Tuesday, January 30, 2007

HDB cats? So cute!

Was tired as usual after a depressing Monday (cos lessons from 8am to 6pm no break). But at 11pm I quickly rushed downstairs with my camera to meet with the cat auntie whom I talked to 2 days back. Yup, she is a Muslim lady, and proud owner of 9 adopted HDB cats, all clipped and sterilized.

She was just returning home from work when I walked towards the cats’ makan place. She told me she going to put her things first before feeding the cats.

HDB cat
Ah White, Ah Fat and Stop.

Some cats had already arrived and eager for their dinner.

While waiting, I played with both the black and white cats, the only 2 which allowed me to touch them.

HDB cat

Auntie came down with the food. Today’s menu was canned cat food, biscuits and some chicken. Auntie made sure all the food were placed on paper to prevent dirtying the floor.

All the 9 cats have names...
HDB cat

As Auntie told me, this fellow is Ah Fat, cos shes so fat! Very amusing when one sees her walk. Her stomach will turn side to side one. But she is my favorite of all, as she is very friendly and lovable, being the only one which will automatically come to me for a massage.

However, she had a sad past. It was once a pet kept by a neighbor living at the block opposite us. Auntie said she was going home one day when she heard a thud. The owner had thrown Ah Fat down from the 3rd storey. She suffered a broken leg but was nursed back to health after Auntie took it to see a doctor. She also had an operation in the stomach area, thus resulting in her over bulging stomach.

HDB cat

This is Ah White, well, because she is white. She is the buddy of Ah Fat and always hang out together. Ah White is much more shy and will always run away when I tried to approach it. But I had found a tactic. Everytime, I will play with Ah Fat first and Ah White, seeing that I meant no harm will allow me to touch it. Ah White loves to be caress and will drop and lay down on the floor for me to rub it.

HDB cat

This cat is Long Tail, think no need to explain why. She was also once the same owner with Ah Fat but was also abandoned by them. Luckily Auntie is helping to look after them now. She told me the owners wanted the cats back now but she refused, unless they pay them back all the sterilization and operation fees. Being already such irresponsible owners, I assumed they had refused to do that.

Long Tail often rewards its owner with... Rats! Dead rats. She will catch them and put them at another auntie's door who also often came down and play with them. So, don't cull cats! They help to cull rats!

HDB cat

This small cat is called Stop. Auntie said that last time when she told the cat to “stop!” it will suddenly freeze. That’s how it got the name. Don’t know much about this cat as I can never get close to it. But it is very affectionate towards auntie and will jump about and rub auntie’s leg.

HDB cat

This is hamburger, cos it simply loves to eat hamburgers! And guess what? This is the child of Stop. Auntie said it was very clever and don't like to take pictures (cos it kept turning away from my camera). She also said that she tell all the cats not to go near strangers and apparently, all of them listened. All except Ah Fat, the overly friendly dude. :)

HDB cat

This cat is not part of the territory but a few blocks away. But Auntie had feed it last time and now it will also come here for fixed meals daily. It is called Wow! as its purring sounds exactly like it! So funny, haa.

Have introduced 6 cats which I saw today and 2 days back. Left 3 more which did not come today. There was also this cat called Tua Tao (Big Head) which she told me was huge. She also joking say that it is the emperor of all these cats and others on the opposite blocks. Hope to see his highness some day. :P

HDB cat

Auntie also brought down her cat for a walk after the other HDB cats dispersed. She was called Contact and is also the child of Stop. Very weird to see it walk as it seems to be crawling instead. Auntie said it had watched a TV on tigers stalking their prey and now it is copying its same motion :P But she is extremely guai and I even can hold it and cuddle between my arms.

HDB cat
Contact with Auntie, who don't want me to take her picture, so have to take it like this.

HDB cat
Ah White relishing my massage

Cats are part of the life of our neighborhood. We should treasure them, not complain and put the blame on them everytime. I cannot imagine a day without cats around my flat.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sap suckers or Cow herders?

This is my "first" post for my supposedly new blog. Bloggersupport haben replied to my request to restore my deleted blog after a week so might as well give up on that. Really missed those earlier noobish enteries on yellow vented bulbuls and changable lizard, etc.

