Nuffnang Space

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Panda Sanctuary

The Panda Sanctuary in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province is worth a visit if only to view the antics of the cute pandas. However this place is more than just a sanctuary. It is a research base for the breeding of the Giant Panda. This world-renowned ecological conservation base received the "Global 500" Award from the United Nations Environment Programme in 1995.

It occupies an area of 100 hectares. Apart from their main objective of conservation of wildlife, at the base, the focus is also on the conservation of natural habitats. The whole area is landscaped with 400 kinds of trees including many species of bamboo which also serve as food for the panda bears. Besides bamboo, they are also served bread baked in the Panda Kitchen! Baby pandas are bottle-fed until they are old enough to be weaned.

The babies...having their nap in the shade.

These teenagers below are enjoying their panda bread.

They are surprisingly sure-footed up in the tree.

This is the shot I want to show off to Rachel of 'And Then, She Snapped'!

(A cinquain for poetry picnic, week 18 and for Poets Rally Week 58)

the december of their days

december days
your wildness forgotten
cradled in bamboo sanctuary


Linking to:
Thursday Poets Rally (Week 58)
Poetry Picnic (Prompt - December, Wildness)
Camera Critters
Show Off Your Shot
Macro Monday

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jiuzhaigou Paradise

I had long heard of Jiuzhaigou, and many have extolled the scenic beauty of this famous World Heritage Site in China. The best time to visit, they say, is in autumn, so we chose to go in autumn, of course. I personally had a hankering for taking photographs of autumn scenery, after seeing all the fabulous photographs of autumn in the photoblogs. I found that I couldn't have chosen a better time, or place...

The series of mountains here at Jiuzhaigou reach a height of  4,800 metres and they form a scenic backdrop for the one hundred or so lakes there. This lake reflects the mountains beautifully.

This is part of the Five Flower Lake which is remarkable not only for its beautiful turqouise-blue colour, but also for its mystery. When all the other lakes freeze in winter, this lake remains as it is, all year round! No wonder the locals there refer to this lake as the "soul of Jiuzhaigou". It has a mystical allure that adds to its physical charm.

The virgin forests here are truly impressive in autumn!

The Pearl Shoal Station is a series of shallow rapids that glisten in the sunlight like beads of pearls.

The Pearl Shoal Waterfall, also known as Pearl Beach Waterfall, is one of the more spectacular of the waterfalls found here. I find the upper reaches of this waterfall a delight to photograph. Many people forget to look out for the beauty to be discovered here and they make a beeline for the lower part of the falls to hear the thunderous sound and see the voluminous outpouring of the falls.This view is what they miss.

Pearl Beach Waterfall

Surrounded by the delicate beauty of the lakes and the magnificence of the mountains and forests, how could we not be thankful for Nature's gift to us in this paradise called Jiuzhaigou?

For Donna's Words for Wednesday:
Pattern and Texture

there's pattern in paradise 
i declare
the mighty mountains align
in a v-shape design

there are ink-blot patterns so enchanting
i see
the mirror lakes reflect
the mighty mountains that project

patchwork patterns of interest
i observe
in the foliage of green and gold repetitious
on the canopies of lush virgin forests

there's contrast in texture too
i note
when the soft water falls 
down the hard cliff walls

the soft blend with the hard 
i discover
when the soft cottony clouds that float in the sky
blanket the tough rugged peaks as they sail by

yes, there's pattern in paradise
and the wind and the water
harmonize well together
humankind just can't compete with Nature's design

For Poetry Picnic, Haiku Heights and Sensational Haiku Wednesday:

quiet meditation
in Nature's loving embrace
dreamy obsession

Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Poets Rally
Watery Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Share The Joy Thursday
Skywatch Friday
Haiku Heights
Haiku My Heart
Poetry Picnic

Nov 20, 2011
My thanks to Poetry Picnic for this award for my submission entitled "Pattern and Texture"

award humbly acknowledged 
happy heart flaps wings 

I nominate Leo for his poem, Against All Odds

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Cat City of Sarawak

The capital city of Sarawak is Kuching. The part of the city which is the most interesting to me is the waterfront, as this is what characterizes this city. The Sarawak River runs right across Kuching's doorstep, so to speak. It is quaint that you could cross over to the other side of the river by river taxi...which is manned by one boatman.

