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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:38 am 
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:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Really loving this Rogier!
Great to see the mess of litter and Sphagnum the Corybas are growing through. How did you know they're geminigibbus?
Love the Nepenthes ampullaria shots & was also thrilled to see some kind of Drynaria sticking up at the bottom of your Acriopsis ridleyi photo, albeit a very tatty looking one. Think my love of ferns is catching up with the orchids. The beautiful shot of Platycerium coronarium is one of my favourites so far - & with very stiff competition. BTW did you see any Lecanopteris? Thats one of the genera I'm really hoping to see.
Thanks for sweetening up a dull day of turf management & surveying. Can't wait for the next installment.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:33 pm 
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looking forward to the next post!

this really is almost better than going on a holiday myself

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:15 pm 
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you did spectacular picture of Acriopsis ridleyi - very nice.

Come back to Coelogyne we have like two kinds of Coelogyne scientist, in one hand nearly all sp from fuliginosae section like fimbriata, ovalis, pallens etc are treated as synonims / different forms of fimbriata, in other hand we can see some who loves to divide them for many different sp, depend of location/ plant size, flower size and little details of flower structures... I can easly see different between fimbriata, pallens, ovalis, triplicatula, but is very hard to see different between fuliginosa and ovalis etc etc..

Love those all nephentes as well ;-)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Thanks all. Glad you like it. It's fun to whrite to as I'm living my whole holliday over again.

Sorry that there is some delay lately but I had so many other things on my mind that I could not resize the photo's and put them online earlier.

@ Osmophore.
Yes it is a bit dificult to tell wich species of Corybas it is just by looking at the leaves. Luckily the guide knew wich species they are. In fact there arent that many variegated leaf species on penisular Malaysia.
No I know what they are I really would like to see them in flower as C. geminigibbus is a beautifull species.

The ferns are great in Malaysia. We did see some Lecanopteris. L sinuosa is common on Gunung Jerai wher it grow together with other antplant species.
In the Cameron highlands I did see one of teh more complex species (with the nice lobed rhizome's) but I have no idea wich one that was.

@ Piotr
Yeah I see differences to between this plant of fimbriata and the ones I know in culture. But sometimes it's hard to tell if you are talking about a very polymorphic species.
At this point it may be one species in several different forms, each slowly separating from each other. Give it some thousands year of evolution and they all may be very distinct, who knows. New species do not just drop out of the air so somehere must be this blurry in between part that we probably see here.
The dificulty of naming and grouping orchids has a lot to do with the fact that they are are a developing group of plants maybe in their peak of evolution. So it is simply impossible that there are clear boundaries every time.
Well it will keep the taxonomosist buisy and disagreeing for some centuries at least :lol:

Here is the next part of the Journey

The holliday paradise Langkawi

Langkawi means something like red brown eagle. This probably refers to the Brahminy Kite wich is quite common there
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It s a group of 99 islands wich range from small and rocky to larger ones with white beaches and towns. The largest of the islands is Pulau Langkawi.
When you are on the higher mountains of Pulau Langkawi you can see Tarutao island in teh north which belongs to Thailand.
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You can actually see mainland Thailand in the distance to.

We did not had a lot of time to explore the mountains but we did went to the skybridge wich is a big tourist attraction there.
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There where some orchids around here, for example this Agrostophyllum (at least I think it is.)
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And again the Zeuxine gracilis.
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However the real reason we where on these island was to see Paphiopedilum niveum in the wild. But for this species you must not go into the mountains

But onto the sea
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In the little harbour where mant young mudskippers.
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The sea south of the main island is full with these small islands.
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And this is exactly where the Paphiopedilum niveum grows.

It's increddible that this ladyslipper grows in teh salty air just a few meters above the waves

And after some time we we saw one after the other.
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Sadly not in bloom but the foliage is unmistakable.

