Sunday, June 29, 2008

AYU - a painting and a poem

I had today revisited my painting , which was done in watercolour and wrote and re-wrote this poem today , inspired by the painting .

Dalam kejemuan membalik-balik
lembaran hidupku
terasa jejari lembutmu
menyentuh tanganku
lalu tampak raut senyummu
suatu misteri
yang menyentuh
jiwa halus dan
terangsang ini.

Kau bebayang asyik kupandang
setiap kali ilham menggoda
akan kutempuhi keujudanmu
jua kubilang kehadiranmu.

Kerana tahu
panggilan lirik wajahmu
cuma tiba di pekan kesedaran
kata-kata janji manismu.

Kini kita bicara
pada suatu momen manis
seribu keindahan
yang mendesak penjelasan
pada fikirian yang memendam
rasa cinta buatmu.

Selagi aku menggapai
erti senyummu itu
akan kukejar ke sudut waktu
rela kutunggui kehadiranmu
walau sesaat mendetik datang
pada jiwa ini
ia sepajang musim kebahagian.

MOOD, 29 Jun '08.
Laman Kambatik, Bintulu.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Panoramic View of Eco- Farm

On a Sunday morning ( 29 June), I thought I would take a stroll up the Vegetation Island No.1 hill top. I know from there I could get a good panorama of the eco- farm. These shots are taken using my camera hand phone N93i series.
Below is the view towards the west. In the foreground is the forested area I preserve as Vegetation Island No.1, where I was busy the whole of last week planting heliconias in the area as part of a wider landscaping project called Heliconia Valley Project.

View towards west:

View towards the south:
The vegetation island is on the left of the picture. The middle ground shows the valley section.

View towards the east:
The huge trees on the left of the picture have been there for more than 60 years ago. The foreground shows the leafy fronds of the oil palm trees, which are the main crop planted all over this eco-farm.

View towards the north:
The northern section of the farm has been cleared and is planned to be planted soon. The new planting area is about 4 acres in size.

Windswept Lawn

Like a bird one day
I was out in the open air
been there by the old casuarina branch
that I used to watch and sing
at the garden steps below.

It was a tiny lawn
recently mowed
the cuttings were dry
shrivelled and brown.

The patio was quiet
a little breeze blew
moved the scattered leaves
the silent chimes too.

The mood was rustic
this warm return hollow
where I while away
my moments in time
and take flight when the day is done.

Said I:
Here's indeed a place to rest
To seek a peaceful mind
that will remember and recall
this windswept lawn
the patio and the trees
I wished to be my own.

MOOD, 29 June '08.
Laman Kambatik, Bintulu.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Country Peace

I was working at the Sassy Pink Footpath area this morning ( 28/6) when I felt a strong breeze passing through the leafy canopies above . While sweeping the footpath of dried leaves and twigs I could hear the chirping of many a birds around me and on the branches above. I felt immediately an experience that you just need to be in the country to understand. It's a kind of a tie up with your natural self, of feeling the peacefulness that nature hands out freely.

View of the footpath from west. Notice the broom swept footpath .

View of the footpath from east. The sound of rustling leaves while I swept the footpath and over my head in the tree canopies above, reminded me of a poem I wrote some thirty over years ago, called 'Country Peace'.

Country Peace

The rustling leaves,
Brings that wondrous feeling
The town people miss
Called country peace.
There is low silence,
Deep in its shallowness
Forever going
Forever reaching.
I lie in the open air,
Letting the breeze blow
My ruffled hair
My face too
Rubbing it slowly
But earthly through.
Natural quietness
Is a comforting cushion
That balms the mind
From earthly confusion.
I love nature,
In its rustling leaves
The quietness of mind
What ever good nature gives.
A time to reflect
A season to recall
In a state of mind
That nature gives.
I thank nature for it leaves
My thoughtful mind
Well at peace
Rich at ease.

MOOD, 1974.

Bintulu Divisional Mosque

This is Bintulu's Divisional mosque called Masjid Assyakiriin, where I joined the Friday congregation yesterday ( 28 June).

Bintulu river scenes

I had a half day outing to Bintulu town yesterday and had taken a few shots at the riverside.

There are not many express boats at the Bintulu wharves these days. It seemed that their days are numbered due to the accessibility of remote and upriver areas of Bintulu by a slowly expanding road network .

