this trip was vastly different from my previous trip along the railway track from Bt Merah to Bt Timah, when few ppl bothered abt the existence of this track. no one cared abt the railway line. apart from turning their heads to the sound of the oncoming train, the railway track seemed to disappear. in my previous trip, we were the only ones walking on the track and NSS led some groups.
yesterday, as i walked towards the bt timah railway station, my heart sank. so many ppl? the place looked infested. and i became skeptical. so many people. i walked on with a heavy heart to the start point. and i stood there alone for a good 20 minutes, just observing everyone. i heard the conversations of ppl walking past me, those taking scenic photographs, those taking arty farty photographs with toy trains on the railway tracks, little kids picking up stones and throwing it back on the track, eager parents who encouraged their kids, and eager parents who warned their kids to be safe. so many people, so much noise, so many distractions. this was absolutely not what i imagined it to be.
i finally saw the group that i was supposed to walk with, and my first smile came when i saw a familiar face! Allan Teo! Yay!
the walk was fantastic! with him and other NSS peeps sharing their knowledge. now and then, strangers who werent from the group stopped by to listen to the simple sharing sesions on some plant or a bird perched on a tree. people from within the group also shared their information. why, even i shared my experiences. as we walked further, the track got less crowded. still, Allen and other NSS ppl bumped into their friends. and they chatted like uncles meeting their old time friends.
one of those we bumped into was, Von Bin and wife, who said there was a christmas tree planted on the tracks.
and i wasnt quite sure why resilience was written on it, but, thinking back, im wondering if that one green leaf was the only living part of the leaf, trying to have a 2nd go at reviving the plant. if that is it, then someone must have planted it into the ground on the tracks.. how cool!
there were cyclists on the track too. many others walking dogs, some others just up for some exercise and they seemed fascinated that ppl in our group brought larger than normal binoculars and stared at trees. haha… if anything, i thought that we just encouraged a whole new hobby to these onlookers, some of whom stopped to ask more questions!!! yay!!!
at the end of the day, as our group got smaller and smaller towards the end point, we were strangers, yet we shared the same views on the subject. we shared information abt plants and lifestyles in those golden days. how kids then didnt need money to buy toys; they just made their own with whatever they found in nature. and it reiterated why i didnt mind going for these nature trips alone even if my friends aren’t interested. cos, i still end up inspired, meeting ppl from different walks of like who had similar yet different experiences growing up. there was so much to learn, although this wasnt my first time on the tracks!
in the end, i thought to myself: so what if the track was crowded and noiser than my previous experience? these people were loving it, and they were introduced to a vast range of wildlife by other strangers who wanted to share their knowledge. there was a whole lot of information to be shared with members of the public and they were grateful to hear them. strangers spoke to strangers, greeted each other, and encouraged each other to continue on the track.
its not an everyday luxury that ppl get to spot long tailed parakeets and white crested laughing trushes and zebra doves, snakes, etc. if this railway track can introduce them to enjoying nature the way its best enjoyed, well then, welcome aboard! i changed my view abt the crowd by the time i reached the end. i smiled to myself as i thought, “hey, as long as more ppl enjoy and support nature conservation!”
so everyone, anyone, you have 1 more week before the tracks are closed. if you do go down, please show your support by sharing your photographs (of nature) and thoughts and experiences on The Green Corridor FB page or at their official website. the more ppl know abt the usefulness of such a long 26 km corridor that links many parts of Singapore, the better it is for conservation! and remember, to respect nature and keep the tracks clean. it IS our responsibility!
here are pics from this trip. for pictures from my previous trip, click on the first link in this post.
the crowd on a late saturday afternoon!
here we are at the start of the trip, with allan starting the introduction!
allan showed us a few plant-toys!
one for twirling around your finger!
the other was to shoot!
a nice canal under the track.
a fruiting fig tree! and apparently, i was the only one who thought figs tasted disgusting!
even the dog comes along for the trek!
came across this gorgeous house again…. reports said that residents alongside the railway track mention that they will miss the sound of the train…..
the sun was starting to set
the old RJC
several electrical boxes, all of them left open after the electrical cables were cleared.
seemingly these ppl from these bungalow houses took it upon themselves to build a bridge in their backyard!
this is a photograph of the nest of the olive back sunbird (the same kind of sunbird we see in our school)
night fell, it was time for us to climb back to the busy life.
in the end, a trip well worth my time! 🙂