Besides the lady slippers the rock where home of many other orchid species.
On this next photo you see a mass Vandaceous orchids and in the right upper corner some plants of Cymbidium findlaysonianum.
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And here you see an Eria species and below it a nice Dendrobium secundum (small lilac clusters).
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But not everything is great about looking for orchids here though :roll: .
It is for exampel not possible to have a decent picknick without getting wet feet
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But you know. Sometimes life is tough. ;)

Next destination is the jungle around Baling. The search is on for Phalaenopsis appendiculata.

regards

Rogier

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Good morning Rogier
Wow!!.........why dont my Vandaceous orchids grow like that????.. :o ..picnik?.....you had time for a picnik! :roll:.....so many things to see, so little time..next instalment please....Phalaenopsis....ahh...you do realise this is teezing!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Rogies, I'm totally in awe of your pictures. Like Rich said, those are some impressive looking vandaceous orchids. Goes to shows that what we grow at home are just a small glimer of what they're really supposed to look like. I'm glad you got to see the paphs, even if they weren't in flower. And there doesn't seem to be any rotting leaves in sight :D


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Just moving this over to the orchid travel forum. :-)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:52 am 
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Morning Rogier.
The title of your 'travel's is getting too me ;) (add a full stop after nepenthe's)................. oh if only :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Glad to read that you are enjoying this holliday to :D .

The next part is here:

Where still in the north. This time even closer to the border with Thailand not far from the city of Baling

This is where Phalaenopsis appendiculata grows. A very small species wich is endemic to peninsular Malaysia.
After it was discovered quite some years ago, it somehow got lost or forgotten and it was not before the 90's that it was rediscovered again.
Interesting detail is that the place where it grows nowdays (and where we have seen it) does not match with the area it was originally described from (Pahang).

We went to Baling with Benjamin Ooi. And agreed to meet some orchid hunters who would guide us around and show us the plants.
We parked the car on a large area where people had cut all the trees. Not only for the wood but mostly because this area is destined to become a university centre (Very convenient, in the middle of the woods!!! :roll: )

Because there are so many "horizontal" trees here the orchid hunters come here quite often to remove the orchids before the trees are removed completely from the area.
between the car and the area we had to go to where some kilometers of muddy road trough the forest wich the car could not manage. So we all went with the mopeds of the orchid hunters. 7 people, 3 mopeds. It must have looked ridiculous from a distance.
Especially the moped with Benjamin and me. Two big guys on one moped getting over a muddy hill.
Ah well at least it was something else than looking for orchids in a boat ;) .

After a while we reached our goal, parked the mopeds and continued by foot.
Into the woods!!!

Pretty quickly we found the first orchid. The leafless Chiloschista.
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Sometimes the plants where dangling in the air.
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And sometimes firmly atached to a rock

As you can see from the pictures it was pretty dark in this forest. Very typical for a lowland forest like this. The trees are high and the cannopy is dense. The means that most orchids are far above your heads where there is more light.
Only the odd ones grow down here on eye level.

And there are of course the terrestrial species that never let you down :D :D :D
From a distance my terrestrial orchid radar began to buzz when I recognized a tiny jewel orchid as a Cheirostylis.
But what's the species??
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It looks like C. flabellata but it's much smaller and more simple.

I mailed André Schuiteman (a friend who happens to be a taxonomist) about this species.
He mailed me back and said that it is Cheirostylis goldschmidtiana.
This is very special as this species has only been found once before.


Later we heard one of the orchid hunters shout. "appendy!" Appendy!!"
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And there it was. Phalaenopsis appendiculata. It was only when I was home again and did some research about this species when I realised how special it is that we have seen this species in nature. It is something only very few westerners can say.
Together with the story of the Cheirostylis it is clear that this area hasn't been fully explored botanically yet.

They are growing everywhere here. But only on the thinner branches and liana's. Not once did we see one growing on a thick branch, trunk or rock.
Here are a few more:
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The orchid on the left is not a Phalaenopsis. You can tell by the pointy leaves and the long fruit. The Phal. appendiculata in the centre also has a fruit wich is much shorter.
I think it is a Thrixspermum but I'm not sure.

Another one. Attached to the branch with just a few roots. Similar to the Chiloschista
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The walk also brought us to a large cleared area with some chopped down trees left.
With teh trees horizontal like this it was amazing to see how many orchids grow high up in the canopy, and that these species are COMPLETELY different than the once we found in the undergrowth.
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Here you see some of these burning in the sun.

Adenoncos vesiculosa
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Phreatia plantaginifolia
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One of the orchid hunters brought a big bag and collected as many of these doomed plants as he could.
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It is a way to collect from nature without damaging nature (that's already done by the lumberjacks :cry:)

The sad feeling soon disapeared when one of the hunters shouted from the nearby woods.
"Appendy!!"
"In bloom!!""
That's what we hoped for. Phalaenopsis appendiculata, flowering in the wild.
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You can tell by the shape of the flowers that it's closely related to the well knowns P. lobbii en P. parischii. Only the colour pattern is very different.

