Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ubin Walk 24 June 07

It was a perfect Sunday for a good outdoor activities. Tall coconut trees + blue skies = tropical paradise. Yes, I was at Ubin again last Sunday. We make our way slowly from the jetty to Nordin Beach and take our own sweet times to look at the plants, insect & animals that disappear long time ago over at the mainland Singapore mainly due to our modern living!
Is the Durian season again. Is durian every where... some were right on top of the road! There's a myth about durian. According to the grandmother story - durian got 'eyes'. They will not falls on human's head. Have you ever heard of someone got hit by falling durian??

Rambutans are turning red too...

This is the 'fruit' of rubber tree. When the seeds are mature and dry enough, it will just explode and disperse the seeds to the ground.
Not sure what fruits or plant is this.
Photo above showing Ants plant (Dischidia major). This plant has two leaf forms - round fleshy leaf and specialized hollow leaf. A tiny hole at the base of the hollow leaf provide entrace to ants and in return ants bring in organic debris that in turn becomes food for the plant.
This moth/butterfly has a very unique pattern on the back. Looks like a lipstick marks!
There are many different types of insects on the island.
And spiders too. The spider above is having her big breakfast!!
Got to see this beautiful wood pecker in action.
We saw this startling fluorescent green Oriental Whip Snake.
A closer look at this beautiful snake.
There are lots of Onch slug at Nordin beach.
Fiddler crab that only 'surface' during low tide for their meal. They will just go burrow and breath on the trapped air bubble in their burrow. Both photos above are male - male will have one extra large pincer for courtship and defence. However, they can't use the enlarged pincer for feeding.
Not sure what crab is this.

We slowly make our way back to jetty after we take a few minutes break at Nordin beach. We meet up with Ron & CH (they finish guiding the Sensory Trail few minutes ago and are waiting for us to go for lunch together.) We have our wonderful lunch at Ubin before taking the ferry back to Changi Jetty... mmhhh yummy yummy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Semakau Exploratory Walk - 17 June 07

Been waiting for this Exploratory for months. As this is the exploratory for Semakau guides only, we will be able to explore new area that we don't go when bringing visitors to the tidal area. We were at Semakau yesterday too. However, we have to cut short the walk due to the uninvited heavy down pour. I'm really looking forward to today's walk and bring all my camera with me just want to take as many photos as possible for any animals that we found during the walk.
After the heavy down pour yesterday, I really hope that we could see more lovely creatures to make up the shortened walk yesterday. While walking towards the forest entry point, the black clouds start to form and follow by very strong wind. Oh no, this is the bad sign!!!
We increase our speed try to reach the inter-tidal area earlier before the rain. Due to the heavy down pour yesterday, the forest trail that lead to the inter-tidal area are muddy and at some point the stagnent water is as high as about 20cm. When we reach the shore area, the rain starts dropping from the sky and follow by lighting and thunder. For safety precautions, we head back to the shelter near the forest entry. Well, we spent another 100 minutes watching rain falls, chasing mosquitoes, and waiting & waiting...... Zzzzz....

At about 7.45am, the lightning has stopped and Robert can't take it anymore and decide to go for the walk although is still raining. Soon, we are all at the tidal zone. Some put on their poncho but some prefer to walk in the rain and enjoy the cooling sensations.
Due to the rain, most of the animals have either burrow deep under the sand or hide under the rocks. Is so difficult to spot any animals.

With the determinations, we do spot some interesting creatures such as the red sea star that smaller than a 50 cents coin. As most of our cameras are not waterproof, only those with waterproof camera can safely taking photo under the rain. Ron is one of the lucky guy. Make sure to read his blog for all the photos taken today. Also heard that LK spotted a sea cucumber that we never seen it on Semakau.
Due to the rain, I only managed to take 3 photos.
Looks like I'm the only one that got the chance to greet this Semakau iconic Knobbly Sea Star in person.
This fan shell is big!
And also this Murex shell.

As the tide is coming back very fast, we end our walk about 9.30am. Hopefully the weather is good when we come back to Semakau next month.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wet & Wild Semakau 16 June 07

Oh no!...... while on my way to ferry terminal this morning, it starts to rain over at the northern part of Singapore. I'm actually get wet before the tidal walk started. Since today I'm on 'Free & Easy', I put on my booty (recommended footwear for tidal walk) once arrived at Semakau and head straight to the tidal area.

