Rabu, 21 Juli 2010

On Taking Chances

One scene in Ocean movie keeps playing in mind every time i think of saline water: lighting crashes, rain falls, it storms. one coconut tree is struck, falls into the sea. Meanwhile, a medium-sized monitor (biawak) rushed to the scene and swims to the fallen trunk, embarking on a journey to an island or a beach or ... to uncertainty.

Think that's why water monitors (Varanus salvator) roam on small islands like ones i've visited in Kepulauan Seribu. Some of these lizards even grows as fat and big as the komodo dragons--ones i had an encounter with at Pulau Rambut.

(Mr. Monitor after morning bath, photo by friend Tetty aka 'tettyyangmotoloch')

Yes, I admire them:  their slender appearance, graceful movement on the land and in the water as well. i admire their skin pattern. bag, camera case, and shoes made out of monitor skin are my wish list... no, kidding! :)

Last weekend at the beach of Pulau Biawak, Indramayu, i stood admiring its residents. The monitors. and all i could do was wowing. They're such incredible reptiles, swimming and walking--and running away--gracefully :)

they took chances and got there. So did I.

PS: I wonder why--for centuries--komodo monitors (V. komodoensis) unlike distant cousins V. salvator, remain landlocked in Komodo Is., Rinca Is, and some smaller islands nearby, and do not take chances. too heavy-bodied? Nature is a big mystery.

Minggu, 18 Juli 2010

The Full Nest

Steffi sent a very eager sms, telling of her discovery: she found a nest full of tiny red eggs. the bird nests 0.5 m above the ground. behind the pots in front of our house. cool! wonder what kind of bird it is.

Twinkle, Twinkle (God's Lamps)

To light up the dark, God switches on his lights....

I love the way Ayu Utami describes light emitting things in the sky in her third novel, Bilangan Fu. She calls them “lampu-lampu Tuhan” or God’s lamps. The stars and the moon.

After being overshadowed by dark clouds all the way to Pulau Biawak* I was glad to see the clear sky, full of stars to gaze at. Although I ain’t a romantic person, it’s fun to guess what constellation is appearing. In the near complete darkness it is beautiful to see some things lit up the sky. Although it lasted only an hour, I was satisfied to find the Scorpion before the dark cloud painted the sky.

And there under the lone mangrove tree by the pier, I saw planktons lit the water by blinking. It looked like someone was igniting match in the water. If the rig lamps were unlit, the planktons would set the beach twinkling in the midnight!

On the way home, the sky was dark blue. I was knocked down by seasickness. I fell asleep, rocked by the strong waves. Then I woke up to the smell of rotting fish. I knew the boat was entering the estuary.

Up above my head, I saw dark clouds fading. The moon started appearing, like a silver coin. Slowly, I could see it forming. Half moon. But to my surprise, it sent a strong light, forming the biggest halo I’ve ever seen. The river was lit by the moon. It was the only ‘lamp’ (the boatman hadn’t even fix the battery-torch) yet strong enough to see the forms on terra firma.

I sat up and saw, at left and right I saw lines of trees and thickets of bush. Fireflies lit them up, almost like fairy lamps light up christmas trees. I’ve never seen fireflies that numerous! When I was small, I used to see fireflies in the garden, on passionfruit vines, and caught some. It’d been long since the last time I saw a firefly!

I was relieved to see lamps, meaning the port was near. But there I stood on the boat, admiring the moon and every single twinkle of fireflies. God’s lamps.

* Indramayu, West Java,

Kamis, 15 Juli 2010

Stamp Your Trees

Stamp your trees or make sure they got certified.

When buddy Ocha brought up this topic, i was in complete darkness: To reduce illegal logging and deforestation (one of Indonesia's major problems in environment), European countries have banned uncertified woods and papers from entering Europe. Tree growers and loggers and paper mills will have to need to register their products in the name of sustainability.

the concept is imho similar to Fair Trade Certification: ensuring reclamation, good compensation, no underage workers etc.

Good move given that Indonesia is a leading wood producing countries and--sadly--is also a country who is losing hundreds of kilometer square of jungle per day due to illegal logging.

i hope the implementation is also nationwide. if the illegal loggers can't sell any to Europe, perhaps they will turn to other continents or worst: local market...

("it's not time to worry yet" hey, i heard someone says that. Atticus!)

think i should call a friend. She bought a piece of land and covered the ground with young sengons*:
"Ms. Wacana, get your seedlings registered now! Then sell them to Europe and get rich!" :)

* Paraserianthes falcataria

Rabu, 14 Juli 2010

The Flowers & the Trees

Les fleurs et les arbres,
Les bronzes, les marbres,
Les ors, les émaux,
La mer, les fontaines,
Les monts et les plaines
Consolent nos maux.

Nature éternelle,
Tu semble plus belle
Au sein des douleurs!
Et l'art nous domine,
Sa flamme illumine
Le rire et les pleurs.

Les fleurs et les arbres always reminds me of how nice it is to sing of nature. it was 2001 and i really wanted to pass the audition of 'mature' smaller choir of Paragita UI. they only chose old students or alumni. back then i was sad.

but then i was happy to listen to them sing this at a concert in Erasmus Huis. it was nice to listen to a nice choir singing.

and as for the song itself, written by Camille Saint Saens, i just came to know the meaning not long ago. simple yet lovely.

The flowers and trees,
The bronzes, the marbles,
The gold, the enamels,
The sea, the fountains,
The mountains and the plains

Console our unfortunes
The Eternal nature,
You seem more beautifulin pain!
And the art above us,
Its flame illuminates
Laughter and tears

Sabtu, 03 Juli 2010

A Very Green Act

since its initial release in 1997, i never watched Batman & Robin until last night on TV. moi, it's very corny and funny. in a scene where Batgirl Alicia Silverstone duelled with Poison Ivy in Ivy's home-lab. all the plants looked artificial and plastic.

and i exploded when Batgirl said this to Ivy, "You're about to become compost!"

a very green act(ion), indeed, lol!

Jumat, 02 Juli 2010

Vegetal & Animal@Gunung Gede

Wallace mentioned Gede Pangrango more than twice in his book. I tried to climb Gunung Gede twice. on the last attempt last weekend, friends and i finally made it to the summit. all the way, i saw so many astonishing and rich vegetation and animals. i even saw a silvery monkey (owa jawa) eating leaves, snails, birds, and flowering plants. all in their perfect forms that i felt i should call it--quoting Wallace's term--"luxuriance"! i felt so happy!