Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Final Days of a Forest.

Forest walkway of Monash University
It was a rather lazy day - of course that is not to say that the day itself was lazy, but rather the overall mood of the day that made me feel lazy - and so, despite the fact that I'd still have a lot of work to accomplish, decided to (for old times sake) take the 'long way' back to Ray's place and have a slow and leisurely stroll down the 'forested area' of our University's free parking lot. Now, this 'forested area' of our University's free parking lot was in reality, really nothing more than a simple dirt road, with trees growing out of it on either side where students may leave their cars - at their own risks! - should the other paved parking lot be full upon arrival, but to me, it was a treasure trove of life and diversity! As far as I can remember, the 'forested area' has always exuded its own charm upon my being. Indeed, this very small patch of greenery amongst the concrete jungle of Sunway always seemed to me, a scene straight out of a fairy tale; The very sight of the trees as they were, growing along both sides of the road, caving slightly to the center, creating a magnificent archway of foliage and branches. The forest was always alive here! An orchestra of natural sounds, the thrilling sopranos of the courtship songs of magpie robins as they flitted to and fro in the treetops and the chorus of various other birds are punctuated only by the soft trembling cooing of the zebra and spotted doves as they foraged amongst the dried leaves of the undergrowth. Crickets, cicadas and other unidentifiable insects too added their lilting bell-like chimes, or frenzied rattling to this din. Occasionally, a splash of color would indicate a Golden Oriole in flight, or perhaps butterflies. It was an amazing place and even when it was littered, here and there, with the parked cars of students, the 'forested area' was like this emerald cocoon, simply thriving with life.

A family of Zebra doves, foraging on the ground.
For me, the forest has always been a place for butterfly hunting, and as I was taking my leisurely stroll today, stalking a particularly handsome Common Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas Bolima), I noticed a big yellow sign along the forested walkway that read "Construction shall begin on the 15th of September 2011". Now, it is times like this really that I feel quite helpless and at a loss as of what to do. While I understand the need for more parking spaces - what with the ever increasing number of students getting enrolled at the University, I can't help but wonder if all this could have been avoided at all. Sure, it is easy to talk about car-pooling and commuting and things like that, but how practical would it be, really for many of the people out there? It's times like these when I feel most conflicted about my position as a practical, sensible minded person AND an environmentalist. As I followed the butterfly, I briefly toyed with the idea of forming a petition. A petition to save our own forest. I soon realized, though, the futility of such actions. It was, after all, an overwhelming petition by the student body which first brought upon this construction. Besides, even if it weren't, would I receive ANY ammount of significant support at all? After all, what is a beautiful living paradise for me must seem to the uninitiated, like nothing more than a mosquito infested patch of overgrown trees and weeds (in all fairness, there IS quite a lot of mosquitoes there)... it is times like these, when I know not what to do and it gets to me quite a bit. By then the butterflies were beginning to grow lethargic and I soon realized that it probably had something to do with the rain clouds that were already beginning to form ominously in the sky. The wind began to grow stronger, pushing me seemingly out of the place and the thunder echoed once or twice in warning before little droplets began to fall. And with that, I briskly netted my specimens, and high-tailed it back to Ray's apartment - where I slept for the rest of the day - feeling somewhat more depressed than I felt on the way in.

Male and female specimens of the Common Eggfly (Hypolimnas Bolina) sitting on our windowsill.

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago...
had they been in the reach of predatory human hands. 

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