Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tanjong Pagar Loop

This trip is in the China Town area. I am trying to see how much greenery in the area. There were a few parks available in the area. The plan is to visit them along a planned route in a loop.

The first disappointment when I came out of Tanjong Pagar MRT exit A is that the whole area is now walled up for construction. I expected a open field garden right between Exit A and Exit B. I had to turn a big round on the wrong side (north) to get to Exit B as planned.

Crossing the Maxwell Rd, I came to Telok Ayer park. It is green but not much flower except this Dwarf Tibouchina.
Going along Telok Ayer St, this Bird's Nest Fern grows in front of the Amoy St Food center. It is interesting that it is not just one plant. The whole section of the road has it.
It is not often I take picture of buildings. However, part of this route is designated by NParks as a walking trail. Some buildings are listed. I though I might as well include them as well. In actual fact, I missed all the trees mentioned in the trail as there were no sign boards indicating them and I have a hard time recognizing the trees.  As I am not touring, I just passed by all the buildings I took picture of without going into them.

The first structure is this Thiam Hock Keng Temple. According to NParks, it is the oldest temple in Singapore.

The next one near by is Nagore Durgha Shrine. It is a meeting place for Indian Muslims. I missed the Al-abrar Mosque mentioned in the trail as it is not in my route plan.
The Telok Ayer Green Park is just beside it. This Habana cigar plant, a ginger, attracted my attention.
There are two bronze sculptures in the park. This one is "Chinese procession".
The other one is "Indian Settlers in Telok Ayer".
This plant could be Galangal Ginger. I am not very sure.
This is a Sacred Lotus. Its leaf is almost round. It is supposed to grow in water.
Found this Ruellia behind a shed in Ann Siang Park.

Made a wrong turn after going up a spiral staircase and saw this Chinese Honeysuckle growing over a shed.
When I end up in Ann Siang Rd, I realize I am out of my plotted track. Walked back and forth around the place till I realize that the path is on the right of the spiral staircase. Well, at least I found out who is Ann Siang. This sign board is near Ann Siang Rd. Took the picture with my L27 thus no GPS info.
Found this Panama Rose that looks like the common Ixora from far. Almost missed this till I get a closer look.

This Flowering Banana is so low that I could take a picture. There is another nicer looking one but is quite high up.
This brightly colored Flabellata (a Heliconia) grows in abundance but only a few that have flower.
I love looking at this huge Hibiscus. It is as big as my palm (10 cm). Usually they are much smaller than this.
This nice variegated Bougainvillea 'vanilla ice' grows just outside the Ann Siang Hill Park.'
The route now turns into South Bridge Rd then Pagoda St. You can't miss the Sri Mariamma Temple. It is a land mark.
There were a lot of pigeons at Pagoda street.

Another view of the temple at Pagoda Street.

I have never realized that there is a bronze sculpture of a Samsui Woman with her distinct 'red bandana' ((红头巾). Actually most bronze sculptures does not have color. This one seems to be special. 
1 Park Rd is still a road? It is so short and void of cars but it is still there with a big sign board.
The original plan is to end the route here. It was changed the night before going on this trip. The route continues to Upper Cross St and then Pearl hill's Rd before entering Pearl Hill Park.

This end of the park is green but not much plants to take pictures with. The trees are already too tall. The planned route was to take the longer path but decided to cut short and take the direct path instead.

On the other side of the Pearl Hill Reservoir, there are a lot of Ferns growing in the park. As ferns are only interesting if you look at the back of the leaf. Therefore, I took the unusual move to turn the leaf back to take the picture. My normal practice is ESNT (eye-see-no-touch). Here are some pictures. The middle picture is Brake fern, the rest are Sword ferns.

In between the three pictures, I noticed that the footpath has tiny plants growing between the bricks. They really made a pattern on the path. It is a Purslande or something like that. 
Over here, my GPS seems to be not responding well. I walked to and fro a few times to find my way around. Finally, took the wrong path and missed the long stairway down the hill according to OpenStreetMap. The stairways is not indicated in Google map or Streetdirectory.

I am glad I took the wrong path. There were two nice flowering plants on the path. The first one is the same as the one I found in Upper Seletar Reservoir. It is the Glory Lily. My last enlarged picture of this plant missed the stamens. This time I make sure the complete flower is in the picture.

The other plant is Hairy Clidemia.

Walking along the Pearl Hill Terrace, the route crossed South Bridge Rd again into Duxton Plain Park. According to internet this park was originally a railway track. 

On entering the park, again there are a lot of pigeons.

Here also you will see lots of Habana cigar plant. They looked a lot nicer here.

There is a large field of Wild Pepper growing here also.
For the rest of the park, there isn't much interesting plants to take picture till near the end of it at Yang Kit Rd where there are Apostle plant growing. The close up picture is quite blurred as the flower is small and quite a distance from the leaves. I choose to show this one instead.

There is a Vanda Miss Joaquim Park just across Yang Kit Rd. It has a structure with a Chinese name on it. It is called 金兰园. According to internet this park is dedicated to the national orchid flower. Unfortunately, I did not know before hand thus does not look specifically for the orchid.

What I did find is this green bamboo tree.
Today is not a good day for GPS navigation. I got lost again at Gopeng St. Well, I found this Happiness tree while I am lost. It seems to be my lucky day to find interesting plants while lost.

Finally got the GPS correct and saw this Seng Wong Beo Temple. One of the landmark in this area. Actually  "Beo" is already "temple" in Hokkein. The English banner in the picture is actually wrong.

After passing the temple, the route ends back at Tanjong Pagar MRT. Saw the area next to the temple being turned into an office building. There goes another green spot. I got lost because of this. The route is supposed to cut across it.

The WikiLoc route map is here.

