Heard and Seen

Eleven kilometres in a nature reserve,
Drone of crickets
Overlaid with bird calls.
Rustling leaves
And a glimpse
Of a scampering squirrel
And a startled monitor lizard

There was also distant traffic
The sound of piling
And tractors.
And voices,
German, Filipino, Chinese
An enquiring mother
"Do you need a drink of water?"

A maintenance vehicle with two workers
Squeezes past me,
The first I've seen in years on this path.

A jet plane flies overhead, unseen.
Then another minutes later.
A Chinook shatters the peace.
"What's that sound?" A curious boy
Asks his mother who didn't have the answer.
Another Chinook passes,
or maybe it's the same one returning.

My steps crunch on gravel
And squish in the mud.
My walk ends
And six fighter jets
Scream overhead.

As I walked through MacRitchie Nature Reserve a few days back, I focused especially on what I could hear. The crickets were particularly loud and persistent, I thought. Or maybe I was just paying more attention.

Gratitude #7

Despite Covid-19 and social distancing, I’m very glad the parks are open for 3-hour nature walks. It did get a little crowded as the main school holidays have started, and of course nobody is going off anywhere for a holiday.

Singapore used to become noticeably less crowded during the year-end holidays in pre-covid times, as many would drive to Malaysia to visit family. Now the border has been closed for months. I know many friends and colleagues who are sad and worried about loved ones across the border. Of course the option to travel is there but there is a strict quarantine requirement on both sides during which one is completely isolated for a fortnight each time.

Back to the parks. It was good to be able to walk through the green foliage, hear the birds and insects, with blue skies when it isn’t raining.

Rainy Walk

It’s “cold” in Singapore, 22 degrees yesterday.

After 2 weeks of continuous wet weather

my legs were crying for a long walk.

At least it wasn’t pouring, it just drizzled continuously.

Only some paths were the color and consistency of

cheese dip, and soon thick mud coated my shoes.

Should have brought the heavier weather-proof camera;

anyway here’s what the little camera got.

Starting out in the park next to the nature reserve

There were others who didn’t mind splashing and squelching through the mud

Why would people bring rental bikes into a nature reserve which doesn’t allow bikes and leave them out there?

Looks like a grey heron, but I cannot be sure


A collared kingfisher perching and in flight…

And just as I thought the long-tailed macaques were hiding, I saw this little fella:

Long-tailed macaque hoping I had food for it. I didn’t.