Senin, 22 September 2008

Monkey Love

Rama decided to stop at Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the prime gate of Ubud. I was not excited at first, thinking about the beasts. But the thought of Jane Goodall crossed my mind and some posing at the entrance gave me a jolt.

So i went inside (did i hear the young ladies say, "official bananas, Sir?"). I am all eyes, i thought.

the small forest itself is thick and dense and humid that the decision to wear my cotton cardigan was a mistake.

Rama and Fajar were enjoying themselves with the cams but somehow i was not that into taking pics. so i chose the clear open of the site on the upper hill which is usually used for ngaben or the Hindu cremation. there were scattered palm leaves roofs and bamboos. I then saw two girls, they apparently were taking notes. i approached one of them.

Riris was observing a colony of monkeys. In the heat of the day, she was wearing long sleeves, trousers, shoes and fishing hat. Later I knew the reason.

"They show a behavior found none in other monkey colonies," she answered my question, detailing on a particular behavior.

Ah, really? I thought chimps do it. (yeah, that David Graybeard who gave his hand to meet Goodall's)

"perhaps. this is for my final papers. i am helping a Japanese professor.

wow, that's cool! what monkeys are they, anyway?


and the species?

Riris then pronounced a word i couldn't remember. But i remembered M. sylvana from the World Book days.

in the mid of this, suddenly i felt something landed on my head!



the nasty beast sat comfortably on my head and reached his hairy hands to my neck... i managed not to freak out.

Riris laughed, so did Fajar. Hey you guys help me!

"Just walk fast, and he'll jump on the ground!" said Riris. it just din help! i now felt that the claws were sinking into my neck. ouch!

then i approached the nearby gardu. miraculously, it jumped down gently...phew!

everybody laughed. You double my mysey, guys....

while brushing my head with hands to remove any "monkey residue", i din know what Fajar did but suddenly a monkey jumped into his butts, grasping his jeans pockets. Fajar was on panic. Go monkey, go, get him! Hahahaha

"I've been here a week," said Riris. "Been bitten once."

oh that's why you're wearing all cover ups.

i din have thought to continue the conversation since all i saw was monkeys chasing around.

when i went across the bridge and saw the holy spring, i heard them approaching the banyan trees. noisy were they! perhaps they must take night sleep earlier. so i guess i will have no more encounters, i thought. so i asked the guys to get out of here soon.

and surprisingly, there were some monkeys watching the visitors in hope of some banana rewards.

Fajar was in the mood of being comical. he was mimicking them only to be playing tug-o-war with one of them later--apparently senior member of the clan. it was trying to grab his camera bag. hahahaha

uhm, by the way i am still curious about them. I think now i need Rama's help here.

(photos by Rama n Fajar)

Senin, 15 September 2008


Salute to the duo. These inhabitants of Turtle Island are smart birds. Curious and alert, they examined Fajar's cam and mine. (other visitors seemed to ignore them. their cage was the least visited. perhaps people still think they are bad omens). I was sorry i bring nothing to offer them.

they looked like bored. I remember, back home, crows were common especially in the afternoon when they cawed overhead. Mami said, they were about to return home.

Whenever I went back from school i loved to take the river route. There, a family kept a crow as pet, banding his right foot the way people did parrots. (according to Susan, it's illegal to keep them as pets in Colorado) it was black, big, and noisy. but somehow it looked attractive. his head would move here and there, as if examining me. of course i kept a good distance. One bite from Yacob was enough :) I thought, he must be lonely. what if he heard his friends cawing in the sky? did it respond?

I've never seen a single crow in Jakarta but i saw many of them, a flock (or "murder" said Susan) of about ten, inhabited Pulau Pramuka, some 40 miles away from mainland Java. Do they fish or scavenge? I don't know. But I remember they're numerous as sparrows in coastal Malacca. I wonder if they do fish like gulls do.

anyway the duo din caw us. somehow I felt welcomed :)

Selasa, 09 September 2008

Beachy Mimicry

it was no secret that sand on Kuta Beach was regularly maintained to outsmart abrasion. so i didnt expect to see any sign of living and moving marine creatures. all left are dead barnacles and broken reef. so, when Fajar and I walked along the beach in the third morning, we were stunt to see this mimicry and it was alive! whoaaaaaa

this small crab looked extremely interesting. it is almost transparent and i din have any idea how it mimicked the surrounding sand. okay, i'd seen one on the beach of Pulau semak Daun.
Fajar tried his macro at best and here's the lovely and sharp result.

Perfect illusion: a thumb sized crab. For him, it's the way of survival.

"Nice try" mimicry: a dog of sand color relaxing :)

Senin, 08 September 2008

Puppies' Day Out

cute as they may seem

sibling rivalry

ear catching

turn the other cheek

The masters

These siblings have the biggest hearts in this world. i thanked them for warming my heart in the morning.

that Friday morning, when I strolled around Kuta beach, i met them and they let this stranger of mine play with their big hearted dogs. cute and playful.

As I lay me Down

Cat Siesta

Swimming with the dinosaurs

K Es ever told me of this. But i was way more excited when i met them myself. sooo enormous! and i swam with them--uhm, my feet did. it was turtle sanctuary off the coast of Benoa. near Nusa Dua.

i'd seen many more of them at Pulau Pramuka, but this time, I walked with them. Kewl!

i was afraid they would bite me, but the guide said no. they're peaceful. but hey think the hawksbills bite. but since they were not seen, i thought it was safe for me to plunge into their bordered residence.

the feeling was high and the fear was present (they have poor eyesight, the guard told. but they can smell food--me!) but the excitement was overwhelming. All the 20 of them!

they're cute, i should say. they swam and ignored me. one of them went ashore ( i bet the biggest) and let us touch him. it was an olive ridley. the shell is hard as rock but surprisingly the neck is very soft. amazing creature.

most of them stay there for three months and after that must be released to the ocean. "and we don't allow them to return because they should be there [in the ocean] and breed," said the guide. She put a criss cross mark on their shell with sharp knife.

i thought they were kept in order to breed, but "the water was not deep enough for them to perform courtship."
how could?
"hey, i've been here for ten years and never sees any attempts succeed."

Ah, well

There i saw green turtles, hawksbills, and some more species. also present were an owl, two super curious ravens, a boa, an iguana, a dog faced bat, a monitor, and a big family of black seahorses. lovely.