Monday, December 29, 2008

Wild Geese

In this beautiful poem I finally found a voice that so closely echoed all that was whispering in my heart one distilling dawn by the remote sea at Beting Bronok. There then I felt a gift had been given me - an epiphany of light and truth and the passion and joy of life screaming out to celebrate and to share. I felt so happy and I have learned so much. I am glad too the fleeting moment of my wondering at Beting Bronok I did capture. I called it Passion.

Mary Oliver's Wild Geese should move you out from wherever you may be into the light of living in the freedom of a priceless life, of discovering who you are and the world about you... i.e. if you chose to... fearlessly and lovingly... with acceptance and reckless abandonment. There is no time to lose.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal in your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue sky,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Source: Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dead Colugo found near Chestnut Drive

This is a belated sad news: a colugo had been found dead by the roadside near Chestnut Drive on Monday morning of 22nd December 2008.

Clarence Chua, who found it, commented:

"The specimen was laid out on the kerb. I think the driver put it there after hitting it. It was an adult I think. Hardly damaged, with only small drops of blood from mouth. Estimate that it died last night as the blood had dried. The spot was by a small sparsely wooded area in between Dairy Farm and Chestnut Drive Roads, about 1km off BTNR. I think it got hit by a car as it tried to glide from the wooded area to bukit gombak forest across the road.It's indeed saddening to see a relatively rare mammal die this way".

That morning, Clarence gave me an SOS call and started me off on a series of frantic phone calls to people who can help. Mr Leong Kwok Peng of nearby Diary Farm Adventure Centre responsed most expeditiously. He collected the specimen near Lamp post no. 142 within minutes of my call. He took photos and later called staff from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to take it off his hands.

Thanks Clarence, thanks Kwok Peng, for your concern and speedy action. The colugo may have died, but because of you, some invaluable data (which could well be revealed by expert studies of a rare fresh carcass) did not die along with it. Interestingly, the first people I called - RMBR (Raffles Museum) - turned down my offer of a fresh specimen.

[Photo credit: Leong Kwok Peng]

Monday, December 15, 2008

Trilobite Larvae: The Peter Pan of the Insect World

On a recent outing up Buikit Timah Hill with some wonderfully-kind folks from sponsor SPRING SINGAPORE and beautiful kids from BEYOND, I had the rare opportunity to explain the natural history of the Trilobite Larvae and how special it is. We found one (about 8cm long) crawling on a rotting log. Interestingly, this one remained completely still (as if pretending to be dead or lifeless) when we moved closer to look.

A fascinating account of the Trilobite Larvae can be found in the blog Bianca Sunshine.

Along the way, the Creepy Crawlies - a centipede, a millipede, a leafhopper, stingless bees, giant forest ants, a palm nettle caterpillar, a longhorn beetle, butterflies, a bush cricket, plenty of pond-skaters, a jumping spider, a super long-legged cranefly and a forest cockcroach - came out in force to entertain the kids and opened up for them a little window into the incredible world of the Rainforest! : )