Head in the Clouds (Lahad Datu to KK)

14 May 2019, Lahad Datu, Sabah, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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These are images from two flights, from Ladah Datu to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur. They are all monochrome conversions of infrared images.

When leaving on the plane from Lahad Datu I was instructed by a stewardess that I was not allowed to take photographs out the window during takeoff because the camera is an electronic device. That has never happened to me previously and astonished me as the camera is hardly going to be sending out wifi signals. Consequently, most of these images are of clouds.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

Not long before, we took off from Lahad Datu in Eastern Sabah.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

We are flying over Sabah.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

Rivers and mainly cleared land below here.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

The clouds could be quite majestic though.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

This is near Kota Kinabalu.  We have landed and taken off again.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

I was able to photograph clouds over the South China Sea for a while until the visibility closed right in.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

Now we are over mainland Malaysia.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

A small sea-front village.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

Workers’ cottages, probably, beside the ubiquitous palm oil plantations.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness

Palm Oil plantations.

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

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Aerial Photography, Black and White, Clouds, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Wilderness .

This was the last post of our trip to Sabah.  You can see links to all the other posts in the Sabah Itinerary post.

Next, a return to the last few days in Havana in the Caribbean trip.

Sabah Monochromes

3-14 May 2019, Sabah, Malaysia

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Street markets, Kota Kinabalu.

from KK Markets (Kota Kinabalu).

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fish markets, Kota Kinabalu.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fishing boat, Kota Kinabalu.

from KK Fishing Boats (Kota Kinabalu).

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Egret, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site.

from Egrets – I’ve had a few….

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Orchid, Mt Kinabalu Botanical Garden.

from Mount Kinabalu.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Common Tree Nymphs, Butterf;y Farm, Poring Hot Springs.

from Poring Hot Springs and Sabah Tea Plantation.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sunset, Sabah Tea Plantation.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Scarlet-backed flowerpecker.

from Sepilok Day 1 – Giant Flying Squirrels.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified Butterfly.

from Sepilok Day 2 – Sun Bears and Orang Utans.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sun Bear, Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Native bees and hive, on the trunk of a tree.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Orangutan, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sepilok.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Wild orangutan, Sepilok.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Orangutans in nest high in trees, Sepilok.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife
Plantain squirrel, Sepilok.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Western Tarsier, Sepilok.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife
Pig-tailed macaques, Kinabatangan River.

from Kinabatangan River Day 1 – Pig Tailed Macaques.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Egret, Kinabatangan River

from Kinabatangan River Day 2 – Proboscis Monkeys.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Male Proboscis Monkey.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Male Proboscis Monkey.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Wild orangutan and baby, Caves of Goomontong.

from Tabin Day 1.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pig-tailed macaques, Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

from Tabin Day 1.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Monitor lizard.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Agamid lizard (draco genus).

from Tabin Day 2 – Clouded Leopard.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested serpent eagle.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife
White-crowned hornbill.

from Tabin Day 3 – Last day in Sabah.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Honey comb of the Giant Honey Bee (apis dosata).

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Walking towards the mud volcano.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife
Buffy fish owl.

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Black and White, Butterfly, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Orang Utan, Photography, Pig Tailed Macaques, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Street photography, Tarsier, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sunset.

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Tabin Day 3 – Last day in Sabah

Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah, 13 May 2019.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gibbon.

I got up early this morning and the gibbons went across overhead again but the light wasn’t nearly as good as the previous day.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gibbon.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

White-crowned hornbill.

After breakfast we went for a drive and then for a walk to the mud volcano.  This and the next few images were on the way there.

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Honey comb of the Giant Honey Bee (apis dosata).

These bees make their honey combs on places like the underneath of branches to make it hard for the sun bears to access them.  That texture you see is the comb covered in bees.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Female long-tailed parakeet.

As we passed another tree there was the head of a parrot appearing from a nesting hole on the trunk.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Some of our party walking along towards the mud volcano.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Mud volcano.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bornean Rhino and Teetash.

