Orchids And Snakes, An Unlikely Combo

Today was a beautiful day. A monsoon brought majorly bad weather this entire week, so today was just another torrential downpour. However, for some inexplicable reason, the clouds parted and the sun shone through. We visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens during that time. Singapore is known as the “Garden City” and in this park I can see why. During our time in the park, we marveled at the sheer diversity of species showcased there. There was even an ethnobotany section detailing how native species were used by the inhabitants for various purposes such as medicine or building materials. The major highlight of this visit for me was the orchard garden. All kinds of orchards were carefully cultivated and intricately displayed for your viewing pleasure. It was a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. I especially loved the carnivorous plants. I encountered a carnivorous orchid species there that I had no idea existed. One of my favorites, the sundew, was on display! It uses a sweet but sticky mucilage on its leaves to attract insects. Once the insect gets too close it gets glued down by the secretions and the plant slowly curls up and digests it! In the end, after looking around the gardens, we scattered and ventured on our own little adventures in Singapore.

However, all good things must come to an end. The rains rolled back in that evening with a vengeance. Like a sudden explosion of water, the skies erupted. Many of us were left drenched by the downpour. We had planned another outing, “Snake Night,” later that evening to the mangroves in Pasir Ris. It was rather touch and go during that moment as to whether we would go or not. Though as luck would have it, the rains lightened up enough to allow us to head out! It was your standard mangrove forest with informative signs, however, we were staying for the snakes. As soon as the sun set and the night came we got out our flashlights and started looking for snakes. The group managed to find a few but the rain seemed to dissuade the snakes from being seen. All things considered, it was a very eventful day. Not a moment was wasted and everyone was soaked by the end of it!