Sunday, March 28, 2021

Raja Ampat Snorkeling Tours

The tropical islands of Raja Ampat have been considered as the epicenter of marine bio-diversity. It is a must see destination for visitors who want to see pristine marine life, healthy coral reef with thousands of species of fish and other sea creatures. As a tourist guide, I offer snorkeling and freediving tours for nature lovers who are interested in visiting Raja Ampat. Participant can be a single traveler or a group of visitors consisting of 2 to 8 participants or even more.


Snorkeling adventure tour in Raja Ampat islands
Sightseeing Tour in Fish Lagoon of Raja Ampat
There are a lot of coral reef sites which we could explore to see parrotfish, surgeonfish, anemonefish, grouper, boxfish, barracuda, turtles and a lot more. Visitors who join this snorkeling tours will be able to visit some uninhabited islands in the region.

Jungle Adventure in Raja Ampat island

In addition to snorkeling, we will also explore tropical rainforest of Waigeo island to see its butterflies, wild flowers and birds such as Palm Cockatoo, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-Billed Kingfisher, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and etc.
To enjoy birding, a good pair of binoculars manufactured by Leica, Swarovski EL 8.5×42, or Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 is highly recommended. However, there are some Chinese made binoculars such as the 10×42 and the 10×26 Visionking binoculars that are affordable but produce sharp images for birdwatchers. Personally, I take pictures of birds and other wild animals using an old Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR camera.

Getting to Raja Ampat

  • Take an international flight to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Continue your trip by flying to Sorong city
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your tour to Raja Ampat
The cost of traveling to Raja Ampat is more affordable if visitors go in a group of 2, 4 to 6 people or more. However, solo traveling visitor can still enjoy the tour in a customized itinerary that is also affordable.

Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) for detailed itinerary and prices to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp text message to: +6281332245180
Also read:

Full Moon

I have just taken some pictures of the full moon this night. It was a magical moment for me to be able to see the detailed terrains of the moon. I used Kinglux 20-60×60 spotting scope to watch the moon. Fortunately, this simple device can be used for some astronomy works such as watching the moon and Planet Jupiter. This was just an amateur scope that I used to watch birds in the forest. So, it was not powerful enough to see man made structures in outer space such as the International Space Station and any telecommunication satellites. In other words, it was impossible to see any space vehicles or rockets left by the American or Soviet Union on the moon or in the outer space. 

Yesterday, it was impossible to watch and to take some photos of the moon. This night the weather is good. Although there was some cloud passing over it, the strengh of its light could well be captured by my Camera, the Canon 200D with Tamron 150- 600 mm G2 lens. 

full moon photograph taken on 28 March 2021 using Canon D-SLR camera 200D and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens
Full Moon

image of full moon taken by Leo Charles Roring in Manokwari on 28 March 2021
Full moon photo shot at slightly different hour

I tried several different settings on the camera to get the best result for my pictures. I set my camera to Program  AE mode, and then adjusted the exposure compensation to between -3 and -2. The ISO was 200. Although I took picture at night, I did not use flash. The moon was glowing brightly. I had to reduce the brightly by applying different values of exposure compensation every time I shot the moon. Well, it was a trial and error photography. If the subject that I shot was a paradise bird, he could have flown away seconds after I took my first picture.

Fortunately, the subject was the moon. So, I had plenty of time to adjust the settings of my digital camera. Actually, my photographic device was not an ideal tool to shoot the moon. I did not use tripod either. I used my light tripod to mount my spotting scope for moongazing. There was a car near me, so I leaned on the body of the car with to stabilize the camera. I had to aimed it to an elevation of about 75 degrees. It was guide difficult actually to shoot the moon. So, I held my breath for a few seconds when I pressed the shutter button. 
some youth and children in Manokwari city were watching the full moon
Some youth and children were waiting in line to watch the moon (inset) through a spotting scope

Honestly, the pictures of the fullmoon above were edited in photodirector where I sharpened, darkened and created more contrast to them. After finishing the photo-editing  works, I shared them in facebook and my whatsapp status.