This is the third-last Bornean Rhino in Sabah, which had died a couple of years before and was stuffed.  This is an adult rhino and Teetash kindly volunteered to stand beside it so you can see how small it is.  The Bornean Rhino is a subspecies of the Sumatran Rhino.  There are less than 100 Sumatran Rhinos and likely no more than 15 Bornean Rhinos.  The numbers are so small due to habitat loss.  We were due to see the last male Bornean rhino in Sabah but he took ill a few days before we arrived and died shortly after we left.  There is one female left in Sabah but she is not in good health.

There are three species of rhinoceros, the African, the Asian and the Sumatran.  The Sumatran is more closely related to the extinct Woolly Rhinoceros of Europe (as shown in cave paintings) than the African or Asian rhinos.  A distant and extinct rhino, Elasmotherium sibiricum, with a two-metre horn, is the likely source of the unicorn legend.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant by elephant.

This is a painting by an Asian elephant.  Borneo pygmy elephants are a subspecies that has been separated for 3,000 years.  They may have been in Borneo for that long but it is likely they are actually surviving Javan elephants (otherwise extinct), given to the Sultan of Sulu (NE Sabah/ SE Philippines) around 1395.  Compared to Asian elephants, they are smaller with relatively larger ears, longer tails and straighter tusks.  They are threatened by habitat loss.  There are 1,000 to 4,000 in Borneo, including some in Tabin but we did not see any.  However, we did hear them in Sepilok.  They have a group there but do not want human interaction as they are intending to return them to the wild.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rhinoceros hornbill.

Not to be confused with Bornean rhinoceros which does not have a bill and are not known for their flying.

We are now in the late afternoon to evening, taking photographs again from the back of a truck.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A piece of grass in focus and the disappearing tip of the tail of a leopard cat, somewhat out of focus.

The previous night, I had a leopard cat in focus and lined up.  Unfortunately I hesitated to adjust exposure and it was gone.  Gaaah!  So I was determined to find another one if I could.  There it was this night, on the other side of the truck, but by the time I found it through my long telephoto lens, it was on its way and this was all I got.

Leopard cats are similar in size to domestic cats but more slender with longer legs.  They are widespread in India, China, Japan and South East Asia and not under threat.  The ones in Sabah are of the Sunda subspecies.  The ones we saw were leaving the forest at night for the palm oil plantations, probably to hunt for rats.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Leopard cat.

However, Clive Moon, who was sitting beside me, did get a photograph of the leopard cat and he has very kindly allowed me to show it on this blog.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Buffy fish owl.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Buffy fish owl.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A disappearing sunset.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Water lilies.

On the last morning, I also went looking for gibbons but they were later than the previous two days and I did not wait around long enough so I missed them and took these photographs of lilies instead.

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Buffy Fish Owl, Gibbon, Hornbill, Infrared, Landscape, Leopard cat, Nature, Parrot, Photography, Rhinoceros, Sabah, Tabin, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

All of these photographs are completely normal images with normal colour, as certified by the Andaman Islander Institute of Normalcy (AIIN).  Well, OK, maybe not all.  That’s except for the four infrared images.  You may be able to work out which they are.

 

25,000 Images

Just a note of trivia.  There are now 25,000 images that you can access through this Blog.  There are 14,555 in the blog itself and another 10,458 live music images from 1,001 performances that you can access through links on the All Performances page.   The Honey comb of the Giant Honey Bee was image number 25,000.  If I printed each of these images at A4 and laid them end to end, they would stretch nearly 7.5 kilometres.

This is also the last post from Sabah, except for some images from the plane and some monochromes.

Kinabatangan River Day 2 – Proboscis Monkeys

Kinabatangan River, Sabah, 10 May 2019.

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These images are from two trips along the river in a boat, one in the early morning and one in the late afternoon.  All the wildlife shots are from a considerable distance with a very long lens (420mm, full frame camera).

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Oriental Pied Hornbill.

This is the most common Asian hornbill and the most adaptable to habitat loss, so is not considered threatened.  Its distribution spreads over India and South-East Asia.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Blue-throated Bee Eater.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Egret.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Male Proboscis Monkey.

The male proboscis monkey is recognisable by his large nose, thought to aid in making calls.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Female Proboscis Monkey.