The flower was sometimes visited by tiny little bees that also showed a more than comfortable interest in us. Well, more in our perspiration to be exact.
Every now and again you felt one itching.
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The hunters told us that this was noting, and they told us stories of these animals entering your ears and that they can sting. But luckily I did not had to experience all that.
I actually thought there where quite funny little animals
They even make a sour kind of honey. One seeker added.
Somehow flower honey appeals to me much more than sweat honey. But everyone's taste it different of course ;)

Another species wich was very nice to see in nature is Bulbophyllum lobbii.
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Close-by also this Bulbophyllum affine.
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When we where back at the car again a Platycerium appeared out of nowhere. I think the lumberjacks left it there for the orchid hunters
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The plant was cleaned, disapeared in the bag and got a new home in the orchid hunters garden

Next stop. The Cameron Highlands.
After all this sticky warmth the mountains sound very good.

regards

Rogier

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Rogier you're such a tease. I am absolutely loving these pictures, at the same time I am getting a real urge to sell everything I won and move to Malaysia :lol: :lol:

So the orchid hunter filling the sack with orchids, what's going on there? Is that legal/illegal collecting? And does he go on to sell them or just collecting for himself? By what you said, I'm assuming there was logging giong on near where you were treking? Very very sad indeed.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Good afternoon Rogier.
Splendid!....loved the phal.....and it seems at least 1 of these lumberjacks gave some thought to plants on the trees they have cut down....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:06 pm 
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Yes most of the forest here will be chopped down for "progress"and "development" :(

I'm not sure if the collecting was in fact legal but I think that Malaysian Natives are aloud to collect but foreigners are not. So in that case it should be legal. However this does not change anything for the good or bad of the orchids.
In this case it's a simple fact that the plants that are collected will probably survive another day and all te plants that are left behind are probably dead in a matter of weeks or months.
The plants colected where mostly for his private collection but it is more than likely (and I truly hope so) that more willbe taken to sell to others.

It's time for the Cameron Highlands.

On the way to the Cameron Highlands we noticed how many orchids where growing in the roadsides. By far the most dominant species are Arundina graminifolia and this Spathoglottis plicata.
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Even though we only spent one full day in the Cameron Higlands I still have to post the pictures in two parts as we did see a LOT that day.

The Cameron Highlands are a well known and popular holliday destination. Most people come here to see the famous tea plantations that are on almost every postcard you can buy there.
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Because of the high altitude, its reasonably cool. Besides the many tourists, the cool air also brings many interesting plants.

That day we had two guides. One of them was called Kali. Kali knows a lot about the native orchids, This is not only a lot of fun but also extremely convenient as he knows exactly where everything grows.

We went to Gunung Brinchang. A mountain famous for it's mossy forest and interesting plants but also because of it very easy to reach by car. Kali drove us all the way to the top in his Jeep.
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During our drive we occasionally stoppen to look for nice plants along the roadside.

One of the first orchids we found was the common Pholidota carnea.
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And also this Bulbophyllum was far from rare.
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Far less common is this terrestrial orchid which could be a Zeuxine.
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One of the funniest orchid we found was this delightfull Ceratostylis eriaeoides.
It's a miniature with flowers that are about 3 cm.
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Above the road we saw this Dendrobium cornutum
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Luckily we could climb on Kali's Jeep or I could not make this close-up of that Dendrobium.
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In the distance a climbing Nepenthes macfarlanei.
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In the next part more about this awesome species

A different kind of carnivorous plant. Drosera spathulata.
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Kali was quite excited about this species as it is quite a rare species there. But for us Europeans a sundew is of course not nearly as exciting as a pitcher plant as we do not have any of those here while sundews can be very common locally.

A Taeniophyllum. This is a tiny species without leaves. The green roots take over the light absorbing job
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The tiny flowers are only a few millimeters.
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Coelogyne stenochila. An Peninsular Malaysian endemic
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Some trees where loaded with Oberonia's
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When you are walking between all these tropical plants it is very weird to come across this "ordinary" looking plant.
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It's a violet. I took some seeds home with me and the first plants are already growing well.