I feel so happy now. I don't need to write lengthy article about it at the moment. I just want to show you how beautiful the full moon is. I hope that you like the pictures. 😊

Sound of Waves

It has been full moon since last night. This afternoon, I am at the beach enjoying the scenery of the sea. The waves are bigger than usual. 

They are generated by the gravity of the moon. When full moon comes, the high and low tides differences are bigger. Although the waves are big, I enjoy the scenery and the sound of waves landing on the beach. It is good to be closer to nature.

Waves play important role in coastal environment. They clean coral reef from dirt and wastes. Broken corals that are washed to the beach are ground or broken to fine sand by the waves. 

Today, experts in renewable energy harness wave energy to generate electricity. 

Waves also attract surfers. Who enjoy wave surfing which is a kind of tourism activity and a sport.

Meditation with Waves

I like doing meditation with waves. Because sea tides are influenced by the moon and wind which are cool, they carry the energy of the moon or "Yin energy." I stand at the water edge waiting for a wave to land on the sand. When it lands and hits my feet, I will take deep breath absorbing the Yin. When the sea water retreats to the sea, I release my breath again. Meditating with waves makes me feel more relaxed. I am able to control my emotion well. 

Wave Season

In the region where I live, wave season starts in late November and finishes in March or maybe a little bit later. It curbs the activity of fishermen at sea. So, actually wave season allows marine environment to recover and rejuvenate itself. Waves often bring jellyfish closer to the beach significantly reducing activity of human in coral reef. However, waves that are too big can cause damages to coral reef. Waves can also uproot sargassum sea algae and wash then ashore. In other words, waves control the population of the sea algae so that it will not become the dominant sea vegetation in certain sea area. 

As we understand more about the roles of sea waves in our environment, we will give more appreciation to their roaring sounds while we stand at the beach admiring their power. 

This is written by Charles Roring

Friday, March 26, 2021

Mandi Bulan

Mandi Bulan atau Moonbathing bisa diartikan sebagai aktivitas "berjemur di cahaya bulan." Cahaya bulan sendiri sebenarnya adalah pantulan dari cahaya matahari. Ada istilah sunbathing atau mandi matahari yang artinya berjemur di sinar matahari. Nah, moonbathing berarti mandi bulan. Tapi cahaya bulan tidak berbahaya bagi mata sehingga bisa dilihat secara langsung. 

foto bulan sehari sebelum purnama
Hampir Purnama

Cahaya bulan yang lembut ini dapat memberikan suasana sejuk dan damai di hati orang yang menatapnya.  Orang yang menikmati mandi cahaya bulan bisa merasakan dirinya terhubung langsung dengan alam semesta. Mandi bulan bisa membantu mengurangi stress atau ketegangan pikiran yang dihadapi di tempat kerja atau selama menghadapi berbagai persoalan hidup yang dialami sehari-hari.

Meskipun dari jauh ukuran bulan nampak kecil, bulan memainkan peranan penting dalam kehidupan manusia. Pasang naik dan surut air laut ditentukan oleh posisi bulan terhadap bumi. 

Di kampung-kampung nelayan pesisir yang terletak di laguna atau teluk sempit, ketika air pasang tiba, ikan-ikan besar dan kecil akan bergerak masuk ke dalam teluk. Mereka akan menunggu sampai air pasang tersebut sudah maksimal. Setelah itu, mereka akan menebar jaring. Ketika air surut, ikan besar akan terperangkap di jaring sedangkan ikan kecil bisa lolos menembus lubang jaring yang sengaja dipilih berukuran besar oleh nelayan. Ini adalah cara menangkap ikan yang murah meriah karena nelayan tidak perlu mengeluarkan biaya bahan bakar untuk perahu motor mereka buat pergi ke laut.

Perahu atau kapal-kapal tradisional yang berlayar, navigasi mereka di lautan sangat terbantu oleh keberadaan cahaya, karena mereka bisa melihat daratan.

Dalam kebudayaan suku-suku di nusantara ada yang menggelar upacara atau pergelaran tari saat bulan purnama tiba. Ada tarian ucapan syukur kepada Sang Pencipta karena telah memberikan hasil panen yang berlimpah, ada juga tarian bagi muda-mudi yang sedang mencari pasangan dan lain-lain.