Bintulu 's main economic stay has always been timber and it is still dependant on this abundant forest resources today as ever. The Kemena River, that is the principal river of Bintulu is the main thoroughfare of tugboats that tows barges of logs to the timber industrial complexes at the Kemena Timber based zone, some three kilometers away from the mouth of the Kemena River. In the distant hill is the Jepak telecommunications tower . The village located down the hilly landscape and partly built in the river is where the local Melanau fishermen live. The above views I took from the wharf edge at Bintulu town proper.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Mid Hill Footpath

Within the Vegetation Island No.1 area there are three level of footpaths. The lower level has been partly developed as 'sassy pink footpath' . Today I am clearing the middle footpath to make way for planting more heliconia varieties along the footpath, probably heliconia stricta and heliconia ' lobster claw'. There was a fallen 7 meter old 'belian 'tree that stood in the way. With the might of the chainsaw, our morning's work of cutting the log and wooden stumps was completed in due time. Below is a view of the mid hill footpath taken from the east. Stories on the development and progress of this project can be accessed at my other blog, entitled my gardening projects.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A very misty morning

This is the scene at my eco-farm at about 7.00 am today (25 June) . The heavy mist disappeared around 8.00 am. Then throughout today, the weather was very heaty and had to find work under shade. For that reason we worked in the vegetation island no. 1 area, to continue the underbrushing works to the jungle footpaths in the Heliconia Valley project.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sassy Pink Footpath Project

I have since this morning( Monday, 23/6) started on a new landscaping project at the vegetation island no.1 at my eco-farm. In short I call it 'the sassy pink' footpath project. Stories of the progress of the project can be accessed at my gardening project blog . The idea is to create a footpath within the heavily shaded vegetation island no.1 that will showcase the exotic beauty of 'sassy pink' heliconias.

Heliconia collection

As part of the landscaping plan for my eco-farm, I have included a section for my collection of heliconias. It is envisaged that the area will ultimately develop into a 'heliconia valley' where one can enjoy the the stark beauty of heliconia colourful bracts.

Today I cleared the footsteps of a path in the valley area and trimmed the heliconia clumps along the way. Below is the scene of my morning workout. Despite being a Sunday, I enjoyed the morning hours clearing the undergrowth and overgrown grasses and sweeping off the fallen leaves.

The long string of pinkish bracts of heliconia 'sassy pink' below are a real treat. Some can be more than a meter long.
The deep red lipstick colours of the heliconia stricta below is very attractive. It is for their colourful bracts ( 'false flowers') that heliconias are better known.

And finally, before the day is done, I displayed four varieties of heliconias into this glass fish bowl.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Extremely rare Javanese Cassia ( Cassia javanica L.)

While driving through the district of Roban ( before reaching Sarikei) I couldn't believe my eyes when I passed the SK Bayong school. At one end of the school compound stood this beautiful Javanese Cassia tree. I have been hunting for this tree for years either to get its seeds or to have a picture of it in full bloom. Well I finally made it on 15 th of June i.e. I managed to take this rare picture of the tree covered with pink inflorescence. Couldn't get hold of the pods though , since the tree was inside the fenced school compound. Furthermore I was rushing to go back home to Bintulu. Javanese cassia trees are a real treat when they flower. I wish all local councils and city municipalities in Sarawak make it a point to plant this tree in parks and open spaces. Though it originated from Java island ( Indonesia ) it grows well too in Sarawak as evidenced by this picture.

Trip to Bintulu

After spending three weeks in Kuching over the Gawai holiday, I decided to journey back to Bintulu on Sunday, 15 June'08. By around lunch time we arrived the town of Sri Aman. Every visitor to this town will never miss noticing this iconic sculpture of two white doves. They speak volumes of an era when Sarawak was terrorised by the communists. It was in this town that the communists laid down their arms and called off their struggle to set up communism in Sarawak. For that matter this town was renamed 'Sri Aman' ( meaning 'peace' in Malay). Previous to that, the town was known as 'Simanggang'.

Bintulu in Colourful Pinks and Whites

Arrived Bintulu at 7.30 pm last Sunday. Today I feel better after the ten hours journey by road from Kuching. Going around town to do shopping and checking the mail box at the Post Office, I noticed this line of tecoma trees yet to be in full bloom. Looks like Bintulu will be in colours of pink and white this June.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bonsai Show and Sale

What a collection of 'bonsai' plants! This was part of a show-cum-sale of 'bonsai' plants at Mile 7 Bazaar which I visited on my way home this afternoon . I love to see them but don't like to get addicted with this particular form of gardening ( just yet?). I know bonsai is good for the eyes. Read about its therapeutic effect long time ago. The idea is that if you are in to bonsai, you must spend your time every morning looking at their green leaves and trimming them to shape. And by having your eyes focused on green colours everday would 'heal' your eyes. Well , that's in brief how the theory goes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Daily Cut Flowers

The heliconia species below is fondly called 'sassy pink'. Its bracts are pendulous.The pink colour is unique and striking. This particular stand is seen next to the front gate of our house in Kuching.

