Good morning! Finally, the Sun is back, giving us a golden start to
Posted on 23/07/04 10:11
The glorius Sun is shinning brightly. With all the rain showering
over Singapore, the skies are clear and truly blue. We seldom
get this kind of clear blue skies, not with the dreaded haze
that hovered over us once a while.
Last evening the winds were strong, which made the air cleaner
for today. What a beautiful day for nature walks. Ya! nature
walkers are behind you all the way.
I am sure some little creatures nesting in the tree ferns are
basking in the Sun at the time this shot was taken. If only
we could get a closer look into this microworld of living things.
The stress of work and life would fall into a better perspective.
So let's walk with nature on tiny Singapore and be marvelled
by the vast expense of nature that unfolds before us. (:> Yman)
11:21 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #1:
Today I don't feel so well, so I thought I would wimp out and go some
place civilised and familiar...the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Here
is the entrance to the Visitor Centre, under the shade of an enormous
Heritage Tree Raintree.
11:23 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #2:
The charming Visitor Centre usually has interesting poster exhibitions
about plants and friendly staff at hand to help you plan your trip
to this enormous Gardens.
11:24 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #3:
It's so easy to be distracted by the wonderful landscaped features
and exotic plants that crowd this very beautiful Gardens...
11:27 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #5:
But today, I want to share with you an equally fascinating but less
well know part of the Gardens...and here is the very humble entrance...
11:28 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #6:
The wondrous Rainforest Trail starts with a closeup look at rattans.
A climbing palm with lots of attractive but very sharp spines, all
over the stems and leaves. Be careful!
Posted on 27/07/04 16:30
When I see rattans, I usually conjure up pieces of rattan furniture,
the cosy, homely, exquisite, and rather expensive type. My rather
naïve look at rattans changed drastically after my visit to
the Singapore Changi Prison. Not that I was there on my own
wrong doings, but as a visitor under the National Education
program. Yes, it was a very thought-provoking trip indeed. How
did the rattans come to picture? It was in the flogging room,
the room where convicted criminals are caned. The prison warden
gave us a gory explanation of the manner flogging is carried
out. The rattan or “rotan” is not any ordinary one you would
find at the “Everything $1” shop. It is specially ordered from
a neighbouring country and cured to cause maximum pain. According
to the warden, even the most hardened criminal buckled under
its stroke. So, is this a good form of education to deter potential
criminals? So say yes, others say no. The fact is that it will
leave a lasting impression on those who get the “behind the
doors” facts from the wardens. Sign up for the next National
Education visit to Changi Prison to form your own opinion. (:>
Ria Posted on 28/07/04 14:42
Yah, rattan also doesn't conjure up pleasant images for some
of us who were very naughty when we were young (like me :-)
11:29 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #7: Walking up the sloping
path, I walk under a giant pandan towering about 8m above me. And
beyond that, even taller trees.
23/07/04 11:31 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #8:
Further on the trail, we wander under tall tall trees with the ground
almost bare of undergrowth...a sign of a primary rainforest. We are
in a patch of rainforest that has been left uncut since Raffles' days...a
trip into history!
11:34 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #9:
Here and there, towering tree ferns..
11:35 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #10:
The beautiful curves of a fig tree's buttress roots, growing right
next to the path.
11:36 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #11: Unfortunately, this beautiful
tree has been badly defaced with grafitti gouged into its smooth bark.
Truly, people who do this must have so very little sense of self worth
that they would need to do damage to leave their mark.
11:37 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #12:
The fascinating Leaf Litter Plant actually collects falling dead leaves
amongst its green leaves. It is believed the decomposing leaves provide
the Plant with nutrients, which it has all to itself, held high above
the roots of other plants. When I guide at the Trail, I always introduce
this as the Kiasu Plant :-)
11:38 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #13:
My favourite tree is this massive magnificent Strangling Fig. Though
it has an ominous name and it does eventually kill the host tree that
it first grew on as a seedling; the Fig provides food and shelter
for lots of animals. So it's not all villan :-)
11:41 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #14: Blurry photo of fruits
of an Aroid (a kind of Taro...ok, that didn't help much, sorry lah).
Hidden under the leaves. The colourful delights of this mostly green
landscape have to be rooted out with a sharp eye.
11:44 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #15: There are gaps in the
forest canopy, revealing the blue blue sky. The Rainforest is very
small and drying out is an issue. Discover more about this fascinating
place on free guided tours by volunteers every second Saturday. More
details at http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/sbg.htm
23/07/04 11:48 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #16:
I came across this inspiring scene of a teacher leading her very young
charges and telling them more about our plants.
Posted on 25/07/04 12:29
Pictures of teachers bring school children out for field trips
always bring back by fond memories of my primary school days.
Field trips then were rare, and highly welcomed by students.
Nowadays school children are more fortunately. They have regular
field trips. The luckier ones even go on oversea trips. I guess
they are spoilt for choices. Some don't likely to go on local
field trips at all.
I had this experience of guiding a groups of primary school
students in a nature park. The experience I had wasn't too good.
The kids were complaining about almost everything. It was too
hot, too humid, too many mosquitoes, too much walking, nothing
to see, the list goes on and on. Their faces were flushed pink,
some were giddy, and one even had a nose bleed!
When we spotted some animals like the changeable lizard or spiders,
some kids would throw stones at these animals! It was a test
of my patience and nerves througout the 2-hour walk. By the
end of the walk, I was the one with the flushed face and nose
bleed (almost)! Looking back, it was actually quite fun, and
I look forward to bringing kids on nature walks again.
Ria Posted on 27/07/04 10:56
Thanks for sharing yman. Yes, these early experiences really
define our childhood. Our children should also have such joys
11:51 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #17:
At the end of the tour, relax at the very pleasant Cafe near the Visitor
Centre amidst the sound of falling water and under the shade of tall
11:54 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #18 (last): The Cafe offers
really tempting delights...but there is something even more delicious
that I have yet to show you...