Para petani gula aren pasti tahu bahwa ketika bulan purnama tiba, nira yang bisa mereka peroleh lebih banyak dari pada hari-hari biasanya. Agar nira memiliki rasa manis, maka tempat untuk menampung nira tersebut (biasanya bambu atau jerigen plastik) perlu dicuci bersih supaya tidak ada sisa-sisa ragi yang dapat mengakibatkan fermentasi. 

Nira itu kemudian dimasak menggunakan peralatan yang sederhana untuk membuat gula aren atau gula merah. Nira yang manis tersebut, di kalangan suku tertentu di nusantara, diminum oleh para ibu yang sedang menyusui bayi dengan maksud untuk meningkatkan jumlah Air Susu Ibu (ASI). 

Karena hampir 60% tubuh manusia mengandung air maka tentunya ketika kita melakukan mandi bulan atau beraktivitas di bawah cahaya bulan purnama, maka tubuh kita akan terpengaruh oleh gravitasi dan cahaya bulan tersebut. Seberapa besar pengaruhnya pada diri kita, tentunya hal ini memerlukan penelitian ilmiah yang lebih mendalam.  

Dalam filosofi timur, bulan dipercaya sebagai bagian dari energi Yin. Orang yang kelebihan energi Yang biasanya merasa badannya panas, emosi tidak tenang. Ia perlu menyeimbangkan energi di dalam tubuh. Oleh karena itu, mandi bulan dipandang sebagai salah satu cara untuk menyerap energi Yin yang bermanfaat bagi dirinya baik secara fisik, emosional dan spiritual. Pendapat ini tentu masih bisa diperdebatkan. 

Yang jelas adalah, ketika kita memandang bulan, kita akan merasakan kekaguman tersendiri pada ciptaan Tuhan yang bercahaya lembut di malam hari tersebut. Cahaya yang tidak merusak mata, cahaya yang dapat membuat perasaan atau hati kita menjadi teduh. Oleh Charles Roring

Impermanence - Konsep Ketidakabadian

Di dunia ini, tidak ada sesuatu apapun yang abadi, termasuk Anda dan saya. Segala upaya untuk mempertahankan apa yang tidak abadi agar tetap ada hanyalah sia-sia dan mengakibatkan penderitaan. Ini adalah konsep dasar dari impermanence

Filosofi ini menyadarkan kita bahwa sewaktu-waktu, kita yang ada atau yang hidup ini bisa menjadi tiada. Oleh karena itu setiap hari yang kita lalui harus kita hadapi dengan sepenuh hati. Contohnya saat kita bekerja untuk mencari nafkah bagi keluarga, kita perlu melakukannya dengan sungguh, memberi pelayanan kepada pelanggan (customer) sebaik mungkin. Konsep hidup seperti ini bisa dibaca dalam berbagai buku yang membahas tentang zen. Saya tidak akan menuliskannya secara panjang lebar di tulisan ini.

filosofi agama buddha tentang impermanens
Impermanence - Sebuah Konsep Ketidakabadian di Alam Semesta

Meskipun filosofi impermanens menyatakan bahwa tidak ada sesuatu apapun yang abadi di dunia ini (termasuk lingkungan hidup dengan segala kekayaan keanekaragaman hayatinya), bukan berarti ini merupakan pembenaran kita boleh mengeksploitasi apa saja, merusak atau menghancurkan alam, demi memperkaya diri kita secara materi. Ini namanya serakah, rakus, egois.

Segala sesuatu di dunia ini saling terkait satu sama lainnya. Contohnya: Matahari bersinar, sinar itu sampai ke permukaan bumi, sinar itu memberi kehidupan bagi tumbuhan, hewan dan manusia. Tumbuhan melakukan foto sintesis dengan memanfaatkan sinar matahari dan melepaskan oksigen ke udara. Kita semua memerlukan oksigen untuk hidup. Pada saat yang sama, sinar matahari terpancar juga ke bulan yang selanjutnya memantulkan cahayanya ke bumi. Cahaya bulan itu dimanfaatkan manusia ketika sedang berjalan di malam hari. Bulan sering menjadi acuan dalam berlayar, atau dalam berbagai penanggalan manusia. Cahaya bulan yang lembut memberikan ketenangan hati pada manusia yang sedang dirundung banyak persoalan hidup. Memandang cahaya bulan dapat membuat orang yang kesulitan tidur, akhirnya bisa tidur nyenyak. Bulan purnama menjadi tanda air pasang yang tinggi di lautan. 

