Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Meandering River

Hurray! Exams are finally over as of yesterday. Just morning today, I decided to make a trip to the river opposite Ngee Ann Poly. Man, I have been dying to go there for a year! Whenever my bus 151 or 74 went pass it on the way to school, its always so nice to catch its view. Opps, and also, as an amatuer, this is actually my first adventure nature trip.

I made an ugly map looking from Google Earth so I won't get lost. The pink arrow is the direction I followed in the end. An error: should be Ngee Ann instead of Singapore Poly.

I stopped opposite SIM (singapore management university) as I wana capture a shot of this, another of my favorite bus view:

Lush greenery

Large area of elephants' ears (Alocasia macrorrhizos), a kind of cocoyam

Some cauliflowery fruits growing from the stems and branches

Yupz, and walked down to the river...

The "meandering" river as named by me. Not that meandering though =X

Wasn't really comfortable when walking beside the river as the grasses were long and irritating although theres still a narrow trail. And I even stepped into some mud puddle, getting my shoes and socks all soaked.

Complains aside, I soon succumbed to the beauty of the river's ecosystem. This is really a dragonfly's paradise! Lots of them were buzzing around in dazzling displays of yellow, red and blue colors.


Overexposed shot of a blue damselfly. damselflies have their wings closed up at rest.

The morning dew

Looking down at the river, there were huge patches of hydrilla covering the water body, Practically the entire stretch is clogged up by it (look at the earlier photo of the river)

Hydrilla verticillata

Exotic Inflorescences. The seven golden candle sticks, Cassia alata. This is an introduced species from America and the plant contains a fungicide which is used as a soap ingredient in Philipines. Info from Ria Tan's site. The flowers look like candles while the unemerged orange buds are the "flames". Why it is called "seven" I'm not really sure but a search in the net shows alot of results of this pharse in the Bible. Prehaps it was named so from there.

Fast-flowing stream linking to the river

Of cause, being influenced most by Dingli, I was on a constant look out for birds. A kingfisher flew past me when I first enter the river. Seemed to have purple feathers but I'm not very sure cos it disappeared in a flash. A white bird, probably an egret also flew away on seeing me. There were also eagles in the sky gliding about, 2 of them. In fact there seemed to be lots of birds in the vicinity from all the different sounds ringing about in the forest. I recorded some and managed to captured a silhouette of a bird together with audio recording using my MiVo MP3 player and Dingli told me it looked and sounded like a dollarbird =).

Anyway, the treat of the day came when a racket-tailed drongo flew passed and away from me. Wow! Those two long tail feathers really mesmerized me.

Obstacle course, a fallen tree on the trail

In just a short 30mins, I reached to the end of the river and met with the malaysian railway line. It was going to rain soon so I had no choice but to take the left route back to civilisation rather than the other way where I can walk deeper into the forest.

Following the railway back to civilisation

A memory of this beautiful place

Thinking back, its kinda baffling that wildlife exists just right at our backyard, isolated from humans.

Ngee Ann Poly right at the back

Considering this as my first adventure experience. It was truly amazing! But alas now I realized the importance of having an experience guide. So many things happening around me but I can’t identify them. That aside, I do admit I enjoy the solitude and can take my own sweet thing in walking. Nvm, anyways Dingli had agreed to go visit the river another day with me, haha (Thats why this is part I). Anyway, since this is the holidays, I had planned more nature visits around here. But first have to survive through my reservice next week =S sianz wor….

ty to prof Tan for helping to identify some plants.

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