Since I'm not guiding today, I'll just pick some photos to put up. Do check up tHE tIDE cHAsER , Urban Forest , Moutain & Sea , Juan's Blog & Where Discovery Begins for more wonderful wet & wild experience at Semakau.

Ya, back to this morning walk. While walking, spotted this lizard on one of the palm tree.

May be I was early today, this Red Egg Crab (Atergatis integerrimus) usually hide under the rocks during day time was 'openly' walking infront of me and wait for me until I happily taking his photos before he go hiding.

I saw this big Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora) about 30cm in length.
And also this beautiful Nobel volute (Cymbiola nobilis)

One of my suprise find was this very striking green Bulp-tentacle anemone and with his symbiotic partner - Anemone fish (Clown fish)

A closer look at this very energetic and cute fish.

Out of sudden, the sky turn black and started to rain.....and rain very heavily! Although I don't mind to get wet, already got wet this morning anyway. Is the lightning that we are worry about. We are basically the highest on the tidal area with no other tree or structure that higher than us. That means the risks of getting strike by lightning is very very high. For safety reasons, we head back to shelter immediately.

When we get to the shelter, we are all wet! Nevertheless, it is a wonderful experience. When was the last time you walk under the heavy rain?
Once the rain over, we can see the blue sky re-appear at Semakau.

What a nice scenery with fresh air after the rain. Seating on these chairs will grant you a view of mainland Singapore. Oh no, it is still raininng over at the mainland! Luckily the rain stop when we arrived at the ferry terminal from Semakau.

I got wet on the way to ferry terminal this morning, and is dry when I arrived at Semakau. Then, I got wet again and very very wet during the tidal walk. I'm almost dry when back to ferry terminal from Semakau. You know what? Is heavy rain again on my way home over at the Central Catchment area when I pass by Farrer Road. :-(

I got wet 3 times this morning while visiting one of the last few wild natural shore of Singapore. mummmhh... what a Wet & Wild experience I had this morning.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Kranji Nature Trail 9 June 07

Since we are not doing any tidal walk, we don't have to wake up very early to catch the low tide today. Instead, we are going north to explore Kranji Nature Trail (KNT). Lead by Robert, suppose to be our guide for today's KNT walk. The access to the KNT is trough this grassland next to Kranji Dam, and end at carpark of Sungai Buloh Wetland Reserve.
There's a caution sign on crocodile (which we hope we can see one in the wild) near the entrance of the trail, however we couldn't spot any.
There are lots of spider web on the grass at the begining of the trail. Is this the sign to show that the spiders are abundant along the trail?
True enough, we spotted a lot of spiders of the different species. Clockwise from top left, Batik golden web spider (Nephila antipodiana), Golden web spider (Nephila maculata), probably a Brown grass spider (Polyboea vulpina), not to sure of this orb-web spider that with very colourful abdomen.

St Andrew's cross spiders (Argiope pulchella) , another of the different species (Argiope aemula), probably a Cyclosa spider with a tail-like extension abdomen and another unidentified spider.

We also saw two different species of Crab spiders.

A beautiful Epilachna indica ladybug on the left and Heteroneda reticulata ladybug on the right.

Lots of dragonflies
Is that a cricket or Katydids?, grasshoppers, and a small praying mantis on the bottom left.

Not sure what cartepillars is this, very tiny and hairy.

Lots of butterflies too. Look at the big eye spots on the wings. It looks so real. They use this eye spots to scare away predators.

this is a solitary halictid bee.

A very colourful Shield bug, Leafhoppers (Bothrogonia ferruginea), not sure the name of this bug and a frothy mass of bubbles created by spittlebugs.

Lots of ants

Some of the wild flowers and fruits that we saw along the way
Not forgetting a onch slug, changeble lizard, lots of halfbeak and archerfish.

The trail is just barely 1.5km, suprisingly there a home to many different type of insect, flora and fauna. Is a very good trail for photographers who want to shot all the colourful insects, flowers and birds.