The full Picasa album is here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Upper Seletar Reservoir

This route is a cycling route as it spans 26 KM via PC and Road. The actual destination is short but the trip to and return is via different path. This trip is another of the 'reservoir' series. 

The very first plant is the Sea-Shore Ardisia tree. This tree is along Woodlands Ave 2. I have not been able to get the name previously because it does not flower when I passed by. This time round, it has fruits already but the same type of tree near the Express way have ripped fruit that resembles the picture found in The Plant Observatory web sites.

Chinese Violet is still available around a shed along the SLE. 
The white version of the same plant is also found among the plant.
The small Praxelis plant grows along the PC too. Only this picture taken by my L27 is clear. The rest are blurred because I use the camera on my phone (for GPS location info).
Below the SLE, I caught sight of this Madras Pea Pumpkin. Its flower is too small to take clear picture with even when using the L27.
This Caribbean Pine grows at the side of the road below the SLE bridge
There were plenty of Ambay with quite large leaves growing along Ulu Sembawang PC.

There were Habana Cigar growing at the beginning of the PC. Another of the huge leafy plant.

The common Desert Cassia also grows in some portion of the PC.
At the time of my visit, there are constructions on both side of the PC. This Senduk Senduk Mata grows over the construction fencing. It looked like the flower has not bloom yet. However, web site information also show it as in the picture.
Along Mandai PC, this Resam fern grows out from the bushes. Like most ferns, its new leaf curls up like this.
This Memecylon have flowers growing at every leaf stalk making it look like decoration lights.
I almost missed this Red Flag Bush. Had to turn back just to take the picture. Like many of its Mussaenda genders, it has a few 'leaves' with very different color near its flowers.
There were quite a number of new plants planted along Mandai Rd. This tree, probably Beach Cherry, is one of them.
Another type of fern called Sticherus truncatus by its scientific name (no common name) is found opposite the reservoir entrance. Its leaf structure is very unique.
This Tree Fern is found besides it.

The reservoir park has a road just beside the reservoir but is not accessible by vehicle. It has a number of road barriers. However, they constructed foot path around every road barriers for walkers and joggers to pass it. Very thoughtful. There is a parallel road (Mandai Road Track 7) further down with car parks for cars.

This very nice Glory Lily is found in the park itself.
A shrub with small white flowers which I cannot find the name also grows there.
The white version of the Pagoda flower grows in front of the golf course club house.
This nice red Crown of Thorns grows there also.
I really cannot find the name of this plant. It look like a Osmoxylon or Papyrus but the little red flower like thing just make it not identifiable. I am not even sure if the red flower belong to the plant as it is my habit not to touch the flowers.
At the edge of the garden, you can find this Duranta variant growing.
Along the Mandai Track 7 road you can see very tall Mast Tree growing along it.

I can't find the name of this purple leaf potted plant.
Neither can I find the name of this shrub.
Finally found one plant that I could name. This Goodluck plant is common in Singapore.
After exiting into Mandai Rd, decided to turn right instead of going back the same way. Turned into Upper Thomson Road, I made another decision to not use the Mandai PC at Yishun Ave 1. I choose to use Lor Chincharu instead. From the map it looked like a dead end road. It is. However, there is a foot path that leads to the nearby Yishun Garden. There were maps that show people use the path to go from Upper Thomson to Yishun Ave 2. Please note that there is a gate at the dead end with a sign saying that the gate will be closed after dark. I am not sure whether it is actually closed after dark.

Right after entering Lor Cincharu, there is a unidentified tree that has plenty of small flowers.
This herbal plant Smooth amaranth grows by the road side.
This Noni tree grows just outside a company fence
This Orchid flower glows through the fence.
Nappy Plant with nice flower grows along the road.
I just love to look at Starfruit flowers.
Well, another fruit tree is also found near the road side. It is probably Rambutan tree although the fruit looks a bit funny.

Found a Egg Fruit tree growing there also.

Found a Thunbergia gender plant called White Lady growing there. 
There are only a few trees and plants growing in the Yishun Park. I can't remember the park name. One very interesting tree there is the Poached Egg Tree. I tried unsuccessfully to take a picture of it in Jln Bahar during my round island trip. With the L27 and the low branches, I managed to snap this nice picture. Now I know why it is called by that name.
Going all the way down Yishun PC, I took a picture of a Mangrove Trumpet Tree fruit. Unfortunately, no flowers available.
It is always pleasant to see this Hankerchief Tree.
I have been trying to take a picture of this Elephant Apple tree of the Dillenia gender. I took this PC very often but always forget to stop at this point to take the picture.
The Osmoxylon gender plant Yellow aralia have similar looking fruits and flowers. I prefer its non variant version. The fruits look much nicer purple. This picture is taken at Woodlands Ave 7 between Admiralty MRT and Woodlands Dr 73.
The three leaved Yellow Wood Sorrel is so small that you just don't see it while cycling. Luckily I stop and walked into the foot path area to take the Osmoxylon flower picture and noticed this plant growing below on the floor. It looked like a three leaf clover.
That concludes the picture taking as there is nothing much beyond this point to take picture with.

One episode on this trip is that I accidentally deleted the pictures while it is still transferring (using Wifi file transfer app) from my phone to the PC. The end result is that it is no in my hand phone neither did it end up in the PC. Fortunately there is an app called DiskDigger in Android that could recall the deleted files. It is really hard work trying to recover the 90 plus pictures from about 7000 recovered files (including duplicates). I managed to recover 95% of it and actually have to download 2 pictures from WikiLoc to find the name of the plant.

Further to the issue above, there are so many plants that I could not identify. It is almost a week already. I had to finish this blog before a new trip tomorrow. I will leave it as is till I could find the information later.

The WikiLoc map is here.

The Picasa Album is here.