Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Semakau therapy

Last Sunday, I followed many shore experts and the Semakau Book Team to Semakau. Most of them went to explore the mangroves and I went off alone to take a look at the shore.

Dark clouds loomed above Semakau and it was pouring cats and dogs. There was still a portion where the sunlight shone through, telling us that every cloud has a silver lining.

Admist all the wet weather and continuous strong wind on top of having a cold and flu, this kind of Semakau therapy out in the wild made me appreciate God more. We humans are just created beings on this earth that is subjected to weather that we have little control over with.

While walking in the rain in the seagrass meadow, I saw this huge Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) and there were two shy juvenile anemonefishes residing in it.

It was quite an anemone day when I found this large Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) that also has a even more shy anemonefish.

Finally, I got to revisit the tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus) of a green Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica).

It seems to be friendlier this time showing me the whole body. Unfortunately, the rain stirred up lots of sediments and thus a not-so-clear photo.

I spotted this tiny patch of tentacle looking creature that resembles the Bulb-tentacled anemone (Entacmea quadricolor).

Of course the reefs of Semakau are teeming with corals...both hard corals and

soft corals. This soft coral looks like multiple hands, good for a horror movie plot?

Nevertheless, a closer look reveals that there are many individual polyps on the soft coral. Each polyp is an animal so can you imagine how many animals are there!

There are also many of the common sea stars (Archaster typicus) and this one is slightly more special with four arms.

Apparently, no Semakau is sort of complete without the knobbly sea star experience.

I also managed to find this seahorse that is pregnant.

Soon, the sun is setting as the rain ceased. The cold wind was still blowing unceasingly. It was at this point of them that Subaraj and the vertebrate team joined along. :-)

It was after the rain that I manged to stuffs nudibranchs like this phyllid nudibranch.

A few of these polka dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris) were also spotted but with the ripples of waves made by the wind, photography was bit tougher.

There was quite a special find of this fine-lined flatworm that I've not seen before. Apparently, this flatworm in pajamas is rarely seen on the intertidal!

The gang also found this flatworm on Monday as well, as shared by Ria on her wildshores blog.

Somehow, this pretty flatworm can also swim with its underside facing upwards. Cool.

There were also many of these commonly sighted spotted black flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.) in the intertidal area.

And of course, Semakau is also known to have a number of these pretty noble volutes that are unfortunately usually poached on mainland shores.

At the end of the day, Subaraj surprised us with his find of this little wolf snake. It was most active but also very beautiful.

In overall, this Semakau therapy is indeed unique in terms of experience with the weather and the creatures one can find at a landfill island which many of my friends still thought it is a smelly place.

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