Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back to Chek Jawa: Sat, 12 March 2008

:: Finally. after 2 weeks of hell, which was disguised prettily as the Singapore Fashion Festival, I headed out with Team Seagrass today to our everyones well loved shore, Chek Jawa, for a much anticipated breather from regular life ::

:: The sky was a washed in soft dusty pinks and lilacs and as the sun slowly crept out to welcome a new day, it hung in the sky, a blazed, proud, its orange like the yolk of a duck's egg. A light mist shrouds the island, beckoning with hidden delights. Definitely a morning worth waking up for ::

:: Shiny agate-coloured termite marched along side the path to CJ, while the torrential tropical rain on Friday knocked these durian flowers from its tree, covering the path with its waxy glossy petals ::

:: We had quite a good turn out this morning, so together with the NParks team and Ria (who brought us to the motherlode of rare Beccari's seagrass), we created the third transect for Chek Jawa, just off House No. 1 ::

:: A big patch of Beccari...really tiny and covered by gunk and algae....but its there. You can see them much more clearly on Ria's blog here. ::

:: Have never been to this side of Chek Jawa before so it was rather interesting to say the least. Besides the Beccari, we found a type of unique bivalve called the window pane shells, in various sizes, shapes and iridescent colours. You may have seen this shell in the form of dusty lamps or wind chimes made from these creatures in South East Asia and as a result, over collected for the tourist trade ::

:: Transect 3 was fairly simple since there are only two types of seagrasses: Beccari and Halophila ovalis, Kenerf and I walked out to the coral rubble after we were done ::

:: Pulau Seduku seems so near. And that massive tanker is evident that we are right smack in the middle of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world ::

:: The boardwalk which leads from House No. 1 ::

:: We chanced upon these two Coastal Horseshoe Crabs (Tachypleus gigas). They were probably mating when we disturbed them. Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs and they are related to spiders and have been around since the age of the dinosaurs ::

:: Chanced upon a brown blob and thought it was a sea cucumber of sorts. Then it started to move and realised that it was a sea hare. You can see the internalised shell in the middle of its body ::

:: The carpet anemones are doing very well. There were so many of them and they seem to be really close to one another. I was wondering if they were mating as there were floating blobs of translucent mucus floating amongst the algae and seagrasses and were particularly near the carpet anemones ::

:: A selmacis sea urchin ::

:: First star of the day, a yummy looking biscuit star (Goniodiscaster scaber) ::

:: Herons and egrets having their breakfast and in the background, Ria with her black umbrella. ::

:: Found this dead biscuit star under the boardwalk. It looked like it imploded and something that happened to many of the sea creatures during the mass death of Chek Jawa in 2007. Could it be due to the rain of recent days? ::

:: Fortunately, this orange Cake Sea Star (Anthenea aspera) looks healthy. Gerald found it whilst looking for his orange pegs which he had dropped while monitoring ::

:: Chay Hoon showed me these rocks stars underneath a rock. She said they were having a concert underneath. Ha! ::

:: Nearby, a thunder crab (Myomenippe hardwickii) protects her eggs. Legend has it that if one's fingers are caught between the powerful claws of this crab, it would need a clap of thunder for the crab to release it ::

:: A fan shell, encrusted with tube worms and things. In the background, the Chek Jawa boardwalk ::

:: Chay Hoon found this bubble shell or headshield slug. Isn't it pretty? ::

:: As was walking back to House No. 1, went to have a closer look on the shore plants of Chek Jawa. The white flower with the pink centre belongs to Singapore's native Pong-pong tree (Cerbera odollam). It can only be found on natural coastal forests such as those found on Chek Jawa ::

:: And the Seashore nutmeg (Knema globularia) were fruiting. And a sea hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) ::

:: A juvenile horseshoe crab...::

:: View of the boardwalk at House No. 1. It was a lovely day actually, though some what marred by the incessant noise by inconsiderate and silly visitors from a certain girls school on the boardwalk, who probably fightened all the shy animals like civet cats and squirrels away ::

:: But, all in all it was a lovely day to be out traipsing on Chek Jawa. Great to see everyone and to hear Siti bellowing and making her snide caustic remarks that could burn the skin off anyone.. Oh yes, I have here a snap shot of the "Ubin Fashion Festival"........::

:: Actually one of them was wearing a pair shiny black kitten heels. Unfortunately, my stealth camera taking skills are pathetic so ... ::

1 comment:


Err..the bubble shell was actually found by one of the hunter-seekers for the family walk lah.