Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things I Find in the Woods Part Two

A while back, I posted some of the things I've found while wandering around Bukit Timah. Given that I've seen a lot more fun stuff since then, I thought I'd share some more with everyone.

When we first moved here, Bryan and I got a field guide for Singapore's wildlife (Wild Animals of Singapore) and looked through it, picking out some of the things we'd really like to see. At the top of my list is my favorite animal of all time, the slow loris, which is the only venomous primate. They're really hard to see because they're nocturnal, arboreal, and rather small and shy. I haven't seen one yet, but I'm keeping an eye out. We both agreed that we'd really like to see a reticulated python as well. We've heard stories that sound like urban legends, about these massive snakes winding their way through drainage ditches in the city, but we've yet to spot one ourselves. Of course, we wanted to see long-tailed macaques, and we've fulfilled that wish many times over. Below is Kevin, trying to touch the lens of the camera while I'm taking his picture. Like the human Kevin, monkey Kevin is always getting into something : )Also near the top of the list of animals we wanted to see was the colugo (also known as the flying lemur, which is a rather inaccurate name, as they don't fly, they glide; and they aren't really lemurs, which only live in Madagascar). I have been lucky enough to spot these guys clinging to tree trunks several times, and every time I'm thrilled. They look so bizarre! They have a membrane of loose skin that covers their bodies and enables them to glide from tree to tree. I think they look like a mishmash of a bunch of different animals- pig nose, rodent face, bat-like claws, primate eyes, etc. One day I got to see one glide from one tree to another, and it was really amazing- their skin works like a parachute, a lot like a flying squirrel's. It was strange to see such a large creature gliding effortlessly just over my head. The first time I ever saw a colugo, it was clinging to a tree trunk, and one of the monkeys was running up the tree, poking the colugo in the behind and then running away. It looked like the monkey was having a blast, but the colugo was not amused.Another day, I saw a snake slither onto the path near my feet. Seeing that the snake was rather brightly colored, I had a mini freak-out and ran away, fearing that it might be venomous. I composed myself and got a little closer (still staying absurdly far away, Mom and Dad; I can hear your sighs of disapproval now) and got a few pictures. The snake was a red-necked bronzeback, which is in fact totally harmless. Bryan came with me to BT one day and we saw a white-bellied rat snake (also non-venomous), but we didn't manage to get any good pictures of it.I've seen skinks several times, but this many-lined sun skink had some unusual coloring and was also abnormally bold, not even running away when I crouched right next to it to take a photo.I know I've posted a lot of pictures of monitor lizards, but I see them all the time and they look so prehistoric, it's hard for me to resist taking photos of them. So, here's another- a monitor climbing a tree. It always looks a little unnatural to me; they just don't look equipped to be scaling tree trunks.One day the monkeys went to a place that I'd never seen them go before, and I followed along. I found a couch sitting along the railroad tracks, slowly becoming overgrown by weeds. Not exciting for everyone, but in my book abandoned furniture is almost as exciting as abandoned buildings!And finally, I don't want to leave you with a picture of a decrepit old couch, so here's a flower! I think it's ginger, but I'm not sure.

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