Monday, September 1, 2008

Mount Kinabalu 03: The Rich Flora and Fauna

Climbing Mount Kinabalu is never a walk in the park. But definitely, you can make an effort to make it feel like one. Given the taxing effort of reaching the summit, one should never fail to look around and indulge in the beauty of the surrounding. It is amazing what you can see just by looking around.

The forests of Kinabalu Park are rich in flowers and plants, around 5,000 flowering plants had been catalogue to present day and many more new species are waiting to be discovered. I tried to be as observant and as keen as possibly I could and here are some of the species I found along the way. I never saw the layang-layang bird or the ever-famous Rafflesia but I've already seen them in my dreams. That would be enough for now.

view of Kinabalu mountain

From the Layang-layang Station, we could see a peak of the Mount Kinabalu framed in rich vegetations from the moss-covered trees to the wild flowers cosseted in lush green.

yellow flowers from the bushes

Our trek started way passed eight in the morning and early on, I already spotted little flowers growing at the side of the trail. Most of them were easy to miss either because they were too small to notice or they were covered with moss and leaves. Or could be that climbers are just too damn tired to even notice a tiny yellow daisy amongst the bushes.

picther plants

The pitcher plants of the Nepenthes are perhaps the most popular plants at Kinabalu Park. There are about nine species of pitcher plants and most of them can be found at the altitude of 2,702 m to 3,200 m. A few species of the pitchers plants have the ability to eat small insects alive with its pitcher. These two were particularly found for us by our guide.

wild white orchids

On our way to find the helipad, we found an abundance of white wild orchids growing along the muddy rocks. They were small and too simple to immediately notice but seeing them in abundance made a difference. They look better in person, trust me.

whiteflower and new foliage

These are the theaceaes. They present almost all through out the trek. But the flowers are more abundant at 3,200 m altitude. Their foliages look like flowers too with all the colorful leaves.

new foliage

Still from the Theaceae family, I found this at 2,702 m altitude hanging solidly along the trail.

pink in pine

This, I found while we were resting at the 5.0 KM mark. It belongs to a stunted tree.

wild berries

The forest is also rich with wildberries.

pink blush

I call this the “pinkblush”. I could not exactly remember where and how I chanced upon these but they really look pretty that even though I was exhausted, I had to stop and take photos.


Of course, climbing Mount Kinabalu will not be as fun and as memorable without encountering these squirrels. They hang around in places where there are food to squander. Advise: don’t feed them with your bare hands! They could nibble them too. ^_^


the donG said...

i've been looking forward to the posts here. i like how you document your trek there. galing mo din talaga.

i like the pitcher plants. it's unique. amazing how you manage to catch a shot of a squirrel. do they really approach people if you offer something? or can you hold them?

Ferdz said...

It's great you are familiar with the names of these plants and flowers. Nakikita ko rin sila though I don't know if they are special or not. Hehehe. But it's great that you could stop there for a while to document them with these well taken photos

Naku cute din yung mga squirrels na yan . haha. Sanay na sa tao

my gulch said...

thanks. mukhang sanay na nga squirrels na ito sa tao. madalas silang aali-aligid sa mga shelter station kungsaan nagpapahinga at kumakain ang mga climbers. sabi ng guide namin magpatunog ka lang ng empty wrapper ng biscuit lalapit na sila. my friend fed a squirrel on her hand kaso siguro pati yung palad niya na nibble nung squirrel so nagulat siya. i don't think you can tough them, mabilis sila tumakbo eh. hirap nga akong kunan kase ang likot!

makulit lang talaga kong magkuha, hehe. lagi nga akong nahuhuli nung akyat kase kuha ako ng kuha ng mga kung ano-anong klase ng halaman. meron pa kong nakunan na bato na pormang mukha ng unggoy, ang galing. hehe.

Kyels said...

I love the photos! All of them are so unique and they have their own beauty!


Your trek documentary is getting interesting and really thanks for sharing po.

my gulch said...

hi Kyels!
thanks a lot for appreciating them. beauty is universal. but we don't easily spot them especially in a vast forest who's beauty and treasures are mostly hidden under those bushes and huge vegetation. noticing them is one way of affirming not only their existence but also their individual uniqueness. i hope you get to climb Mt. Kinabalu one of these days too.

estan said...

that Nepenthes is really beautiful. the ones that i have seen here are longer.

pieterbie said...

Looks like a paradise for plant lovers. I dare not show this to my son who is studying to become a biological engineer, he'd ask me for money and pack his bags.

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