Karena segala sesuatu di bumi ini saling terkait maka kita perlu menjaga keseimbangannya. Manusia dengan segala pengetahuan dan teknologi yang dimilikinya bisa memanfaatkan hewan dan tumbuhan serta material di alam untuk memenuhi kebutuhannya. Kemampuan iptek dan kekuatan yang dimiliki haruslah bersamaan dengan tanggung jawab yang dimilikinya untuk menjaga keharmonisan hubungannya dengan alam semesta. Eksploitasi sumber daya alam yang berlebihan tanpa adanya tanggung jawab untuk melestarikan lingkungan hidup akan mengakibatkan kerusakan lingkungan serta bencana alam.

Oleh karena itu, konsep impermanence yang kita pahami di atas tetap menjadi landasan berpikir kita untuk tetap mempertahankan keharmonisan hubungan kita dengan alam semesta tempat kita berada. Oleh Charles Roring🙏


Snorkeling Season in Manokwari

We are going to enter the month of April. The waters around Manokwari and the adjacent regencies are calm. It means that we can now enjoy snorkeling over coral reef areas. Manokwari has got a number of coral reef sites that are good for snorkelers. Some of them include Sra Oseri Beach, Bakaro Beach, Abasi Beach, and Raimuti island, Kaki Island, Mansinam Island, Lemon Island, and etc. 

Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
a snorkeling site in Manokwari

To enjoy snorkeling, we need to bring our own snorkeling mask, snorkel, and fins. Morning is the recommended time for anybody who likes snorkeling. But it is also nice to enjoy snorkeling between 16:00 and 17:30. The water is calm and the sunlight can penetrate deeper. A good visibility will enhance our snorkeling experience. We can see colourful fish and marine plants and take pictures of them. 

Remote snorkeling sites in Manokwari can be reached by motorized boat. So, we need to rent an outrigger motorized boat if we want to enjoy snorkeling in Anggrisi beach, Kaki island or even the Asai beach.

Manokwari is a very good destination for anyone who likes snorkeling and birdwatching. Its coral reef is the natural habitat of parrotfish, wrasse, butterflyfish, lionfish, anemonefish, and etc. 

When we walk along the beach, we can see Lesser Frigate Bird or Priamus Birdwing Butterfly flying in the air. Sometimes, Olive-backed Sunbird hops among the coconut flowers to eat their nectar or Sacred Kingfisher sits on the branch of a tree with its eyes on the surface of the water to find small fish that he can catch. 

A beach is also a nice place for visitors who like to enjoy walking meditation. 

Marine life in Mansinam island
Coral reef in Manokwari

The snorkeling tour in Manokwari can be combined with hiking, camping, and wildlife watching activities in tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains. Birds such as Blyth's Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Helmetted Friarbird, Rainbow Lorikeet, Spangled Drongo, Grey Crow, Black-capped Lory, Red Myzomela, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Lowland Peltop, can be watched in coastal forest.

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguaktinforest of Manokwari
Lesser Birds of Paradise

Most people who do this trip want to see birds of paradise. Visitors need to wear darker clothing and bring binoculars of they want to watch these beautiful avifauna. Bringing a digital camera with telephoto lens will also visitors to take pictures of the birds, butterflies, cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard, and as well as other interesting things in the forest. For watching cuscus and bandicoot, night walk in the forest can be organized for that purpose.

Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus) in the forest of Manokwari
Blyth's Hornbill

As the capital of Papua Barat province, Manokwari has got hotels and inns which visitors can choose to stay during their snorkeling tour or after returning from their camping trip in the forest. Some of them include Swissbel hotel, Mansinam Beach Hotel, Hotel Fujita, Hotel Triton, Aston Niu, and a lot more. 

