Nature boy…

That previous Sunday, over a week ago, we sent Melissa back to her school in the Selangau district but she would have to come home again the following day as on Wednesday, after the public holiday on Tuesday, she would have to attend a course for teachers here at a leading hotel in town. Thus, we decided to spend the night there and make our way back after she had finished her lessons the next day.

With ample time on my hands, I was able to browse around, communing with nature and enjoying the peace and quiet and open air. I blogged about the olive tree over a month ago and why, I spotted one right behind one of the school buildings, dabai fruits and all…

Dabai, unripe

…but they were still white  which would mean that they were not ripe yet, in which case they would turn all black…

Dabai

…so these were not ready for the picking just yet. We bought some recently and I gathered that they came from Sarikei, selling at RM22.00 a kilo (RM18.00 only there). No, they do not come cheap, not anymore, that’s for sure, but it certainly takes a very long time for the fruits to ripen, like the rambutans at the back of my house. It has been some months now and finally, they have started to turn red…

My rambutans

…so it wouldn’t be long now before we would have some of the fruits to enjoy. Actually, I was kind of worried as for whatever reason that I do not know of, the green unripe fruits were dropping off the tree and carpetting the ground below it like nobody’s business, so much so that I was afraid there would not be any left in the end. Thankfully, it has turned out that my fears were unfounded.

Anyway, back to the vicinity of Melissa’s school and living quarters, I saw some durian trees…

Durian tree

…as well and lo and behold! They had fruits on them!

Durians

I’m not really crazy about durians but I do know that there are many people who love them so much. What I was thinking was they probably would be familiar with what the fruit looks like – outside and inside but they probably have never seen a durian tree before. These are the wild ones – the original, authentic durian trees that grow wild in the jungle and they are HUGE!!! I remember when I was young, I used to spend the night with my maternal grandma in the makeshift hut in her fruit garden across the river and nothing would please us more than the thuds we heard in the night – the ripe durians would be falling off the trees all night long and would be ready for collection the next morning to be sent to the market for sale. If I’m not mistaken, with the present day hybrids, the trees are not as big/tall.

Other than durians, I am sure there are people who enjoy those Chinese yam cakes, steamed or deep fried, or they love the yam in their bubur cacar or in some dishes like those cooked and served in claypots but they haven’t the slightest idea what the plant looks like…

Yam

Yes, it’s a tuber so you have to dig out the roots and use that part of the yam plants.

Incidentally, if you think that I’m kind of patronising and seem to have the idea that people do not seem to have an idea of pretty much of anything, you are right…especially the younger ones these days, those living in the big towns and cities, who would be quite happy, all engrossed in what they have on their ipads or smartphones and do not seem to have the interest or curiosity to want to know about things around them.

Many might have seen these…

RB

…dead and mounted in a glass or plastic case  for sale in the souvenir shops but have never seen one alive! For the uninitiated, that’s a rhinoceros beetle…and personally, I myself have not seen anything like this before…

Insect
*Photo taken using the camera on my ancient mobile phone*

…and I’m not too sure what insect that was either but it looked so amazingly nice that I just had to stop to admire and marvel at God’s spellbinding creations…and take a photograph of it.

Frankly, I find it very pleasantly relaxing and interesting in its own ways, living in the country…away from it all. What about you?

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31 thoughts on “Nature boy…

  1. it’s good to take a short respite from the hectic life but i don’t think i can survive for long >_<

    I don’t mind retiring to a place like this – peace and quiet and open air…as long as there’s electricity and water…and internet connection, as and when needed. ;)

  2. I love olives, would be nice to taste a fresh olive the ones I get are usually imported.

    I enjoy communing with nature and frequently toy with the idea of living off the land. Well, actually I do that partly now and my daughter and I have been camping outdoors. We can do that right on our property. We both enjoy that a lot. We live in a rural part of Maryland, a few miles but it’s nice to be set apart from the busy life I see. The community where I reside is very quiet and each neighbor has at least one acre of land. We have four.

    I enjoy being self-sufficient and like that I’m not dependent on too much when it comes to supplying and making our food. If some major catastrophe occurred, we still have our wood stove, stream, garden, I prepare most of our meals from scratch and my favorite kitchen appliances don’t use electricity.

