Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I grew a mistletoe

As the title said, the mistletoe seed of Dendrophthoe pentandra which I placed on a Vitex pinnata tree germinated!


Can you see the two small leaves coming out from the seed? :)

Merry Christmas!

Life in wastelands

I made two recent trips to two patches of wasteland forest in Clementi. To say that they are wastelands is an understatement. While the diversity cannot be compared to our nature reserves, they are still teeming with life and sometimes host some rare species. And basically, a fun place to visit for some nature rambling in the vicinity.


YF and C investigating this exotic climber Syngonium podophyllum which has spread throughout Singapore after escaping from cultivation.


A Malayan Banyan, Ficus microcarpa stands majestically at the forest edge.


Here is how the interior looks like. Wild, messy and fun. As long as you can tolerate the mosquitoes and spider webs. :)


A magnificent specimen of a fig strangling a logan tree, Dimocarpus logan.


One of the nice thing about this forest is apparent abundance of the endangered fig, Ficus apiocarpa. This patch is literally covered with the climbing fig. I guess this is probably the locality with its highest density in Singapore. You can see it climbing on a durian tree here.


Figging time for Ficus apiocarpa, with many syconia on the ground. However it was impossible to take a picture of it on the fig as they were too high up the trees.


We also walked around the perimeter and found a sliverback fern (Pityrogramma calomelanos), which can create a pretty silver taboo using its silver spores.


A flowering Melicope lunu-ankenda tree, my first time seeing the flowers.


An unknown climber with a bright red fruit.


Another check off my butterfly species sightings, the Dark Brand Brown Bush.


And lastly, a white throated kingfisher perching on an Albizia tree.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Manuka Honey

KY passed me a bottle of Manuka Honey together with some dried specimens of the Manuka plant when he was in New Zealand recently.


The honey was so named because the bees collect nectar mainly from Manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium. KY said that it was a common plant there in New Zealand. It was said to contain anti-bacteria properties hence the honey was popularly consumed for sore throat and other ailments. It is said that the higher the UMF (unique Manuka factor) the better the quality of honey.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rainy Mandai

A, L, H, and I went for a walk along the now defunct railway adjacent Mandai mangroves.


Yummy ripe rambutan fruits.


Another new butterfly for me, Blue Glassy Tiger, which was very much abundant here.


My first time seeing the berries of this common native climber Paedaria foetida.


We found this two caterpillars possibly belonging to the Lime Butterfly (update: the caterpillars turned out to be of the Common Mormon) on the only mangrove plant belong to the Citrus family, Merope angulata. The plant looked very frail with few leaves though. It is nationally threatened with the status of critically endangered.


Many little mangrove propagules have established themselves.


A group of waders on the mudflat overlooking Johor Bahru.


L pointed out to this grisly hand from a tree. Creepy…


The ever resourceful Javan Mynas even don’t mind foraging in the mangroves!


Baby mangrove horseshoe crabs!


L pointed out these group of egrets when we on the Kranji MRT platform. Despite the heavy rain as shown, they still huddled on the canopy of the rain tree and endured the downpour. Beats me why though~

Think they might change their mind if its raining apples instead :p

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