Flights from major cities to Manokwari are served by Batik Air, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air. Flight connections to the surrounding towns are served by Susi Air and Wings Air.

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour and rainforest trip to Manokwari and needs a guide to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:

Snorkeling and Freediving at Drop off Reef of Mansinam Island

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Walking Meditation

Is it possible to do meditation while walking? Yes, it is. I regularly do it several times a week around a track and field some 250 meters from my house. It is a beautiful place for doing walking meditation because it is located near rainforest that constantly supplies fresh air to anyone living near it. I walk from around 15:00 to 16:00. People begin arriving at the field at 15:45. So, there are fewer people in the track and field during the time. When I do walking meditation, I contemplate about my life, what plan to do or what mistakes I have done. All these things are reviewed during the walking meditation. While I meditate about my personal life, I stay connected with my surrounding environment. 

riverwalk tour in Manokwari
Walking Along the Sides of a River

I guide tourists to various places in West Papua. Sometimes, when I travel to the mountains, to the islands or coastal areas, I can have time to do the walking meditation. In this environment, I feel very close to nature. My favorite place for doing walking meditation is along the sides of a river or a long a beach. I can hear the sounds of birds, and water that flows in the river. 

Tourists whom I guide like this riverwalk tour very much. There are various kinds of flower plants that we can see during the trip. Insects such as dragonfly, butterflies, beetles, cicadas, water insects also present in the river environment. 

riverwalk tour in Tambrauw mountains with American and European tourists
Riverwalk Tour in West Papua

The benefits of walking meditation are not only on creating healthy body, a feeling of relax in my mind buy also helping me to generate new ideas for articles that I will write in this blog. 

Also read:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Moonwatching

I have been doing moonwatching for two consecutive nights now. I use a pair of binoculars and a spotting scope that I installed on a tripod. Actually I do this as part of my moonbathing activity. When people pass by, they can watch the moon through the scope. 

children were enjoying moon watching
Moon Watching in Manokwari

Children and adults who never watch the moon through a spotting scope were surprised to see the detailed terrains and numerous craters on the moon. Moon  constantly moving from east to west so I have to adjust my spotting scope to follow its trajectory.

In yin & yang philosophy, moon is considered as yin. Its light can make us feel calm and relaxed. 

I work as a tourist guide. I often accompany visitors on a camping and wildlife watching tour in the forest of West Papua. We spend a few nights in the forest to watch paradise birds, butterflies and other insects as well as other wild animals that we may encounter while walking through the big and small trees of the forest. 

cuscus possum in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Cuscus Possum in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

We also do night walk to find cuscus possum, and forest dragon lizard. When there is a full moon in the sky, it is quite difficult to find the cuscus possum. Our chance to see cuscus possum is much higher when there is no moon in the sky. 

I also heard that if fishermen catch crab in tidal mangrove forest during the full moon, the crabs will not have a lot of meat. Well, this is something debatable.

Sunbathing on Track and Field

I do walking exercise several times a week. There is a football field around 250 meters from my house. It is located behind an army base. This track and field is near rainforest providing a calm environment for anyone who wants to enjoy exercise and see the green scenery of the surrounding. 

I start my walking exercise in the afternoon at 15:00. It is usually sunny. The temperature is hot even for people who live in this tropical environment. For me, I like doing walking exercise from 15:00 to 16:00 because there are fewer people in the track and field. I could enjoy walking, sunbathing and breathing fresh air that is produced by the nearby rainforest.

Sunbathing while doing exercise is actually good for our health. Our body releases sweat that protects our skin from harmful light. So, I don't apply sunblock lotion while doing walking exercise. 

