shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

World smallest water lily // Seeing Balad Sayt // More of how much mash Riam ate


World smallest water lily

The world smallest water lily was saved from extinction by the Kew Gardens . That lily became extinct in Rwanda a few years ago but luckily, some seeds were taken to the Kew Gardens. In time, that water lily will be blooming again in Rwanda as well as on your window sill.

Allow me to tell you good news instead of the bad news that caught my eye in the past. Let us forget for a while Euro meltdowns, Greeks striking for more billions to continue their life as they know as hard working German taxpayers will pay for them, red shirts, multicolour shirts, and explosions going off in vests, or in cars, or in a North Korean torpedo in Korean sea. Oil in reed beds and swamps is just too miserable to talk about or even to think about.

And yes, the whole world went agog with the creation of artificial life in a cell. So even more billions will be going that way to make even more different kinds of aritificial life.

Then why am I reminded of South Korea where this couple spend all their time on Internet nurturing an artificial ‘daughter’ called Anima with love and money while their real life flesh and blood daughter with no name went on to starve to death?

Billions of $$$ going to creation of more artificial life? While our own real life flesh and blood wildlife of forests, of woods, of plains, of ocean continue on towards extinction because we could not find the millions of $$$ to protect them?

Are we all the moral equivalent of that South Korean couple?

But it is not all bad news. We must remember at least the world smallest water lily (Nymphaea thermarum) is saved from extinction.


Seeing Balad Sayt

More photos in flickr folder 'Overnight at Al Hoota Rest House'

The previous weekend, 13-14 May, showed spring was long over with temperature of 43C(109F) on Thursday morning. I presume that would get hotter during the day if we remained there.

But we did not.

On 2nd April, while on the road looking for Balad Sayt,
Smolensk // Looking for Balad Sayt // Recent neighbourhood walks

we drove up the mountain. Nearing the top, we saw a rest house and even stopped there to check that out. That was the Al Hoota Rest House.

I am happy with camping, but my wife was not happy with camping , and that determined that we would not camp. That rest house looked ok , and at 40 OR that included dinner and breakfast, we decided to stay there over the weekend to get away from the heat. By staying the night in that rest house, we need not have to think of making that homeward bound journey the moment we got there.

We packed up and mid morning of 13 May, saw us on the road.

We stop for lunch at Nizwa. My wife realised she never taken photos of Riamfada from the back. So here is a shot of Riamfada from the back. So you can see how the harness is like from the back during that lunch.


And we continued on after that.

Do remember written Arabic has no vowels. So Balad Sayt can also be Balad Seet.

We kept driving up and up.




We reached Al Hoota Resthouse. This had no connection to Ah Hoota Caves as told by them the first time we were there.

We checked into the rest house and went on to the top of the mountain range just 500 meters further on.

If you think the rest house location is desolate, the top of the range is even more so as you can see from the video pan.

We had intended to arrange a usual base camp with camp chairs and tables to enjoin the view. But with no trees at all, the sun was burning with incredible strength even if it was about 25C(77F) at 2000meters high. The wind was very strong and Riamfada could just barely grip on to my shoulder.

We decided to return to the rest house. The rooms were in villas , and I could drive the car in between the villa to get some shade. And some shelter from the wind.

So base camp was set out



I happily passed the hours by reading with Riamfada flapping from her perch to me now and then. Dear wife felt it more comfortable sleeping in the room.

Then at evening when the sun was setting, we drove up to the top again.

We found quite a few cars and people there. Taking in the view of the place.



Blown up of above shot. I am sure the view was better where they were. But the view from where we were was good enough for me.

I was still deciding if we would continue on down to Balad Sayt.

But thought I would finally decide only in the morning.

Riamfada in room

Riamfada sleeping in cupboard. I then close the cupboard door but with a wedge of paper to allow ¼ inch slit for ventilation.

The next morning after breakfast, we checked out. I drove up to the top to re assess again. I decided to drive on just a bit more. Take a loot at the photos of how the roads would be like here


And we caught sight of the first crow we seen in Oman, or was that a raven?


I thought of the long drive down into Wadi Bani Awf. And after that, at least a 3 hour drive out to the mouth of Wadi Bani Awf.

This is Balad Sayt.

And Balad Sayt zoomed in by my wife


Now that we have seen Balad Sayt, we decided to go back, the way we came up from, on good tarmac road.

Do remember I am a self declared wimp.

And if you want better photos, go Google for them, or come to Oman and take the photos yourself.

