Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Nocturnal Excursion Up To Genting

We returned to our old frogging haunts of Gohtong Jaya on Saturday evening. I had decided that Lillian, my very own protégé and herpetologist-in-training, needed a more challenging spot for frogging. I chose Gohtong Jaya.

Fiza, being my other-half, as always tagged along.

We left Damansara at around 7pm and was able top reach Gohtong Jaya a few minutes past 8pm. It is a wonder I was able to find the usual trail we normally used, considering that the jungle had reclaimed much of it. The chill in the air didn't help, although It would've been even colder if it had rained. The stream water was damn-near freezing. Although the soil beneath our feet were damp, the forest litter was bone dry. A very unfavorable condition to find frogs.

After 2 hours of searching, the only species that we sighted were the Torrent Frogs, which is a very common species along rapids or waterfalls. We were getting frustrated at this as there was no sign of the infamous Flying tree frog, which is a main attraction for us at every visit. No sign of the Poisonous Rock Frog too, although at one point I did hear one of their call, but it was barely audible.

A severe disappointment to Lillian was the absence of the Agamid lizards, close kin the South American Chameleon. She had this thing about lizards and was hoping to catch sight of one. I had promised her there were loads of them there.

Therefore, it was a relief to our small group that during our walk back to our car, I had stopped to have a poke under an overhanging branch situated right over a small water conduit. Lo and behold, a Sumatran Pit Viper was eyeballing me from one of the branches.

Startled by my light, (you would too if someone had shoved a large shiny yellow orb into your face) the feisty little bugger had taken continuous strikes at me. No worries though, he was too high up to be a danger. We took about a million pictures of it and I just hope we didn’t blind it to death with out flashes.

As I sit here, writing this piece, I couldn’t help but notice that the rain has come back and its absolutely pouring outside. Hopefully, there would be more stuff to see when we head up back up there this weekend.

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