Because the football field is close to rainforest, we often can see butterflies flying across the field or hear the calls of birds.

football field in Manokwari
Track and Field near rainforest

Every time I go there to do my walking exercise, I see other people who also do athletics. Athletes and ordinary people are mixed in the field. They play football, volleyball, long jump. Most of them like jogging. Local athletes do their exercises in this field as their preparation for their participation in national and international sports competition. 

local people and athletes exercise in track and field of Manokwari city in Indonesia
People were enjoying sports

The football field and its surrounding track belongs to the army but they provide them for the public to use. There is a shooting field next to the track and field. The shooting field has got a hall with high concrete walls protect the shooting area from outsiders. Sometimes soldiers do their shooting exercise there. We can hear the loud explosions of assault rifles and pistols during the exercise.  It is safe for people to do their athletic exercises while the soldiers do their shooting exercises.

Most people who like sunbathing usually do it at the beach. The beach environment provides a relaxed atmosphere for them.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Moonbathing

I went out of my house last night. I did not go far. I only stood at the frontyard. There was half moon in the black sky decorated with thousands of visible stars. I looked up to the moon. With my eyes staring at the moon, I took deep breath several times understanding in my mind that I was absorbing the light energy of the moon - the yin energy. 

showering in the light of moon
Near full moon

I tried to take pictures of the moon using my cell phone but the result was not good enough. I went into my house again to get my pocket camera, it is a Nikon AW130. I used it to take some pictures of the moon. Still the result was not sharp enough. Well, I should use better camera later. 

Because my main intention was to enjoy moonbathing, I decided to do it by standing towards the moon for a few minutes to be more exposed to its light.

Earlier than that, during the day, I showered in the rain. This time at night, I was moon-bathing. This may sound weird but in Chinese philosophy having a balanced yin & yang energy in our body is important for our health. Well, that's what I have done in the last few days since Sunday. 

Going to the beach to enjoy the scenery of the sea, and its waves while doing meditation on the white sand, walking around the football field under bright sunlight, getting drenched under heavy rain and moonbathing is my way of getting exposed to a balanced yin and yang energy.

The result? 

Well, I can sleep early and well at night. I could not do it for years. I always fell asleep late at around 04.30 morning. 

Tonight, moon will be bigger. I hope I can stay longer to absorb its moonlight energy. Most people do sunbathing but do they also do moon bathing? This is something, you may consider doing in order to balance your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You could try if you are interested. 

Moon and Environment

Moon plays important role in our environment. For example, the sea tides are influenced by the gravity of the moon. When I was a university student tens of years ago, I saw how villagers caught fish by taking advantage of high and low tide. There was a small bay at the coastal area of their village. When the tide was high, they let the fish entered the bay. They know the time when the tide would go down again. So, during the peak time of the tide, they deployed net to close the bay. The net has big holes to let small fish to pass through. When the tide was receding, big fish swam to deeper water but later they were trapped in the net. With this technique, the villagers did not have to go to the open sea to catch big fish. It was an environmentaly friendly way to catch fish. They let small fish return to the sea. 

My father is a farmer. When I was a kid, he collected the sap of aren tree that is consumed by us as traditional drinks. Thr sweet sap of aren palm tree can be 'cooked' to make palm sugar. So, when there is high tide, the level of water in land is also higher and it allows plants to absorb more water. So, during full moon period, my father can collect more palm sap. To make sweet palm sap, we need to wash the container that we use to collect the palm sap so it does not contain natural yeast. If not the palm sap will not be sweet. Mothers drink sweet palm sap which we call saguer to increase their milk for breastfeeding their babies. These are simple examples of how moon play important contribution to environment and human life. 

Also read: Moonwatching


Showering in the Rain

This afternoon I walked out of my house to enjoy showering in the rain. The water that fell from the sky landed on my head and body. But I did not go out directly when it started to rain. I waited for around 15 minutes for the rain to clean the atmosphere from smog, and tiny toxic particles that were flying in the air. When all the airborn particles had been taken down by the rainwater, I went out to enjoy bathing in the rain. 

It is not something that I enjoy doing every time the rain comes. I did it some times when I was a kid. Showering in the rain is a nice experience. I cannot explain the health benefits of rain water to my body. One thing that I know is that when I enjoy showering in the rain, I do something different from my daily routine. I don't do it every day. 

It is one of the many ways to relieve stress. Doing recreational activities such as going to the beach, trekking in the mountains or enjoy swimming in a lake are ways to relieve stress. But showering in the rain is one of the cheapest ways to do it. 