Now we are talking about "ordinary" plants.How about this Rhododendron.
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And this Arisaema
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The guide pointed us at a small path that we absolutely had to go in. It was a good spot to find Corybas.

Well.. And not just a few... :shock:
Sadly none of the plants was in flower so it is hard to tell wich species it is but I strongly think that it is Corybas ridleyanus..
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This Goodyera however was flowering just a few meters away.
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Finally a picture of a nosy little lady who was keeping a eye on us
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In the next part we will enter the mossy forest.

Regards

Rogier

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:23 am 
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Good morning Rogier.
Wonderful!!....and the first 'ordinary' plant....isnt!....nice markings.....

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:59 pm 
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Yeah the violet is very nice. The seeds germinated well so I hope I will see the flowers again soon.

Hmm it seems that you are the only viewer left. The movement to the orchid travel and conservation section was a bit of a bad idea I guess as practically no one comes here.

Ah well.

The journey continues away from the road. Into the woods.

Gunung Brinchang is known for it's mossy forests. These forests have a climate with such a high humidity that every branch is covered with moss.
This gives the woods a special effect. You would almost expect elfes and faeries to live here.
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Of course there are many nice orchids to be found here. This Epigeneium longipes for example.
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And again the little Ceratostylis eriaeoides.
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When we where close to the summit, Kali had a surprise for me.

A mossy bank was covered with little baby Nepenthes macfarlanei plants.
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AND!!
Corybas in flower!!!

There they where. Tiny flowering Corybas carinatus plants. Each about the size of a fingernail.
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This is probably the last place in the Cameron highlands where this species grows so they are critically endangered. It was a very lucky event that we found these plants in flower.
I think I spent half an hour on my knees photographing and admiring these little plants.
Later we arived on the "summit".
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The white pitchers hanging in the schrubs immediately took all the attention. These are the upper pitchers of Nepenthes macfarlanei.

When the plant is still young it makes lower pitchers that look like this:
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But when the plant grows older and starts to climb it will make these beautifull white upper pitchers that look nothing like the lower ones.
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One plant can have lower and upper pitchers. sometimes they also make intermediate ones like the one on this picture.
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Note the white hairs on the lid. These are typical for this species.
Also on the summit more Epigeneium longipes. They are very compact up here because of the light.
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And this spectaculair Dilochia cantleyi. If you ask me, I'd say this is one of the most beautifull orchids we have seen on our trip.
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When we where back at the car again we noticed a tree covered with Nepenthes sanguinea that was growing right above the road.
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Here you see the upper pitchers of this species.

When this species is younger it makes these brown lower pitchers.
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On a tree next to the car a Phreatia
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And later we found several Spiranthes sinensis growing right next to the road.
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Really right next to the road that is!!

The next morning we sadly had to leave already as we had a plane to catch

Next stop Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo

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Rogier

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:35 pm 
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Good morning Rogier.
Am really looking forward to the next instalment!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Rogier van Vugt wrote:
Hmm it seems that you are the only viewer left. The movement to the orchid travel and conservation section was a bit of a bad idea I guess as practically no one comes here.
Ah well.
The journey continues away from the road. Into the woods.

By no means the only viewer! It is just that my 'oohs' and 'aaahs' would become too repetitive so I have refrained from commenting. I have never been to anywhere such as your holiday destination and it is all so marvellous to see and read about. Please continue. I'm loving it. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Hi Rogier, please don't be put off by the lack of replies. It's an amazing thread and I wish there were more like it. All the orchids I grow, and the other exotics, I'm always trying to find pictures of the them growing in the wild to see where they come from and why they have developed into the forms that they have. Photos like yours give people like me (who may never have the chance to visit these places) a unique glance into a world I could only dream of seeing one day. Thank you very much for taking the time to post them on here and the details of your trip and what you found.

I love the white nepenthes, have never seen them before. What surprises me is that a lot of these plants are so eye catching in cultivation and so bizzare that you have to take another look. However in the wild it seems a lot of them could be easily over looked and just blend into tangle of the forest. It certainly explains why so many different forms have evolved into such elaborate pitchers and flowers to attract prey and pollinators.

Thanks again and I look forward to the next chapter.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:39 pm 
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I'm another avid follower of this thread! The plants are all amazing. What an adventure. :P

All your photos are really great too. I'm quite into photography and if you could share any tips about your camera set-up and technique I would very much appreciate it.

