Living in a Cage

February 29, 2012 at 11:36 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers were leisurely cycling in Pulau Ubin one fine day on a double bike (ok, I’m lazy to negotiate the slopes!) when something strange caught my eyes. I don’t have the best eyesight and it was really amazing that I could spot it that day while cycling! I guess it must had been fate or just luck! :p Why did I say this? Look at this picture…

Huh? What’s there to see? Just some plants that most people can’t name…
including myself… :p I think I gotta study more about plants…

I hopped down from the bike…

There! What is this thing with a hair-like netting around it?

Wow! This looked so strange! The cage looked like it was made from some 
kinda hair-like substance….and the guy inside looked suspended there….

A closer look. We didn’t have proper camera with macro lens with us that
day, so this was the closest I could get. So bizarre looking! It certainly
looked like a butterfly or moth pupa though I couldn’t be sure. I know of
pupae that look like bird shit but have never heard or seen something like
this before…

A size comparison showed that it was about the size of my little itchyfinger…
roughly about 2cm long if you dun count the longer strands of “hair” 

I sent the photo to my scientist friend working in Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) and she forwarded it to another friend who studies insects. This is what I got, “This is the pupa of an Arctiid moth. The caterpillar also lives in such a space net, made from the hair of the caterpillar body. Adults are very colorful (primarily red, orange, yellow).”

Interesting. A quick search online on “moth pupa in a net” brings me to this site that showed a similar photo. It says, “When pupating, the caterpillars of many moths make cocoons or shelters using silk and other materials. This lichen moth makes an elaborate open mesh cocoon using the shed hairs from the hairy caterpillar which are held together with silk. The pupa is suspended in the middle.”

How interesting! 😀

Also see related posts:
> Mystery of a Caterpillar
> Seeing Double 


Running Wild

February 7, 2012 at 12:57 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers just completed our first fun run of the year. It is a run that I have always wanted to join since its inauguration four years ago. The Safari Zoo Run was first started in 2009 in memory of its most famous Orang Utan, Ah Meng. Didn’t join the previous years cos Itchyfingers were so overwhelmed by the various choices of races available….hahah…

This year, we had an extra motivation to join….

The super cute medal design! Hahahah!!!! Had wanted to join in the 12km run as we would
each get a different design. But eventually we settled for the 6km fun run as we would be
lesser fee, using lesser effort and getting a medal with all three animals on it! Hahahahah!!!! 

I think we made the right choice, cos the 12km run is running the same route two times…
boring lah…hahahah… 😀 This came out only later…

This year’s tee is an orange colour…

Well, we were indeed lucky Itchyfingers. I was sick during our last race at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and this time it was Tisu Boy’s turn to be sick. So a 6km fun run is certainly going to be much easier on the recovering body than a 12km competition race! 😀 Since it was a fun run, we were gonna take it very easy and take photos on the way.

The 12km folks started at 7.30 am, followed by the kids’ run at 9 plus. Our
starting time was so late at 10am! It was a really sunny day so everyone was
already feeling the heat even before running…There was this long time
lapse as the organiser wanted to prevent congestion in the parks…

We ran into Night Safari first… 

So funny as we gotta pass by the ticket gantries…This should be quite
crowded and would have created bottleneck if you join the longer competitive
run…Of course the fun runners were much more relaxed…

First animals that greeted us were these Gaurs, also known as Indian

First kilometre…

There were so many distractions along the way…

We were so excited to see the Asian One-horned Rhinoceros under day light!
This is a vulnerable species found in Indian and Nepal

Pack of five or six Indian Wolves wondering why they were asked to start
work so early on a Sunday morning… :p

A baby Asian Elephant also woke up early for its morning exercise… 

Many people mistook these for wild boars…They are actually the female
Babirusas. A single male was sleeping at the next pan. Over at the zoo are
all male Babirusas, with long curved upper canine

A lazy Spotted Hyena

Wonder why weren’t there signages next to all the animals, leaving many people wondering what animals were they looking at and making wild guesses…

Sloth Bear that attracted lotsa attention. His ears look like fluffy ear plugs
for cold weather…hahahah

Was surprised to see quite a number of the animals out to greet us. But some were a bit too far to take decent photos. It was getting hotter and soon we were exiting the Night Safari and entering the Singapore Zoo.

Ah Meng Restaurant…So tempting to go in and get a drink…hahah

We didn’t stop and take that many photos at the zoo as the animals can always be seen in the daytime, unlike those nocturnal ones at Night Safari.

Fragile Forest this way please! 

It was still the Chinese New Year period, so the Dragon sculpture was
still around at the Garden with a View. Remember this place?

It is the final resting place of our beloved Orang Utan, Ah Meng, who has
departed on the 8th February, 2008. She is buried on the left, behind her
sculpture here. The Safari Zoo Run is organised in memory of her

Itchyfingers didn’t forget to drop by Charlie’s hut to say hello to the
handsome but always melancholic-looking man-of-the-jungle…

All the while Itchyfingers had been jogging very slowly and walking. It was only towards the last kilometer that we started to pick up our speed slightly, as it was really getting a bit too hot.

Yeah! Finally reached the finishing point…hahah 

And collected our super cute medal and the cute Orang Utan toy.. 😀

So cute! Cutest medal we ever received so far! And it even gave you four
lucky numbers to buy 4D! Hahahah…No lah, the numbers on their bibs
is actually the date of the run…hahahah…

Also see related posts:
> In Loving Memory of Ah Meng
> Goodbye! Our Beloved Singapore Girl Ah Meng (circa 18 June 1960 – 8 Feb 2008) 

Dance Dance Dragon

February 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers paid a visit to the yearly Sentosa Flower Festival during Chinese New Year. Somehow we didn’t find this year’s flower variety exciting…many of them were the same kind…Last year, there were flower displays of the 12 zodiac animals (which we didn’t write about!). This year is the Dragon Year, so we were expecting to see a lot of majestic flower arrangements of the Dragon. There were a number of them, but not all were nice. I thought they didn’t make use of the space to make something really spectacular…

A pair of golden dragon next to the ugly elephant look-alike logo…hahah
The expression looked very comical…heee. Quite cute actually…

Purple and red ones…

The pink lady with the elephant logo… :p

Flower polka-dot Dragon…This one was the backdrop for photo taking…
Itchyfingers also joined in the queue as it was surprisingly short…

Cute purplish flowers…I wish I know the name…

They were small and very sweet looking…

Couldn’t help but posed in front of the flower dinosaurs with their long
distance cousin, Longan, the 
Baby Dragon that Itchyfingers made. Yes, he
is that tiny!

By the way, Longan has found a lovely home! 😀

Also see related posts:
> Colours of Spring – Sentosa Flowers 2009
> This is Where the Flowers Have Gone – Sentosa Flowers 2008 #2
> Where Have All the Flowers Gone – Sentosa Flowers 2008 #1 


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