How rain is formed

Rain actually is the precipitation of atmospheric water. During the day, light from the sun hit the surface of the sea, lakes, ponds, plants and everything on Earth that has water. The energy from the sun turn the water into gas. Water evaporates. Because water vapor is gas, it is light. It goes up to the sky or atmosphere. 

As it goes higher, it reaches an elevation where the temperature is low. There the vapor turns into tiny water droplets. This process is called condensation. The tiny droplets gather to form clouds. From time to time they become heavy and cannot stay any longer in the sky. 

Pulled by the gravity of the Earth, the water droplets later fall again to the earth in the form of rain, drizzle, snow or hail. 

Rain water is very important for our environment. It resupply water to plants and animals both in the forest, in the lakes and rivers, in the farmlands. Rainwater cleans rivers. It cleans our atmosphere by taking down dust, smog, and any dirt from the atmosphere creating cleaner air that is vital for any living things. Cleaner air is needed by airplanes to travel to any directions, it also ensure better communication. Usually after heavy rain in a big city, the air is cleaner again. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Working in Outdoor Environment

I work as a tourist guide escorting or accompanying visitors in outdoor environment. Most of my activities are related to hiking in the forest for wildlife watching, birdwatching; or swimming and snorkeling over coral reef to see colorful tropical marine plants and animals in the sea. 

birdwatching in the forest
I was watching birds with some British tourists

My job is fun. I can see beautiful tropical birds, flowers, butterflies, and breathe fresh air. Walking in outdoor environment, I consider it as a physical exercise and that at the same time as a way to refresh my mind and emotional well being. 

Living in the city, we are often trapped in uncomfortable environment such as traffic jam, noisy sounds of machine tools from construction sites, cars, and engines in factories. We are also exposed to air pollution. 

Going to natural places such as to the beach, to the mountains, lakes and forest is one of the ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

But sometimes it turns out to be a challenging profession if the terrains are more difficult or the weather is bad. For instance, if I guide tourists inside the lowland and montane forest, I and my guests have to deal with a lot of mosquitoes, and other tiny insects that like to bite our skins. Applying anti insect lotion may be a good solution.

I always try to see things from several different perspectives. For instance, if I experience bad weather in the forest, I don't complain. Heavy rain may not be good for me and my clients who are doing birdwatching along the edge of a forest. But it is the nature's way to water plants and provide water to animals and human being. Rain takes down all dust, and every tiny and toxic particles from our atmosphere. Rain cleans the air. With the clear weather, airplanes can travel safely again to their destinations.

My job as a tourist guide in outdoor environment, allows me to understand nature and give more appreciation to its unique functions in our life. This is written by Charles Roring.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Sounds of Nature

When we go to the beach, we can hear the sounds of waves, and feel the breeze on our skin, hair and ears. The wind that passes through trees can push branches and leaves to move and generate sounds. 

The sounds of nature can also be heard when we are in the forest. The water stream that flows through the stones can generate sounds. In the mornings and in the afternoons, birds play and sing. 

These sounds of nature are not melodic like man made music that uses modern electronic keyboard, and electric guitar but they can remind us about the importance of connecting our spiritual and physical body with nature.

The sounds of nature such as the eruption of a volcano, the  crashing thunder can be scary too but they teach us about how powerful our nature can be. 

We may feel refreshed in our mind and body when we go to the beach, the forest or other natural places. People who do meditation can get inner peace if they sometimes do it in open nature. So, the beauty of nature can be considered as medicine for our spiritual well being.

In the above video, we can see waves from the sea that reach the beach. These waves are generated by wind and sea tide. Wind itself is caused by the differences in air pressure. These differences are caused by differences in temperature. And most of the temperatures on the surface of the sea are influenced by the sun. 

The sea tide itself is not independent. It is influenced by the gravity of moon. 

