This was my last trip to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) in 2012. Although I had only shared 2 of the trips, I had visited the place on 6 occasions this year. The trip before this one was just 2 days ago on 22 December. The main reason for coming back twice within a week was to look for Six-stamened Sonerila (Sonerila heterostemon). I received a note from a friend on the sighting of a Sonerila species along a stream at BTNR on 18 December. This forest plant was not new to me except that I had not seen it in Singapore yet. I saw some pictures from Yi Shuen's Flickr site in September but did not know where it was taken. Since I got a location now, I decide to try my luck. On 22 December, I did not find anything although I had combed several small streams.
Two days later, I returned to BTNR via Dairy Farm Nature Park to explore other trails that I was not able to cover then. The effort had eventually paid off as I managed to locate the plant near a stream. Some of them had flower buds but none was flowering. This is probably the only location in Singapore that still harbours this plant.
A new plant that resulted from this trip was Mapania cuspidata found along a stream. Its leaves looked like those from the Pandan family but it is actually from the Sedge family, a family that relates more to the Grass family. This might be the largest sedge plant in this island.
While moving along the track, I picked up a bundle of interesting fruits with a few leaves intact. With the numerous trees around the area, I was not able to find the tree where the fruits originated. The plant is likely to be from the custard apple family (Annonaceae). [Update: Friesodielsia borneensis]
I had expected to see a lot of mushrooms as it had been raining in the last few weeks. A colony of small mushrooms that caught my attention was the Earthstars (Geastrum species). I saw a lone earthstar in January 2010 and was delighted to see a whole colony of it this time round. There is another slightly larger earthstar which I had seen at Upper Seletar Reservoir last month and it also appeared in my flower pot in July 2011.
Another unusual mushroom that caught my attention was a colony of erected mushrooms (picture on right) with spikes which seemed to drop off as it matured.
The small white mushrooms below appeared to have a typical mushroom shape. When I examined the pictures more closely at home, the mushrooms seemed to be surrounded by tiny white hairy threads. On the threads, there were very tiny beads. I was wondering whether the threads were another mushrooms growing on a host mushroom or the threads might be part of the white mushroom.
Land snails are an integral part of the wild and the forested land. Two of the common land snails are Achatina fulica, the largest land snail in Singapore which originated from Africa and the other one was Hemiplecta humphreysiana), where a juvenile and adult snail were shown below. The last nail on the right below (Helicarion perfragilis) is a land snail in a broader sense as it does not really get on to the ground but prefers to stay on the leaves of plants. In the past, I had thought that it is a juvenile snail but in fact, it is an adult snail and it is a small snail.
The year did not close with this trip. The last field trip of the year was on 29 December where I explored some areas at Mandai. This was where I found a new ginger plant (Hornstedtia leonurus) --- the second Hornstedtia species in my collection. The first one was Hornstedtia scyphifera. With this encounter, the year ended with a good note.
Below are selected photos from this trip arranged according to the sequence that they were taken. There is a text link under the photo that will direct you to more photos of the same species if they are available in my website.