13 March 2011

Lim Chu Kang with mangrove mushrooms

A quick look at mangroves at Lim Chu Kang!
As the morning wet weather cleared, I had a brief first glimpse of the mysterious mangroves at Lim Chu Kang.

On the way there, I walked past several abandoned ponds. I saw huge lazy monitor lizards sunning on bare spots, and startled some waterbirds.
Some of the ponds had dried up already and were filled with wild flowers!
As I got closer to the mangroves, I passed through a lovely fern filled valley.
As usual, I eventually find a trail into the mangroves. Like most of the trails, this led to what seems to be a good fishing spot. Fortunately, such spots are usually not occupied during low tide.
I ended on a steeply sloping side of a mangrove stream. Across the stream, some delicious looking mangroves. But for safety, I decided I shouldn't brave the mud alone: it looked rather 'quick' and treacherous.
The stream widens out further upstream.
Although this spot is quite far upstream, there are many signs of erosion even here.
This large tree seems to have just recently fallen over.
On the side of the stream where I was, there were small sections of mud lobster mounds. In other spots, there were lots of young mangrove saplings growing under the big trees.
Clumps of huge Mangrove ferns grew thickly where the shade of the big trees give out. And at the edge of brackish water influence, impenetrable thickets of Sea hibiscus.
I didn't really manage to make much headway along the slippery steep stream edge. Most of the mangrove trees I saw appear to be common species. But I did notice lots of mushrooms today! There were these bracket shaped mushrooms that were as big as my hand!
And lots of other different kinds too.
I also saw lots of the usual kinds of mangrove snails.
And while negotiating through the undergrowth, I tried not to break too many spider webs. As I look out for these webs, I noticed this pretty prickly spider. Could it be the Black-and-White Spiny Spider (Gasteracantha kuhlii)?
I managed to take a photo of this butterfly even with slow no-zoom sneaky cam. There were lots of them fluttering about and I think it's probably the Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina) which is commonly seen near mangroves. Here's more about the butterfly on the awesome Butterfly Circle website.
As I returned and reached the edges where the mangrove merge into non-mangrove vegetation, I stumbled across a huge pile of 'See-ham' or Blood cockle shells.
Here's a closer look at the shells. I have no idea what happened here.
I also saw other rubbish dumped at this edge where the mangroves start.
While the quantities are not huge, it seems ordinary people often see our mangroves just as rubbish dumps. I'm  puzzled as it seems (to me) that it would take more effort to drag the rubbish to this spot than to simply dispose of it in the proper manner. The bags seem to contain some sort of white stuff that has stained the leaves. Hopefully it's nothing too toxic. I didn't dare to check the bags.

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