I'M BACK! *confetti*
OK, so now that my school is over, I've been getting dirty again. This time, I went to the mangroves with Rick!
|That's Rick, after his talk at NUS High School|
Rick is a mangrove ecologist. He has graduated from NUS and has conducted various mangrove surveys locally, regionally and internationally. Rick is also the founder of the Mangrove Action Squad, whom I have joined for one of their Pair Ris Mangrove tours! Do visit the Mangrove Action Squad and see what you can do to make a difference. http://mangroveactionsquad.wordpress.com/
So, on the first day, it was just me and Rick. I met him at 11.30am at Kranji MRT and he explained what his research was about. Rick is mapping every single mangrove tree in Mandai Mangroves. Not an easy feat for only one person. Furthermore, I can tell you first-hand that walking into the mangrove is no joke. Even at low-tide, the mud can be at knee-height. Wearing track pants and booties and carrying the total station equipment, we trudged into the mangroves. Rick brought me to a sandbar, where we deposited our bags. I took a few photos...
|This is the view from the sandbar. The city in the background of the first picture is Johor Bahru.|
|Picture above: My reaction|
Note: The ants weren't YCA. I think it's interesting that they can do this. I need to read up more on this trait...
Rick told me that the previous two days had rained on him. "Thank God the weather's good today," he said. At the exact same moment as he said that, we heard the ominous rumbling of thunder in the distance. With moments to spare, Rick set up the total station, while I held the prism next to each tree. Unfortunately, after mapping a few trees, the rain came and we had to pack up. Like men of the woods, we didn't use ponchos and walked through the rain to the nearby petrol station via the Green Corridor. This was my first time on the Green Corridor, so I enjoyed it a lot.
And that's just Day 1...
I met up with Rick in his lab this time, which is super cool! They've got their own Safety Justin Bieber and all... (It's a cardboard cutout of JB telling you to wear a mask in the lab) Plenty of science jokes too.
|This is a feather that Rick found on a previous trip. Could it be a raptor?|
Just as we were halfway through, Rick saw a yellow thing in the water. "Is that a kayak?" I asked. He said, "Yeah, I think so." We tried to retrieve the drifting kayak. But upon closer investigation, it simply turned out to be a floating mattress. What a disappointment. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that we should not dump rubbish into the sea.
I regret to say that at that juncture, Dipti and I got tired. Rick was full of energy as he ventured into areas unknown, clambering over Rhizophora roots to get a good measurement and trudging through the polychaete infested mud, armed with nothing more than a prism on a stick.
Anyway, we made some great progress. I had a great time walking back along the Green Corridor.
I took a break this day, because I was so tired. After two days of work, I was ready to hit the hay. Rick does this for 7 days in a row. I really want to salute him. Anyway, I took the holiday to get my last few school assignments done. So, by the end of the day, I was a free man, with nothing to look forward to but my National Service.
I don't want this post to be too long. I'll post about Days 4 and 5 tomorrow. I'll try to be less intermittent with the posting. (The last post was July 10. Yeah, I was busy.) Anyway, I'm still a regularly posting administrator for the Evolution Facebook group. Do like the page and check out our content!
Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/evolutionarybiology?fref=ts
Also, Rick is a really hard-working person. He's currently taking a well-earned week of holiday. I regret that I can't help him until November, due to prior commitments. Nevertheless, he is in need of volunteers. Check out his blog and do find out what you can do to help out!
Here's the link: http://mangroveactionsquad.wordpress.com/be-a-mangrover-help-us-out/
See you tomorrow!