Sorry let me divert abit from nature and focus abit on my comeback in the gaming arena xD. Last week I finally came back online after being inactive for the past 3 months in Knight Online. And glad to see all the old clannies still active and powerful. Valhala, Lordxeus, Igen, Ger4 and Bona. Looking forward for more adventures with them.

Me, Sapphire the chio ice mage, casting frost nova on the harpies.

Valhala with his Fire nova bombing the birds

Yea, back to the main topic. Yesterday, went back early to school before GENUS starts to see if my Plant Physiology textbook is still there (forgot to bring home the day before). Haiz, but its gone...

I also brought my macro lens in order to take some pictures of something which I wanted to docu for sometime.

Those shrubs along the pathway near LT23

Ants! Mmm... ok, nothing surprising about ants, we see them everywhere. But these ants somehow look different to me. Each little leaf have a few little ants on them. And the little ants were all not moving much, unlike others which usually scramble about. They were only moving their feelers.

At first I had thought that they were feeding on the sap. Wow, thats new, sap sucking ants! But looking more closely at the leaves, they seemed to contain more then ants.

Circular flat "things" embedded on the leaves

Eh, are those scale insects? They look so different from the ones I saw behind medical library (added the picture again since that post was deleted). Then again theres about 7000 species of scales around. Apparently, ants make use of these scales as their cows to exude out droplets of sugarly honeydew (wonder how they do that, use their feelers to tickle them?). They also protect their cows tenderly. Got one tried to bite me when I wanted to hold the leaf to keep it steady from the wind for a shot.

Scale insects behind medical library. Pretty right, like snow (gone now, as pluck out by gardeners)

Lastly got a short video of those ants in action:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Theres still some hope...

Managed to scavenge some of my posts. Luckily I subscribe to feedburner yesterday and it archive some of them. Will upload bit by bit when I have time. =) 

Feel like killing myself.....

Sorry guys...I accidentally deleted my blog just now. Man, my months of hard work all gone :(

Monday, January 22, 2007

CJ with the Seagrassers (Mass Death)

Had already heard about CJ's plight at the Ubin blog and Ron. I had been at CJ about one month back and the carpet anemones still looked beautiful and plentiful, scattered all over the lagoon and seabar. But they had already lost their sticky feeling last time. Is that a sign of unhealthiness already?

Today, the sight was horrible. Some looked like they had been bleached. Many were uprooted and even more were only left with remains, in bits and pieces.

carpet anemone

carpet anemonecarpet anemone
Remains and Uprooted

There were many noble volute shells around, but none alive. But we instead found quite alot of hermit crabs inside them. A pleasant sight for me, first time seeing such huge ones.

Stripped hermit crab
Stripped hermit crab

peakcock anemone
These beautiful (peacock?) anemones in various striking colors seemed to be surviving well.

We didn't find any dugong trails but instead found others like this one pointed out by kaiqin. Some bird imprints and a small snail pushing its way through the soft sand.

elephant tusk shell Scaphopoda
Is this an elephant tusk shell? Class Scaphopoda, Phylum Mollusk. The hollow shell has a closed tapered end and another open end where its muscular foot burrows into soft substrate to feed using its small tentacles around the foot.

Urchin Test SandDollar
Siti showed us some findings. Remains of the urchin (test) and sand-dollar. She explained how these echindoerms had their mouth at the bottom and its anus located at the top.

thunder crab
A Thunder crab, hiding in a pipe. Forgot to take my adaptor out, which was blocking the flash.

I didn't had the chance to go to the coral rubble last time as the water level was high so I urged my friends over.

snapping shrimp
Snapping shrimp. More commonly heard then seen.

Halophila spinulosa
Just trying to learn another seagrass name. Fern seagrass, Halophila spinulosa

This was an exciting find. A toadfish! It looks cute with its rather flatten head, big red eyes and mouth. Look at how well it is camouflaged.

From there, we ended our exploring and turned back to shore as the sky darkens. The stench of death filled the air as I smelled and saw the ball sea cucumbers lying all over. So much life gone in such a short time. Hope CJ can recover soon.

