Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Working in a cemetery

Something struck me last night regarding doing field work in a cemetery. The inevitable question that comes around when you mention it usually goes something along the lines of "Are you scared working in a cemetery?" with the implication that it's a place for dead people and whether we are pan tan etc etc. We have several field workers who are scared of snakes. One is scared of spiders. While I wouldn't exactly use the word "fear", I would say that most of the field workers take precautions against the mosquitoes. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we try to keep our distance from bees and hornets. None of us like having ants get into our clothes. Scorpions and centipedes have been spotted before. See, that's the funny thing. We are usually more concerned with the "life" of the place getting to us. But the "death" of the place getting to us is usually what we are asked about.


Nearly stepped on this python on 29th May. Was taking photos of a grave and while stepping back to get the entire grave into the frame of the camera, noticed something from the corner of my eye. Stopped and looked back, and saw this python slithering behind me. And so my first reaction was... to take a photo. Attempted to get another shot capturing it's head as well, but didn't manage to get that shot. Kept getting asked by various people whether I was scared (that it would attack me). My reply was that it obviously had noticed me first, and if it had wanted to, it would already had done so, rather than pass by me from behind.
Was with Ted Hin and Chai Jing on 18th April (the same day we spotted the large centipede) when I spotted this snake by the roadside. In the beginning, it was staying motionless by the roadside. I walked past it, noticed something, retraced my steps, and looked at it. Even then, I thought that it was a snake skin (and so did Ted Hin). And then I took a closer look. And then I realised that the small legs at the top, that I had initially thought belonged to it, were actually the legs of a lizard that it was holding in it's mouth. It remained motionless until Ted Hin mused aloud about hitting it on the head with a stick and bringing it back, and then it started running (erm, well, snakes don't run, but this was quite a hurried movement, and "slither" doesn't quite convey that speed) towards a tree. To give an idea of it's size, the lizard was the size of a normal house lizard, and it was enough to fill the mouth of the snake. So ya, it was actually quite a small snake.
Spotted this dead snake on 18th May. Took a few pictures when I first spotted it, while on my way to document the graves. It was still there by the roadside when I came back though, and so I took some photos and included one with a ruler, so that should answer the size questions. Brought it back to show Annabella. Think I really scared her with it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wendy's "5kg" (taken on 18th April)

Was partnered with Ted Hin and Chai Jing on 18th April. Saw grass rustling about a metre away. This was a slow "something moving inside grass and still continuing to move inside grass" rustle, not the "something inside grass that has been startled and moving at high speed (hopefully away) and then nothing" rustle.

Saw this large red and black centipede moving around and around. It would climb up to the top of a gravestone, do a backflip, falling back down and then repeat the whole process somewhere else again. I have no idea the centipede was trying to do. After spending something like around 15 minutes looking like it was just randomly moving around, Ted Hin mused aloud about whether we should hit it unconscious with a stick and bring it back. It started moving away after that... :-P

Oh, and Pik Ching thought that it was cute, but it was a pity that it was poisonous, or it would have made a nice pet. Hmmm... :-D

What? Oh, the "5kg" thing? That's cos' Wendy (Tan) misheard "centipede spirit" in Chinese.

Will likely upload the rest of the photos on Facebook in the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Large moth (photos)

Actually took photos of this large moth on 26th May,a Saturday at around 1 in the afternoon. Jing Xian was the one who discovered it.

Pictures of the moth taken from different angles.

A couple of close up shots to the moth.

Shots with ruler :-D

A shot of the surroundings.

My favorite shot by far. The wind blew when I was taking pictures, and I took the chance to snap off this picture. The moth is still sleeping, but it does look like it's about to take flight from this picture, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pot luck at Seow's :)

Here's what those who didn't came missed:

1. Seeing Seow's naked photo. :-) (For those of you who came and don't remember seeing it, it's the photo above his wife's, just next to the drums)(OK, I have to admit that seeing Seow naked is not something people look forward to, but hey, it's not something that you get to see everyday :-P)

2. The story of why a certain someone got scared even though there weren't any spiders :-D

3. It's the 7th day of the Lunar New Year, it's Block 7, and it's the 7th floor. You'll have to wait till next year once you miss that... Oh, and there were representatives from 7 families.