From this morning garden workout( about one and half hours of digging and planting work) I selected a few bracts of heliconias and two fronds of cycas plant. Here's how they look :

A closer view of another interesting heliconia species called' the fire crackers' is shown above.

And this was how I was inspired this morning to create a new blog ......well about CUT FLOWERS. While cutting the fronds of this sea cycas( pakis laut) it dawned upon me to do cut flowers arrangement on a daily basis. A tall order. Yes, but I am ready to take up the challenge. Therefore I am now thinking of the title of the blog. Could it be.....Daily Cut Flowers? Well, that's a start.....

Borneo Beads Craftwork

Yesterday we managed to procure some interesting beadswork . Below are some samples:

The Kayan bag above, locally called an 'Ajat' is 10 inches(ht)x6 inches(width). This piece has just been completed and the beads look very shining.

Above are necklaces bearing Kayan design. Ideal for souvenirs and gifts.

The necklaces above are generally 18 inches long when stretched.

The mat above can be made into various items like, a table cloth, a framed art piece etc. The size of the beaded mat is 16 inches x 30 inches.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Garden platform project done!

The area to the right has been filled up and levelled to make way for concreting. Simple wooden form work are installed to keep the concrete in place when pouring. I have intended to make the garden spot more livable by creating this space for passive creation,like reading, drawing ,etc

I did this project by myself. The hardest part being mixing the cement with sand, stones and water. However take it in stride and in no time you'll find that you are capable of becoming a contractor. I would estimate concreting works above about 20% done.

Here's a view from the house towards the jungle ,taken after all concreting works were done.

And finally, the last bit of work consisted in concreting the first step from the garden to the house. The wordings on the step indicated that the project was completed on 18th May which was timely before we take the road to Kuching.

New Shopping Experience in Kuching

On this trip we returned again and again to 'Boulevard' shopping center,located at Mile 4 , Kuching-Serian Road. More shops have now opened in the center. I paid a visit to the Popular Bookshop and bought a book on Monet.

Waiting for wounds to heal

Today Macy Grey's castration wounds appear much better. Probably in a day or two it would be drier. By the look of it, Macy has recovered from the operation. She is now able to run and jump. Sleeps well and eats well too. Therefore travel plans to Bintulu may be sooner.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shopping for Scarves

On 31 May, my wife went shopping for scarves along Gambier Road, Kuching. Oh ! There's so much to choose from. They literally over flowed onto the five- foot way. Where's she? Oh! There, the lady in pink.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Majestic cotton tree

This huge cotton tree stands majestically erect on the edge of the Padang Merdeka ( previously known as Central Padang). During the last two weeks it was dropping its cotton hairs over the 'padang' expanse. Oh, what a beautiful sight to behold. Two young girls are attentively picking the cotton.

Wet Gawai at Kuap

I had three full days of Gawai visiting in Kuching. Not bad for a record. Whilst visiting friends and relatives ( on my wife's side) at Kampung Kuap which is a stronghold of the Bidayuh community, we were held up by the rain. However it turned out to be fun as we continued the karaoke session over at least four hours. The roads within the kampung are extremely narrow . I was in top form singing my ' Bee Gees' numbers.

Margherita Court

'Margherita Court'

On Monday I visited the Sarawak Art Museum . The Art Museum was established in 2006. Currently held there is an art exhibition organised by the Museum and in collaboration with other departments like the Tourism ministry etc.
The above painting is done by watercolourist Lam Siong Onn who was born in 1937 at Kuching.
Below are some info on the painting and artist.
Date taken: 9 June 08

Kuching Historical buildings

One feature of Kuching city that is an outright sell out is its masses of old colonial buildings.
The building marked 1883 below is the entrance to the former Kuching Court house.

And below is the facade of the city Post Office , now operated by Pos Malaysia.

Landscaping around Wisma Satok

A large water container , fed by fine fountains from its sides becomes a pleasant surprise amidst the drudgery of concrete walls.

Wisma Satok is a shopping cum office complex . Its anchor tenants include Maybank and CIMB Bank. However as a shopping destination, it offers a variety of attractions like food stalls and eateries, many more banks (within walking distance around the building complex), hundreds of conventional shops,wet market and of course the must visit Sunday Market.

A fine example of over-sized pots used to accomodate white flowering bougainvillea plant. This particular landscaping piece is seen across the road from Wisma Satok, partly seen to the left of the picture above.

A multi-storeyed cafe for the young and trendy about to be completed. This is section is an annex to Wisma Satok. Observe the use of fine bamboo plants and broad leaved shrubery as planting architectural elements. I find the use of colours on the wall next to the steps being effective.

At night the street lighting post will display the neon colours of the hibiscus flower pattern hung on the post. In the day time one enjoys the showy hibiscus flowers along the footpath.

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