Saturday, March 22, 2014

Changing behavior

It is interesting to read the commentary in TODAY (22 Mar 2014) on "Lack of graciousness is the tip of 'indifference iceberg'". I agree with the writer's view point as many of us are indifferent to things that go on around us.
We live in a society that has just about a sign for everything. Yet people choose to ignore signs and notices such as these :-


I am not against introducing fellow Singaporeans to our fauna but I think there is a great social responsibility to also demonstrate the right things as the idiom goes "monkey see monkey do".
Today, the commonly broken regulations in the NParks Act are b, c, j above. The people who choose to ignore regulations are of the mindset that there's little policing (how often do people get caught?). Many who see such acts being committed are indifferent (myself included).  May be it is time that we stop being indifferent and change our behavior after all we should be proud of what we have in Singapore.
Litter over flowing from bins. Common sense take trash and dispose it elsewhere.
  I end with this "Please don't feed the monkeys - You will do them more harm than good"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Frogs on my mind

News flash: The live tadpoles and baby frogs sold at pet shops as fish food are of one species of frog - the American bullfrog. 
People who take these into the nature reserves should know that American bullfrogs are an invasive species. Tadpoles and froglets (young frogs) are more harmful as they disappear into the ecosystem. They will live within it eating and growing unseen by most. The local wildlife will end-up on their dining menu. Bullfrogs are indiscriminate feeders, they eat anything they can fit in their large mouths, which will put small birds, insects, fish, reptiles, frogs and mammals at risk. 
They can do the same damage as :-
  • Cane toads in Australia and many other countries
  • Pythons invading the Florida Everglades in North America
  • Snakeheads in the North American waterways
They can wipe out native species.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

End of the road for a 110-year-old Chinese opera troupe

The Sin Sai Hong Hokkien Opera Troupe held its last performance on 4 March 2014. Unfortunately, I wasn't there to document the end but I was lucky enough to have photographed the troupe in 2010 and 2013. 
Sin Sai Hong, the oldest Hokkien troupe, had been performing for audiences in Singapore and  Malaysia for the past 110 years. 
During the heydays of street opera between the 1930s to 1960s, these street performances drew large crowds. Today, these street opera troupes struggle to stay relevant as audience numbers dwindles. Since the government changed its linguistic policy in the 1970s to favor Mandarin, many of us are unable to understand dialects. This also led to a lack of young talent joining the troupes. Sad to see this troupe that was built on three generations of tears and sweat go, but thank you for the memories, and the warmth the performers have shown me even though I could hardly communicate with them in proper Hokkien. For more photos click here


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chinese string puppets

I've walked past the tiny stage within a stage many times but never stopped to check Chinese puppetry out till now. Before I went and got my equipment, I did my usual sought permission to photograph, and check performance times since they aren't advertized and are tide to prayer schedules at the Taoists temples.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Say hello to the brown anole

A morning visit to Gardens by the Bay for birds turned into a reptile photo session instead. On the bakau support poles propping the transplanted trees in by the car park were pencil long brown lizards sunning themselves.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rescued pachyderms

Saved some time out of my trip to Northern Thailand to spend a day at Elephant Nature Park with Lek's elephants. The 25 acre park is a sanctuary for animals (domestic and wild). The group is also actively engaging in reforestation of the rain forest that is in their care.
35 rescued working elephants from the Thai/Myanmar border region live on the park and there has been 7 births since 1996. The park's current herd includes disabled, orphans, and blind elephants. 
During a day trip to the park I got to meet some of the elephants and walk among them (with human and elephant minders to ensure everyone's safety). Here are the animals and their stories to learn more follow each of the embedded links.
Medo was rescued from a very remote area near the Thai/Myanmar border, and arrived at the Elephant Nature Park in June 2006. A victim of a logging accident and crippled during mating.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wild mushrooms: Ink caps

While browsing at Kinokuniya, I found the Singapore Science Center published "Guide to tropical fungi". This field guide is a nice to have especially with the rainy season, and fungi are springing up everywhere. 
I'm just happy to have something to refer to and put a name to the fungi I spot such as these ink cap mushrooms that had been nameless for a very long time.
Ink caps