Saturday, November 29, 2008

IRAS friends visit Chek Jawa

It's a wonderful Saturday morning with promise of a bright sunshiny day in November. After a long work week, it is a great feeling as we take the bumboat across to Ubin, and the picture of the verdant forests of Ubin beckon.

The folks from IRAS came for a nature walk at Chek Jawa (CJ) with the Naked Hermit Crabs.

Everyone was keen to learn about the plants and animals found in CJ. We saw a lot of interesting things:

Cotton-stainer bugs on the Sea Hibiscus Tree

the smaller mudskippers on the shore

the Giant mudskippers, as big as our hands, in the mangroves

The useful attap palms that give us our delicious 'attap chee', without which our ice kacang desserts would be soooo..... boring!

Unfortunately, the 'celebrity' animals did not show up today. The Oriental Pied Hornbills and the White-Bellied Sea Eagle were probably held up somewhere else. Busy busy animals! But we heard the jungle fowl crow in the secondary forests, and the noisy rustling of dried leaves made by the wild boars.
The walk must have left a deep impression on our visitors.

These are some of their words and drawings .....

- "Educational & enjoyable tour. Will let more people know about the place."
- "It is such an eye-opening experience, and to be away from the stress at work." (and the Crabs say "Aye Aye!!")

- "I find that this trip is very informative. there are very few places in Singapore nowadays. Hope that this place can be conserved so that the schools can conduct such tours to educate the students."

- "I think Chek Jawa is a very interesting place which provides insight and knowledge about mangrove communities. It was amazing to see the numerous animals and creatures which depend on mangroves. Chek Jawa is a place unique to Singapore and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy."

- "Pelihara alam sekitar semulajadi dan hargainya."

- "Pulau Ubin ada-lah sebuah pulau yang indah.... Jaga-lah alam sekitaran untuk generasi akan datang. Wish we can come back again next time..."

And the tour ended with a rousing photo shoot at House #1, the beautiful English cottage built by Langdon Williams who was Chief Surveyor of the British government in the 1930's.

Thanks to all the guides who volunteered their services on Saturday - July, Vyna, Jerald and LK.

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