4. I would mention the food, but knowing my fellow workers, this will only result in demands to bring it to the office, so I won't mention it :-P

5. Stories. News. Gossip. Updates. Lots of them. Especially since some people tend to talk a lot after inhibiting alcohol :-P

Friday, January 27, 2012

Timeline for the week from 26th Jan to 28th Jan

26th Jan- 碰到没戴眼镜的眼镜蛇, 没戴眼镜的Vicki差点碰到"只猪",Seow让人大跌眼镜,尽然"吃蛇"

27th Jan- Jing Xian tells spider stories.

28th Jan- Jing Xian gets told spider stories.

29th Jan- Not a working day, but field workers have pot luck at Seow's place to celebrate the New Year :-)

Timeline for the week from 17th Jan to 20th Jan

17th Jan- 牛哥 and Vicki encounter a "色鬼"

18th Jan- Vicki 跑去当武打名星. Andy 以为找到蛇蛋,结果虚惊一场,跟弹珠一样大的东东怎么可能是蛇蛋呢?

19th Jan- 当了武打名星后的Vicki果然不一样,拿刀砍吕凯,吕凯尽然没事,Vicki果然是有练过 :-P

20th Jan- Seow and Jing Xian hold a singing contest, Lukai gets stung by a bee, Pik Ching encounters a snake, photographers from Straits Times came.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snake vs Spider

Well, today we spotted a snake in the grass, not that type of "snake in the grass", a real snake, erm, in the grass.

I was with Seow and Vicki, and we had just alighted from the transport, and climbing our way up. Seow was in front, I was in the middle, and Vicki took the rear. And then I spotted it. It was right there! Just next to Seow. If it was a snake it would have bit you. Oh wait, it was a snake, a black cobra to be precise :-P If Seow had stepped out with his right foot instead of his left foot, he would have stepped on it.

Mr. Cobra(or was it Mrs) didn't notice us, or if he did he didn't care. His back was to us and after our initial scare, me and Seow started taking photos with our cameras. Vicki phoned back to warn that we spotted a cobra, and after we watched Cobra slither till he was out of sight, we continued up the slope.

Now, those of us who have worked with Seow before will know that he goes at it like a boy killing snakes. He was understandably shaken after nearly stepping on one though, so I volunteered to take point. Pretty much an uneventful trip up though.

Me and Vicki's assigned graves today were placed... let's just say that if you plotted our path, you would find that it snaked all over the place.

Other than that, our work on documenting the graves proceeded quite smoothly today. Other than Vicki almost walking face first into a rather large spider and screaming loud enough that Seow and Henry working a distance away from us asked us what happened. Black with red markings. Fangs about 0.2cm long. Length measuring about 12cm. That's what happened. And happening at "if it was a snake it would have bit you" distance. In hindsight, perhaps I should have gone for "Vicki, don't move" and then gone up and pulled her away, rather than yelling "Vicki, spider", so that instead of backing into it(the spider), she turned and found herself face to face with it. Nothing else happened to her (or the spider) though.

On our way back, Vicki pointed out another spider. This one, black with yellow markings, was comparable in size to the one we encountered, but I couldn't see the fangs, so I was considerably less impressed :-P A bite by this one (likely) wouldn't puncture the skin, so I mentally filed it under "nuisance", whereas Mr Red Markings had the fangs for the venom to carry through for a bite, so was filed under "potentially dangerous". I'm no expert on venomous spiders though. (Unless you think being bitten by one on the back of the neck back in Tekong and feeling feverish for close to a day as a result makes me an expert :-P)(And no, I don't have spider powers.)

Oh, what happened to the snake? Well, I'm not implying anything but Seow "ate snake" today ;-)