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  our wild singapore: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
mms upload for 29 Jul 04 (Thu)

29/07/04 07:58 It's a sleeepy morning *yawn*. Even these flowers which are usually cheerfully in full bloom by this time of the day, are half asleep. In the whole hedge only this flower was sort of opened :-) I promise to go out this afternoon...to make up for excessive aircon exposure yesterday :-)
29/07/04 13:23 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #1:
To make up for yesterday's deprivation, I'm heading for a Real Rainforest!! The beautiful BTNR is hard to beat.
29/07/04 13:24 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #2:
Friendly (but very camera shy) staff at the Visitor Centre will help direct you and plan your trip to this vast Reserve.
29/07/04 13:26 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #3:
There are lots of little paths heading off from the steep asphalt road that goes right to the top of the Hill. I'll take us through South View Path, the first right on the way up.
29/07/04 13:27 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #4:
This short path brings you just a little way into the forest proper, going uphill for a fair bit before rejoining the asphalt road. Along the path, you can be sure to see lots of interesting plants and perhaps spot some of the ellusive creatures that live here.
29/07/04 13:28 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #5:
This massive Heritage Tree is among the first things you will see on the path.
Posted by yman Posted on 01/08/04 22:15
I am often amazed by trees that stands up to the test of time. It takes a lot from humans to to live for a hundred years old. Trees on the other hand had just to stay put and enjoy the blessings of the sun and water. The people of the world may fight till the last man stands. For all their intelligences, the people of the world could not stand and enjoy the blessings of the sun and water. So one may ask what good is intelligence of we can guarantee our survival better than the trees. If some one would call be a "wooden block" alluding to inborn stupidity, I would take that as a compliment rather than as an insult. The cliche "not see the wood for the trees" is not far from the truth of the matter.
29/07/04 13:29 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #6:
The tree is not only very wide, but also very tall. Truly a magnificent giant.
29/07/04 13:30 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #7:
Other tall trees have lots of interesting climbers and plants.
29/07/04 13:32 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #8:
The natural path winds up the sides of the Hill giving you a spectacular view of the trees lower down on the slope.
29/07/04 13:33 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #9:
Don't forget to look down as well at the little things. The wet weather has resulted in a "bloom" of all kinds of mushrooms!
29/07/04 13:35 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #10:
There are lots of explanatory signs along the path so you can learn more about what you are looking at. Or why not join the free guided walk by volunteers every first Sunday? There's one on this coming Sunday 1 Aug. You do need to preregister: NParks Rangers at 64685 736.
29/07/04 13:36 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #11:
The Reserve is not only rich in natural history, but also just Plain History. There are monuments along the way to explain the role of the Hill in WWII.
29/07/04 13:37 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #12:
The Visitor Centre has an excellent exhibition area with LOTS of interesting information, photos and diagrams. I learn something new everytime I visit the exhibits.
29/07/04 13:38 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #13:
There are also specimens. Here are some wild durians, everybody's favourite fruit...but can eat or not?
29/07/04 13:38 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #14:
I never actually noticed this stuffed tiger until today. This poor beast was shot in the 1960s (not THAT long ago). It still looks scary.
29/07/04 13:40 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #15:
For those who prefer a less wild experience at the Reserve, take the gentle winding boardwalk up to Hindhede Park; just next to the Visitor Centre...
29/07/04 13:42 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #16:
Here are open grassy picnic spots under tall shady trees.
29/07/04 13:45 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #17:
And right at the end of this Park, a lovely view of a water-filled disused quarry. It was very peaceful there today. From the dense forest across the water, I could hear the chatter of monkeys and birds calling.
yman Posted on 29/07/04 21:48
This is one of my favourite scenery at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Very serene and tranquil. The calm waters in the water-filled quarry mirrors the sides of the quarry with Monet's impressionist paintwork. However, the rustic scenery is spoilt by the #@!*% TV/telephone tower that stands as an eyesore. Why can't they put the tower out of sight from the quarry. In some countries, there are laws against telephone companies from constructing such towers within sights of national parks. The good thing is that handphones don't work and won't ring to disturb the scantuary of nature's voices. Imagine being at the BTNR and overlooking the beautiful scenery. Then some bloke's phone rings, and he shouts into the phone. Even the scarecrows are irritated. Imagine no telephone tower, no handhones, which means also less people around. The ultimate serenity is what nature parks are supposed to be. Pray that we could have less people "Sing and Tell" at national parks in Singapore.

Ria Posted on 30/07/04 14:18
Yes it is a bit disruptive, but telecoms towers are very much a part of our lives. And they have to be put on the highest points. Same same with highways and roads. The BKE has separated BTNR from the rest of the central reserve which has a far bigger impact on BTNR than the tower. There have been talk among the nature circles of ways to reconnect BTNR with the central reserve. From making part of the BKE underground, to building a wide "overhead bridge" for the trees to grow across :-)

Posted by yman Posted on 01/08/04 22:04
Yah, I guess for tiny Singapore, we really cannot complain too much about the narrow line between nature-conservation and nation-building. URA is beginning to experiment with roof top gardens. This is most welcome, especially in HDB blocks. The amount of "land" that can be reclaimed from HDB roof tops (including the carparks) could easily doubled the availability of green space. So what's holding NParks from greening our roof tops? I would suggest a volunteer scheme for every HDB block to start a roof-top gardening club. NParks could offer advise on the types of trees and plants suitable for roof tops. Wow! If this takes off, we could have a view of green Singapore from outerspace!
29/07/04 13:46 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #18:
Next to the lovely view are explanatory signs about the history and flora and fauna of the quarry and the surrounding area.
29/07/04 13:49 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #19:
There are all kinds of intruiging narrow paths and exercise equipment tucked among the wild vegetation that crowds the sides of the Park...hmmm...
29/07/04 13:51 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #20:
And LOTS of colourful informative signs on everything from medicinal plants, food plants to historical aspects of the area.
29/07/04 13:52 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #21:
There are also challenging playgrounds..
29/07/04 13:54 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #22:
At the Visitor Centre is a little shop with drinks and snacks and some nature materials.
29/07/04 13:55 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #23:
Please DON'T feed the monkeys. The forest has plenty of food for them. The trees need the monkeys to eat their fruits so seeds are dispersed and the forest can regenerate.

Feeding makes the monkeys dependent on humans so they forget how to find their natural food. When the public complains of monkeys "attacking" them for food, NParks is often forced to put these monkeys to sleep.

FEEDING KILLS!! Please don't feed the monkeys.
29/07/04 13:56 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #24:
Please DON'T bring your dog to the Reserve or any of our wild places. Dogs leave a scent which disturbs the native wildlife. Dogs may also dig up or harass wildlife. Wildlife that defend themselves from dogs may injure the dog or the owner. So please leave your pet at home.
29/07/04 13:57 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve #25 (last):
A last look at the Visitor Centre before I scurry off back to work...die...late again. Do try to visit the Reserve and learn more about it. Singapore is among the very few cities with a living rainforest. It is a treasure beyond price.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is along Upper Bukit Timah Road, opposite Courts (S) Pte Ltd, look for Hindhede Drive and proceed straight until the end of the road.
More about Bukit Timah Nature Reserve including location map.

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