Wednesday 15 April 2015

Tree of Life

If you type these words, "tree of life meaning" on your search engine, you will find many different meanings to it. Tree of life can be related to religion, biology, literature, sculpture and even movies!

Reading these different references of tree of life can be so complicated and leading to deeper confusion. And so I found a true meaning of tree of life by chance in a simpler way, on a lucky drizzly morning.

Tree of life from afar
 Click on to see the tree of life zoomed in...
Can you see the blobs? Can you count them?
Closer still... I bet you can see them now. I counted about sixteen altogether on this tree
The closest object my camera can zoom into
From the angle I was standing looking at this tree of life, I counted about sixteen Great Hornbills (Buceros bicornis) having an enjoyable time feasting away. There were no other disturbances on that morning. 

The great whooping sound of the wings as they flapped, hopping from a branch to another. Plucking a fig gently and tossing into the air before diving into the throat of a Great Hornbill was a wonderful snapshot that will stay in my memory. 
A male Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) tossed a fig before swallowing 
Some of them perched and had their wings spread open while preening away. I watched with glee while sipping my hot cup of coffee and munching my sandwiches. I stayed on with the whole scene for more than one hour. 
A Great Hornbill preening 
The local pakcik (an elder) came along with his motorbike and stopped to watch the scene too. He was delighted to see them on this tree of life. His comments were "When there are tourists around, no Great hornbills. And when there are so many Great Hornbills showing themselves, there are no tourists". I laughed at his comments and nodded in agreement with him. I told him that this wonderful event was meant for us to experience.

My simple meaning of the tree of life in a rainforest is when a strangling fig tree (Ficus genus) began to fruit bountifully, it brings abundance of live and joy. A couple of Asian Fairy Bluebird (Irena puella) were fluttering around and there were others that came joined the party such as...
Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) peeping through the foliage
Black giant squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) ... and it thought that it could get away without being spotted!
Calls and screaming of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) were heard from below the tree of life. The pakcik said that these macaques were below scavenging the leftovers. What an easy way to feast without climbing the tree! I bet these macaques were also eating the insects that also came to feed on the leftovers.

Strangling fig trees are vital for all in a lowland rainforest and huge birds like the Great Hornbills are in great need of such habitat for their survival. Langkawi is blessed with the richness of flora and fauna. This has made her really special to those who has the genuine heart to witness what she has got to display.