The Tokay Crooned at Midnight

I didn’t do much photography while in Suphanburi — actually, I didn’t do any. No writing, no photography, nothing. Between the distractions of a new life and being sad and miserable with said life, there was no creative desire. But the week before I started teaching there, the agency I was working for had an orientation for their new teachers at a fancy resort in Kanchanaburi, which is a couple hours west of Bankok, near the Burmese border. I had a nice view from my fifth floor room (which I ended up having to pay for, because I’m 41 years old, and I *do not* have roomates anymore, as a rule — that’s one vestige of my youth I gladly leave behind).

Anyway, what follows are a few shots from the balcony; all of these are high-dynamic range (HDR) images done in Photomatix (which I don’t feel I’ve quite mastered yet):

Kanchanaburi Clouds a la HDR #1

Kanchanaburi Clouds a la HDR #2

The above two images are actually the same, but processed with different settings in Photomatix.

Kanchanaburi Sunset a la HDR, #2

And here’s the black and white version of the above image:

Kanchanaburi Sunset a la HDR, #2 B&W

And while I had no roomate, I did have a noisy if welcome guest, as pictured below. Actually, I had been wanting to get a decent photograph of a tokay for weeks; they are nocturnal and tend to be shy of humans (a feeling with which I can sympathize), which makes them less than ideal subjects for the camera. But this one was a handsome creature, as you can see, and it actually hung out while I shot away with my flash.

For those of you not acquainted with these lovely lizards, they are the largest species of gecko (this one was bout 10 inches or so), and the males make the most ridiculous, goofy-sounding mating call ever. No matter how depressed I was in Thailand, whenever I heard a tokay crooning for a lover in the night, I couldn’t help but smile. Follow this link and you can hear a sample of a tokay mating cry. Isn’t it the most silly thing you’ve ever heard? If they are here in Viet Nam, they must be more uncommon, as I haven’t heard one since I’ve been back, and I miss them and their goofy croaking.

Tokay #1