Proboscis monkeys are endemic to Borneo, and live in coastal areas close to water.  They are quite large monkeys and are good swimmers, having partially webbed feet.  They are classified as endangered due to habitat loss.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Female Proboscis Monkey.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Female Proboscis Monkey.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Rhinocerous Hornbill.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Rhinocerous Hornbill.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Saltwater Crocodile.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Rhinocerous Hornbill.

The rhinocerous hornbill is a large hornbill with a wingspan of around a metre.  It is endemic to Borneo, Sumatra, Java, the Malay Peninsula and Southern Thailand.  It requires large tree hollows for nesting and is classified as vulnerable due to habitat loss.  The females seals herself for nesting in a tree cavity sealed with mud and the male feeds her through a hole in the mud.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Some views of the river from the boat.  Her as Usual it is quite hot and humid

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… though sometimes it cools a little off due to rain.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Usually it rains often but we were pretty lucky.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Proboscis Monkeys.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Collared kingfisher.

 

Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Blue-eared kingfisher.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A boat on the river, showing something of the scale of the rainforest.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Proboscis Monkey.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Proboscis Monkeys.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Male Proboscis Monkey.

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Birds, Egrets, Hornbill, Infrared, Kinabatangan River, Kingfisher, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Proboscis Monkey, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lines over the river. Not zip lines or for flying foxes, they are for monkeys to cross without having to tangle with the crocodiles.

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(And yes, those three images in the middle were infrared).

KK Fishing Boats (Kota Kinabalu)

Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 2 May 2019.

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After the markets we had some free time and many of the others may have wandered back to the hotel but I wanted to wander along the wharves to check out the fishing boats. I had seen some great looking fishing boats coming and going from the port the previous evening and the light was great then, but I only had my Fuji X100s, which has a wide angle lens, and I needed a telephoto. So I thought I would see what I would find on this day.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

There were quite a few fishing boats lined up at the docks.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

This is the rear of one at the front, with nets rolled up on spools for deployment and retrieval.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

One is arriving at the dock.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Another is preparing to leave.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Suddenly the light changed – or maybe that’s just the infrared sensor.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

First wildlife sighting, of an egret on the prow of a boat.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Another one returning …..

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

KK Markets (Kota Kinabalu)

Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 2 May 2019.
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Jools and I arrived in KK and met the group for our Sabah Wlidlife Photography, organised by NatureArt Lab . .. There were fifteen of us altogether, all from Australia and New Zealand, all resident in Australia, and ten resident in Canberra. We had a few days in KK to acclimatise to the heat and humidity of the tropics and on our first full day we visited the markets, both the regular markets and the fish markets.

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Not much need to comment on most of the images.  They are what you see.  They are all taken with a Fuji X100F, a compact camera with a fixed 35mm-equivalent lens.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

The regular markets were undercover and almost something of a maze, with narrow corridors and stores crammed with small items.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

Now we were on our way to the fish markets and so were these two, with an impressive load of fish direct from the nearby fishing boats.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

The fish markets were much larger and more spacious, with an impressive variety of fish on display.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel
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KL to KK (Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu)

Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 1 May 2019.
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The images in this post are taken from a plane above the South China Sea, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, on my way to a two week wilderness photography excursion in Sabah, formerly British North Borneo.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Leaving KL Airport.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Still over the outskirts of KL.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Taking photographs from a plane requires a relatively clean window.  Internal reflections can be a problem and sometimes one side of the plane is better than the other.  A rubber lens hood against the window might help for the internal reflections. You need a high enough shutter speed to account for the vibrations of the plane.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Haze can be a problem but I don’t think a polarising filter would help as I think it would pick up diffracted colours from the plane’s windows.  Post processing is likely to make a big difference.  Infrared can help too as it tends to cut through the haze.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Islands in the South China Sea (I can’t work out from Google Earth exactly which ones).

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Coast of Sarawak.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

This and the next one is probably the coast of Sabah, possibly Brunei.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Approaching Kota Kinabalu.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

All images are infrared, taken with a camera with a converted infrared sensor.  There is a lot of scope for variations in colour in processing colour infrared.

