Indonesia: Seloliman Nature Reserve; East Java

After breakfast at Minggu, we left our cabins to begin a two and a half hour walk around the Nature Reserve guided by the head guy. I was more than happy to have extra time in this delightful area, time to photograph more of the plants. As I don’t live in the tropics, many of the plants and their flowers were new to me… all rather exotic. Any help with the identity of those marked as ‘unknown’ is welcome?


A sleepy volcano created a wonderful backdrop to the resort.


Some of the plants were quite common in the gardens that we visited, like this one, the Peacock Flower, (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)… here in close up, a single flower.


Also in close up, in all its crinkly beauty, is the previously seen Crepe or Malay Ginger (Costus speciosus) with its ballerina like tutu petals.


This dragonfly was flirting around a small ornamental pond.  Thankfully, it settled long enough for this photo. What a beauty it is!


Perhaps, the dragonfly wanted to take a longer look at this waterlily, as did I.


Bleeding Heart (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) comes from Central Western Africa but is grown in many parts of the tropics.


Droplets of water clinging to a waxy leaf.


Unknown. Just one of the many that I hadn’t seen before.


A well camouflaged caterpillar eating its way through the leaves of its food plant. It was close to 10 cm. (4 ins.) in length.


An unknown member of the ginger family.


A whorl of spiralled leaves.


More raindrops on a waxy leaf.


This leaf has delightful symmetry and texture.  However, some chewing insect decided to upset the balance.


A large, female spider sits on her silky web while her diminutive suitors look over her larder.  They, no doubt, had other things on their mind, but we know what happens then!


Unknown… but superb don’t you think?.


Another unknown but delightful flower.


The deeply fringed petals of this (Hibiscus schizopetalus) lead to its name.  The species name translates to “cut petals”.  It originates in tropical eastern Africa.


The trellis supports a vine producing very large passion fruit.


Unknown to me… but it must have a common name referring to a leopard!


And yet another plant unknown to me.


A St Joseph’s spider showing its knobbly yellow ‘knees’.


I don’t think this spider bites but it looks as though it would at the first opportunity.


At the conclusion of the tour around the grounds of the resort, we crossed a road and headed off along some paddy bunds to a nearby village… but more of that anon.


All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

More of our travel photos are on









Bhutan # 6 Wandering in North Punakha Valley

Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which we visited in Bhutan musings #5,  dominates the upper Punakha Valley and commands views south along the Mo Chhu and north towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.


P1000409  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000409 © DY of jtdytravels

The view down the winding Mo Chhu towards our hotel and Punakha village was truly stunning.  The road snakes its way at the foot of the hills on the other side of the river.  Rice farms use every possible piece of land between river and hills. Conservation of the forests is high on the Bhutanese Government’s agenda. But it’s a balancing act with a growing population meaning more people to feed and so more land needing to to be cleared for farms.  It’s a problem in most countries worldwide.


P1000409  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000409 © DY of jtdytravels

The view north, upriver towards Gasa and the higher mountains of the Tibetan border is equally pleasing. When I was here in 2003, we walked down from those mountains to this river before a small bus picked us up for the final bit of road into Punakha.  Looking at this view brought memories of that trek flooding back to me.


P1000412  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000412 © DY of jtdytravels

As we began to wend our way back down the slope, we looked down on an amazingly intricate patchwork of rice terraces.


P1000413  ©  DY of  jtdytravels

P1000413 © DY of jtdytravels

These terraces seemed to just tumble down the mountainside.  Some harvested, some are ripe for harvest, and others , on the upper slopes, still green.  Careful planning is obviously needed to balance the work load and the harvest timing. Both white and red rice are grown in this valley.


P1000389  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000389 © DY of jtdytravels

 This time, as we walked down the path, we were able to look down onto the terraces below us.  The family we had seen earlier were still hard at work threshing their rice. While we wandered, they worked.  Thought provoking!


P1000390  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000390 © DY of jtdytravels

Toddlers at play whilst their parents work.  No creche here.


P1000424  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000424 © DY of jtdytravels

Hibiscus trionum, a weed in these crops, shows just how temperate the climate is here.


P1000425  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000425 © DY of jtdytravels

There must be very few countries in the world where the ubiquitous but rather beautiful Morning Glory doesn’t grow.


P1000431  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000431 © DY of jtdytravels

A well camouflaged dragonfly with delicate gauzy wings.


P1000434  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000434 © DY of jtdytravels

Just the very top of Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Temple showed on top of the ridge as we made our way back down through the rice fields.


