Birds!

5400602322_b692ef4ab7We recently added one more entry in our nature journal!

The other afternoon, I saw an egret-like bird in Geylang, perched near a canal. I immediately emailed a friend (an expert in Singapore’s biodiversity IMO) who told me that it was a cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis).

The cattle egret is a species of heron, and this particular bird was sporting its breeding plumage, according to my friend. During the breeding season, adults develop yellowish plumes on the back, breast and crown, and the bill, legs and irises become bright red for a brief period prior to pairing.

According to A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, free-flying resident egrets from Jurong Bird Park are often seen in Western Singapore, where they are indistinguishable from migratory populations (which frequent Serangoon Sewage Works).

More Flora and Fauna!

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Yep, more entries.

  1. We saw several sea poison trees (Barringtonia asiatica) with their large pinkish-white, pom-pom helter-skelter in Woodlands Industrial Park (above). These spectacular flowers give off a sickly sweet smell to attract bats and moths, which pollinate the trees at night. Sea poisons trees are listed as “Critically Endangered” in the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore.
  2. The Preschooler spotted a Javanese grasshopper (Valanga nigricornis) atop a dustbin near her school. This yellowish-brown locust is huge, and I flinched when it darted at us. Its hind wings are a deep rose color, and we had the chance to marvel at them as it flew away.

More Fauna!

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We recently added three more entries in our nature journal!

1. An osprey (Pandion haliaetus) seen diving for dinner near Marina Bay. This massive bird of prey is a common winter visitor to Singapore, which is when we spotted it.

2. A yellow-eared spiderhunter (Arachnothera chrysogenys) seen soaring overhead in The Coastal Settlement (lovely setting, mediocre food) in Changi Village. We heard its penetrating, squeaky “chick” call from high on.

3. A dark-sided chorus frog (Microhyla heymonsi) seen hopping along a sidewalk off River Valley Road. This amphibian is minuscule (only 2.5 cm from nose to tail) and we initially thought it was some sort of hopping insect!

art from junk by Woon Jing Yee

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Several months ago, I exchanged Tweets with @artfromjunk, a studio that specializes in hand-painted upcycled and vintage furniture. Woon Jing Yee, lawyer-turned-artist, had Tweeted photographs of reproduction Peranakan tiles and I was curious as to where she had picked them up. Since then, I’ve keenly followed her Twitter stream and marveled at the immense growth of her small business.

art from junk sources second-hand pieces from local furniture dealers. Jing Yee chooses that are well made and are still in good condition, and have unique design features. The furniture, from tables to chairs, undergo an incredible transformation in her home studio. She has no formal art training, but draws inspiration from vintage patterns and motifs, especially those that have their origins in Southeast Asia.

art from junk’s wares aren’t cheap; prices range from SG$350 (“Peranakan Tile Table II“) to SG$2,000 (“Mosaic Dining Table“), but they are handmade and one-of-a-kind. Her blog chronicles her artistic process and offers fellow DIYers step-by-step tutorials, such as “How to Prepare Furniture for Painting.”

Follow art from junk on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

lilreddotfolks

LITTLEREDDOTFOLKS

I recently “rediscovered” lilreddotfolks Previously, this blog featured a series of carefully staged photographs featuring a single subject “rocking [his or her] very own personal style” and a short interview. Now, it showcases creative Singapore residents in their homes or studios.

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Reflective of a particular hipster-y aesthetic/consumerism? For sure. But inspiring! (And apartment envy-inducing, I do admit!)

Connect with lilreddotfolks on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

WHENIWASFOUR

Two weeks ago, I visited BooksActually’s “Art + Design Market” at Sculpture Square. I’ve never met a market I didn’t like and I particularly enjoyed this one. As was to be expected, it was thoughtfully curated by the creative team at BooksActually.

The market billed itself as one showcasing “sensible design and art practicality.” It was here that I discovered WHENIWASFOUR, a line of whimsical paper goods and accessories. Their newest product is a cushion inspired by an exam exercise book. But my favorite item in their online store is a “Fa Gao” canvas tote bag. I lurve huat kueh. Is there a better way to show my appreciation?

Connect with WHENIWASFOUR on Facebook.

(Additional credits: Photographs via WHENIWASFOUR’s Facebook page; photo layout via Pugly Pixel.)