Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Buffalo.. Buffalo.. Where are you??

I can't remember the first time I saw the buffalo family, but I remember two things about them:

1. They were so close to home
2. The baby was still small (I mean 'small' in terms of a buffalo, of course)..

Well, I kept seeing them every now and then, and whenever the opportunities presented themselves to me, I tried to take pictures of them. The pictures never came out quite as expected, though.. :-(

Until the other day, when I was waiting for the public transport, and I saw the buffaloes were bathing in the river below the walking path. I decided to take pictures of them, and I was happy to find out that the pictures came out nice.

This time, the 'baby' buffalo was not small anymore, but I still love the sight of a buffalo family grazing and bathing so close to my home and I actually get to see them often! This is really something rare, for someone who is not living in a village around a paddy field..

It is really a nice feeling to know that a little piece of nature still exists around me.. :-)

Maybe.. just maybe.. next time, I can walk past the buffalo family while walking with my sons, and I can take their pictures together (my sons with the buffalo family).. :-)

I can't wait to take pictures of the buffalo family again.. :-P

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

WWF Indonesia Supporter Gathering

"Great! Supporter Gathering!"

That was my thought when I received the email from WWF Indonesia last month. I missed last year's gathering because I just gave birth to my daughter. I didn't want to miss this year's gathering!

I knew straight away who I would like to ask to come with me to the gathering.. Mother and Mita (my husband's cousin who also loves nature and works in a conservation institution). As anyone can guess, they said 'YES' to my invitation without thinking twice.

To cut the long story short.. we left home at 5.30 in the morning, on that Sunday (13th of November 2011) to Ancol, the beach to the North of Jakarta. In normal time, it would take us 2 hours at the least to reach the place from where we live, which is in Depok (a city, further south from the Southern part of Jakarta).

We arrived at the Eco Park, Ancol, at 6.30, which we were very happy with. My husband and Aza came with us, although they didn't register for the gathering. They just wanted to spend the morning at the beach (and of course, help us taking pictures!)

Mother had warned us, "I love going to nature conservation events, but I don't think I can last to the end of the event. I'm not that young anymore, you know.."

I said to Mother, "Don't worry, Mother.. I'm sure the main part of it, which is the walk, will finish at around 8.30 and then, we can decide what we want to do after that."

Mother was relieved, but she made sure of one thing, "We have to make sure that we take great pictures, though!"

I looked at Mother with wide-opened eyes.. Mother and pictures.. and blogs.. .. then I burst into laughter, "Of course, Mother.. The pictures are first priority.."


As soon as we found the starting point of the walk, there were two hosts who were interviewing participants. The hosts quickly caught us while taking pictures near the Panda Mobile (the WWF educational minivan).

The hosts approached Mother to ask her what she liked the most about the event. Mita and I quickly stepped aside.. We perfectly knew what would happen next..

Mother, in a completely professional manner, answered the question, sincerely expressing her concerns about our environment and the nature world.

Then... she continued with introduction to her elderly group, 'Dahlia Senja' which is very active in promoting elderly care and clean-and-healthy environment..

After the welcoming speeches, the walk started. We had to go to four posts; Eco Art, Eco Energy, Eco Nature and Farm Learning. We had to complete challenges at each post to be awarded stamps, so that we can have our prize at the end of the walk.

We read the map to see where we were going. Another participant, a girl named Rahma, who came alone, joined us so that she would have friends with her during the walk.

Mita also met some friends of hers. As she works for a nature conservation institution, she knew people in WWF.

It is really nice that events like WWF Supporter Gathering, can bring people to know each other..

Our first destination was the Eco-Art post. We had to do challenges to receive six stamps at this post. There are WWF paper art and plastic recycle stands.

At the WWF paper art stand, we learned to make paper bracelet which we could take with us.

At the WWF plastic recycle stand, we had the bracelet throwing challenge. We had three chances. If we managed to throw one bracelet to hang on the photo hanger (a tree-looking one, without any photo frames on it), we would receive one plastic recycle bag..

Mita successfully won the challenge and received a bag.. Yay!

The rest of the stands were the guests participants invited by WWF; a recycle paper workshop, a tin art workshop and a recycle wood workshop.

Mother took her chance in painting a recycled tin, and she did a great job at it..

From the Eco-Art post, we continued to the Eco-Energy post. At this post, we were reminded about the importance of energy saving at home. We also learned about the Geo-Thermal energy in Indonesia, which we didn't know much about before.

Then, we had our special picture taken. This picture is special, because we were supposed to use it for the purpose of wide-spreading the idea of energy and nature conservation and clean environment. We were asked to upload this picture to tweeter or facebook with a note about WWF and environment.

