Saturday, April 30, 2005

Rains of Flowers

It has all in all, been a fruitful field week, and we have been blessed with showers... not of the water sort... but of flowers! Especially now that SHORCU, the most abundant Shorea is also flowering, ed, bluebird and plywind are quickly adorned with nature's pretties, once they step into the forest. Yet for those of you familiar with SHORCU's flowers, you will soon notice that it is conspicuously missing from the picture above. as the tiny flowers are not for amateur photographer like ply.

Yup, this being the mass flowering period, flowers are everywhere to be seen in the forests. Still, not everyone is appreciative of this rare display of Mother Nature. Majority of the throng at BTNR still stomp through the forest, without seeing much. What a pity!

Well, after much has been said about mass flowering, just what is so special about this, that makes many of us nature lovers go gag gag over? And what triggers this phenomenon? Some thing to chew over this long weekend ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

We are not alone!

This blog is too empty, I thought. What to do? The trees are just too many for Plywind and Bluebird.. Sigh.. We hope we can have 48 hours a day.. or a helicopter to help us accessing the canopy!

Nevertheless, our work is still very exciting! Not only the magnificent trees, but also some surprise encounters you might get.. day-in, day-out.

A common sun skink, Mabuya multifasciata, just at the Visitor Center. It is usually seen basking under the sun along most forest trails.
(Pic by plywind, at BTNR Visitor Center, 17-03-2005)

Juvenile of a Malayan giant frog, Linnonectes blythii, sighted at the pool along Cave Path. This is one of the largest frogs in Southeast Asia - able to grow up to 18cm long. The adults feed on a variety of large prey including crabs and even frogs!
(Pic by bluebird, at Cave Path pool, 30-03-2005)

This colugo, Cynocephalus variegatus, was resting (sleeping?) on this Magnolia elegans when it was approached and disturbed (by us, the tree-huggers!). Flabbergasted, it quickly climbed up the tree into the canopy. My previous colugo sighting (at Ken's reforestation plot - behind South View Hut) was more than a little surprise - a gliding performance!
(Pic by bluebird, at Fern Valley beside Quarry Road, 13-04-2005)

Juvenile of a Wagler's pit-viper, Tropidolaemus wagleri. Venomous, but unlikely to cause death, this beautiful snake can grow up to 1 meter and turn darker when it's grown up.
(Pic by plywind, at Rock Path-Catchment Path? 16-03-2005)

Cute! This juvenile spiny hill terrapin, Heosemys spinosa, will lose its 'spines' on shell when it's grown. Its colour matches the leaf litter on forest ground, perfectly. Needing such a wonderful camouflage (for protection), I wonder what animal would eat this dangerous-looking creature with spiny-shell! (but I still think it is cute, though!)
(Pic by plywind, at Rock Path-Catchment Path? 17-03-2005)

Monday, April 04, 2005

It's the season of mass-flowering!

Intriguing big-small flowers of Keruing (Dipterocarpus caudatus spp. penangianus): Are there many Dipterocarpus species on Bukit Timah or are there just many variety of one species?

Friday, April 01, 2005


Some researchers, with the Centre for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS), are now working on the big trees at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR). Within one year (hopefully!), all trees with diameter at breast height (dbh) of 30cm and above in the 164 hectare Reserve are to be identified, measured, tagged and mapped. Working for 3-4 days a week in the forest, these people (basically just two) are walking across almost every inch of BTNR (and of course, bashing through many irritating rattan-laden patches and some relatively untouched slopes/valleys!). They are here to share with you what they have learnt about the big trees that form the main structure of the forest on Bukit Timah and also some interesting flora and fauna they encountered along the way!

By the way, this is just one of the Seraya (Shorea curtisii) on the hill.. They (human) say my species is the most prominent one at Bukit Timah but I never know the exact number of my own kind around me :p Well.. may be next year when the project is completed. Meanwhile.. just stay tuned and see what these people say about us, the BIG TREES!