Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

It was a glorious morning - cool with sun rays that do not burn the skin and hurt the eyes. Everything around was clear and it was a perfect morning to take a stroll around the Visitor Centre of Bukit Timah Hill. The greenery was refreshing and I enjoyed the the beautiful morning even more because half of the normal crowd to Bukit Timah Hill has gone to Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and China for their holidays. Hurray for us!Because of the incessant rains over the past week, I was not hopeful about seeing many flowers. Instead we looked for fungi growing on the dead logs that were lying next to the road and on the paths of the short trails inside Hindehide park next to the visitor centre. This is our first prize find:
The flowers of a ginger specie emerging. We were a little early.This could be a sign that there will be more flowers in the next one or two days.

A Christmas package. This fern leaf was neatly bundled up probably by ants.
Fruits of the Painted-drop tongue (Aglaonema commutatum) that originates from Malesia. There were rows of these plants along the road leading up to the top of Bukit Timah Hill.

A long-tailed macaque monkey with baby - my favourite portrait of these animals. The second fungus spotted next to the Visitor Centre.
I have seen berries that look like these before but never at ground level.
Figs were present in abundance.

More fungi. See if you can spot the millipede.

A young Pulai tree beginning to flower.

A kind of banana plant that I have also seen in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
And for the first time in a long, long time, I saw a snake. It was an Oriental Whip snake that I read is mildly poisonous. As with all snakes, approach with caution. This one was nearly a meter in length and was hanging upside down from the trunk of a tree. It later dropped onto the ground and found its way up the branches of the tree again where it remained cooperatively till I finished the photo shoot.
I really like this expression. Reminds me of the snake Ka in the Jungle Book. So cunningly charming.
It chooses to be amongst these leaves for obvious reasons.
It yawned a few times or perhaps it saw me as breakfast.
Finally, a lovely view of the quarry.

We saw more fungi on our way back to the car.
The best fungi find for the day - this marble-sized, fuzzy-looking fungi that we thought was a fig.

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