Category Archives: Burma

Various Other Creatures

Here are a few more critters from my time near the China/Burma border that didn’t make it into the bugs posts or frogs post.

A hawk that circled over the compound for a while one afternoon:

I don’t know what this animal is called, but I think it’s a type of marsupial. A friend had him in a tiny cage outside his house, a gift from his hunter brother who didn’t want to care for it anymore. They’re super easy prey for hungry villagers in the area, and this one apparently had some kind of injury when he was caught, but I told my friend he really needed to build or buy a much bigger cage soon if he couldn’t release it back into the jungle. Cute little guy, loved his bananas, but he didn’t seem too happy in his cage:

Someone’s pet parrot:

There are tonnes of geckos in this area, as there seem to be everywhere in Southeast Asia, and I’m always happy to see them in my room as they gobble up insects. This one seems to be a bit territorial, as I’ve found him most days in different places. He’s also tiiiiiiny! About an inch long. I have small hands and thin fingers, and it’s a normal thin wire in the photos:

This gecko made a loud noise on the outside of my bathroom window as he caught a snack:

This gecko in the laundry room bit the dust a few days before, by the looks of it:

As in most places I visit, I ran into another curious creature on this trip. She couldn’t run as fast as me, but she did somehow manage to catch a bird with her hands:

Vegetation Orientation

Sometimes my blog posts are interesting (to me, at least), and other times I really have no interesting photos to show. Take, for example, the most interesting thing I saw one day around the compound, this leaf:

–> Now scroll down for the rest of this post <-- Here’s another look at that leaf:

And another perspective:

And the same photo, flipped and zoomed:

Sadly, this massive leaf bug, which was 7 inches long and really amazing to look at (according to the locals it’s very uncommon to see one this big), was not particularly afraid of anything. The next morning he was on the floor with the main part of his body missing, probably the victim of a bird or small child:

Night Photography Fun

One evening I was quite bored, and the stars were really clear in the sky outside my room on the rooftop, so I got out my dSLR to take a few photos. With no tripod, and a lens not designed for star photography, I didn’t get anything amazing, but some nice memories anyways. Here’s the star photo I took, which is nothing too special:

However, with a quick adjustment on the computer, the same photo turns into this:

The reason I find this second copy interesting is that you see some ‘red’ stars and some ‘blue’ stars. If you have some knowledge of physics or you’ve taken an astronomy course before, you probably know the reason for this (for non-Science Faculty students who need Science credits, I highly recommend UBC’s ASTR 311 taught by Peter Newbury – if he’s still teaching the course). First correct comment wins a free beer from me next time we’re in the same city.

Then I thought I should have some fun so I tried to make a semi-transparent self-portrait with a starry background. Out of 16 tries (each one was a 30 second exposure), these two were good enough for me:

I tried to show a friend how you can make a photo of a foot with no leg, but she didn’t move her leg fast enough and the lighting was perhaps a bit bright, so it turned into the photo below. If you do it properly, you should see a clear foot, a blurry ankle, and the rest of the leg should be invisible.

It was May 15th, which was May 14th in BC, only two days after the provincial elections there, so a quick headlamp photo seemed appropriate before heading to bed:


There are quite a few frogs in the Nabang/Laiza area. We were lucky enough to be graced with their presence in the compound on many occasions, and I managed to catch a few photos. First, we have Ping Pong Frog who kindly obliged and left when we wanted to start playing a match of night ping pong on ‘his’ table:

Next, we have Garbage Frog, who decided that the trash bin is the place to be on a warm rainy season evening, quite the model:

He’s smiling in this one:

Then, of course, we have Drainpipe Frog…

…and window frog:

Of course, not all frogs are created equal. Some aren’t even frogs at all, like Fat Toad who was trying to run into a wall for some reason:

And our friendly neighbourhood Spider Frog, who walked along the wall like a bug but with no bugs in site for dinner:

I also found a small frog in my room one evening (my door was always wide open to all wild creatures at night as it was the only room with a broken air conditioning unit). At first I thought he was dead, but luckily he was just sleeping or something.

He didn’t seem inclined to leave, so I took a cardboard box to encourage him outside gently, and once he got the hint boy did he jump!

There were other frogs, including one we coaxed into a friend’s bedroom at night, but I’ve got no photos of those ones.