Batang Ai National Park (BANP) is located adjacent to Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) and this is our second site for our flora surveys. It took us less than an hour to reach the BANP Nanga Delok’s jetty from Batang Ai dam’s jetty using the park’s boat. Ng Delok is the BANP headquarters and we have to transfer to a longboat to continue our journey to Lubang Baya ranger station.
On 16th September, we journeyed from Nanga Talong – Batang Ai dam – Nanga Delok – Lubang Baya ranger station, so no field surveys able to be done that day. However, we are blessed with good weather during this transition of working site.
Lubang Baya if translated into English means, Crocodile Hole and these park wardens keep making jokes about this place and advice us beware of crocs if we decide to bath in the river. But the water is so refreshing and clear, its really tempted me to swim in there. And I did! No crocs attack btw.
During our three days of field survey i decide to assist Ms Julia and searching for begonia with her team for the first two days we were at the station. A few trails and rivers were explored by us and it is really surprising and amazing because each river have different species of begonia. It seems to be begonia have site-specific and even more interesting when it is an endemic species. While assisting Ms Julia, i learn on how to differentiate begonia plants with other ground plants which at first i keep on doing mistake (this shows how shallow my knowledge about plants). Luckily i am a fast learner and i am able to figure it out quick and help to discover a few other species during our survey. Now i know that the male and female flowers, and seeds is very important for species identification. It is really interesting new knowledge for me!
On our last day we observed the mass migration of flying insects. It is like a fairies flying above the water and i can not capture it looks like that in my photo. But it really looks so amazing and beautiful.
Overall, i am grateful for my 11 days field experienced with botanists from both agencies. My perception on plants now is better than before, if i have the willingness to learn it is not difficult as i thought it was. Besides, they are not mobile like animals. It is a memorable trip even though i had flu and fever after return from this trip. Thank God it is only a normal fever, perhaps because of exhausted and weather. Experienced which worth to be sick anyway.