Sarawak Day 3 – Kubah National Park – Belian & Selang Trail
Day 3 and aching were yet to be relieved before we went on yet another trip on a slope. Belian Trail starts near the park HQ with a steep, mossy flight of steps downward. We had to tread very carefully as the moss was slippery and having both arms occupied with my tripod and gear didn’t help much. 😛 Step by step, we slowly edged downwards and managed to conquer the steps without any butts kissing the ground! 🙂
All behind the scenes shots are from Melvyn’s Sony TX5, Nicky’s Galaxy SII and David’s iPhone. Victor’s S90 was lost on the cab, and nobody knows where Ben hid his photos from his EP3.#1 Got up early, and Victor prepared french toast for all! Managed to finish up all the eggs we bought!
#2 Some sliced cucumbers for the morning sandwich
#3 In the kitchen preparing breakfast
#4 Which monkey ate all the bananas har???
#5 Victor with his french toast and fried eggs
#6 Washing the dishes
#7 Tuna must eat tuna. LOTS OF IT
#8 One full plate for the ever hungry man
#9 Victor doing warm up shots outside the chalet before setting off
#10 Before heading out, we found that the firefly larva was still around, and took some shots of it in daylight
#11 Still very active! Decided to leave it alone after this shot, it didn’t seem very happy with us
#12 The longhorn beetle was still at our balcony too!
#13 Good morning!
#14 Start of Belian Trail before the steep descent
#15 You didn’t see the sign that we were leaning on….
#16 Initial steps, as Victor goes down step by step
#17 Quite a long flight of steps, must’ve been never-ending for Ben!
#18 Base of the first flight of steps. Looks like a place with lots of potential!
#19 Crossing the bridge that seemed like it was going to collapse
#20 Camwhoring after crossing the bridge
#21 More camwhoring
#22 Found lots of robberflies along the trail covered with overgrowth
#23 Yet another steep descent! Victor appears in the morning rays like a superhero
#24 Finally started shooting. Took some warmup shots with this trilobite beetle larva
#25 Not very active, but we can see a bit of the eye sticking out
#26 Victor found this beautiful pair of mating BLUE Robberflies! They were a little skittish, but as they flew together, it was easy to trace and chase them around
#27 Another top view. The sun was going in and out from behind the clouds and white balance gets screwy at times
#28 Side profile of the mating robberflies
#29 Here’s a picture of me shooting the robberflies
#30 Victor found this interesting looking caterpillar
#31 Trying hard to get it in focus as it refused to stop moving
#32 Opened up the aperture to get a bright background, but DOF is much thinner
#33 Here’s the cool part… bright green below with orange head!
#34 Victor’s on a roll and found this male jumping spider (Thiana sp.) with very bright metallic blue stripes!
#35 View of the back reveals the bright stripes. Surreal…
#36 Closing in for my favourite face shot!
#37 Closest I could get. This jumping spider loved to jump onto my lens and flash diffusers
#38 Another angle
#39 Side view. As curious as other jumping spiders, always looking up and everywhere
#40 Melvyn showed me this jumping spider with prey, stealing a peak at my camera
#41 Very odd looking spider. It was carrying it’s prey at the tip of it’s legs while walking around upside down!
#42 Once settled down, it would bring it’s food to it’s mouth
#43 Melvyn found this pair of beautiful stick insects (Aschiphasma annulipes). I had called it the watermelon stick insects for the distinct green stripes on it’s body (it is not the official name, sorry if some of you thought it was). Amazing camouflage as we had to squint to locate it even when it was right in front of us!
#44 The sky opened and it started to pour!! Not daunted, Ben employed the help of 2 other assistants to hold 3 umbrellas for him while he took the shots of the 2 stick insects.
#45 Really a combined effort!
#46 Dunno why Nick was shooting with his towel
#47 The rest sat down to rest while waiting for the rain to stop. Looks possessed….
#49 *sob* why rain no stop?
#50 Victor was taking a break too
#51 Ben just wouldn’t stop shooting! lol
#52 The yellow ninja turtle could not stand it anymore and went in to take close up shots
#53 Selling drinks?
#53b Rain finally stops, and we put down our umbrellas to continue shooting!
#54 View of the stick insects from the side
#55 Close up handheld shots as it was too difficult to setup the tripodin that position and distance
#56 Still wet from the rain
#57 See the watermelon? 🙂
#58 Not sure who found this, but this sawfly larva has an amazingly bright blue and yellow colouration!
#59 Looks like some gummy sweet
#60 Closing in on the head reveals only 1 pair of eyes. Normal caterpillars should have 6 pairs.
#61 Wouldn’t stop moving, but managed to capture it while it was doing a flip
#62 Front view
#63 Can’t get enough of the head!
#64 Still moving
#65 Climbing up
#66 And doing a lion dance for me
#67 Went back to shoot the beautiful pair of stick insects again! This time with natural light and reflectors
#68 How I placed the reflectors. Can you even see the stick insects in this picture?
#69 Another side view of the pair
#70 Victor found another stick insect of the same species, but this time the camouflage was not as fantastic.
#71 Close up on the head and watermelon
#72 Close up of the Macracantha arcuata (previously Gasteracantha arcuata). Lazy to take a good shot as I was already very happy with earlier shots of this from Khao Yai.
#73 Dangling itself
We made our way back to the chalet slowly as the sun set, all ready for Victor’s famous fried rice!
#74 The chef on his way up
#75 Chef preparing the food
#76 Fried rice! But where’s the rice?
#76b Added the rice in!
#77 So much good stuff that we can’t see the rice
#78 Plating for our dinner
#79 Found the rice! Granted that we were ridiculously hungry and anything would have tasted nice, dinner was delicious! Thanks to Victor for the savoury delight!
#79b All ready to tuck in!!
#80 Me tucking in. Show no mercy.
#81 Chef has a special bowl while everyone else used a plate
#82 After dinner was dessert! Dunno how many slices of watermelon Ben had…
#83 We also prepared longan and Nata de Coco. All of which was mixed with 100 Plus. Nobody went to the toilet after that… so its safe!!
After filling ourselves silly, we picked up our gear again for our final night shoot up Selang Trail.
#84 Found this pill bug at the base of the steps in front of our chalet
#85 And a large stick insect along a concrete path
#86 Lazy to remove the Raynox, so I just took close ups of the eyes
#87 A large earwig on a tree trunk
#88 A damselfly with really pretty blue wings. With full flash, the wings were burnt (not literally, but in a photographic sense). 🙁
#89 A grumpy little toad. Same as the one we shot at Rayu Trail last year
#90 Super grumpy
#91 Victor showed me this jungle roach, saying that it had nice patterns on it’s back. I ended up trying to shoot a darth vader angle.
#93 Dirty little litter froggie
#95 Nick found this pair of mating stick insects and said it was super rare. Took a record shot of it anyway. 😛
#96 Just beside, a tiny frog was hiding in a crevice
#97 This velvet ant (a.k.a. Cow Killer) was not moving. A rare sight, as this little one would normally be running about non-stop.
#98 Trying to take a head shot, but it ran away after this
#99 A black huntsman spider, with empty-looking eyes
#100 Record shot from above
#101 A mating pair
#102 Victor found this odd shaped spider
#103 It actually has some pretty unique patterns on its abdomen
#104 Tiny little bug that refused to stop moving
#105 Another huntsman spider
#106 Record shot from above
#107 Full view including the legs, super reflective leaf!
#108 Victor found this odd looking pair. Looks like a ground spider, or 2 ground spiders?? On closer inspection, I think this should be a ground spider with a forest ant.
#109 Top view of the oddly pair. David said that he saw the forest ant walking into the path of the ground spider and got stuck there.
#110 On the way back, I wanted to check out the pill roach again to see if it opened up, and noticed a weird set of blue legs!
#111 A blue Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider! Could be cobalt blue but we can’t be sure as it had already lost 2 legs and looked very battled.
#112 View of the sockets where the legs used to be
#113 Curled up like a flower. It was very skittish and ran very fast!
#114 Went into the drain and we followed
#115 Finally settled down here and we were able to take quite a few shots!
#116 Metallic blue beauty. Nick came down and saw some of the shots, and dismissed it as a common Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider that can easily be found in Singapore!! @[email protected]
#117 Close up from the front
#118 Awesome blue
#119 With a slight change in angle, the background turned reddish
#120 Side view close up
#121 Close up on the carapace. Very deep metallic blue. Chio chio!
After the blue Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider, we were finally satisfied and retired to the chalet for a good rest. BTW, I found a leech crawling on my camera… arghh.. luckily it was still skinny and had not taken my blood yet.
The complete album can be viewed here.