 

From Flores to Cancun

Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, 31 August 2016

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This follows a journey in two small planes from Flores in Guatemala to Cancun in Mexico via Belize.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

This appears to be a small Mayan Temple from the modern era, in other words a church.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Soon we were flying over the red lakes of forgotten time in what was once the lands of the Maya and really still is.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Maybe there was once ancient Mayan irrigation canals here.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

The land underneath started to be hidden by the golden clouds.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

And after a while, Belize City hove into sight.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Soon we are flying over the Red Sea..

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Many shallow islands below.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Well, the Caribbean Sea, actually.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

The golden clouds of the late morning.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

Memories of an asteroid crash nearby long ago flashed up…

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

… and then faded again quite quickly.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

The weather began to seem almost normal.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

But then, what’s normal anyway.

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Aerial Photography, Belize, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Mexico, Nature, Photography, Travel

The edge of Cancun.

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And yes, that was an infrared post.

Tikal Monochromes

Tikal, Peten, Guatemala, 30 August 2016

 

These monochrome images also appear as colour images in the Tikal post. If you haven’t seen that post you should look at it as well, because many of the images are infrared and appear quite differently in colour to what you might expect, and because there are also extensive notes.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Probably Templo 1 from the rear.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

A “palace”, generally presumed to be a royal living and administration area, but without much firm evidence.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

A ball court in front of the palace.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 2.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

The Great Plaza (into the sun). Templo 1 on the right and the North Acropolis at the left.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 2.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 1 on the left, Templo 2 on the right and North Acropolis in the distance, taken from the Central Acropolis. This is the main ceremonial area but there would have been few trees 1600 years ago.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 1.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

People ascending the Central Acropolis. Templo IV above the jungle at the horizon.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Jungle.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 3.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

A giant mask on a wall.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Gran Pirámide, Plaza of the Lost World, one of the oldest remaining parts of Tikal.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Temple of the skulls, Plaza of the Lost Worlds.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 5.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

The top of Templo 4, the highest at 74 metres or 150 feet, and probably a yellow-naped parrot.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Guatemala, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel

Templo 3. They didn’t have windows of course, that’s just to keep people out of the chamber.

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Tikal

Tikal, Peten, Guatemala, 27-28 August 2016

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This is a mixed infrared and normal post.  The images have labels and some further information, mainly from information boards, while a stream of information about Tikal follows underneath.  This latter stream may relate to quite different periods than the images and comments on the images.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Probably Templo 1 from the rear.

Tikal is one of the main Mayan cities from the Classic Era.  It is about 64 kilometres north of Flores.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

A “palace”, generally presumed to be a royal living and administration area, but without much firm evidence.

About 100 kilometres NNW of Tikal is El Mirador, an even more ancient site with what according to some calculations is the largest pyramid in the world.  Normally you have to walk in through the jungle, a day each way though I suspect little of the city has been reclaimed from the jungle.  I was intending to fly in by helicopter but it did not eventuate.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

A ball court in front of the palace.

There are traces of agriculture at Tikal from 1000 BC.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 2.

“Also known as Temple of Masks, Was built around the year 700 AD, by the ruler Jasaw Chan K’awiil l, as a mortuary monument for his wife, Kalajuun Une ‘Mo’.”

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Tikal was built on a series of limestone ridges, with swampland between and with interconnecting causeways.  The causeways made pedestrian ways during time of heavy rainfall and doubled as dams.  The buildings used limestone quarried on site and the holes this created were lined and used as ten great reservoirs for times of drought.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

The Great Plaza (into the sun).  Templo 1 and the North Acropolis at the left.

A burial was found under Templo 1.  It may be that there are others under all the pyramids.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 2.

The “founder” of the dynasty at Tikal was Yax Moch Yox (“First Scaffold Shark”), sometime in the first century AD, though there were other rulers before him.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 2.

The earliest date found on a stela at Tikal is 292 AD.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

A wall area containing traces of a relief.

The first well-documented king is Great Jaguar Paw, who reigned from 317 to 378 AD.  Large scale building occurred during his reign.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 1 on the left, Templo 2 on the right and North Acropolis in the distance, taken from the Central Acropolis.  This is the main ceremonial area but there would have been few trees 1600 years ago.

