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Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Little Known Arch Bridge.

Every so often when I go to my favorite place to pursue my butterfly photo taking hobby, there is this bridge I see that somehow gives me the feeling it had gone through better times and had played an important role in the past.

Found near the entrance to the Bukit Larut water catchment area, next to a Hindu temple, it is occasionally given a good cleaning by a group of people I suspect to be from some historical society. Not withstanding the fact that it has come to be noticed by a group that matters, the lack of information about the bridge is surprising.

I was not able to find any documented history about it, apart from a brief video introduction of it posted in “You Tube” ( that speculates it was built in 1914.

Asking the few people I come across there on the historical background of the bridge, has drawn totally irritating and ignorant answers and I am being kind with my words. It appears to some people that history, heritage and culture have no bearings in life!

The bridge construction and design is definitely British in style and I also observe the bricks used are similar to the ones used to construct Fort Ngah Ibrahim which was built in the late 1800s located not too far away. From the small width of the bridge, I would imagine it was built in an era where automotive transport was non existence in this part of the world and is meant more as a walking path, it is not even wide enough to use elephants for crossing. It is possible that when it was built, it was the only route available to gain access to this area.

I will not be surprised if more than a few high ranking colonial masters of the past with their lady companions was hand carried over this bridge in sedan chairs manned by local coolies to enjoy afternoon tea in the cooler foothill surroundings.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More butterfly photos.

Occasionally, even with my cheapskate digital camera, I manage to capture some photos that are actually quite good. Being patient and finding a willing subject help tremendously in this quest.

The Pansy butterflies are quite common in this part of the country and can be found in abundance during dry sunny days in open areas, often sitting on bare ground. I have often observed them to be territorial, driving away other butterflies in the vicinity.

Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei)

Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites)

Notice the Eyespots found in the Pansy butterflies, these supposedly functions to divert the attention of predators from the more vital head region and also act as a deterrent to predators by mimicking eyes of a far bigger subject.

Club Silverline (Spindasis syama terana)

Another diverting technique can be seen on the Club Silverline, the difficult to differentiate head or tail cause ambushing predators to possibly approach from the wrong side and when attacked, less vital parts are damaged, allowing it time to escape.

But on the other hand, there are butterflies that are on the other end of the spectrum, appearing as dull as possible to avoid attracting potential predators, like the one below.

Species unidentified.