Looking forward to the next installment. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:23 pm 
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The most magical instalments yet Rogier!(and not just because of Corybas carinatus, although the words icing & cake spring to mind) Will be very sorry when we come to the final chapter. Might just have to visit Gunang Brinchang for myself later in the year ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:05 pm 
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I'm glad to see that people found this tread although it has been moved to another (very quiet) area of the forum.
For a moment I really thought that most of you where gone from reading this topic.
Never realised there where some silent watchers. Nice to know you are there though and maybe this topic will result in a visit to Malaysia one day. because believe me. there is SO MUCH more to see than that things I show you. But you need a year to photograph and document all the stuff you see in a week there.

@ Wahaj. Most plants that we cherish here are indeed not so "special looking" in their natural habiat. Even the Nepenthes and Coelogyne's blend in well in their habitat. But seeing them in their habitat does indeed sometimes explain their shapes and colours.
Some plants do look weird though. I photographed one of these on Borneo and you will see it in the post after this one. It looks from out of this planet wherever you see it.

@Pharfignewton. Well to be honoust I onlt photograph because I like to have the things that I see or grow on a photo. I never did any courses. neither do I know 80% of the functions on my camera :D . But basically you can say that with nearly all of my photo's I set it on Manual photographing as I hate it when the machine starts to think for itself and aim to get the highest shutterspead and dept as the light permits. This is the benefit of a digital camera as you can make a photo and do it over and over again. Also I never use autofocus as it often has a different opinion of what should be sharp or not than me.
Finally I ALWAYS use a flash. I cannot rememer taking a photo without it. It simply makes faster and sharper pictures but I manly use flash to put teh focus of the photo really to the subject by using a flasher on a whire wich I can hold at any distance or angle to teh subject I desire. This way I turn the flasher into an artificial sun and lights the subject up to give a portrait effect. You never have to guess what the subject of the photo is.
This way of photographing means that you absolutely have to make multiple shot of one thing and decide wich one you liek best later. As my camera had BIG issues in the later parst of my travels in malaysia I sometimes could only make one photo per subject (after which the camera was off the world for a while) This menth that I could not do any selection and many of the folowing pictures are not something I'm very happy about. (You'll see what I mean)

@ Craig. I hope you manage to get to the Cameron Highlands. Then you can make a Malaysia part two here :D .

And teh yourney continues.

We arrived at Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo with the plan to climb Mt.Kinabalu.

This highest mountain of Borneo is around the 4000 meters high and therefore the highest mountain between New Guinea and the Himalaya's
It's not difficult to climb but even a climb like this can also be dangerous and also because Kinabalu National Park is a protected area you need a permit and a licenced guide to enter the park and climb the mountain.

Before we went to Malaysia I contacted Amrin Gupili. This was a good advice of Antony van der Ent. A fellow Dutchman who knows a lot about plants and been to Kinabalu several times for his work.

Amrin runs a homestay together with other members of his village. At this homestay you stay with the local families in their house and (if you want) can do all kind of activities typical to this area and the local people.
His brother in law, Hali is also a very experienced guide who exactly knows where to go for the special plants.
An excellent combination to explore the Kinabalu area in the 5 days we have in Borneo.

For anyone who is also interested in such a stay to Kinabalu. This is the website of Mesilou homestay
http://www.mesilau-homestay.com

Sadly the weather was not so good. The good part was that in the five days we where there we only had one rain shower, The bad part was that that shower lasted 5 days :( .

Not once could we actually see the whole mountain because of the clouds and mist.
We only had two days on Mt Kinabalu itself. One day to go up and one day to go down.

Between these two days we stayed at the weirdest hotel I have ever been. This Hotel named Laban rata is situated on an altitude of 3272 meters and can only be reached by foot. There are two walks to do this. The easier and most commonly used path of about 6 km's and the longer route of about 8 that first goes over a smaller peak. We took this last one as it goes trough area's of ultramafic soils much more often than the short track.

Ultramafic soil is a kind of soil that is rich is heavy metals and therefore poisonous for most plants. However there are always plants that can grow here and can not compete with the normal plants in area's that are not ultramafic. Many of these plants are endemic to the Mount Kinabalu area. Including several Orchids and Nepenthes.

