Monday, 28 October 2013

Gearing up for FIFA 14 - 28 Oct 2013

A Honey4boyz Production

Guitarist : XianJin

Actors : The Boys

Photo(/Video)grapher : Daddy

Special thanks to Mahkota Football Academy and Coach Ameer!

WARNING: For best effect, please watch this HomeVideo first before you scroll down. Have FUN!!

The boys have just joined a neighbourhood football club, yea, football is pretty popular here. This was a first attempt to do a homevideo, and a pretty straightforward one using Windows Movie Maker. But it's so enriching to do something together. At one point, we realised that we don't have the background music (and we're afraid to download everything online), so Jin has a day to learn to play the FIFA soundtrack. We made use of what we have, our talents, ie free acting by our boys as well as our resources. Hope this will spark off their interest in either football, acting, directing, storytelling or how to settle conflicts without harming one another!!

The Boyz are now QUALIFIED as "armchair footballers" for FIFA 2014.......

Friday, 25 October 2013

Disappearing Mangroves - 19 Oct 2013

In his book "While Flocks Last", Charlie Elder realised that everyone can make a difference to nature conservation, by simply going out and enjoying the countryside and making it known why. So there's another good reason to go birdwatching more often. We set off to Kuala Selangor Nature Park once again to the Festival of Wings (organised by the Malaysian Nature Society). The weather was not good though and the sky was overcast so I gotta pull myself out of bed literally....

Right at the entrance to the park, we're greeted by these tiny Coppersmith Barbet birds perched high on a dead tree. According to the organisers, they spotted 19 of them. 

Unlike previous years, this festival was a 1-day event only. So, we have all the student groups as well as public activities crammed into the same day. The blaring music and noise from the crowds would make the mission to spot any birds or animals very very hard! More to walking around enjoy the mangrove and creating an appreciation for nature.

Mangrove walkabout with a guide

 A huge water monitor lizard

A little heron on a lake with the versatile mudskippers swim, hop, crawl...and even climb trees!

We didn't manage to finish the mangrove walk last year cos we're rushing to join the river cruise. This year, we made sure we've sufficient time to cover the walk. Maybe it's the noise from the crowds, the overcast weather or poor maintenance, we saw less wildlife and rubbish strewn around the site. Previously, the silver-leaf monkeys were a common sight, but we'd seen none this round, only some macaques.

Colourful fiddler crabs, tree crabs and hermit crabs in snail shells

Look out for pools of water in the mudflat. Mudskipper defends its own territory by creating its own private pool!

We came more prepared this year for Brandon's pit stops. Our dedicated guide waited patiently behind him all the way.....

While Wei busied himself climbing the mangrove tree....

Wei also spotted these cotton stainer bugs. We saw a couple of skinks, small tree birds, and of course a few soaring raptors who're local residents of the park.

The sea hibiscus and mangrove apple are some of the interesting plants in the mangrove. Some insects like ants and cotton stainer bugs feed on the sea hibiscus and the fibres from the plant are also useful for making cords for fishing. These plants provide refuge and food for a variety of flora and fauna, and a natural water filter, thus important to stabilise the coastal and river banks. 

Exotic coffee from civet poop anyone?? I couldn't help but wish I have a cuppa coffee while relaxing here. 

 We're one of the 2 families who have the privilege to join the afternoon river cruise, cos the students have more or less filled up the places. We're almost caught in a heavy downpour. The rain came pouring right after we're in the bus. 

But the wind was strong and tide was very high during the cruise, thus we didn't see any water birds feeding on the shallow water.

 We saw the usual water birds - egrets, herons and storks, and also the common terns and gulls, flying above our heads and looking for shelters before the storm. The school students were more thrilled by the fast boats and racing with one another on the boats. This year, we're a bit disappointed not seeing any waders or plovers despite being the season for such migratory birds.

Here is a Brahminy Kite. A few of the birds of prey including the white-bellied sea eagles are local residents of the  mangrove.

Our only group photo at one of Brandon's pit stops!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Basic Snow Skin Mooncake - 5 Oct 2013

Assembling mooncakes in celebration of Mid-Autumn festival 

 We started assembling the snow skin mooncakes weeks after the Mid-Autumn festival with Auntie SY. The skin and filling ingredients were mostly purchased from the baking shop. I remember the last time we did this... my youngest Brandon was not even born. Is it time flew by so fast??

Now Brandon is able to follow the simple steps to assemble his very first mooncake! Oops, the mooncake popped out and almost landed on the floor - his mooncake has a dent!!

Knocking out the mooncake from the wooden mould was the most fun part, it's like how the baby chick hatches out of the egg! Despite it being foolproof .... there're always some surprises. Practice made perfect boys!

The mooncakes need to be refrigerated first before eating. I should take a picture of the cut mooncake with its beautiful double layered filling of lotus and red bean paste around the egg yolk "moon". But they finished up so fast. These ready-made paste is a bit sweet, next year we should try to make them from scratch so we can control what's inside. A big thank you to Auntie SY for her patience and efforts!!
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