By Simen Blokland 6 o clock, the night has just begun. After a rapid sunset the light gives way to the darkness and the island undergoes a metamorphose. During a good night the sky is nice and clear revealing the millions of starts that our galaxy is rich. The first time I look they are all strange to me, but then there are the Pleiades. Seven stars clustered in the most recognizable area of the night sky. A very small copy of the bear sign. A bit later Orion rises. In the Netherlands this means winter to me, here where Orion rises almost upside down there is no winter, but it is perfect stargazing weather. In the meantime the milky way which we could see vaguely on the other side sets behind the forested mountains. From our camera traps, we know that’s where the warty pigs (Sus verrucosus) and long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) roam. Then a giant fruit bat flies closely by as a dark shadow blocking the light of the stars for a second. Shooting stars make us which the best for this place and its inhabitants. The spotted wood owl (Strix seleputo) gives a short deep drawn-out “Whoo” as if he agrees with what we were thinking. Further in the night the sky gets lighter and lighter. The moon is not far off. And on the horizon clouds gather and form a thunder storm. Distant orange lightning flashes now and then. The ground which is still wet form the rain from the day is speckled with toads. Already one week in the rainy season they are mating behind every stone. They better look out for the Malayan krait (Bungarus candidus), a serious poisonous snakes who’s venom leads to a “meningal cepat”, quick death, as the locals put it. Toads are part of its meal and it slipped away just a few meters from a mating pair. Some hours later with the moon still high in the sky the first birds start their song and the light peaks over the horizon. Plaintive cuckoo’s (Cacocantis merulinus) , ashy tailorbirds (Orthotomus ruficeps) and abbot’s babblers (Malacocincla abbotti). Not in stunning numbers but all present and singing. A new day has been born.