    Sounds like where Melissa’s school is. They are dependent in rain water but they get electricity from generators. I’m fine with rain water but I don’t think I’d last very long without electricity – for the fan as it gets so got here and for going online. There is better internet connection there too, not as jammed as in the town. Shudders! The school holidays are here, right up till January. I can imagine what it will be like when every kid goes online to play games all day long… :( A lot of them plant stuff around their houses but I do not see them rearing poultry – probably they’re not there during the holidays so they don’t do that.

  3. Good morning to you, nature boy (or rather, man).

    I have seen all the trees and plants you have mentioned, except Dabai tree. Never saw a real one yet. I have a yam plant at the back garden which we tried to kill but it had survived. Lol.

    And a real and noisy rhinoceros beetle in Kapit which really annoyed me. Hahah.

    I am also quite a nature person who enjoy a car ride in country side. And I also want to get my children to appreciate nature too. Just yesterday the 2 older kids followed their dad to Durin to attend a cousin’s BBQ cum birthday party. To them, they said they have travelled to “jungle” but we are educating them to learn and appreciating the “jungle”. Pointed out durian trees to them.

    Ya, some plants are like that – they simply refuse to die and keep appearing again and again. Durin? I thought you would have seen it in Kapit – your in-laws come from there, right? Last time, lots of trees all along the river Sibu-Kapit, dunno now. You can get to see dabai (white fruit & tree) at a house near mine…a doctor, ex-YB. Can see it from the main road if you’re driving past Customs HQ – opposite side of the road…among all those rich people’s mansions.

  4. I also don’t mind retiring to this kind of place… Not so stressed as like in Singapore….

    Defnitely. I find it so relaxing, love it! But maybe it is because I’m old, so laid back… Young people probably will not be able to stand it.

  5. Nice to get away from the hectic life to the peaceful, quiet surrounding and hearing the chirpy birds humming away. When my hub was transferred to Simunjan, we used to go there during the school holidays. He stays in the gov’t flat all by himself. Oh yes, alot of weird insects like cicadas, very noisy.

    Ya, especially at night. You get to hear all kinds of sounds you do not hear in the town or city. So harmonious.

  6. A dabai tree. How cool! Thanks for posting that. Somehow I go gaga over fruiting trees and yes tis the season now. Over here we see a lot of mangoes dangling from the branches, rambutans too, of course. Good morning!

    Morning. Ya, it’s that time of the year when we get a lot of fruits…but these days, they may appear anytime, not so regular anymore, probably due to drastic climatic changes all around.

  7. The last bug, is it a cicada? Do durians only drop at night? I always wondered if it ever dropped on someone’s head. That would be awful!

    Dunno, maybe a butterfly. Don’t think it was a moth. Durians do drop during the day too…but the thuds are louder at night. So far, never heard of anybody killed by a durian dropping on his head. Have you?

    • Old people used to say durian got eyes and it doesn’t simply drop on people’s head and if it does, that person must be very lucky. Don’t know how true is the story. Old ladies’ tales.

      Probably, and that’s why we never hear of any dropping on people’s heads.

      • typo error,… should be “very unlucky”.

        Durian, no…but here, if you go out at night, you may get bird droppings on your head. Very lucky! LOL!!! :D

  8. oh, the Food Mayor of Sibu didn’t know how a yam plant looks like?? i am pretty surprised with that.. and oooh, durian trees?? i dare not walk under because i am always worry that there will be a huge durian dropping off from the tree and hit my head!! hahahaha, anyway, i also do not eat durians so never will think of going near, the smell already drives me far away~~ :D

    I do! When I was growing up, my neighbour planted a lot – they ate the yam. But I heard some might make you itch so we stayed clear of the plants and were not so keen on eating them. Ah…you’re like me then – not a fan of durians but I live tempoyak…and durian desserts. Yum! Yum!

  9. You can send the rambutans and durians to me anytime! I love them like crazy!
    It is always nice to be able to see exotic crawlies and rare fruit trees in Borneo. We hardly can see anything much except back stabbing snakes and human devils here in KL. LOL

    No durians…and they’re expensive even though they are appearing here, there and everywhere here in abundance.

    Rambutans, no problem…lots on my tree…ripening very well. If only I were going over to KL, I could bring you one whole box of it. Mine’s the best…not the regular ones, I tell you – very special variety…originally from Singapore in the 50′s…though some said from Penang to Singapore and my grandpa managed to get some to plant here.