River views...

View of Kuching city... eateries

The James Brook bistro...

The old town...


Chinese temple...

Hilton Hotel...

 Kuching is a Malay word that means 'cat'. Here's a look at the cat images which I caught sight of in this city.

Some real-life ones...


Some souvenirs to take home!


Linking to:
Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I am thrilled that Evolution is the word Donna has assigned us for Word for Wednesday. My take on this is a light hearted observation of the Theory of  Evolution. If Darwin was right, we evolved in this fashion:

Let us study the great apes and compare their habits to ours. I had the privilege of  seeing for myself the way these primates behave when I visited the Semenggok Orang Utan Sanctuary in Sarawak, and have learned a little bit about their habits.  Both my observations as well as reports from studies made, are brought into this little commentary on evolution. I would like to point out some remarkable similarities these primates have with the habits of homo sapiens, which might lend a clue as to how we have evolved from them.

The Orang Utan (meaning Man of the Jungle in the Malay language) is said to be a close relative of humans, and is very intelligent. In the sanctuary, they live in their natural habitat, and although the rangers provide them with two meals a day, they have the choice to come out to the fringe of the reserve to have breakfast, or not. The mothers with baby in tow came out in full force, that particular day. Then the teens made an appearance. Nowhere to be seen was the alpha male.We assumed he was still in bed, waiting for breakfast to be served. 

Look who came for breakfast...

Similarity  #1
These primates are very selective of the location of their  nest. They prefer to build their nest in the highest branches they can reach.
We also prefer to build our homes on hill-tops, mountain-tops and people are prepared to pay  a high premium on these locations. Just think of celebrities living in the hills of Monaco. We are also willing to pay very high prices for penthouse property in the tallest condominiums we can find. This must say something about the origin of our species.

Evolution point:  Where Orangutans never take over any abandoned nest, but always build new ones when they move, evolution has us buying over old property at a higher price when we relocate. Seems to me the primates knew better.
Evolution point : Orangutans spend 90% of their time in the treetops of their rainforest home, but we leave our homes for work early in the morning and come home late at night. They seem to know how to enjoy their highrise residence, while we are seldom at home to enjoy the comforts of home. Have we evolved for the better?

See that penthouse up there?

Similarity #2
Orangutan mothers care for their young for 2 years. Female Orangutans breed every 8 years or so, and in their lifetime, they have 3 or 4 babies. Mothers cradle and rock their babies, and teach them living skills. In the Semenggok Wildlife sanctuary, these mothers are referred to as Hot Mamas as they are fiercely protective of their young. We were instructed to keep our distance and not exhibit what could be misconstrued as aggressive behaviour when the Hot Mamas are around. Camera tripods and umbrellas might be seen as weapons, so we were told not to use them. The day before our visit, a man had been injured by an orangutan, so the ranger gave strict instructions to us. The final instruction had us a bit apprehensive, when the ranger warned us to listen for directives from them. He said, "When we say 'Run!', you run!!!" Oh-oh... I must say that it was an exciting visit.

Hot Mama 1

Hot Mama 2

Precious baby

Another precious young 'un in tow.

Evolution point: We human mums look after our young for a little longer, from birth, through their teens, and we continue to support them...right up to the last level of their education!(Might take about 25 years if they do not opt to do a PhD)

Similarity #3
Couch potato habits
The Orangutans have been observed to use very little energy. They are sloth-like in the jungle.
This pose was kept up for at least 15 minutes before they slowly moved on!

Sounds familiar? What do we do when we get home? Look for the remote and park ourselves on the couch, trying to utilize as little movement as possible!
Evolution point: Oh, yes, we have evolved so much more today...haven't we?

Cinquain for Poetry Picnic, Week 10

home to primates
feel warm and secure here
may both the strong and weak survive

Haiku Heights #91

soak in the lessons
 our forefathers bequeathed us
sponge absorbs, retains 

For Sensational Haiku Wednesday

her looks may scare us
gentle mother with a mask
she protects her young

Linking to: