Saturday, March 19, 2005


February 3, 2003

This morning a few fellow teachers and I met at 8 a.m. at the local food stall and went for a hike about 1km from my house.

We found a 'hidden' little valley that had some durian trees, banana trees, and what appeared to be a few dipterocarps that somehow escaped the axe and saw.. it's as close to primary forest as you can get in KL... we were mesmerized.. relaxed.. unseen birds sang in the canopy... primordial looking ferns dotted the landscape.. we were psyched to have discovered our little spot!

As we hiked through the valley macaques pranced in the trees and warned us to stay away. I was hoping to spot some langurs that had been reported near our school and on the trails.

All around us a HUGE highway complete with accompanying condos are being erected to the gods of commerce. The secondary growth is disappearing. The primary forest has long been gone in the Klang Valley. We're hangin on to the overgrown rubber plantations as the last vestiges of forest here for recreation and sanity.

Adam stopped.. we chatted.. he turned around... and exclaimed 'there is a big ass python RIGHT THERE!' we didn't believe him.. sure enough.. it was!

We did what any self respecting naturalist would do.. we went TOWARDS it...we got within about 6 inches of it.. I measured my fist next to it's head.. about the same size...

The snake got nervous.. and slithered off into the brush... it measured about 8-10 feet long as best we could judge... it was like a scene from a bad snake horror movie.. the knee high grass was breaking all down.. but we couldn't see it.. it slithered here and there as we pursued with enthusiasm, giggling like school girls!

It finally disappeared into a hole in the ground.. no Steve Irwin among us to pull it out.. we left it in peace. Suddenly ALL of the leaves on the forest floor looked like python patterns.. everything was a python! It was great.. the adrenaline surged..

We walked out of the forest and headed to the stall for roti and tea...

My day was complete!

Check off another of my life goals.. 'to see a python in the wild'.. and one of my goals for my stint in SE Asia.. however long that may be..

All within 1km of my house!

1 comment:

AJ said...

I love that about SE Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, India)! Its terrible that the old growth forest is disappearing. But I do like how nature/animals mix with the human populations. For example, I love seeing the cows, monkeys, pigs, etc. roaming the city streets of India. I only wish the cities were greener.

It would be possible, I think, to create natural cities... ones filled with trees and other habitats. But its all about the quick capitalist buck. So much cheaper and quicker to bulldoze everything and then slap down concrete.