Kampung Mesilou, The small town where we stayed is situated nearby such an ultramafic area. And because we couldn't climb Kinabalu yet we decided to look around in this area.

Hali our guide told us that this is an extremely interesting spot for Nepenthes which is situated on a hill that we could reach after crossing a small stream. Especially the rare species like N. burbidgeae and it's natural hybrid N. x alisaputrana which both only live in the Kinabalu area, make this trip well worth the effort.

It was a small drive from the village to the entrance of the forest where we started our hike.
The start was already very interesting as a small ditch we had to cross turned into a stream. Luckily I brought my boots from home (you cannot buy my size in Malaysia).

Orchids that despite the heavy rain and my randomly defect Nikon still managed to get on a photo where (among others) this bright yellow Calanthe.
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And this large Goodyera
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When we came close to the stream we had to cross, the heavy thundery sounds in the distance did not predict any good news.
Hali went to the stream to have a look. A few minutes later he came back. The stream was now a dangerous river because of all the rain and with the Camera's it was not wise to cross it.

Sadly no Nepenthes :( . How disappointing :cry: . I really looked forward in seeing N. burbidgeae and x alisaputrana in the wild.

However Hali told us that there was a nice plant of Nepenthes fusca on a little hill nearby. N. fusca is far from rare but since Rianne, Yves and I did not see it yet it sounded like a good idea.

During the climb of this hill I noticed some small leaves that sometimes even grew right on the track.
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This where clearly Corybas. Probably even C. pictus, the species I grow at home and really hoped to see in nature
This plant has a fruit
Just a few meters further was the Nepenthes fusca.
"what an odd fusca" I said to Hali. "It looks a LOT like a burbidgeae". Ah well I had never seen any of these species in real live before so I believed Hali

Even though we would see fusca later on Mt Kinabalu itself I still made some pictures as these two pitchers together looked rather nice.
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Riane en Yves also took some photo's and during this I sneaked off to see the Corybas again. I wanted to look if I could find any in flower

And Yes!!! :shock: :D . Under a fallen tree trunk. Protected against the heavy rain.


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later we found some more on a mossy bank
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What luck!! Yet another Corybas in flower!!

Because of our great finds and (for me in particular) the Corybas, the rain was soon forgotten when we arrived at the house where Hali and Amrin live. I got my Nepenthes book from my suitcase to have a look at the N. fusca.

Hey!! The fusca looks indeed different. Lets have a look at N. burbidgeae.
Could it be??
The pictures of the N. burbidgeae looked as if they where made of teh exact same plant.
We did manage to see and photograph the very rare. N. burbidgeae.
Now this day was really perfect.

The day we started to climb Mt. Kinabalu was.. Well... Wet.
So it was time for the boots and raincoats again. Armed with a umbrella we started our climb.
The path was due to the rain extra 'decorative' as it was transformed into an 8 kilometre long waterfall ;) .
But we never really cared as there was so much to see.

A very common species along the track is this Chelonistele kinabaluensis
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A Pholidota
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Nabaluia angustifolia. Together with the two species above all relatives of Coelogyne. A group of orchids that is surprisingly dominant on this mountain.
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This is the real Nepenthes fusca. The species is common here but not so often seen as the pitchers usually grow high up in the trees. This was the only nice pitcher on eye level and Hali had to hold it to face the camera.
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Nepenthes tentaculata. Also one of the common species and a very cool one as the small pitchers have hair like 'tentacles' on the lid.
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One very interesting tree that is very common here is the Phyllocladus hypophyllus. It's a conifer with very unusual foliage. What appears to be leafs here are actually very broad twigs. If you look carefully you can even see some small 'cones'
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One of the most famous plants of Mt. Kinabalu is the Giant Nepenthes rajah.
This is a species that came make pitchers that are big enough to capture rats. recently this species has been in the news that its preferred snack is actually obtained by acting as a toilet.
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Officially there are no plants of this species along the summit trail. But that's the benefit of a guide like Hali.

We where close to Laban Rata when we found this neat little Rhododendron cuneifolium The overall shape and colour of the plant and flower reminded me to a Punica (pomegranate) bush
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Dinner was a buffet after which we dried our clothes with a hairdryer. Tomorrow we will go down. Time for more plants

Regards

Rogier

_________________
For an endless amount of orchid pictures please have a look at my photopage. http://www.pbase.com/rogiervanvugt.


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