Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fun with biodiversity during army

Some will know that I just came back from a 3 weeks in camp training in army. My camp is situated in the middle of the Western Catchment, far from civilisation and I have a fair share of surprises with the plants and animals that pop out whenever I am in.

The best time was when a pangolin sneaked into our camp 2 years ago and walked around our vehicle shed with me and my other university mate chasing after it. A pity no camera equipment are allowed in camp. Anyway, here are some other interesting events that occurred during my past weeks.

I was assisting my boss in the air-conditioned planning room when my friend came to tell him that there was a snake in the room. I was so excited and hoped that it was at least a python or cobra but it turned out to be a small little Paradise Tree Snake that crawled into the room from an opening vent from the floor. Had to tell everyone that this was a harmless fellow and removed it from the room using a broom. Outside, it seemed pretty happy staying motionless and basked under the sun.

Paradise Tree Snake at Sungei Buloh

The second incident was when I had some bowel movements and went into a toilet cubicle. There, I jumped up in fright when I saw a huge Altas Moth sitting contentedly on the toilet bowl. While I am not really that scared of the moth (since I still dared to hold one on my finger last time), its size and reputation of being the largest moth in the world is still quite intimidating. Worse still, imagine if I sat on it without thinking! Shivers…

A menacing female Altas Moth

During my outfield training, I stepped on an unknown snake (I think) which slithered away (luckily) when I was peeing in the wee hours. Funny that my friends came bashing through from the other side through the wet patch after I'm done.

I was also surprised that there were a fair number of plants in this poor quality forest that I did not recognised when I reluctantly got off the vehicle for a dismounted mission.

It was also interesting how small little creatures can generated a hive of discussion. Like how a tiny praying mantis flew into the vehicle and everyone wanted it out but nobody dared to touch it. Or a little spider hiding inside the tonner that made them uncomfortable living inside there for the next few days. One even tried to smash it using rolled newspaper but missed (phew…).

Seems like I picked up some basic survival skills in the jungle of at least knowing what animals are harmless. Ha~

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Wow seems like army can be kinda fun, though I'm sure it's a lot tougher than it sounds. Nice shots and finds :-)

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