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In 378 AD, Great Jaguar Paw was overthrown and killed by Smoking Frog who was a foreigner, coming from Teotihuacan, the giant city-state near Mexico City today.  The invaders from Teotihuacan brought new military technology and organisation and also conquered some of the neighbouring cities.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 1.

“Temple 1 (also known as the Temple of Ah Cacao or Temple of the Great Jaguar) is a funerary pyramid dedicated to Jasaw Chan K’awil, who was entombed in the structure in AD 734, the pyramid was completed around 740–750. The temple rises 47 metres (154 ft) high. The massive roofcomb that topped the temple was originally decorated with a giant sculpture of the enthroned king, although little of this decoration survives.”

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Curl Nose became ruler to Tikal in 379 AD and reigned for 47 years, yet he was also referred to as the vassal of Smoking Frog while he was still alive.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

The top of Templo IV, the highest at 74 metres or 150 feet, and probably a yellow-naped parrot.

Curl Nose’s son Stormy Sky was Lord of Tikal from 411 to 456 AD.  He was half Mayan.  The invaders were becoming Mayans but Tikal had adopted elements of the Teotihuacan culture.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 3.  They didn’t have windows of course, that’s just to keep people out of the chamber.

“Also known as Temple of the Jaguar Priest, because of the threshold figure inside the temple, this temple relates to the last phase of construction at Tikal. Its construction is estimated circa 810 and by reference that exists in a fragment of Stela is associated with the ruling Nuun bak Chaak II, who is considered the thirty-first ruler of, the dynastic sequence and is represented on the Lintel 2 of this temple.”

Tikal’s influence expanded greatly in Stormy Sky’s reign.  It directly controlled an area about 25 kilometres around and had a sphere of influence reaching 100 kilometres or more.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

People ascending the Central Acropolis.  Templo IV above the jungle at the horizon.

Stormy Sky was buried in the North Acropolis, in this image at middle left in the distance and obscured by foliage.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Similar view, showing a bit more of the Central Acropolis.

A female became ruler of Tikal in 511 at the age of six, co ruler with Curl Head and then Bird Claw.  She is known as “The Lady of Tikal” because the stela that mentions her is incomplete and does not show her name.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 3.

The next ruler, Double Bird, may have been her son.  He ruled from 537 to 562 and came to an unfortunate end, along with much of Tikal.  This was also a period of the decline of Teotihuacan, Tikal’s faraway ally.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

A giant mask on a wall.

Calakmul is another Mayan city, 30 kilometres north of the Mexican border, so vaguely 130 kilometres north of Tikal.  It was bigger than Tikal and had many more stelae but we know little about it because the stelae have weathered away due to the inferior quality of the limestone used there.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

A stela depicting a ruler.  You may need to click on it to make it out at a larger size.

Calakmul had been an ally of Tikal but early in the reign of Double Bird, Tikal launched an “Axe War” against Calakmul and captured and sacrificed a prominent noble, probably after ball court rituals.  Reigning lords were expected to capture and sacrifice the head of another state early in their reign to prove their power but this was to prove a particularly unfortunate choice.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Maybe a ball court marker.  Glyphs around the outside but hard to make out detail.

In 562, Calakmul overran and devastated Tikal and no doubt took Double Bird away for ritual sacrifice.  Tikal was then eclipsed for over a century while Calkmul prospered.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

The Bat Palace.

“A palatial complex that has several rooms with benches in its interior, distributed in two galleries on the first floor and on gallery on the second floor.  On the rear wall of the rooms are windows that provide views to the West.”

Slowly, Tikal regenerated itself and was becoming more prosperous under Shield Skull from 650 to 679, although he had to flee from a Calakmul raid to Palenque in 657 and after returning to Tikal, was eventually taken and sacrificed by them in 679.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Gran Pirámide, Plaza of the Lost World, one of the oldest remaining parts of Tikal.