From the Eco-Energy post, we kept walking to the Eco-Nature post. At this post, we visited the mini-gallery of pictures of Sentarum Natural Park, Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. There were pictures and posters about the natural environment of the park and WWF programs undertaken there.

The following are the posters of the two WWF programs; the endangered species protection and the elephant flying squad and a picture of the Sentarum National Park, where the water is like a perfect mirror, when it projects the image of the environment on top of it.

At the Eco-Nature post, we had to do three challenges; the tiger walk (camera trap), the whisper and the tiger tail game.

The tiger tail game was no difference with the game we usually play at a child's birthday, it was mostly fun, because, we don't get to play it much once we are no longer a child..

I had lots of fun, trying to put the tiger tail on the right spot..

The whisper was also a game that we often play. The difference was, in this particular game, we learned that there are two types of orangutan in Indonesia; The Sumatran and The Bornean orangutans. Rahma, Mita and I played in this game, while Mother took pictures of us..

The unique game at this post, was the tiger walk game. In this game, the participant had to walk on two knees and two hands, like a tiger. The participant also wore a tiger hat. When the participant reached the point across the particular tree where a hidden camera is placed, he/she must look at the camera. This game gave us knowledge and an experience of working with a hidden camera for wild animals. This was so cool! (So cool that I kept forgetting that I wasn't supposed to be walking around the camera shooting range! Silly me!)

This time, Mita played as a tiger..

During the walk, I managed to take a picture of the pelicans inhabiting the lake at the Eco Park. They are just beautiful.


We also managed to take a picture with a giant Komodo statue. The komodo looked like a very smart elderly one. So, we thought, he should be admitted as a newest member of 'Dahlia Senja', and I think Mother approved..

The last post was the Farm Learning, which we honestly missed..

I didn't see the stamp spot on the map, and I didn't recognise the post when we walked past it. Our attention was distracted by the stage across from the post, which was going to be the final attraction of the event. The stage was still empty then, but it still caught our sights.

Mother was tired, so was Aza, who was back from his walk with his dad around the beach. We headed straight to the Panda Mobile. The WWF staff there didn't realise that we missed one stamp either. Therefore, we received our prizes, a foldable shopping bag for each of us..

Then, Mita offered to get our lunch (our tickets included lunches and we were allowed to have them, although it was only 9 a.m.)

I finally realised the missing stamp once we were already in the car going home. However, it was much too late to do anything about it.. I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to cheat..

We had our lunch in the car, on our way home. After that, we all felt really tired. Aza soon fell asleep. The rest of us, went straight to our beds as soon as we arrived home..

WWF Indonesia Supporter Gathering was a great event. We are definitely joining again next year..

See you next time..

Friday, 11 February 2011

Kaki Baru untuk Laba-Labaku..

The same article with some adjustments in English - New Legs for My Spider

Sejak awal tahun 2011 ini, ada seekor laba-laba kecil yang membuat sarang di pilar teras depan rumah. Entah apa jenis laba-laba ini (kalau ada yang tahu, tolong dimuat di 'comment form' di bawah), tapi sarangnya sangat unik karena benang-benang di sebelah luar berbentuk jaring panjang ke atas, menempel pada pilar, sementara bagian tengahnya berbentuk kubah.

Laba-labanya sendiri juga terlihat unik. Delapan kakinya, sering terlihat seakan-akan hanya ada empat! Dua kaki depan kanan dalam posisi sejajar berdekatan, begitu juga dua kaki depan kiri, dua kaki belakang kanan dan dua kaki belakang kiri.

Karena cantiknya si laba-laba dan uniknya bentuk sarangnya, saya jadi tertarik untuk mengamatinya setiap hari. Anak-anak saya mulai menyebutnya 'laba-laba ibu' dan saya sendiri mulai merasa seperti memiliki hewan peliharaan, meskipun tentu saja, saya tidak pernah memberi makan laba-laba ini.. :-)

Suatu hari, waktu saya sedang memotret laba-laba itu, tiba-tiba saja ada serangga kecil tersangkut di sarangnya. Saya melompat terkejut karena gerakan laba-laba itu sangat cepat saat ia menangkap serangga kecil tadi. Saat itu, saya bisa melihat dengan jelas taringnya dan bagaimana ia menggunakan kaki-kakinya untuk menggulung si serangga di dalam benang yang ia keluarkan dari mulutnya.

Menakjubkan! Tapi, itu belum cerita selengkapnya..