We stopped at Nizwa again. The Friday Souq was on. Our plans to check out the Nizwa castle was foiled again. Once again I forgot the closing time was at 11 am on Friday and we reached Nizwa castle at 10 minutes to 11. But again, with the temperature at 43C, I was not eager to go climbing up and down the castle walls.

The latter photos of this folder saw us at the Jabri's house again that Friday after we came back from seeing Balad Sayt. We do keep in touch so Riamfada will not forget them.

The last weekend, 20-21 May, we stayed at home. The outside temperature was 42C(108F) to 46C(115F). Air cond full blast at home kept house temperature at 22C (72F)

You understand we did not care to go to Buwah or Wadi. And the mountains are 3-4 hours round trip and too tiring to do weekend after weekend.


More of how much mash Riam ate

I continued to record just how much mash Riam ate.

I normally give Riamfada 25-30 grams of mash before my breakfast and 25-30 grams of mash when I got back for lunch. What she did not eat will be thrown into the kitchen midden for the wild birds to enjoy.

This time, I decided not to give sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts and only giving that to her in the evening after the neighbourhood walks. Of course, fruits such as cherries, raspberries, blueberries were given to her after the first 30 minutes of mash.

The measurements of mash intake were done this way. In the morning after I got up, I would go to Riamfada's room to let her out. She would then fly to the living room and then joined me in the kitchen where I weighed and record the mash. Instead of being thankful to me, she would make a nuisance of herself and try to bite the lead off the pencil. I then would take her and the mash back to her room and leave her there. I then will eat my breakfast and have some peace for 30 minutes or so. I then would go to her room to remove her bowl to weigh in the kitchen. Riam would join me and fly about the living room and onto me and do some recalls if she felt like it for about 15 minutes or so. I would then return her to her room, give her fruits in the foraging points in her room, place the mash back in the cage and leave for office.

Riamfada foraging //

When I came back for lunch, Riam was allowed out of her room and I took her bowl of mash to weigh again and the balance discarded into the kitchen midden.

Then fresh mash into the bowl for her to eat while she tried her best to bite the lead from the pencil again. She and the mash was returned to her room while I have my lunch and peace for 30 minutes. I then would weigh the mash to see how much she ate and returned that mash to her cage. Before I leave for office, fruits placed into foraging points in her room.

Her mash weighed again once more when I came back in afternoon to see what she ate.

So you will see the records in this way

M = x+y where M is for morning, and x for what she ate during that initial 30 minutes or so and y for what she ate after that.
L = x + y where L is for lunch and x for what she ate during that initial 30 minutes or so and y for what she ate after that.

The neighbourhood walk with kitties then took place and treating her on her recall flights. I took to carrying 4-5 cherries in my pocket to treat Riamfada. After the neighbourhood walks, fruits/almonds/brazil nuts sunflower seeds placed into foraging points in the living room for her to fly about to. In time, she would have enough and would fly to me to be given her share of fruit juice from my cup. She then would hang about me and given her headrubs while I watch the news.

Then when light outside faded into night, I would say good night to her as I walked her back into her room. This was the only time that she would give beakrubs to my wife finger without chomping them off. Riam would be so sweet to my wife then, sometimes giving her a few bars of whistle while she rubbed her beak on her fingers. she got pop back to her room to sleep on the thick sisal rope looping about the bars of that cloth hanger that got turned into perch for Riam.

Maybe she ate more fruits/nuts when she ate less mash. Maybe not. But that’s for her to decide for herself.

These are the records

12 May wed
total = 15 gm

13 May thur

total = 23 gm

This was in the morning, and then we all went off to Balad Sayt.

14 May fri

Not recorded as we came back in afternoon from

15 May sat
L=1+ 2
total = 26 gm

16 May sun
total = 16 gm

17 May mon
L=12+ 13
total = 53 gm

18 May tue
L=10+ 11
total = 44 gm

19 May wed
total = 17 gm

20 May thu
total = 19 gm

21 May fri
total = 34 gm

22 May sat
M=1 +27
L=9+ 8
total = 45 gm

23 May sun
L=5+ 2
total = 30 gm


Important old letters on harness
Harness for flighted parrots – To Nick and folks

August, 2005.

‘ cargo cult'

'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper '


If you like the photos here, they are all taken by my wife and uploaded on my behalf by her.

She has her own sets of photos in her Flickr account here



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice


For those that through no fault of their own, or otherwise, and had to part painfully and unwillingly from their beastie or birdies, whether in the past, or the present, or in the future, I dedicate the saga of Riamfada that I had wrote , and continue to write to that final handover , to you all.


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