Tag Archives: Kalimantan

Fruits of Kalimantan

Just some of the special fruits of Kalimantan – three types of durian, mangosteen, rambutan, chempedak, langsat, and a rare variety of mango. Some of these are rarely seen outside the island of Borneo.

All are delicious, and grow at the Kebun Raya Balikpapan.

Durio dulcis
Lahung, durian hutan
Forest durian

Durio zibethinus
Durian

Durio kutajensis
Lae, Durian hutan
Forest durian

Artocarpus integer
Cempedak

Lansium parasiticum
Langsat

Nephelium lappaceum
Rambutan

Mangifera torquenda
Asam putaran

Garcinia mangostana
Manggis
Mangosteen

Ready to eat….

Dipterocarpus

Dipterocarpus is a large genus of tall trees (around 70 species) found across South-East Asia. Locally, they are commonly referred to as ‘Keruing’.

Dipterocarpus confertus

These are big trees, growing to 40 or 50 metres at their full height, and they form a big part of the upper canopy of the forests here, or stick out above the other canopy trees as ‘emergents’. Interestingly, the seeds will only germinate in shade, and for the first several years the young trees don’t tolerate direct sunlight.

Dipterocarpus tempehes

They thrive on the lowland, yellow leached clay soils that are common across much of Borneo. So much so that in fact that the lowland tropical forest is often just called ‘Dipterocarpus forest’, due to the predominance of ‘Keruing’ trees. However they always form part of a mixed forest, with other tall trees (meranti, pulai, ulin, bangris etc) also abundant, and which compete for sunlight in the upper canopy.

Dipterocarpus cornutus

They flower here in October, the mature trees producing masses of large, attractive pink-and white blooms.

Flowers of Dipterocarpus confertus

The scientific (Latin) name ‘Dipterocarpus’ means ‘two-winged fruit’. The fruits develop during the early part of the wet season (November – December), with the seeds falling in January. Their ‘wings’ are 20cm or more long, and when the seeds fall from the tree, they can spiral down, helicopter-style, and may be carried by the wind to some distance from the parent tree.

Seeds of Dipterocarpus confertus

They are valuable hardwood timber trees, and the even-grained, somewhat resinous timber has many uses, although it is susceptible to termites. Resin from the live trees was and sometimes still is collected by local people to use for water-proofing and as a source of light.

Dipterocarpus confertus seeds, almost ready to drop

Due to massive loss of habitat (logging, conversion of forest for plantations of oil palms or other timber trees etc), most if not all of the Dipterocarpus species are now classed by the IUCN as being ‘Critically endangered).

Flowers of Dipterocarpus tempehes

At the Kebun Raya Balikpapan we have 58 trees from three species in the ‘official’ collection (D. confertus, D. cornutus, and D. tempehes), though three other species (D. elongatus, D. oblongifolius and D. retusus) have also been collected.

Flowers and leaf of Dipterocarpus confertus

36 Views of Kalimantan (Part 3)

More from the series 36 Views of Kalimantan – Random photos 2014-17. Hope you like some of them!

36 Views of Kalimantan is published here in three parts. Click on these links to view Part 1 or Part 2.

Kebun Raya Balikpapan 3-Jan-2017 (25/36)

 

Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan 27-Sep-2014 (26/36)

 

Tanjung Puting, Central Kalimantan 3-Sep-2017 (27/36)

 

Tumbang Gagu, Central Kalimantan 19-Mar-2015 (28/36)

 

Bangkal, Central Kalimantan 15-Mar-2016 (29/36)

 

Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan 28-Dec-2014 (30/36)

 

Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan 29-Dec-2014 (31/36)

 

Tumbang Tahai, Central Kalimantan 6-Oct-2014 (32/36)

 

Terang Baru, North Kalimantan 25-Apr-2017 (33/36)

 

Terang Baru, North Kalimantan 25-Apr-2017 (34/36)

 

Bangkal, Central Kalimantan 13-Mar-2016 (35/36)

 

Sei Gohong, Central Kalimantan 9-Mar-2016 (36/36)

 

36 Views of Kalimantan (Part 2)

More from the series 36 Views of Kalimantan – Random photos 2014-17. Hope you like some of them!

