Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mersing to Singapore

It rained heavily in Mersing all night long.
We woke up the next morning and was greeted with a drizzling weather while having breakfast at the hotel we stayed.
As the drizzle did not stop, we proceeded to the river side for brunch. The river was swelling with all the rain, which was not a good sign for us.
We had a fresh sotong (Malay word for squid) with chili and roti prata again.
When the rain finally stopped, we headed to the first location at west of Mersing to visit C. cf. xpurpurea (or C. cf. jacobsenii as my friend recognised it). The rain luckily did not flood this habitat too much and we were able to still locate the cryptocorynes. 
C. nurii 'Mersing' habitat was thoroughly flooded. The river had even flooded beyond the banks into the forest as could be seen from all the  mud deposits on the forest floor. The cryptocorynes could not be seen at all from the edge of the river.
I saw some pretty wild ginger species there with yellow flowers which had plantlets growing from the flowering points.
We had a durian for snack along the way back from Mersing at a road side durian stall.
We took a detour to Sedili and was greeted with another  destructed habitat sight. The C. sp. 'Sedili 6' habitat had been destroyed by excavator to form water drainage for the nearby oil palm plantation. Sad...
We were stuck in a traffic jam for close to 2 hours on our way back into Singapore due to the holiday season and had Ampang Yong Tou Fou for dinner at upper Thomson Road before ending our 2D1N road trip.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Romping in Rompin

I had the opportunity to go for a 2D1N trip with my explorer friend to Peninsula Malaysia 2 weekends ago to visit some nearby cryptocoryne habitats again. As usual, the trip started with having roti prata for breakfast in Johor Bahru.
And as usual, the strategy we adopted was to go to the furthest location first, then make our way back slowly. For 2D1N, we decided to venture furthest to Rompin only, then back to Mersing and Singapore. The first habitat we visited was that of C. sp. 'Pahang 10, Rompin' to see if we could locate a blooming spathe.
Unfortunately, luck was not on our side, no spathe was found and instead we were greeted with the sight of an extremely large paw print of a cat again...
The quantities of plants seemed to be much more than when we previously visited, which was good as it signified that the plants were reproducing.
We brought Mr Lee C. H. out from the jungle for a simple lunch of fried rice before heading to C. sp. 'Pahang 8, Rompin' habitat.
C. sp. 'Pahang 8, Rompin' habitat could be destroyed sooner or later with all the deforestation going on around Rompin like the case shown below.
Footpaths could now be seen being formed inside the jungle where the cryptocorynes were found, indicating that human activities were increasing in the jungle, possibly surveying the potential for logging?
A spider guarded the throat of the blooming spathe, waiting to trap insects travelling in and out of the kettle tube?
C. sp. 'Pahang 2, Rompin' could be found mixed with C. sp. 'Pahang 8, Rompin' at this habitat. We found the fruits and some unopened spathes.
We travelled to Mersing and stayed over there for the night and spent the rest of the night enjoying the simple seafood dinner and mindless chatting...