Saturday, June 23, 2018

Beach Cleanup #1 & #2

Browsing through my Facebook feed nowadays is quite depressing. Especially when I have many friends who are environmentally conscious and share sad articles on the state of our seas, rubbish killing animals, micro-plastics & fibres ingested by filter feeders, etc. 

These past few years, I have been concentrating much in studying and upgrading my skills in the very competitive field of data science, and been too long an arm-chair environmentalist. Last weekend I decided to just go to Punggol Beach to have a look at the state of rubbish, and tug along a plastic bag.

#Trip 1. It wasn't that bad, but far from good too. Some of the plastics have been left so long that barnacles have grown on it.

Look at this, the shoreline mark was littered with small pieces of degraded plastics. So many that its impossible to clear all.

So much rubbish :(

What I gathered in 15 mins. Plastic bottles, cups, bags, and many many pieces of styrofoam. From my first trip, I decided that yes, there's enough plastics and rubbish to warrant another trip. 

Some fishing going on here. 
#Trip 2. Collected 3 bags worth of rubbish. Scanned a wider stretch of the beach and realised that while there is evidence of contractors hired to clean the beach, there is more to be done for some areas. I shall be back again and better prepared. Had bought a small collapsible bucket, and will also bring a glove for safety reasons. 

No. Trips: 2
Total Bags of Trash: 4

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pitcher Plant Hybrids

For those who have been following my blog, you might have realised that it has not been updated for 4.5 years! Time is not something that I have the luxury of nowadays, especially when priorities and goals changed. But it has always been in my mind to come back someday. Both this blog and my plant identification website serves as a form of education in some form to a wider audience.

Kent Ridge Park to most is just a park, or to others, a part of the Southern Ridges, or, to bikers, one of their off-road cycling haven. However, it is home to a unique native form of forest called Adinandra belukar (I might blog more about this next time). Above is how it looks like, taken in the undergrowth.

Of course, as with the title, the aim is to search for a couple of pitcher plant hybrids which I have searched for in vain for awhile. Luckily, this time, I have the help of a knowledgeable pitcher plant researcher, who kindly agreed to show me.

Introducing Nepenthes x hookerana. This is a hybrid of Nepenthes rafflesiana and Nepenthes ampullaria. Such a beauty isn’t it! For those who have seen and known the native non-hybrid species, this hybrid pitcher looks totally different, being more slender and funnel like compared to rafflesiana.

This is another hybrid called Nepenthes x trichocarpa. It is a hybrid of Nepenthes gracilis and Nepenthes ampullaria. The pitchers are cute, stocky or plump in my opinion.

I was quite disturbed and dismayed when the researcher told me that he had seen evidence of people poaching the pitchers. I guess to some extent, humans always have a habit of wanting to possess things for themselves, like removing a piece of plant or animal from the environment and then growing it at their home. Personally, I gained more satisfaction seeing them in the wild, seeing them thriving in their habitat. I hope many of my readers feel the same way too.

Singapore, while small, have many natural places that will surprise many, I have no doubt on that. We need to cherish and appreciate them.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tree Falls

The past few days of bad weather has taken its toll on our park trees.


I was quite dismayed when I saw several uprooted trees in Punggol Park as I embarked on my weekend plant photography trip. Above is a Dalbergia oliveri which have been on that spot for many years, till now.


This uprooted tree, Tabebuia rosea is being sawing into pieces by the contractors for disposal. Another tree with a mistletoe growing on it at face-level had its trunk snapped. I have been waiting for the parasitic plant to flower and fruits so that I can collect their photographs, but it is likely that the tree will be removed after this incident.

Its such a pity that these greenery which have been part of the park landscape for so many years is gone.

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