The morning weather was cool with a light drizzle when we started our July monthly walk into the MacRitchie forest. The rain gave the rainforest a surreal feel, with the sunlight gently cutting through the thin veil of mist. There was a carefree atmosphere amongst the participants and guides.
Since most of the animals were hiding in the rain, we focused our attention on the plants in the forest instead. As we went around a bend along Venus trail where there were overgrown remnants of kampong from the olden days, we noticed that many trees were fruiting! The ones more familiar in our daily lives are the starfruits and rambutans. While the starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola) is a tree that came from other countries, the rambutan tree (Nephelium lappaceum) is a native species that was originally found in Singapore’s forest! There was also a durian husk floating in our natural freshwater stream. One can only imagine the feeding frenzy as the animals go about enjoying the fruits in the forest, just as fellow Singapore residents crowd the durian stalls.
When the clouds finally cleared up, the animals were quick to start their day. On the trail out of the forest, we had an interesting encounter with a green crested lizard. It almost appeared as if it scrambled out of bed in its dazed mind and climbed onto a guide’s leg! Halfway, it froze and realized that this ‘brown trunk’ is much softer than usual and in a split second, it hurriedly crawled back down and made its way to a real tree trunk. Even animals can have absent-minded days I guess!