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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tasik Chini Fieldwork 2014

Sky in the pond. The third day at Tasik Chini, enjoying the peaceful scene and morning breeze.
We heard about Chini Lake in Geography class during lower secondary school but we never went there before. We know that it is in Pahang and it is the second biggest natural lake in Malaysia (after Kenyir Lake in Terengganu) then nothing else. I am so glad that I have the chance to experience myself the beauty of the great lake which surrounds half of the resort that we stayed in. During the first semester of my study, we took the subject 'Man and Environment' with Dr. Mohd Yusoff which opened our eyes towards the global environmental issues. For this semester, the subject 'Environmental Measurement Techniques' made us realise how important an environmental scientist is, which is out of my expectation. This subject is taught by many many lecturers in different specialised fields (from zoology to oceanography), so each week we get a different lecturer to expose us to the wide range of environmental fields. It is more about practical which requires skills and experiences that we could not get from classes (ok, so it's not my fault for my mind to wander around during lectures, hahaha).

This was the biggest fieldwork that we have underwent so far compared to the previous two fieldworks that we have done (please check my previous posts). According to the information provided, Chini Lake lies in the midst of a 12,000 acres of tropical rain forest. It is made up of a series of 12 freshwater lakes occupying 12,000 hectares of land. In August and September, thousands of lotus plants will thrive in the lake, covering the surface with white and pink. While during the monsoon season which is between November and January, the lake will increase in size, making it suitable for fishing. So if I ever go back to that magnificent lake, I think I will choose the time when the lotus plants blossom, hehe, since we just see some lotus leaves at the edge of the lake now in April. It's better to experience another season there next time.

On the way to Chini Lake, oil palm plantations everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
The bus journey was quite tough. It took us at least five hours to reach the destination (after getting the wrong turn). The winding road seemed endless. The whole bus swayed left and right as it went, luckily my stomach was strong enough to handle it. By the way, thank God that I bought an inflatable neck pillow the day before our journey, it made the ride more comfortable with something your head could rest on. It was so so boring for the long journey. To reduce the weight of my personal belongings I did not bring my laptop or any kind of entertainments (and I have to save my smartphone battery for photographing). And I was a little bit sick that morning so I did not think about bringing snacks or something to munch on (which results in mass starvation in the bus).

Two hungry cookie monsters who got bits of food, hahaha.
There were 61 of students and about 20 lecturers and master students and staffs going to on this trip. I stayed in a 10-people dorm with 5 double deckers and two bathrooms. The condition was quite ok as I am not really picky about where to stay (I slept in a tent before and it was good for me). There were 6 sessions in total throughout the three days we stayed there and it's mainly about the introduction on sampling or measurement techniques. How I wish we could stay there a few more days as it was really mentally exhausting trying to absorb as many knowledge as I could within the short period of time (there were 4 sessions during the second day, each sessions 2 hours with half an hour or one hour as interval, so my concentration began to shake starting the third session of the day). I was really eager to learn, just that my mind had the limits, ugh. Hopefully I did not annoy anyone with that much of inquiries. And of course I took LOTS of photos during this trip that I can't upload all of them on this blog. Am planning to write on what I got during the trip. Please give me some time yeah. 

The jetty for us to take speed boat at Chini Lake.
The view of the lake on a boat.
Night scene captured with my Nokia Lumia 920 with no flash light.
I love waking up early in the morning during vacation in Nature. The weather was just nice for beautiful scenes.
The mesmerizing scene at one of the ends of the lake.
The sunset.
Feeling alive there just by breathing, hehe.
Sun rise at the other side of the lake. The resort located at the middle of the lake, with the East at the right hand side and the West at the left hand side. So standing on the jetty we could enjoy the sunrise and sunset just perfectly.
Lake Chini is not just a puddle of stagnant water. It seemed alive, flowing slowly like a river to the direction of East early in the morning while the other direction a bit later (not sure whether it's the wind as the moving force or something else makes it dynamic). The other things that attracts me in Nature are the animals roaming the place. Through my observation at Chini Lake, I didn't really see a lot of creatures. King Fishers, unknown seasonally migrating birds (I think so), some common birds (sparrows etc.), two species of squirrels (the brown ones and the others which looked like skunk!), some unknown small fishes, lots of skippers (small furry butterflies) but a few butterflies, many common insects (ants, house flies, mosquitoes etc.) and so on. Nothing really amazed me. Even though it was a lake there was not much dragonflies.

Unknown moth which was so shy that it flew away after I captured this photo, haha.
The brown squirrel. It was really hard to capture its photo as it scurried away swiftly every time human approached.
The 'skunk-like' squirrel! Finally managed to capture a photo when it was feeding on the oil palms provided by the resort's owner! It has a brown belly which was invisible from this angle.
Actually that was a butterfly which was light green in colour. I couldn't get any nearer to capture a clearer photo. I think it was 'puddling' at the wet patch of soil.
School of small fish in the muddily cloudy water.
More to come! To be continue... *wink*