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  our wild singapore: Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail
mms upload for 23 Jul 04 (Fri)

23/07/04 07:36
Good morning! Finally, the Sun is back, giving us a golden start to the day...
yman Posted on 23/07/04 10:11
The glorius Sun is shinning brightly. With all the rain showering over Singapore, the skies are clear and truly blue. We seldom get this kind of clear blue skies, not with the dreaded haze that hovered over us once a while.

Last evening the winds were strong, which made the air cleaner for today. What a beautiful day for nature walks. Ya! nature walkers are behind you all the way.

I am sure some little creatures nesting in the tree ferns are basking in the Sun at the time this shot was taken. If only we could get a closer look into this microworld of living things. The stress of work and life would fall into a better perspective. So let's walk with nature on tiny Singapore and be marvelled by the vast expense of nature that unfolds before us. (:> Yman)
23/07/04 11:21 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #1:
Today I don't feel so well, so I thought I would wimp out and go some place civilised and familiar...the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Here is the entrance to the Visitor Centre, under the shade of an enormous Heritage Tree Raintree.
23/07/04 11:23 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #2:
The charming Visitor Centre usually has interesting poster exhibitions about plants and friendly staff at hand to help you plan your trip to this enormous Gardens.
23/07/04 11:24 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #3:
It's so easy to be distracted by the wonderful landscaped features and exotic plants that crowd this very beautiful Gardens...
23/07/04 11:27 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #5:
But today, I want to share with you an equally fascinating but less well know part of the Gardens...and here is the very humble entrance...
23/07/04 11:28 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #6:
The wondrous Rainforest Trail starts with a closeup look at rattans. A climbing palm with lots of attractive but very sharp spines, all over the stems and leaves. Be careful!
yman Posted on 27/07/04 16:30
When I see rattans, I usually conjure up pieces of rattan furniture, the cosy, homely, exquisite, and rather expensive type. My rather naïve look at rattans changed drastically after my visit to the Singapore Changi Prison. Not that I was there on my own wrong doings, but as a visitor under the National Education program. Yes, it was a very thought-provoking trip indeed. How did the rattans come to picture? It was in the flogging room, the room where convicted criminals are caned. The prison warden gave us a gory explanation of the manner flogging is carried out. The rattan or “rotan” is not any ordinary one you would find at the “Everything $1” shop. It is specially ordered from a neighbouring country and cured to cause maximum pain. According to the warden, even the most hardened criminal buckled under its stroke. So, is this a good form of education to deter potential criminals? So say yes, others say no. The fact is that it will leave a lasting impression on those who get the “behind the doors” facts from the wardens. Sign up for the next National Education visit to Changi Prison to form your own opinion. (:> Yman)

Ria Posted on 28/07/04 14:42
Yah, rattan also doesn't conjure up pleasant images for some of us who were very naughty when we were young (like me :-)
23/07/04 11:29 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #7: Walking up the sloping path, I walk under a giant pandan towering about 8m above me. And beyond that, even taller trees.
23/07/04 11:31 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #8:
Further on the trail, we wander under tall tall trees with the ground almost bare of undergrowth...a sign of a primary rainforest. We are in a patch of rainforest that has been left uncut since Raffles' days...a trip into history!
23/07/04 11:34 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #9:
Here and there, towering tree ferns..
23/07/04 11:35 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #10:
The beautiful curves of a fig tree's buttress roots, growing right next to the path.
23/07/04 11:36 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #11: Unfortunately, this beautiful tree has been badly defaced with grafitti gouged into its smooth bark. Truly, people who do this must have so very little sense of self worth that they would need to do damage to leave their mark.
23/07/04 11:37 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #12:
The fascinating Leaf Litter Plant actually collects falling dead leaves amongst its green leaves. It is believed the decomposing leaves provide the Plant with nutrients, which it has all to itself, held high above the roots of other plants. When I guide at the Trail, I always introduce this as the Kiasu Plant :-)
23/07/04 11:38 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #13:
My favourite tree is this massive magnificent Strangling Fig. Though it has an ominous name and it does eventually kill the host tree that it first grew on as a seedling; the Fig provides food and shelter for lots of animals. So it's not all villan :-)
23/07/04 11:41 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #14: Blurry photo of fruits of an Aroid (a kind of Taro...ok, that didn't help much, sorry lah). Hidden under the leaves. The colourful delights of this mostly green landscape have to be rooted out with a sharp eye.
23/07/04 11:44 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #15: There are gaps in the forest canopy, revealing the blue blue sky. The Rainforest is very small and drying out is an issue. Discover more about this fascinating place on free guided tours by volunteers every second Saturday. More details at http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/sbg.htm
23/07/04 11:48 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #16:
I came across this inspiring scene of a teacher leading her very young charges and telling them more about our plants.
yman Posted on 25/07/04 12:29
Pictures of teachers bring school children out for field trips always bring back by fond memories of my primary school days. Field trips then were rare, and highly welcomed by students. Nowadays school children are more fortunately. They have regular field trips. The luckier ones even go on oversea trips. I guess they are spoilt for choices. Some don't likely to go on local field trips at all.

I had this experience of guiding a groups of primary school students in a nature park. The experience I had wasn't too good. The kids were complaining about almost everything. It was too hot, too humid, too many mosquitoes, too much walking, nothing to see, the list goes on and on. Their faces were flushed pink, some were giddy, and one even had a nose bleed!

When we spotted some animals like the changeable lizard or spiders, some kids would throw stones at these animals! It was a test of my patience and nerves througout the 2-hour walk. By the end of the walk, I was the one with the flushed face and nose bleed (almost)! Looking back, it was actually quite fun, and I look forward to bringing kids on nature walks again.

Ria Posted on 27/07/04 10:56
Thanks for sharing yman. Yes, these early experiences really define our childhood. Our children should also have such joys :-)
23/07/04 11:51 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #17:
At the end of the tour, relax at the very pleasant Cafe near the Visitor Centre amidst the sound of falling water and under the shade of tall palms.
23/07/04 11:54 Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail #18 (last): The Cafe offers really tempting delights...but there is something even more delicious that I have yet to show you...

The Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre is at 1 Cluny Road.
More about the Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail including a location map and details about the free guided walks there.


these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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