Thursday, 4 September 2008

Pasoh afterglow

Two reasons I chose the title; Pasoh is forever etched in my mind, for all the good times and all the good people I met there. The second that the forest floor indeed has afterglow! After the sun sets, the leaf litter glow reflecting moonlight; we noticed that even when there’s no moon they do reflect dim light probably starlight, or maybe the fungus on the leaf litter itself glows rather than reflecting light. Anyway, we planned many times to take a tripod with us and take a picture with say one hour exposure or more, but the times we lugged a tripod it rained, so I cannot put it up on the blog, sorry!
The first two weeks we had three night walks and the last week we practically were only night-walking sleeping in the day or day-dreaming. Why we did this is because me and Pradeep from Sri Lanka took up nocturnal amphibians as our independent project.
The first frog-sampling evening, a visitor walked by and we tried to stop him in vain, very strong fellow, we made him sit and pose and we also turned him around. Beeeaaauuttiifull

To start with, the first night was quite unevently almost till the end. But then Dtoon, an ex-soldier from Thailand was with us; sharp eyes and deadly reflexes! We saw a gecko on a tree, Pradeep pushed it down with a long stick and Dtoon (pronounced toon) jumped on it higher and faster than a gecko if it were human-sized! We still found the gecko more glamorous than Dtoon, so heres the pic of gecko.

Then Dtoon saw a snake on the tree bark, same sequence of events except no one jumped on to it. Pradeep carefully handled it and it was a non-poisonous bridled snake we later identified.

We saw many frogs too, beautiful ones…

And another gecko too. We named this guy ‘balli’ which is gecko in my language, Telugu. We knew its home range since every night we used to see him in the same tree bark and the day, I mean the night we don’t see him we just shout ‘goodnight balli’ and walk on.

Its not that we didn’t see snakes in the day time. There were a few too…

At the end of the project we were really really tired staying up for six-seven hours a night in the forest and turning leaf litter searching for frogs. I am very thankful to Dtoon for gecko-jumping, Sze-leng, Alyse, Lillian and Panitnard for accompanying us on few night patrols and to Pradeep too for teaching me about frogs and how to find them.
Next up is PITC, Perak Integrated Timber Complex in Temenggor forest reserve in Perak State, just below Thailand…

1 comment:

Eddy Chong said...

Thanks for sharing. Will be there this coming weekend and hope to find some frogs and snakes too. :)