Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chek Jawa - peaceful, untouched, a retreat from the daily stresses of life

The Crabs were out in full force yesterday. We shifted our monthly nature walk to the last Saturday of the month and it looks like we made the right decision.

We had about 45 visitors in total; 20 who registered for the walk, 5 walk-in visitors and about 20 teachers-in-training from the NIE Green Club who came to observe us in action. The weather was just what we wished for - sunny and with a lovely breeze to keep everyone happy.

We split into 6 groups. Marcus took the photographer group, LK took the family group while November, Kok Sheng, July, Ria and CH took the NIE team plus Nancy and company.

There was so much to see. The rambutan trees were heavy with fruit. We did not see durian flowers yesterday so this could mean there might not be a bountiful durian harvest in December. But we are no expert in durian fruiting, so don't take our word for it.

Of all the little creatures that we saw yesterday, 3 stood out for their uniqueness. There were some colourful tiny fiddler crabs at the mangrove boardwalk area. We saw a few fiddler crabs with stalk eyes, a darker fiddler with a whitish claw and finally a crimson orange fiddler, all co-existing within a small patch of mangrove. My crummy point-and-shoot camera could not capture the beauty of the orange fiddler crab. Here's the rather lame photo of it. Do check the other blogs listed below for better photos.

A keen-eyed visitor from Ria's group spotted the Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) among the mangrove bushes. It had a lovely lime green colour and was well-camouflaged in the bushes. We were able to observe it for a few minutes and noticed that it moved forward in a gentle expand-contract motion that made it look like it moved 2 cm forward, 1 cm backward and then 2 cm forward again. Fascinating.

November and Marcus' groups saw the elusive Mud Lobster in one of the streams! And November even took a video of it. Go check it out. It is a rare sight to behold. Take our word for it.

Here are a few photos of LK's group. The kids really enjoyed the trip, skipping, jumping and asking lots of good questions.

At the top of Jejawi Tower (20m high) which is named after the tallest tree in Chek Jawa, the Jejawi tree, also known as the Malayan Banyan Tree.

And our final segment of the Chek Jawa trip .... signing of the NHC guestbook.

Everyone found a comfortable place to pen his and her thoughts.

I have also scanned a few of the drawings done by our visitors. Read what they have to say about Chek Jawa....

"Singapore is not just a place of high buildings and sophisticated shopping centres! Chek Jawa will give you lots of surprises."

"It would only be justifiable for us to leave it (Chek Jawa) the way it is and to encourage awareness surrounding this tranquil shore."

"Peaceful, untouched, a retreat from the daily stresses of life."

"Chek Jawa is beautiful. Even if we have all the developments in the world, we still need a tranquil spot to remind us that the natural world is beautiful. Please don't take that away."

"It was a special world of nature."

"This is such a beautiful and serene place, it brings tears to my eyes."
This is Pranav's drawing. He is in Primary 2.

This is the contribution by Evangeline who is in Primary 1.

So, it is most fitting to end this blog with a few photos showing the tranquility that is Chek Jawa.

Thanks to Ria, July, Kok Sheng, Marcus, November, CH and LK for guiding. And to James who came along to take photographs.

And other blogs written about this trip...
Our next Chek Jawa Boardwalk trip is on 26 Sep 2009 (Saturday). Look out for our announcement closer to the date. See you!

1 comment:

  1. Wow you all saw a mud-lobster out in the open. November's video is pretty clear up & close with the animal. This is amazing.

    Chek Jawa never fails to surprise us. That's why it is always exciting to guide here. Isn't it!