Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chek Jawa September Walk with NHC

Last Saturday I was out guiding at Chek Jawa Boardwalk with Naked Hermit Crabs again!

It was great to be able to guide a family of different generations on a cool morning. And the guiding was much more easier for as I was not alone doing all the explanations. The grandpa and grandma of the family shared even more about their knowledge of nature's treasure trove and their experience with the wild in the past. I have learnt much from them too!

We had a quick climb up the Jejawi tower before proceeding to explore the mangroves and coast of Chek Jawa.

What plant does these bright yellowish orange flowers belong to?

It belongs to the Nipah palm tree. This tree is usually more commonly known for their immature seeds that is used to make attap chee.

The climbing crabs are actually more common than you can see as many are rather well camouflaged. This particular one is very pretty as it has bright red claws. This crab seems to be feeding on a leaf stalk.

Crawling in and out of burrows in the ground are many fiddler crabs.

My most favourite fiddler crabs are definitely the tiniest ones that are really bright in colour. From the boardwalk, they may just look like red spots on the ground.

Ah ha! The knowledgeable and observant grandpa pointed out the fruit of what seems to be of the Nyireh tree (Xylocarpus sp.). It was located quite inside of the mangroves.

It was interesting to find out that none of the participant knew this is the infamous tongkat ali plant. Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) has a notorious reputation as a purported aphrodisiac.

Near the tongkat ali is this sunbird that flew past and landed on another plant to feed on the nectar.

While along the coastal boardwalk, I came across a pair of birds that I do not know how to identify (or actually I'm lazy to find the id).

This large carpenter bee is a solitary creature where it does not form colonies. The female bores the wood to create a home. I'm not too sure why it was found among the ropes of the boardwalk.

Coming back to the House No. 1 of Chek Jawa, we had a good view of the island across, Pulau Sekudu. Sekudu is also known as the frog island. There were kayakers at the vicinity though the waters around Chek Jawa as been designated to be restricted.

Everyone showed off their artistic talent and thoughts about the trip on the coloured papers at the end of the trip. It was great to see the reflections from the participants on the wonders and charms of Chek Jawa. We all agreed that Chek Jawa should be conserved for as long as possible for future generations to enjoy.

Similar to last month, we were joined by student councillors from my school, Dunman High. They were here as part of their environmental exposure programme for their leadership development. In this photo, you can see them reading stories and information of Chek Jawa at the information kiosk.

Mr Ishak Khan shared with us the story of how a man proposed to his fiancee on the boardwalk but accidentally dropped the expensive diamond ring into the water. He even did an re-enactment of the scene with Sylvia, one of my students. Haha!

In all, it was a great trip, and the weather was superbly kind to us as we managed to escape the heavy rain! :-)

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