Friday, May 02, 2008

Crabby Time Alone

Mud Crab on its 3-feet high mud-mount tunnel entrance

There was a mid-week holiday this week. Labor Day in May.

Well, it was on Thursday. It would have been that much sweeter if I had taken leave off work on Friday and make the weekend a longer one. Frolicking outdoors with family... at the beach, maybe. Just outdoors.

Alas, there was not a need for such a time. It was a holiday spent a indoors at home. Nothing much to do, nothing to brag about, nothing memorable.

The first half of the day was slow. Really, nobody is to blame. It was just the timing of this holiday was not ideal for this family this period of time.

Cotton Tree with fluffy fruit ready to burst

Sonny has his mid-year exams coming next week. So he is stuck in his room doing revisions with the close watch by Wifey. I could only hear intervals of laughters coming from his room when he played his online games and chatting with his friends during his study breaks.

Wifey is restricted to light duties at home for now until her next check-up with specialist doctor Imran at CGH in June. So no family biking outdoors... the most adventurous of Wifey's suggestion of taking-up roller-blading had to be shelved indefinitely.

So while Sonny was confined to his room, both Wifey and I was confined to the living room and the kitchen... between watching holiday movies on TV and stocking-up the coffee table with snacks while watching the programs.

Great family fun only if it is rainy day, but not on a glorious sunny day outside!

Wifey then retreated to her SoHo corner doing her crafty Swarovski-crystals-and-fresh-pearls jewelery making time, while I was left to my own devices... I was dumbfounded there for a while.

Pasir Ris River leading inward to housing estate

I escaped from the confining four walls and into the wide-open spaces outdoors. I could watch Wifey do her creations only for so long before I was on my bike paddling on a cycling route that led my to Pasir Ris Park.

Armed with a bottle of water, insect repellent and my trusted Lumix FZ10 digital camera, I explored the park routes where we have not taken before.

Surprisingly, the path led me to a stable in the park for pony rides. Well, it has been there for years but we have never actually been to that part of the park before, so it was more of a rediscovery.

Gallop Stable Coffee House & Resting Station

Gallop Stable was a large place with many ponies and horses especially for rides within its compounds. The white pony attracted my attention. It was receptive to humans and seem to like it when I touched and stroke it.

Looking at the ponies, I suddenly remembered Donna from Just Me. I could learn a lot about horses, and in this case ponies from her if she was here.

Mr. Brown posing for me

I spent quite a long time at the stable just observing and admiring the ponies there. I remember when Sonny was smaller then. We took him rides on ponies and elephants at the Singapore Zoo.

I remember from years back, all three of us rode on horses around the highlands somewhere in Lake Tahoe while we were in California, coming back from Las Vegas back to Fremont, I think.

My afternoon companion I named Whitey

I had to bid Whitey goodbye and promised to come back with Wifey and Sonny on our bikes one day to see it again.

I went on off the beaten track... well, it was still a cycling path that led to a Mangrove Swamp boardwalk.

The first sign said "No cycling" and to stay "quiet and be patient" to witness rustic nature doing its wonders among the mangrove floor.

Pasir Ris Mangrove Swamp Boardwalk

While the different birds sang their different tunes among the top branches and leaves of the trees, the floor dwellers were busy with their daily food scavenging and territorial defenses.

The boardwalk winding and forking in many directions deeper into the mangroves. It was surprisingly extensive and would have been ideal if the tide was coming or going.

Bakau or Mangrove trees with boardwalk across

It was low tide long before I reached there, so the floor bed had dried-up and not as many variety of the inhabitants could be seen on that one afternoon. It took lots of photos and spent a lot of time there too experimenting with taking shots with different settings I had not done before.

Not many were good shots, though it would have helped if I had brought my tripod stand for stability especially when zooming in at the far-end of the inhabitants.

Red-eared Slider Non-native inhabitant

It was getting dark as I could see the sun's rays flickering among the leaves. The add-on flash was a great help but was too dark to spot for anything else... not with these poor sighted pair of eyes of mine.

Being alone, as anticing as the sign stated, I was not too keen to wait for the fireflies to come out to showcase their "mating dance" to me. I would have been late to come home with packed dinners for my two hungry darlings at home.

These two places were definitely a great to place to revisit and be there especially with the Wifey and Sonny together. We could spend countless hours just observing and listening to the daily routines of the inhabitants of the park and swamp.

Alas, going back to work on Friday after a day off and into the weekend, unlike the working animals - the ponies and crustaceans on Labor Day.

Time spent alone in the afternoon was not so... crabby at all. Actually it was worth the experience for me... as long as it was outdoors.


  1. sounds like an interesting day to me. :)

  2. You took some excellent photos. Whitey looks like an Arabian horse to me. There is certainly some dense foliage at that park!

  3. it sounded as a good blog to me..i gave me a nice feeling while reading it..thanks..


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