“Known as the main structure of the Lost World.  It stands 32 metres (105 ft) high.  This four-sided structure has staircases on all sides.  During the Preclassic period, around 300BC, this pyramid and its squared platform formed an astronomical observation unit.”

Shield Skull’s son Hasaw Chan Ka’wil brought about the re-emergence of Tikal as a great power.  He came to the throne in 682, raised many stelae and altars, and embarked on a program of reconstruction in the Great Plaza and the North Acropolis.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Temple of the skulls, Plaza of the Lost Worlds.

“The Temple of the Skulls (Templo de las Calaveras in Spanish) is the third largest temple in the Mundo Perdido (Lost World) complex. A new version of this temple was superimposed upon a preceding version during the 7th century AD. This new version faced away from the Mundo Perdido and possessed a single room with five doorways that faced onto the adjacent Plaza of the Seven Temples to the east. Around AD 700, this version was sealed and a new version was built on top, at which time it became one of the highest structures in the Mundo Perdido. This version of the structure had a four-level platform with an access stairway interrupted by a vaulted niche, as was the architectural style prevalent at Tikal during this time. The base of the niche was adorned with three sculpted skulls, one facing forwards and the two flanking skulls in profile.”

Hasaw Chan Ka’wil was convinced that he was destined for greatness because his reign commenced 256 years after that of Stormy Sky, the most powerful year of Tikal.  This was significant in the Mayan long count of time, and represented the same point in another cycle.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Plaza of the Seven Temples (and following images).

Empowered by this vision of greatness, he went to war against Calakmul and in 694, he defeated them and captured and sacrificed their Lord, Jaguar Paw.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife .

He ruled from 682 to 734 and won further successes against Calakmul, which was eclipsed politically.  Templo 1 is also his tomb.  His son Yikin Chan Kawil constructed the temple on top of his tomb.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife .

Yikin Chan Kawil also constructed the massive Templo 4.  His successors put up Templos 3 and 6 and much of what we see today is from the end of the era of Tikal.  This is partly due to the practice of building new structures on top of old ones.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife .

Further conflicts between Tikal and Calakmul are recorded until the mid 740s, then both states slowly faded away.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife .

Most of the area of the Lowland Maya, mainly in Guatemala and Belize, was abandoned by around 900.  The most plausible theory is overpopulation coupled with severe years of prolonged drought.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Jungle.

 

A remnant population may have persisted at Tikal up to around 1000, but it was then abandoned to the jungle for the next 1,000 years.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

“This is an important part of socio-political activity of the Tikal inhabitants of the Late Classic. At the northern end of the complex there are three ballgame courts, which in turn frame the north end of a large rectangular plaza. On the east side, there are seven temples aligned from north to south, the central temple presenting larger dimensions and the roof comb still preserved.”

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Around 3,000 separate structures have been recorded in the 16 square kilometres that form the heart of the city.  About 10,000 people lived there.  There was also a much wider area that was part of the city which overall supported around 50,000 to 60,000 inhabitants.  At the height of Tikal’s power, around 500,000 people lived in its area of influence.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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While superficially, the swamps around the city might seem unsuitable for agriculture, they had a complex system of canals and sophisticated practices to make this possible.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Tikal, Travel, Wildlife

Templo 5.

“One of Tikal’s highest temples, reaching a height of 57 meters, dated to the early part of the Late Classic period. The structure consists of a pyramidal base with seven stepped bodies, with rounded corners. On the façade it has a wide staircase with balustrade. During the investigations it was possible to establish that it has no substructure, which means it was built from the beginning to the top of the crest in a single chronological moment around 650 AD making it one of the earliest in Tikal.”

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There is a great expanse of jungle in the former Mayan lands of Northern Guatemala, Southern Mexico and Western Belize.  There are many unexcavated Mayan cities and no doubt many as yet undiscovered.  These are potentially threatened by plunder of ancient sites and exploitation of the rainforest region.  They are all under some kind of heritage protection but governance is weak and funding scarce.

The Mayan people of course survive and particularly retain independent communities in Guatemala.  2012 saw the beginning of a great long count cycle and the beginning of a new one.  In tradition Mayan terms we would be entering a period of renewal for the Mayan people.

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