Saturday, May 21, 2011

Drawings by our visitors

We had a wonderful outing at Chek Jawa on May 14. There were about 60 visitors and we had 6 volunteer guides that day. A group of RGS girls from the Environment Club and RA Biology Class joined us together with their teachers. This is the second year they came for our walk.

It will be such a waste if we did not put up the lovely drawings done by our visitors. What animals and plants did we see from the boardwalk? What are the feelings after the walk? How do people feel about the conservation efforts done for Chek Jawa? We are always fascinated to find out  what captures the eye of our visitors. Sometimes we are worried that perhaps they didn't see much and didn't quite care about the future of a biologically rich shore like Chek Jawa.

Well, the drawings do show that they care!

This first picture shows that we encountered lots of animals and plants in the short one and a half hours. Take a closer look at the picture and you'll see spiders, monitor lizards, crabs, snakes, butterflies, birds, jellyfishes and wild boars. Yes, we saw families of wild boars crossing jungle paths and foraging in the forests around Chek Jawa. To top it all, there were several piglets with their characteristic striped bodies. The wild boars are breeding as wild boars do!

I remember this group of visitors siting on the high rock overlooking the jetty in front of the English Cottage. I've probably got a photo of them in the idyllic setting. They saw Pulau Ubin as a "Wild Paradise". That is so true! Pulau Ubin is where ordinary Singaporeans go to escape from the frenetic pace of life in a city of shopping malls and air-conditioning. Every time I look at Pulau Ubin and its verdant forests as the bumboat approaches the island, my heart immediately quietens down as I know I will be spending a delightfully slow day in natural surroundings.

The next two drawings express the feelings of the RGS girls. "Conserve it!", say the young people from RGS.

And the 'dancing' mudskippers at the front mangrove area have caught someone's eye. These are the bearded mudskippers (Scartelaos histophorus) that we often observe near the soft muddy area. They have slender grey bodies, and are observed to leap head-up into the air. There are numerous species of mudskippers in Singapore. You can find out lots of information about them from the wildsingapore website.

Ah! Someone has drawn a St Andrew's Cross Spider (Argiope mangal) which we found in the mangroves. This spider has eight legs like all spiders do, but because the legs are tucked together in pairs, it appears to have 4 legs at first glance. The spider does look like the St Andrew's Cross. Nature is truly interesting!

More feelings expressed by our visitors in the next few pictures. Calls of "Don't reclaim", "Keep all the beauty, natural environment and wildlife or else the whole world will be ripped from its nature" written in the drawings.

We had a great time despite the hot weather (thankfully, the forests and mangroves provided deep shade that we could escape to!).

We run these free nature walks on the boardwalk every second Saturday of the month. Do join us if you could get your family or friends to come and explore Chek Jawa. We do these free walks in order to raise public awareness of the rich biodiversity of plants and animals in Chek Jawa. All the guides are volunteers. Thanks go out to Alyce, Pei Yan, Daniel, Ivan, Ria and LK for the wonderful trip.

Our next walk is on 11 Jun (Saturday morning). Write to nakedhermitcrabs at to register.

And have a lovely weekend!

Related posts: Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs by Ria Tan

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