Our ecosystems are really fragile and we should protect them in whatever way we can, big or small

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Finally, Semakau! Waited for 2 months since attending the lectures. Finally. Longban Diana's dad car to West Coast Jetty, was still worried that will arrived late and get another lashing. Anywayz, turned out we reached at 3pm. The earliest somemore.....

Began raining heavily when we got into our boat. Not bad, still got air-con =). Here Ron started an introduction session to let us know about each other (LEFT). On reaching semakau, he enthusiastically gave a short intro of it (RIGHT).

We stayed in the canteen for awhile to wait for the rain clouds to pass. My god, theres even a table-tennis table and pure native Semakau mangoes (but rather sour) to eat.

And so we set off. Here is our guide from NEA, Mary who was kena sabo to give a speech on Semakau along the bus ride. One she graciously accepted.

I would never have known this stretch of greenery was a landfill (LEFT). To my right, she told us about the replanted mangroves, 2 patches of them. One younger, one older.

Preparing the trek through the jungle (LEFT). Ron taking the lead, quickly disappeared from sight (RIGHT). I soon knew why after emerging to the inter-tidals. Mosquitoes!! Wakaoz, I don't remember seeing that much since my army days. Lucky my well grown leg hair offered some protection.

Eddie found a landmine!

And we began our exploration. So much to see! Finally saw the amazing tape seagrass lagoon. And alot of new encounteres...

Elbow Crab
The Elbow Crab, well camouflaged tiny ambusher. Strangely it didn't respond much when I touched it. Just flinched abit.

fan worm
A new fan worm design for me.

knobbly seastar Protoreaster nodosusknobbly seastar Protoreaster nodosus
Different expressions on seeing the nodular sea-star

The iconic Knobbly sea-star. Waa...finally I had the chance to see this. Damm big! Fiona just told me that it had a cuter name, the chocolate chip sea-star. Apparently the nodules looked like chocolates.

sandfish sea cucumberstonefish sea cucumber
The sandfish sea cucumber (LEFT), stonefish sea cucumber (RIGHT) and the freaking long synaptid sea cucumber (picture cannot make it, so took it off) . How to identify front from end? The head or mouth of cucumbers have tentacles for feeding while their anus, well, piss water when squeezing them.

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch
Mm...think I'm better at tweaking pictures now! (Compare to e corals below). The Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch. Phew, finally saw the nudibranchs!

Jorunna funebris nudibranch
Polka Dot Nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)

So many first times. A Flatworm!

featherstar crinoid
Supposedly one of the finds of the day, a feather star. Class Crinoid and from phylum Echinoderm, their modified tube feet at the end of each branch, secretes muscus to capture food particles. They are suspension feeders. Many other exciting discoveries, huge cuttlefishes, cushion star, jellyfish, noble volutes which I dun have the luck to see.

The diversity of corals were amazing! Mmm...ok maybe because I haben been to much places to say this. Promised myself to ID more corals last time. And after hearing Ron said how he tweaked his photos, I attempted to do the same...eh, but din turn out very well, it was afternoon when I took at these pictures. Now it seems like night-time. Please tell me if I got any ID wrong and can help me with those question marks?

Symphyllia sp. and Disc Coral, Turbinaria sp.

Finger Soft Coral, Sinularia sp. and Omelette Soft Coral, Sacrophyton sp.

Brain Coral
Brain Coral???

Goniopora sp.

Flavid Boulder Coral

Heliofungia Sunflower Mushroom Coral
Sunflower Mushroom Coral, Heliofungia sp. Mushroom corals lie free on the substrate. This one is solitary with a single mouth.

Herpolitha Boomerang Mushroom Coral
Boomerang Mushroom Coral, Herpolitha sp. These dudes are colonial.

And so the walk was over and we had to take the heroic path (cos of the blood suckers) back to our bus. The hero among heros and aspiring teacher to be (BELOW).
Hero of the day

Great day and well spent today. Looking forward for future trips.

More blog entries from Ron, Juanhui and Samson
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