs also drew my attention. Now I know why eggs are pricey on the island (a sunny side up costs Rp3000).

The destiny of those eggs will not be inside the hatchery. They will end up on plates :)

The Right Hermitage

Hermit crabs (locally known as keong, umang, or kelomang) have long been hunted for pets. Usually people sell them out at elementary school gates to ever curious children. I kinda disagree with this practice especially knowing that they usually die when kept at cages without seawater or fresh seawater fish. Perhaps they die because they overgrown their "houses" (shells).

Well, it's getting hard to find living hermit crabs at the beaches I visit. But a recent discovery made me promise I won't collect any shell where they are abundant.

i was surprise when finding ones at a remote beach of Pulau Pramuka. They're here and there, roaming.

Sadly, they inhabit long neglected homes (shells with holes or broken "walls")

Based on my experience of renting room, it is hard to find the most suitable one. so I asked my friends to scatter the gathered shells for them because when they overgrow their homes, they need to find new ones and inhabit it fast otherwise they will fall victim to the heat (their abdomen is very soft), fishes, or other creatures.

Hair Vitamin Plant

what on shore is this?

i instantly remember hair vitamin tubelets :)

none of us ten knew what this curious thing on the Pulau Karya beach
Apis split one of its tubelets and sniffed it, hoping it would give off some oily content
it smelt fresh lettuce

Kamis, 12 Juni 2008

Reflection (friendly baby black swan)

Whooooo is that girl I see
staring straight back at me
why is my reflection someone I don't knooooow?
(Reflection, Christina Aguilera)

Yohana's Finches

Darwin's finch is that of Galapagos Islands. Yohana's finch is the Java finch (Padda oryzivora) . We people here call it gelatik, perhaps due to its rapid chirp that rhymes with tiktiktik or chipchipchip. Yes, its their song that makes them popular as cage bird. but it's also their plumage that makes them threatened.

I love them. I remember when I was a child I had 3 or 4 of them. Papi and Mami bought them from Pasar Burung Malang. I was thrilled to handle the brown paper in which they were. So we put them on a cage, hoping they'd breed (Papi made a wooden box with hole entrance, upon my request). We fed them with husked rice or plain white rice (husked rice costed higher back then). I cant remember their fate, but i do remember one escaped.

Their white cheeks, red bills, and black faces really made me excited. Too bad, my presence always alerted them. I was a bit disappointed because i hoped they'd behave the way their long gone cousin had treated Yohana, my mom.

You know, one day when Mami was very young, she was given a baby gelatik. She fed him, took very good care of him that they became good friends. One day it escaped and Mami felt very sad. The next day, it returned to its cage! So they continued their happy coexistence until a sad moment.

Mami still resents the fact that he was stolen but what she taught me is to take care of any pets and animal with great care.

I have just checked one article: gelatik is now a threatened species due to habitat loss and extensive trappings for sale. It makes sense because if you go to bird markets, gelatik is sold with relatively high price.

One day when I have my own house, I will build a big cage and put Yohana's finches inside.

Senin, 09 Juni 2008

of Gardens

"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures."
(Essays: 'Of Gardens', Francis Bacon)

Mr. Bacon perhaps was right about gardens. But should he have visited Kebun Raya Purwodadi, East Java, the quotation could have been different.

Purwodadi Botanical Garden should be beautiful but to this day I still deny it because it looks like an abandoned Eden that amens the "throw a cut of branch and it will grow" saying (perhaps it has the most collection of dry climates plants). It looks a bit tired and old although it is much 'younger' than its Bogor contemporaries, established in 1941.

The last time I went there, about two decades ago, was a scary experience. I had goosebumps and could not focus on the collection because it was dark--due to heavy foliage, and the mosquitoes were the hosts.

It is not as oftenly visisted as its contemporaries in Bogor and rumors are to be blamed. It is said that many people drowned in the waterfall inside the garden because a ghost princess was hungry for males. This irresponsible news was widely circulated that many people were discouraged to come there.

I hope one day I can set aside some time to visit the garden and put my worries to sleep there. You know, gardens are beautiful. It's just like zoos. They're a living collection of what the Horticulturist has created and planted in various places.

I partly agreed with Mr. Bacon especially when I remember that I had so much good time visiting Kebun Raya Singaraja (officially Kebun Raya Eka Karya).

It was a beautiful noon I lay down at a field of closely matted grass and the fog came down slighly. Then I saw a curious Australian plant for the first time. It was blissful to see a variant of Rosaceae bloomed. I thought to myself, is it sakura--cherry blossom? And it was a pure pleasure to be in a company of people who liked me (they were Mr. Franky Utana's friends and childrens). We sang and ate together.

What an experience. What a pleasure.