Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Tiger Sleeps Tonight . . .

At least that’s my theory as to why we didn’t see one our last night in Malaysia. Bob, Jim, and I took a night hike with a local guide and stumbled across a couple fornicating in the jungle.
He was stickin it to her.

Our guide was from the town across the river and well versed in the creatures of the rainforest. At the start of our walk he turned off his headlamp and pointed to a tiny, faintly glowing mushroom. It would have been instantly amazing, but since it was a tiny, faintly glowing mushroom . . . that he pointed to in the dark . . . I couldn’t find it. I squinted into the deep black.

“Sorry, where is it?” I asked.

“There,” answered the guide, apparently pointing again in the correct direction.


The guide turned on his lamp and I found myself facing the wrong direction. He guided my eyes to the correct spot then turned off the light, where I found a tiny green mushroom, and other inhabitants.
Spiders crept along trunks and hid under leaf litter, searching for a tasty snack.
(there's more than one spider in this photo)
We hiked for about an hour, haphazardly blinding poor creatures that stumbled upon our path.
A small hole gaped from the side of a little hill, so our guide picked up a stick and poked it. Since childhood, my curiosity of what creatures might hide down a hole, under a crevice, or beneath a rock has led me to get bitten, clawed, stabbed, and chased - so I admired our guide’s approach. A few jabs in the dirt pile and an angry scorpion scuttled out. Our guide however, wasn’t satisfied.

“This is just the male. There will be a larger female inside as well.”

But regardless of how much he tried to irritate her, she couldn’t be coaxed out. I was okay with this, picturing the scorpion rustling around her room to find a miniature pistol.
We left the ticked off male and climbed up a hide where we spotted a sambar deer grazing in a clearing. Unfortunately the tapirs, rhinos and tigers stayed well away from our headlamps, but we saw enough fanged and clawed creatures to make it a successful night hike.