Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

13 April 2014 | Walk at the Park |

photo I was out last Saturday morning at Mandai area but did not make much progress as the morning rain came along relatively early. It was rather heavy and since there was no sign of it stopping, I decided to retreat just an hour after starting the walk.

The sky was still full of rain clouds when I was back home although the rain has stopped. I headed out again at around noon time to the nearby park. It started drizzling again after an hour in the park which resulted in my second retreat of the day. Nevertheless, the short park walk proved to be very rewarding compared to the failed mission in the morning at Mandai.

photo A few sightings in the park made my day. The most significant one was the flowering of the tree, Hopea odorata. I had monitored this tree (actually there are a few of them) for the last 5 years and this was the first time that it produced flowers. To make live even better for me, the flowering branches were at the right height, just at my eye level. I could therefore bring my humble camera right up to the flowers.

photo Another interesting find was the caterpillars of the butterfly, Acraea violae (Tawny Coster). At least 7 of them were found feeding on the leaves of Love-in-a-mist creeper (Passiflora foetida). I had seen this butterfly routinely in the park but this was the first time that I spotted its caterpillar.

This park is the home of a few type of longhorn beetles though they are very hard to spot. One of them is Olenecamptus optatus, which can be easily identified by its few prominent orange spots on its back. I first saw it on a mango tree (Mangifera indica) in this park in April last year. I was delighted to see it again and on the same mango tree.

I feel really fortunate to have this park nearby my place where I can come by to explore anytime of the day. After 5 years of roaming this tiny park, there are still surprises waiting for me from time to time. Nature is indeed full of wonders and it may be just at your doorstep.

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