Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cycling trip to Punggol

A recent meeting made me thoughtful about people’s perception of nature. It seems that there is general consensus that truly wild nature is not preferred. The reason being that the residents will not like it compared to manicured greenery. However, I do not believe that is a valid statement during my cycling trip to Punggol.


I believe that its a matter of how a wild patch of forest is “presented”. While cycling along the Park Connector Network in Punggol today, I can see that efforts are being done to keep parts of the original habitat. These natural habitats add to the rustic feel of the trail. I think that as long as there is some buffer zone between the trail and the forest, most people will not have any problems with their existence. Attractive cultivated plants can be done like the above could be introduced as a visual distraction to the forest background too.


This portion of the PCN is truly breath-taking. I love the view of the hilly forest at the opposite bank (even though the plants are all common species) where Lorong Harlus lies. I will definitely attempt conquering this hill when I am free.


Aside my lamenting, our urban greenery have really improved so much over the years. In Punggol especially, the streetscaping is planted in a dense and heterogeneous manner. A daunting task for the streetscape managers but it is probably good for wildlife enhancement and reducing pest birds.


In a particular precinct there, I was amazed to see grasses growing out from the roof of a communal shelter. Green roofing is really sprouting everywhere in Singapore and its also a welcoming sight. Surprisingly, no studies on whether it has any benefits towards urban wildlife was done in Singapore, at least to my knowledge.


A view of the Waterway @ Punggol. It is really a remarkable engineering feat. Do you know that this waterway was entirely dug from levelled land?


Venturing pass the waterway along Punggol Road, the forest caught my eye. Eventually, almost all the forest will be cleared in time to come. While it is not really a pristine forest, I still hope that at least portions of it can be preserved. Especially this giant durian tree, which is the tallest tree in this picture (at least 30 m tall). I can imagine that it will be pretty awesome to have a giant durian tree in the middle of an estate. How iconic it will be! However, its surrounding must be condone off because of falling durians when the season comes. :)


I passed by a huge Indian rubber tree, Ficus elastica which was heavily pruned. From its massive size, it must be a really old one. Hope this is another tree that will be conserved.


Another check from the butterfly list! A Grey Pansy. :)


Punggol Promenade was next, and my only thought was to search for the critically endangered climber which RY found last time, Caesalpinia bonduc. The plant seems to be doing fine, except for the fact that it was infested by leaf miners.


There was a pretty large bodhi tree, Ficus religiosa at Punggol Jetty. Great that they decided to preserve this tree when they cleared the place to build the promenade.


Turning back to cycle home, I saw three dogs foraging in the mangroves. They were rather shy seeing me and ran off quickly. Seems contrary to what the joggers experienced at the waterway.

Finished the entire trip in a record 22 km!

1 comment:

Federick Ho said...

I spent many hours of shooting and recording wild flora and fauna species before the waterways were built. I must go back there to take a good look at the whole place again. I agree with you - we need to keep some natural wild habitats to attract a wider variety of wild life in a man-made garden of park.

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