Wednesday 22 April 2020

The Earth Is Happy

Day 36 of our Movement Control Order (MCO) and coincides with our Earth Day. Happy Earth Day 2020 earthlings and should I say, the Earth is Happy! As we all are aware by now of the current global changes and the huge impacts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And so Mother Earth is definitely the happiest soul. The Earth Day is celebrated annually to remind us on the protection of our environment and this year is the 50th anniversary.

Exactly a year ago, I was spending couple of hours watching a newly fledged Great Hornbill and this year, we all have missed this as well as not able to say farewell to our migratory birds.

A newly fledged Great Hornbill on 22nd April 2019
It feels completely weird this year on this day. Eventhough I didn't get to spend time with nature, at least I got to hear two Blue-Winged Pittas calling at each other. Their SOS for love and breeding season has began!

And so what's up with me? In compliance with our government's order, I stayed home to stay safe and this is the best way to help our fantastic frontliners out there fighting with Covid-19. There were couple of short birding moments from my porch. Apart from the daily morning alarm calls and evening calls of the Asian Koels, there was a day when I heard a Banded Kingfisher calling from the scrub across the main road. That was my first time ever to hear a Banded Kingfisher in my residential area. Perhaps, this kingfisher has been there all this while but I was not at home to note its presence. 
A male Asian Koel feeding on the Jamaican Cherry (Muntingia calabura) tree that I planted years ago
One Collared Kingfisher visited for awhile. The rests were the usual Common Mynas, Asian Glossy Starlings, Yellow-Vented Bulbuls, Olive-Backed Sunbirds and Rock Pigeons.
Collared Kingfisher
For the first time in 33 years, Langkawi has shut down. From the busy beaches to the busy hilltop of Gunung Matchinchang where the Sky Cab is, all are given their well deserved rests from the madness of mass tourism. I am very happy to know that nature is given this best moment to rejoice while at the same time, I am indeed very eager to head out into the forest again. All tourism related sectors are badly affected by this pandemic, particularly the tourists guides. When the MCO is lifted, restaurants, cafes, hotels, motels, duty free retail shops, car rentals, boat services and other transportation services will be able to pick up some business back from the domestic travels. While the tour guides that are mostly or highly dependent on foreign market will have to wait a lot longer because we are aware of the situation in the Europe and United States. If we are fortunate, things may start to pick up perhaps as early as in December 2020. As a tour guide myself, we are thankful that the government did not leave us behind in their Covid-19 Ecomomic Stimulus Package. All licensed tour guides and taxi drivers were informed that we will be receiving a once-off payment of RM600 each.  I would also like to say a big thank you to my regular guest, Jane Miller who insisted in paying me when our tour was cancelled due to MCO. Jane and Keith managed to rush back to the UK safely. Appreciate your concern, Jane.
Thank you Jane Miller
I was fortunate to have a busy December 2019 and January 2020 which led me to think about having a good break. However, this is not the kind of break that I have asked for. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. As if I have preset my mind that I now have lots of time (to waste) before the next tour booking comes along, my first two weeks of MCO was me being a one huge slacker. Slacker in what I usually do or what I should be doing ie admin stuffs but I wasn't a slacker in learning and experimenting new things. You can say that this may be some sort of mental distraction, I have discovered more baking experience and experiments by learning from websites and YouTube videos. Most of my friends have expected me to gain some weights during this MCO with the amount baking that I have done. I am afraid I have to disappoint them that I have lost 3 kgs by now, without exercising. My fingers were on my phone A LOT! The more I tapped on social media stuffs, the more I attended free webinars. Hey, this is what webinars are for these days. My personal social media has been flooded with food photos like anyone else...until I am getting bored with food shots. Being a baker in probation, I have actually learned something out of it. Here are some of my successful products (the failed ones will not be posted here):

Baking breads teaches us patience, resilience and persistence. You want a good product, you must be patient. Time is an essence in baking. This is something I have learned after a few bread failures but nothing went to waste.

While in the mean time of waiting for things to be back to normal, I still have lots to do.This is a time for me to unlearn and relearn on subjects that I have lost touch. A time for me to sort out tonnes of my unsorted and unorganized photos that are waiting to be published or stored in their right location. Loads and loads of admin work to be cleared. Each day can easily slip away and is not difficult for me as an introvert to stay put at home.

Enough of my ramblings here. I would like to wish everyone good health. If any of my previous guest is reading my post here, it would be delightful to hear from you so I know that you are well at home. Do drop me a note on my Facebook page here or drop me an email
This is how I will look like after the MCO...My homegrown bean sprouts
 After many weeks of not being out there kayaking and birdwatching, I am missing my tanned legs. This photo of me was taken on Gunung Raya at night balancing on the water pipe 9 years ago! It was a windy night and my wind breaker was flapping in the wind. My fit physique back then...


Stay safe and stay home to all my blog readers.

For this Earth Day 2020, I chose this image taken on Gunung Raya as my theme as a simple reminder that the key to sustainable living is to protect our natural habitat.

Happy Earth Day 2020