View of Brunei LNG and Brunei Methanol Plant from Top of Sungai Liang Hill

It’s been three weeks since I last driven to Bandar Seri Begawan. That also means it’s been the longest time I’ve stayed away from my favourite hills — Bukit Shahbandar. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working out. In fact, this week alone I exceeded my cardio workout with a record 13 sets of badminton and a few runs in the Sungai Liang forest. Yesterday afternoon, I returned to the Sungai Liang hills this time with my wife and we covered five hills to reach the peak that overlooks both Brunei LNG and Brunei Methanol Company plants. Previously I had only my S3 and images lacked details so this time I brought the G11 along this time, maybe 5D Mark III and a tele lens next time just to add some weight to the workout.

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3.6 kilometers is a good stretch to run several times a week to build and maintain stamina. The time recorded below reflects our slow hike stopping occasionally to admire the views and also a short chat with four mountain bikers we met on the same trail.

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Termites Feeding on Tree Bark

I once made a mistake of identifying these insects as ants when in fact they are a colony of termites. I came across them this morning while trekking at the Sungai Liang Recreational Forest Park . Thing is, the piece of bark is right in the middle of a tarmac pavement, far away from where a nearest tree stands yet there is this one bark of all the other barks with this many termites feeding off it. Perhaps they were feeding on the tree before a strong gust of wind ripped the bark off sending it flying onto the pavement. Resilient little buggers!

Some termites like these feed on fungi, algae and lichens on tree bark. PHOTO: Canon Powershot G11

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BUSYBODIES

It was the last day of 2010 and we decided to spend a relaxing morning with the family at the Sungai Liang Forest Recreation Park. Somewhere on the concrete steps, uncertain of my exact direction, I came across a massive ant termite colony in their thousands busy moving food or materials for their nest. I am thankful to have brought along my Canon 5D Mark II and the 100mm Hybrid IS lens instead of the PowerShot G11 or every single attempt to capture them—in unforgiving light conditions—would have failed miserably. See also readers comments and ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

In order to at least freeze a few of the termites, I shot this hand-held at 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO6400 with the EF100mm Hybrid IS given the lack of usable available light.

Curious about my presence, a lone ant on a leaf at the entrance to the Sungai Liang Recreation Park crosses to an adjacent leaf when I await with my macro lens.

Shooting a moving target with such a shallow depth-of-field is always challenging. Compounding this are windy conditions causing the leaf to sway unpredictably.