Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Walk Outside

Hello everyone!! How have you been? I'm sorry I haven't been writing much -- besides being busy with school and my little brother, I've been having the flu! I had a fever for days, but am better now, just that I have this stupid cough and sometimes a head and tummy ache. So my Mom has been taking care of me and giving me my nasty tasting antibiotics. I've finished my homework now though, so I'm going to share with you some photos I took!

My Mom takes us for long walks to the beach almost every day and each time there's lot of different things to see. These are photos I took on one of those walks (except the one on top of course, which was taken by my Mom! I was about to go for ballet then haha).

So first let me show you the mangrove swamp we always walk past. The canal leads to the sea. The swamp area used to be much bigger, with lots of herons, snakes and monitor lizards, but that has greatly decreased :(

That day, we were so lucky to see this little bird in the bougainvilleas! He or she looks like a hummingbird, don't you think? But my Mom says we don't have hummingbirds here, and he is actually a sunbird. In fact, she thinks he may actually be a spiderhunter, one of the largest species of sunbird.

Like hummingbirds, sunbirds feed on nectar, and also insects and spiders. They have long, curved bills, and tubular tongues for nectar feeding. They're so cute!

Some sunbirds can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, see? They fly very fast, so I was happy to catch these shots!

There are lots of beautiful trees and plants by the sea.

My Mom says many of them have been here for years. I hope they stay around for many years more!

Many ships pass through here. Singapore is the world's second-busiest port and the world's busiest transshipment port. Ships like this one are so huge they look gigantic even from the shore. My Mom says LNG is a tanker that transports liquefied natural gas. The ship has a double hull or body to protect the cargo from damage or leaks.

Out at sea, there are lots of these kelongs. Kelong is a Malay word for these sorts of offshore wooden structures. They are built mainly for fishing, though there are fishermen and their families living in the bigger ones. They are secured to the sea bed by tall wooden posts that go down several metres into the sea. These ones look like they're resting on the water surface, but there are many that are elevated high above the water and you have to climb up the rickety beams. My Mom told us she did that when she was younger. The kelong she went to was out in the deep sea and she could see big shiny barracuda in the water below!

Now let me tell you about this thing. We had been seeing it in different parts of the sea for days already and I finally remembered to take a picture of it. The first time we saw it, we said it looked just like the head of someone with goggles and greasepaint on, half-submerged like those people on secret missions. Then I said he was in some competition for treading water, and that he had outlasted everybody.

You see -- he refuses to give up! That's why he looks like this now.

There were many poor dead crabs on the shore that day. The bottom of this crab shows he is male. When they are alive, we can see them running about in the shallow water and then suddenly diving and disappearing into the sand.

I read an article that said that unlike what a lot of people think, crabs and other crustaceans DO feel pain. My Mom has always believed this and refuses to eat them (and animals in general). Once, we rescued some crabs from the supermarket. My Mom says that those poor crabs and lobsters we see tied up in the supermarket or in the tanks at restaurants are boiled alive. Now a university study has proven that these poor animals do feel pain! And if you read how the study was done, you will see that they are smart, thinking creatures too! So please don't eat them!

There are lots of sea stars washed up on shore too. Don't call them starfish because you know they aren't really fish. They don't have backbones for one thing, but fish do. Did you know that sea stars can grow a new arm if they lose one? They also don't have brains or blood, and move by using hundreds of tube feet on their undersides.

Now let me share with you a very sad picture. This is a beautiful bird we have to walk past every time we go to the beach. He is quite far away so we can't tell what kind of bird he is, but he has a very long tail and sings very loudly and sweetly. I think it is very very wrong to keep a bird caged. Caged birds cannot stretch or use their wings and are lonely and bored. Imagine being trapped like that all day, every day! He must be so sad when he sees the wild birds calling to each other and flying past. Mommy says there is a poem by one of her favourite writers called "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". One verse of the poem is:

The caged bird sings with fearful trill
of the things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom

Isn't that sad?? Please don't ever get a bird for a pet, unless you are going to build a bird sanctuary in your backyard or are rescuing one that has been abandoned.

Well, before I go, let me share with you something happy -- a picture of my little brother who is now one month old! He is getting cuter and cuter every day! I love him!!! He is soooooooooooooooooooo adorable! I just want to hug him and squeeze him FOREVER!!!

Thank you for visiting! See you again really soon!!
 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Sojourn!

Hello everybody!! How have you been? As you can guess, we've been busy here with Baby Jacob. He is sooooooooo cute and getting bigger and stronger every day. If you don't know, I've been guest blogging a bit at Bikbik & Roro -- go check it out!

Today I thought I would quickly share with you a little movie my Mom made! My grandma came over one day and helped look after Jakey, so Mommy quickly took advantage of that free time to do it! She says she is feeling quite "art-deprived", meaning she hasn't been able to do any art or crafting at all. She always has lots of creative ideas in her head, but usually not much time to work on them. So she was happy to be able to try this stop motion experiment when she had the chance! She had to rush though and says it was harder than she expected, but I still like it! "Sojourn" means to stay somewhere temporarily. This is a song Jacob listens to sometimes, hope you enjoy it too! Have a super lovely weekend!!