Sunday, April 23, 2006

Jinjin and Sasa Great Fish Hunt in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

This section list the adventures of Jinjin and Sasa as they embarked on the quest of finding fishes in their natural habitat in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Having a tip off from books that there are abundant fish in the streams in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Jinjin set off to verify the claims and to spot fishes in their natural habitat. This will hopefully allow Jinjin to create an atmosphere in his aquarium that is similar to the natural habitat of several Singaporean fishes such as the Harlequin Rasbora.

Singapore is only one of two cities in the world to have a significant area of primary rainforest within its boundaries – the other being Rio de Janeiro. As part of the government's efforts to conserve our rainforest, the land around Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a conservation zone. This means that hunting, catching or harassing any animals or picking any plants here could hurt you a lot in your pockets - in the form of a steep fine under the National Park Act. Bukit means hill in the Malay language, while Timah means tin, although tin deposits are not found in the area. The hill served as a granite quarry for many years, but since the mid-1900s, all operations of which has since been abandoned and converted into recreational areas

A map of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
(Click to get larger picture).

After climbing 999 steps, you are
not even near the submit (Pant, Pant!)

Can you spot the chipmunk?
(Click on the photo for a larger photo)

Can you spot the chipmunk?
(Click on the photo for a larger photo)

A small stream of water at foot of hill

On the road into the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, a sight of several monkeys greets me. These monkeys are wild, but they are not afraid of humans, and often sit near humans in the hope of getting scraps of food. Passer-bys should not feed them, as there is a $10,000 fine for feeding the monkeys.

This monkey was sitting 1 m of me

$10,00 fine for feeding monkeys!

A sight of amazement greets me near the entrance to the reserve... all around me was trees, trees and more trees. In a narrow path, the forest opens before me. All around me, I could the chirping of birds, the frogs call, and other noise of the forest. Yet to my amazement, despite keeping my eyes peels, I did not see a single frog or bird.

The forest opens before me

The path was long, narrow, and as you would expect from trekking a hill, consists of endless flights of stairs, up and down the hill. It was extremely tiring as poor Jinjin is not used to all the stairs.

Some interesting encounters include an unknown plant I have not seen before, a blue dragonfly darting in front of me, a chipmunk on a tree on top of me, a cobweb full of spiders and spiderlings (Near invisible).

A blue dragonfly on the plant

An unknown species of plant

Very fine spider web, with spiderlings and food :)

At the foot of the hill, I chanced across a small stream.. and traced the water back to a huge quarry.

Quarry with terrapins and fishes.

While I was not able to examine how the fishes live in the wild streams, it was neverless an exciting and enriching experience for Jinjin. Jinjin hopes to bring Sasa there soon.

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