Hey everybody! It’s only been a week since I wrote my last post, and yet it seems so long! This weekend, I visited one of Singapore’s rich ancient heritage parks – Kent Ridge Park. The park was originally a lowland evergreen forest, but with human settlement, most of the forest was cleared for agriculture. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and crops like rubber were grown. Kent Ridge Park was also one of the fortresses to defend Singapore from the Japanese during the World War 2. The Japanese invaded Singapore on 8th February 1942. They were not expected to attack at that time, and the British who were in control of Singapore were over-confident about their war skills and strategies.The Japanese attacked from Pulau Ubin and slowly moved around Singapore. They also attacked the hill at Kent Ridge Park, Bukit Chandu- and only four survived. By 14 February, Singapore surrendered. They say ” History repeats itself”. We must make sure in this case, History should not repeat itself!
I absolutely loved this park, as I managed to see so much flora and fauna. Today, I got to take some amazing photos as my father bought a new, distance zoom lens for my camera!! It was super exciting! We entered the park from carpark A and saw the view of the sea, which was beautiful! I also really admired the intricate patterns on the tree trunks 🙂
Soon after, we went to the Canopy Walk which is a 280-m long boardwalk. This walk is definitely one of the highlights of the park- you get to see diverse plant and wildlife. Plants like the Simpoh Air, Wild Cinnamon, Tiup Tiup, trees like the Tembusu can be easily spotted in the boardwalk. Before entering, we also heard many calls of the kingfisher, and we finally spotted a few of the blue collared kingfishers! We also overlooked a plant nursery during the boardwalk- and spotted this magnificent green bird, with a red forehead. It also had a sharp, distinct hooting call. I checked ” A field guide to the Birds of Singapore” leaflet by Nature Society Singapore, and found out it was the Coppersmith Barbet. Unfortunately, I could not get a clear photo of its face, but I got one of its back!
Here are some pictures I took from the boardwalk. The first two are those of a Collared Kingfisher. I have never seen so many kingfishers in one place!
After the awesome board walk, we decided to educate ourselves about the history of the war between Singapore and Japan. We went to this place called “Reflections at Bukit Chandu”. It was a beautiful exhibition, and there were also some short films with scenes from the actual war. One of the short films used spectacular special effects, and recreated what exactly happened when the Japanese unexpectedly attacked Singapore. I could feel my heart pounding so much during the film- and could vividly imagine the situation.The bombs, smoke, burning houses, dead bodies, blood, cries, tears- the Malayan Regiment fighting till their last breath… I was so frightened to think how it would be if I were in their place. I am so happy that now, there is more peace and unity. The headset below was one of the devices used by the British to communicate between field units. Even though the British had better communicating devices than the Japanese, they failed to use it to their advantage.
I left the exhibition with a heavy heart, but full of gratitude for those brave soldiers who fought for Singapore, and the people who suffered immense loss. It is because of them, our generation can move on with a fighting spirit! Outside the exhibition, we saw a paper bark tree, and some more Tembusu trees. Here are some of the photos of the paths and plants that were on the way to the pond which were going to. We also saw a beautiful spotted bird that I couldn’t recognise.
The pond was towards the east side of the park, and was our last stop. We saw many turtles and also saw two White-crested Laughing Thrushes! I got some close up photos of them. Enjoy!
*Photos by Lavanya Prakash
I hope you enjoyed my post! Feel free to comment! 🙂
Lavanya Prakash, mynatureexperiences(at)hotmail.com