Sunday, July 22, 2007

Team Seagrass Special Edition Part 2

Hey so you've seen what a typical work day for the seagrassers are like so now's for the fun part: after the transect!

So what DO we do after getting down and dirty in the mud? Well, we chill out at the newly renovated No. 1 house! Ria brought some ham, raisin bread, 100 plus and not to forget some funky seafood spread (everything is really nice if you don't mix them together).

Here's a funny picture of Ria trying to get a photo of some of us from the second storey window of No. 1 house

On our return from the shore to the wash area, some of us caught sight of this cool bird that sung a lovely serenade with a cricket in its beak. Impressive isn't it!

So after eating and resting and chatting, we finally got our lazy bums up for a guided boardwalk on the newly constructed erm, boardwalk. And just as we're about to leave No. 1 house, there's a bunch of termites leaving their home too.

Now, all geared up with our photography equipment (you'd be surprised at the gear we have), the avid seagrassers went back out to the shore, this time all high and dry.

Even the passers by were curious to check out what we found. I guess this is also very good for them as well as most people are just to lazy to read the information boards (Ria's complaining that the designers had all her pictures flipped)

Throughout the guided walk, there was also a little bug that followed us wherever we went and we christened it the "Sea Bee" (for those irritated by it, they have another interpretation of that name)

Cheng Puay was also busy showing us all the interesting plants along the way. It seems most of them are commonly called "Sea - something" depending on their resemblance to other plants. There's the Sea Nutmeg, the Sea Hibiscus, etc.

Another attraction of the boardwalk is this very tall observation tower that allows you to have a panoramic view of CJ. Here's Dionne taking photos after a futile search for eagles.

Not all seagrassers were as gung ho to climb up the stairs of the observation tower. Some just preferred to stay at ground level.

Nearing the end of the boardwalk, we spotted this dead eel. Did it get stranded amongst the dense algae? Oh and we met James who was also photographing at the boardwalk.

Cheng Puay is trying to get a positive identification for this strange blue fruit. Its amazing what you can find if you look hard enough.

And lastly, this is how the flower of the Sea Hibiscus looks like. Really neat stuff!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

TeamSeagrass Special Edition blog entry

Its been a long long time since I blogged because I went away to Sabah on a conservation project with Sijie.
Anyway, today's blog is going to be a Special Edition entry for TSG.
For those who somehow got to read my blog and wondering what it is like to be a seagrasser, I'm going to present you "A day in the life of a seagrasser".

Firstly, depending on the tide times, we get up really really early in the morning to proceed to our destination for monitoring. Usually we're all blur and grumpy but the spectacular sunrise never fails to uplift our spirits!

Then it's rush hour to get down and out with the monitoring as we only have a time frame to work before the water comes back in and floods the whole shore. We'll start off by laying the 50m transect tape so that we know where to place the quadrats.

Once that's done, the teams would check each quadrat position for things like seagrass coverage, algae coverage, etc. Here's Nor Aishah measuring the canopy height of Cymodocea rotundata which is the length of the seagrass itself.

After about half an hour, we'd be almost done and packing up. Then the fun comes as we'll spend the remaining time exploring the shore for interesting creatures like these:

I noticed that for Chek Jawa, we usually forget about the rocks around the boardwalk so I decided to take a look today and saw these rock anemones. The team also spotted a juvenile monitor lizard around the rocks.

So after the tide rises and we evacuate the area, it's time to head to the wash area to wash the equipment and ourselves up.

Then it's also checking to see that none of us left a compass in our pocket or the data sheet tucked in our pants.

And after that usually we'll either head for some food or go straight home if we're tired. Stay tuned for a part 2 of what we did after the transect at CJ!