Nature Walk Series
Tree Top Walk Trail
20 December 2013

Highlight:

photo photo photo Each time I come by the tree-top walk trail, I would be looking for the Grass Fern (Schizaea dichotoma). This is a relatively small fern and with the busy undergrowth that was full of seedlings and fallen leaves, finding this fern was always a challenge. Though I tracked the path at least 4 times in the last 2 years, I did not manage to spot the fern the last few rounds. I was indeed very lucky this time. I found not just one but a separate colony with 4 grass-like fronds.

Unfortunately, what happened next had ruined my year-end outing plan. It was drizzling when I started the walk and throughout the time, the weather remained gloomy. The boardwalk was wet and at one part, I even saw a broken wooden plank. The incident happened so fast that I was not sure how I slipped and fall. My leg must have banged hard against one of the plank. The next thing that followed was pain felt at the lower part of my leg and I could barely stand up. I thought I might need some help to get to the main road while I did not see a single soul around. The place was not too far from the Ranger station. After resting for around 10 minutes, I finally managed to get up and made my way out slowly with slight limping movement. Five days later, I had a bad fever which I suspected was a consequent from this fall. Also, my injured leg was swollen and in pain, which mean that I had to be grounded for a few weeks.

As the accident happened near the end of my trip. I did complete my tracking with a number of observations. One of the plant that I wanted to sort out was Calophyllum teysmannii. I had got its pictures a while back but just could not be certain that I had the right plant. One of the species appeared to have shorter and more rounded leaves. There were fruit-like nodules growing along the stem of these plants. As they were all young plants, it was really hard to correctly identify them.

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photo photo On the tree-top bridge, I saw from distance a fruiting tree that looked like a Calophyllum species. Along the boardwalk after the bridge, I found quite a number of fallen fruits which resembled that saw on the distanced tree. There must to be a few trees around that area. The fruits of Calophyllum teysmannii were described as ovoid-globose. Although there were young Calophyllum teysmannii around the same vicinity, I was not certain about the actual identity of these fruits though I suspected them to be Calophyllum teysmannii.

Another Calophyllum species available in the same area was Calophyllum pulcherrimum. This species had a much smaller and thinner leaves and could be easily overlooked as some other plant species.

Besides the fruiting Calophyllum species, the only other noteworthy find on the tree-top bridge was the flowering Terentang (Campnosperma auriculata).

photo photo photo The identity of this tri-foliate climber had puzzled me for a while now. At first, I suspected it to be the younger version of the woody climber, Spatholobus ferrugineus. In fact, I had still placed some of their pictures together. But, I still had some doubt on whether they are indeed the same plant.

Many young plants, including climbers looked very different in the younger forms. The leaves might be single-foliate at the seedling stage and leaflet forms only start appearing at much later stage.

The vine, Ampelocissus elegans (Woolly Button Vine) from the Vitaceae family is a rather common climber in the forested area. I took special attention on it when CK told me that some of them might instead be another closely related species, Ampelocissus cinnamomea. Although I had examined a few plants in the field, I was still not able to find any obvious feature that separate the two.

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photo photoAs usual, there were many little creatures seen. One rare find was a 3-spotted bug that I managed to take only 2 shots before it flew off. Luckily, one of the pictures turned out well. I had seen similar bug but not one with 3 prominent white spots.

Another unusual find was a Terrestrial Flatworm. There was a white object emerging from its body which I had no idea what it was.

By the time I wrote this piece of report about 3 weeks later, I was near full recovery. There was still a bit of pain in my leg but I should be ready to venture out again in another week's time.

Photo Gallery:

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.

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Geastrum species
(Earthstar Mushroom)
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Tyriobapta torrida
(Treehugger)
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Moth Caterpillar
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Bathippus species
(Jumping Spider)
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Unknown Pupa
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Ricaniid Planthopper
(Family: Ricaniidae)
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Leaf Beetles
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Arctornis sp.
Tussock Moth
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Amphicnemis gracilis
(Will-o-wisp)

Statistics:

First shot: 7:25 am
Last shot: 12:48 pm
Total number of shots: 527

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.