P1000442  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000442 © DY of jtdytravels

Looking the other way, the view was one of rugged mountain peaks.  Clouds began to roll in. Was this to be the end of our good weather?  Hopefully not. We still had so much to enjoy in this valley.


P1000436  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000436 © DY of jtdytravels

It pays to look down as well as up, even when surrounded by magnificent mountains.

Back down near a fast flowing small stream, I found this insect, maybe a water nymph…

his shadow, a perfect replica in the mid-day sunshine.


P1000446  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000446 © DY of jtdytravels

Nearby was a rather attractive butterfly.


P1000447  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000447 © DY of jtdytravels

A quiet eddy by the side of the river.


P1000449  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000449 © DY of jtdytravels

After a pleasant wander, we were back to that flag bedecked bridge across the Mo Chhu.

‘Twas time to return to our delightful hotel for lunch –

 and it was a well earned lunch!

More anon.


All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of  jtdytravels

Our other travel sites are:


Fiji # 8 : “Garden of the Sleeping Giant” Part 2

I left you wandering in the beautiful orchid gardens of the sleeping giant just off the road between Nadi and Lautoka. But there is much more to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant than just orchids – much more. It’s a tranquil place to walk on a hot day. Unfortunately we did not see it all, partly because of time constraints – we had to get back to the ship for our next island hopping adventure – and partly because cyclone Evan had badly damaged the forest. Much of it was closed to the public for the time being. I’m sure it will be open again soon for those who wish to walk through the forest to the top of the hill for the fine views that I am promised are there.


P1130932  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

The path we were able to walk was a board walk that led us down into a shady gully

where part of the jungle-like undergrowth had been cleared

to make a welcoming grassy patch.



P1050232  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Small gardens of  tropical ground cover plants edge some of the ‘lawn’ area.

This part of the gardens is sometimes used for weddings.

A wedding ‘chapel’ is on the hill above here.



P1050242  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

In the forest, some of the older trees were just magnificent,

held into the ground with formidable roots.



P1130927  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

At the base of the gully is a lush lily pond.



P1130929  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

And where there’s a lily pond, there are usually lilies!


P1130929 - Version 2

P1130929   ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

I love the structure of a lily.  One of nature’s beautiful sculptures.



P1050228  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Several beautiful red dragonflies made use of the lily leaf water pools.

Their gauzy wings are another delight of nature.



P1130939  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Water iris are another delight found beside this pool.



P1130936  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Nearby, there were tropical gingers in abundance.

I’ll leave you to enjoy them as we did.



P1130925  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels



P1050235  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels



P1130931  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels



Thunbergia battiscombia  P1050223  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels



Thunbergia grandiflora  P1050245  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels



P1130946  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels



P1130943  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Too soon it was time to wend our way back up the board walk towards the entrance.



P1130942  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels

On the way there was time to look back at the hills – and enjoy more orchids.



P1130960  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels



P1130955  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels



P1130979  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Close to the entrance to the gardens is a delightful shaded ‘fern house’.



P1050249  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Palms.  Again, one of nature’s masterpieces of sculpture.



P1130968  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

A small water ‘rill’ had been diverted through the fern house.

The sound of gently running water gave authenticity to the fern forest feeling.



P1130971  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

In this area, dashes of red and gold lifted the predominant greens.



P1130969  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Shape and texture were also there to be enjoyed –

 if you took more than a cursory look.



P1130866  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Just outside the fern house, a few bananas were in flower.

Aren’t they superb?  Well worth a close look.


P1130975  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

The entrance area is furnished with inviting, comfortable cane lounges.

Welcomed back with a cool drink, this is the place to rest awhile.



P1130858  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

Taxis arrived, and it was time to leave this delightful garden.



P1130982  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

It was time to drive back to Lautoka.

We were about to embark on another island hopping adventure.



P1140049  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

With some new passengers on board , we set sail for the Mamanuca Islands.

Arriving at a small coral cay,  we stopped to enjoy the late afternoon.

An hour of snorkelling was a great way to end  the day.



P1140056  ©  JT of jtdytravels

On the horizon, though, clouds began to gather.

This is the tropics and afternoon storms are very frequent – and to be expected.


Now join us as we sail through the warm tropical waters.

Ahead of us, an interesting three days as we explore the small archipelago of the Mamanuca Islands.



P1140049  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

With the Fijian flag flying in the breeze,

we are on board Captain Cook Fiji’s exploration ship, the MV ‘Reef Endeavour’.

Why not join her sometime for your own Fiji adventure!

Jennie and David

All photography ©  JT and DY of jtdytravels