Beberapa hari kemudian, setelah hujan deras semalaman, saya menemukan laba-laba saya hanya memiliki lima kaki! Awalnya saya tidak percaya pada apa yang saya lihat. Saya perhatikan selama beberapa menit untuk memastikan bahwa ketiga kaki yang tidak terlihat itu memang tidak ada, bukan hanya tersembunyi dari pandangan saya. Saya juga ingin memastikan bahwa laba-laba saya masih hidup.

Ah, dia memang masih hidup!

Tapi, bagaimana seekor laba-laba yang harus menggulung mangsanya dalam benang menggunakan kaki-kakinya bisa bertahan hidup tanpa tiga kaki? Saya juga tidak bisa membantunya menggulungkan mangsanya..


Suami saya dengan ringan berkata, "Ah, tenang saja! Kaki laba-laba kalau lepas, akan tumbuh kembali!"
Saya tidak menanggapi dengan serius. Mana mungkin bisa?! Tapi, niat suami saya ingin menghibur saya, jadi, yah sudahlah.. :-)

Keesokan harinya, saya merasa lega sekali, karena laba-laba saya yang hanya memiliki lima kaki, saya temukan sedang menggulung seekor lalat dengan kaki-kakinya yang masih ada. Gulungan benangnya memang tidak serapat waktu ia masih memiliki delapan kaki, tapi ia masih tetap berhasil melakukan pekerjaannya dengan baik!

Mengagumkan! Seekor laba-laba kecil tidak kehilangan semangat hidup meskipun telah kehilangan lima kaki!

Tiga hari sesudahnya, saya mendapatkan kejutan yang lebih mencengangkan lagi! Laba-laba saya memiliki delapan kaki! Ada tiga kaki berwarna putih hampir transparan di tempat ketiga kaki yang hilang. Kaki yang berwarna putih itu berukuran sedikit lebih kecil daripada kelima kaki yang lain. Di waktu yang bersamaan, ada seekor laba-laba (sepertinya laba-laba jantan) tergantung mati di sarang laba-laba saya, dengan hanya memiliki lima kaki!

Apakah laba-laba saya mengambil kaki laba-laba yang mati itu?

Suami saya berkata lagi, "Ya, mungkin saja dia mengambil kaki laba-laba lain, kalau dia punya cara untuk transplantasi! Tapi, kemungkinan yang lebih besar itu ya, kakinya tumbuh lagi!"

Saya tertawa, "Yang benar saja?!"

Suami saya menghela nafas sambil mengetikkan alamat wikianswer di komputer, "Nih baca sendiri!"

Dan sayapun tercengang.. suami saya tidak bercanda!

'Kaki laba-laba yang lepas dari badannya memang bisa tumbuh lagi selama si laba-laba tidak kehilangan terlalu banyak cairan. Kalaupun kakinya tidak tumbuh lagi, laba-laba masih punya kemungkinan hidup yang memadai dengan hanya empat atau lima kaki, paling tidak untuk sementara waktu.' (diterjemahkan dari wikianswer)

Saya merasa sangat lega...

Tiga hari kemudian, hujan kembali mengguyur semalaman. Pagi harinya, saya melihat laba-laba saya tidak ada di sarangnya. Hanya ada seekor laba-laba jantan dan bayi laba-laba yang sudah mulai agak besar.

Saat kaki laba-laba saya mulai tumbuh, memang saya merasa bahwa laba-laba saya terlihat lebih besar dari sebelumnya. Puncak kubah sarangnya seolah penuh dengan badan dan kakinya. Untuk hal yang satu ini, saya sudah tahu sejak lama, bahwa laba-laba akan meninggalkan sarangnya kalau sarang itu sudah terlalu kecil untuknya. Ia akan mencari lokasi lain untuk membuat sarang yang lebih besar.

Saya sedikit bertanya-tanya, apakah mungkin laba-laba saya tersapu hujan angin yang deras malam itu? Tapi, saya rasa tidak, karena laba-laba jantan muda dan bayi laba-laba saya (yang ukurannya jauh lebih kecil daripada laba-laba saya), masih bertahan dengan baik di sarang itu. Saya juga melihat di tanah di sekitar sarang laba-laba saya dan tidak terlihat ia dimanapun juga. Sayapun menyimpulkan, laba-laba saya masih ada dan baik-baik saja. Ia hanya sudah bertambah besar dan harus membangun sarang baru yang lebih besar di tempat lain.

Ah, hidup seekor laba-labapun penuh perjuangan..

Selamat jalan laba-labaku.. semoga kita bertemu lagi lain hari, tapi, jangan buat saya terkejut ya.. saya masih tetap takut pada keluargamu.. ;-)

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