36 Views of Kalimantan is published here in three parts. Click on these links to view Part 1 or Part 3.

Kapuas Hulu 5-Apr-2015 (13/36)

 

Tumbang Manggu 10-Dec-2014 (14/36)

 

Bukit Bangkirai 2-Apr-2017 (15/36)

 

Idul Fitri 17-Jul-2015 (16/36)

 

Betang Sungai Utik (West Kalimantan) 29-Mar-2015 (17/36)

 

Kebun Raya Balikpapan 17-Jul-2017 (18/36)

 

Long Api (North Kalimantan) 27-Apr-2017 (19/36)

 

Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan)16-Aug-2015 (20/36)

 

Tumbang Manggu (Central Kalimantan) 9-Dec-2014 (21/36)

 

Banjarmasin 13-Sep-2015 (22/36)

 

Balikpapan 31-Dec-2016 (23/36)

 

Buntoi, Central Kalimantan 17-Jul-2016 (24/36)

 

36 Views of Kalimantan (Part 1)

Here’s a somewhat random selection of my photos of Kalimantan, taken from 2014 – 2017. Loosely (very loosely indeed!) inspired by Hokusai’s landscape prints from 1830-32. In fact, his main inspiration, apart from the title, was that he was already in his 70’s when he produced that series – and at the peak of his talent and fame.

I’ve mostly excluded wildlife images from the selection. I might make a separate selection at a later time for them. Hope you like some of them – please comment!

36 Views of Kalimantan is published here in three parts. Click on these links to view Part 2 or Part 3.

Tangkiling 19-Feb-2015 (1/36)

 

Tewang Rangkang 2-Apr-2016 (2/36)

 

Tewang Rangas, Central Kalimantan (Bukung Tiwah) 8-Aug-2015 (3/36)

 

Lake Sembuluh 17-Mar-2016 (4/36)

 

Tewang Rangkang (Manugal) 1-Nov-2015 (5/36)

 

Sebangau 6-May-2016 (6/36)

 

Tanjung Puting 3-Sep-2017 (7/36)

 

Banjarmasin 13-Sep-2015 (8/36)

 

Tumbang Gagu 19-Mar-2015 (9/36)

 

Danau Sentarum 4-Apr-2015 (10/36)

 

Pontianak (Masjid Raya Mujahidin) 28-Mar-2015 (11/36)

 

Tumbang Malahoi 15-Apr-2016 (12/36)

 

Flying dragon (Draco volans)

There are some pretty remarkable creatures here in Kalimantan. Take this little lizard. Only 20cm long – including tail – he (it’s a male) has at least three amazing attributes:

1. That spectacular flap of yellow skin on his neck (known as a ‘dewlap’). He extends and retracts it at will, looking rather like hoisting a sail on a yacht. Apparently the females find it irresistibly attractive (and who could blame them?)

2. Colour changing. This photo of THE SAME LIZARD was taken about ten seconds after the one above. See any differences?


3. He can FLY! If I’m not mistaken, he’s a ‘Common flying lizard’ (Draco volans), whose Latin name means ‘flying dragon). He can glide 10 metres or more between trees, using wing-like extensions between front and back legs, formed out of folds of skin supported by special ribs (called ‘patagia’).

Here’s a couple more photos of the remarkable ‘Flying dragon’:

Photographed yesterday at the Kebun Raya Balikpapan, in a tree right beside the main Information Centre.

Play, pray, or chase the buffalo?

Last year we visited villages in the Krayan district of North Kalimantan, a remote highland area close to the border with Sabah (Malaysia). We were fortunate to be invited to a Dayak Lundayeh wedding ceremony in the village of Terang Baru, near Long Bawan. These days the villagers are devout adherents of Protestant Christianity, but they continue to observe many of the unique cultural practices of their ancestors.

A lot of the rituals of the wedding entailed the exchange of gifts between the bride’s and groom’s families – in addition to giving countless practical household gifts to the happy couple. There were hand-plaited baskets, hats and sleeping mats, crockery, cooking pots and furniture, food and clothing.

But the biggest – and most valuable – gift was that of a large kerbau (buffalo), which the groom handed over to his new wife. Everyone from the village was there, watching the exchange with great interest – none more so than a young boy and girl who were enthralled by the buffalo.

As the traditional part of the ceremony was concluding, and the congregation prepared for Christian prayers, the buffalo was led away to pasture – with the two children following in close pursuit. You can imagine the excited conversation between them:

“Hurry up, let’s follow the buffalo and see where it goes!”

She: “Hang on, the prayers have started. We’d better stop.”

He: “Do we REALLY have to stop? The buffalo’s getting away!”

“OK then, let’s pray. The buffalo will just have to wait till we’ve finished!”

Karen, along with her colleague Paulus Kadok from Yayasan Mahakam Lestari, has written a wonderful article about the ‘Bridewealth of the Dayak Lundayeh‘, which was published late last year in Garland Magazine. Do have a look; it’s a really interesting read. Nice photographs, too…