So, everything in this universe is inter-connected. Understanding and appreciating this interconnection of the universe will allow us to have more balanced life. Having a balanced life is good for our health. In eastern or Chinese philosophy, there is a term called yin and yang. Well, I may discuss more about it in my later post. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Digital Art of Paradise Birds

When I guide visitors to rainforests of West Papua to watch birds of paradise, I take some pictures of those avaifaunas. Later they become important references for my digital art works. I can draw manually using conventional media, colored pencils on paper and digitally using vector illustration software or digital drawing apps. Some of them can be seen below:

Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) created in Autodesk Sketchbook
Digital Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise

The above male Red Bird of Paradise lives in tropical rainforest of Waigeo island. It has become a very important target of observation for birding visitors who travel to Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia.

Vector drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Vector Drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Another important target of observation among birdwatching visitors is Lesser Birds of Paradise. This bird species lives in tropical forest of New Guinea (the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat as well as the independent state of PNG). Lesser Birds of Paradise live in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea. Unfortunately, because of their beautiful feather, they are often hunted by local people.

I create digital artworks of these birds to raise awareness of all nature lovers about the importance of protecting these wild animals especially the paradise birds. Their natural habitat is tropical rainforest. They don't belong to cages in the houses of wealthy people. Birds are guardians of rainforest. They eat fruits and disperse seeds to all corners of the forest. They eat insects to help control the population of the insects whose larvae eat leaves or wood of trees.

In West Papua, there are a number of rainforest areas where tourists can visit to watch birds of paradise and other tropical birds. Some of them include Wondama regency, Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, Mount Soyti in Arfak range, Tambrauw mountains, Klasow valley and Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. 

Wondama regency is located in Cendrawasih Bay, it has got a lot of islands. Visitors can enjoy birding in the forests of mainland as well as in the islands. Because there are coral reef with abundant fish, visitors can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling. For wildlife watching gear, tourists usually bring binoculars; camera; laser pointer; and spotting scopes. 

In addition to drawing birds, I also draw fish, flowers, butterflies, human figure and any interesting subjects that I see in nature. All these digital art drawings can be seen in my redbubble artshop at this link: Nature Art Shop. The manual paintings and digital drawings can be printed on mugs, t-shirts, mugs, stickers, tote bags, spiral notebooks and etc. They are offered in affordable prices and can be bought through the online shop. 


Monday, March 1, 2021

Rainforest in West Papua as Tourist Attractions

Tropical rain forest in West Papua is a very rich environment. It is the natural habitat of thousands of species of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles as well as plants. It attracts the attention of tourists, nature lovers, students, and researchers to visit it and see its wealth of plants and animals. Rainforest has now become an interesting tourist attractions. 

Mangrove forest in Wondama regency
Mangrove forest in Wondama regency

The kind of tourism that I mean here is an alternative tourism. It is not a mass tourism. For instance, based on my experience, the average number of visitors per group is between 2 and 8. They travel from Europe, North America, Australia, India, China to watch birds, mammals, reptiles; and see unique plants in the forest. There are other tourists who are interested in insects or only butterflies.

tropical rainforest in Wondama regency of West Papua
Lower Montane Forest in Wondama regency

There are also tourists who want to see types of rainforest based on their elevations measured from sea level such as Mangrove forest and lowland forest, to lower montane and higher montane or cloud forest. 

There are a few destinations in West Papua province of Indonesia which have such ecosystems. One of them is Wondama regency. It has got almost complete rainforest ecosystems. The regency has got islands, coastal area, hills, and mountains that are covered by pristine rainforest. 

The regency of Wondama has got a lot of islands that are covered by rainforest. They can also be visited by tourists. Coral reef in the waters of these islands are the natural habitat of various species of marine animals and plants. After exploring the wealth of biodiversity of the islands, visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling to see the marine life in coral reef of Wondama. Coral reef is sometimes called by people as the rainforest of the ocean. And we need to preserve it too.

Tropical rainforest of West Papua is unique because it is the natural habitat of various species of marsupial animals. Some of them include cuscus possum, bandicoot, and wallaby. Most of them are nocturnal animals and can be seen when we do night walk in the jungle.

If you are interested in taking a tour to rainforest to see its plants and animals, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to +6281332245180.

Natural Attractions in West Papua

West Papua is a very important destination for anyone who is interested in everything about coral reef and rainforest. Every year, before th...