[Early last month, the Toddycats received an invitation from Kang Ting, member of the Science, Environmental & Math club, as well as the Wild Side of Raffles Girls' School to conduct a nature walk for the school as part of Nature Week at RGS. We could not agree due to conflicting schedule but proposed to train Kang Ting and her friends and equip them with information so they can guide their classmates around Venus Loop instead! We are very glad it worked out and here is Kang Ting's entry on her reflections on the activity. - JL]
On the 8th of April, 15 student guides from Raffles Girls School brought 90 of their fellow students for a walk at Venus Loop. These student guides have been trained beforehand by Toddycats! on 22 March (photo album from that day on flickr). The first two groups entered from each end of Venus loop, and the other 4 groups stayed outside to learn about the history of MacRitchie Reservoir as well as the significance of the Cross Island Line’s re-routing.
One thing fascinating about this walk was the close attention to small creatures one usually ignores. As a guide, it was amazing to be seeing insects looking so spectacular captured on camera.
Seeing these photos after the walk was really amazing, I reflected that while guiding I had no idea these tiny creatures looked so beautiful or that such shots could be taken. It is true that as long as we open our eyes and play close enough attention, we can see so much that one normally wouldn’t.
We were really lucky to see mating beetles as well.
Other highlights of our walk included spotting two greater racquet tailed drongos and a family of long tailed macaques. Our participants were amazed to hear that the drongo was known as “slave bird of the macaque” in malay, and they are commonly found near each other. The long tailed macaque live in the edge forest, and females stay in the same group throughout their life and inherit rank whereas males leaves the group to join a different one once they’ve reached maturity, which they must then fight for their rank.
We also talked about the stream, and in lower reaches of the stream, silt could be seen. This was partly due to construction going on, and it is a sign to what might happen if the Cross Island line is built. The river silting would affect freshwater crabs among others.