Monday, August 20, 2007

Crabbies @ Chek Jawa Boardway on 18 Aug 2007

Twenty-first discovery posting:

Late entry for this second trip to Chek Jawa (referred as CJ also).

Anyway, i was with the Naked Hermit Crabs (NHC in short) and some people from the GVN at CJ as we were doing our trial run before we attempt a guided walk for the public. Basically, we wanted to make sure we don't dwell too long, talk too much, on each station so that our visitors won't go Zzzzzz... when we guide them. =P

We were a bit worried by the outlook of the weather, as there were dark clouds approaching, so very soon we were off in our trial walk.

Here's a photo of Pulau Sekudu (picture below) which means 'frog island'.
There is a story about Pulau Sekudu with relation to Pulau Ubin, but to know it, it's either that you go 'discover' it yourself or come for the NHC walk at the CJ boardway. =p

Along the path we were taking, we soon saw one of the six ecosystems found at CJ, the coastal forest (picture below),
first 'discovery'.
Discovery note (about the plants living at the coastal forest):
1. Costal plants are adopted to grow in the inhospitable conditions (strong winds, salt spray and hot sun reflected off the sand and sea) along the coast.

2. The costal hill of Chek Jawa is mostly rock so there is hardly any soil for these plants to grow on.

3. So these plants either cling to rock ledges or grow wedged in crevices in the rocks.

And near the side of the boardwalk is a seashore nutmeg, second 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. This is a coastal plant. Refer to first 'discovery' for the challenges it have to face to survive.
2. It was once thought that this tree could no longer be found in Singapore, however it was discovered to be living in Chek Jawa.

3. The bright red pulp of the fruit attracts large birds such as the Oriental pied-hornbills, that eat and disperse them.

Do you know that the CJ boardway is also a great place to check out the planes landing at our Changi Airport?

Here's a photo (picture below) i took.
An observation we had at the CJ boardwalk is that, there was no litter bins along the boardwalk, so if you have any rubbish to dispose off, please remember to put them into your bag or pockets until you can find a litter bin to dispose of them properly.

This is to ensure that everyone who goes there have a litter-free experience, and more importantly, it serves not to pollute the ecosystems at CJ.

Do be considerate, as i am sure that you won't like it if someone throws rubbish in your home also, right? =)

Here's a photo record (picture below) of the CJ boardwalk,
third 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. The CJ boardwalk was officially opened on the 7 July 2007 (have to mention this since my nick is July. =p).
2. The entire boardwalk is about 1.1km long and has 2 sections - the coastal section (about 600m) and the mangrove section (about 500m).
3. You might think the boardwalk is made of wood, but it is actually made from fibre glass and concrete, made to look like wood.

Fourth 'discovery' is another ecosystem found in CJ, the seagrass lagoon (picture below), the photo i took didn't really showed the seagrasses very well, as the time when i took this was the time when the high tide was coming in. Anyway,
Discovery Note:
1. The seagrass lagoon serves as a nursery for many sea creatures as there is free shelter and loads of food to be found there.

2. Seagrasses have a creeping network of underground stems that stabilize the sediment. So the waters around the seagrasses are fairly clear.

On the boardwalk itself, we made a 'wonderful' discovery! Wow!
Fifth 'discovery', a true biscuit sea star, hahaha~ (picture below)
Discovery Note:
1. Origins : unknown.
2. Most NHCs believe that it did not originated from the seas.
3. And it is most possibly true that this is edible.

Another ecosystem that you can find within CJ is the mangrove forest,
sixth 'discovery'.Discovery Note:
1. Mangroves are important as they are one of the green lungs of our earth, which means that they absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis.
2.They are also nursery grounds for many species of marine fishes and crabs, just like the seagrass lagoon.
3. They are also nature's sponge, which means that they are able to hold large amounts of water. Massive floods have known to occur in areas where mangroves have been cleared!

An interesting thing about mangrove plants is that they develop aerial roots (refer to pictures below). Why? The answer is the
seventh 'discovery'.Discovery Note:
1. Aerial roots are roots that arise from the ground.
2. Mangrove plants developed aerial roots so that they could cope with living in unstable, water-logged (during high tide) and oxygen-poor mud.
3. During low-tides, these roots are exposed and are able to take in atmospheric air.

As the dark clouds we saw earlier moved in closer upon us and with the accompany sounds of thunder, we decided to head back to House no.1 immediately. However, i did managed to find time to take a photo of the Jejawi Tower, eighth 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1.The tower is named after a Jejawi Tree found nearby the tower.
2. A Jejawi Tree is actually a fig.
3. The tree is about 20 meters tall, about the same height as the tower itself!
4. Climbing to the top of the tower would enable you to do bird sighting or view the different ecosystems found in CJ.
5. It would be a bad idea though to climb this tower when the weather is bad, especially when there is lighting.

Here's a photo of the house no.1 (picture below),
ninth 'discovery', where we 'hid' from the rain.Discovery Note:
1. It is known as House no.1 as its postal address in Ubin is "House no.1".
2. This is now a visitor center which was converted from a Tudor-style house built in the 1930s.
One of the unique features of the house is its genuine fireplace, which is probably the only one left in Singapore.

Before the downpour hit the ground , i managed to capture a scene of the dark clouds that loomed across the sky (picture below). By the way, i was at about the same point where i took the first photo you saw in this entry.
As soon the rain passed, the next destination we quickly went a place somewhere near the jetty, not the toilet, but a place for food. =)

Anyway, that warps this trip to CJ. Hoping to go there soon again, and thanks to all the NHC, GVN for their information sharing and jokes which again made the trip an enjoyable one~

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