Singapore and Malaysia – 5

In the Singapore Botanical Gardens, something (I’m positive it was an insect, probably another type of cicada) was making a spine-chingling high frequency screeeench. It actually made the back of my throat hurt to hear it. I call the plants above the ‘banana flower’ and the ‘eyeball tree’.

An excellent day trip in Singapore is to take the cheap ferry to Pulau Ubin, a small island beside Singapore that has been preserved, for the most part, in it’s natural state. There are good trails and roads to explore, and you can rent a dubious bicycle at the ferry jetty. My animal-loving friend and I saw wild hornbills, monkeys, ants that sew leaves together for their houses high in the treetops, bright blue-and-red crabs, a praying mantis, funky spiders, and even a wild boar!! Apparently soldiers in the Singapore army do exercises in the forested areas of the city and refer to female wild boars as “Mary” and males as “Alex”. The ‘Mary’ we saw was the tamest wild boar on the island and hung out around a park warden station. The clip below is of Mary snuffling her way through the underbrush.

Also on Pulau Ubin, the straw-headed bulbul sings.

The common iora sings in the clip below.