    Ahhhh….city folks, city living. So exciting! LOL!!! :D

  10. That beetles… usually they go inside dungs. That’s the thing I remember about them.

    I grew up in a kampung, but not too deep though. I witnessed the growing of the internet. Thank goodness my uncle was an IT-guy and we had a computer.

    I miss living in kampung though. So peaceful. Like in the evening. Wow, the view and the sunset. OMGosh. Sorry, reminisce kejap.

    Happy Monday, Suituapui!

    Same to you. Hmmmm…dunno what dung they have in the school – nobody seems to be rearing anything, not even chicken. I think I saw a cat once, and two dogs from the longhouses in the jungle. Dunno if they have pigs there – usually, they rear them under their houses, great alarm clocks in the early morning. Oink! Oink! :D

  11. Good to commune with nature once a while. Calm our senses..

    Oh dear, embarrassed to say this, but I am truly a city girl…can’t tell one fruit tree or plant from the other, except for very common ones! And bugs? Bye bye…I’m out of here…

    City born and bred, not surprised. Scared of all creepy crawlies.

  12. I grew up in the city… or town… so I really didn’t have a chance to marvel at nature… Durians on trees, rhino beetles… etc etc.. so hope you will continue to survey the nature and show me more.. and more.. :)

    Come on over. This time, we’ll venture out of town and you can get to see more of nature, not just the nice food here. ;)

  13. Well, I am one of those minority who is not crazy about durians.
    I just don’t like the smell, very hard to tahan one, hahaha xD

    Welcome to the club. You’re not alone…

  14. Oh..i didn’t know dabai is white colour before it turn ripe and before you show, i didn’t know dabai grow on tree too. hahahhahaha..i just know how to eat. :P I still prefer my dabai to durian.

    Me too! Dabai anytime. Durian, I can live without it, not my favourite. Hah!!! So now you know. Hehehehehe!!!!

  15. my favourite- rambutan.. everytime, when we bring back , ants all over.. i wonder why.

    In a way, that’s good – no pesticides! But the ants are a real nuisance. Mine had a lot one year…but lately, it has not been as bad. I do see some this year – hope it does not get worse.

  16. Its always enjoyable to see the different greens and bugs. The rhinocerous beetle seems to be in the city too. Depending on the time of the year, there are quite a few of these big fellas at my condo grounds.

    Oh? Right in the heart of the city? Wow!!! I don’t recall having seen any live ones in the town all these years since I was small…or not that I can remember or maybe I did, once or twice.

  17. Dabai…my sister’s favorite! :)

    I like them too, blanched in water and topped with sugar. I haven’t seen them here though, I would have thought the season would have come already e.g. they would be ripe since it’s end of year.

    Yup…it’s coming out fast and furious and durians too!!! Have had a bit of dabai but not durians, not too crazy about them.

  18. Totally LOVING the nature photos! I regret not taking many pics of our fall foilage this year! Bummer! I’ll have to be better about Winter ones…even tho I hate winter and being cold, the photos are nice to see, I suppose! LOL :)

    I love autumn – the leaves turning red and brown, some on the trees, some on the ground…and the soothingly cool air. I find that so romantic, me – the sentimental old fool. :D Yes, winter is only nice in the photos, thank you very much. LOL!!!

    • I forgot to comment about the durian earlier I haven’t tried it we can’t get it in the east coast of the us but it’s gaining popularity especially among raw foodies here I hear it’s an acquired taste I’ve also heard of an online store selling freeze dried durian

      Yes, if you can stand the horrendous smell – some say it’s like custard, sweet and rich and nice. I’m not too fond of the fruit myself – will eat, if any but will not go out and buy my own. They do not come cheap anymore these days… :(

  19. Did you get to try the wild durians?

    Yes, those commerical durian trees are not as tall these days… pruning is carried out regularly to enhance fruit production…

    We get those at the market easily – they’re not so yellow, a greyish tint to the milky white and a slight bitter hint. Not as rich and sweet as the hybrids – but some people prefer these, others prefer those special grafted ones. There is another type of wild durian – we call them buah pakon – very yellow, almost orange, creamier and the pungent durian smell is not that strong. I would love these…not the real durians as everybody knows them to be.

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