Otters!

Today is my lucky day. Seems like everybody have seen the otters roaming around in Singapore except me. The few times I actively went to Lorong Halus and even Sungei Buloh to look for them, I have not been successful. And let not even mention Garden by the Bay or even Pasir Ris where M had spotted them once!

Anyway, this morning went to Lorong Halus to take some photos of the runners when I was distracted by a group of people pointing at the water at Sungei Serangoon. Immediately, I knew it was the otters. Fortunately by then it was the tail end of the race and not many runners left so I went over and bingo! My very first otters sighting!

Is this a shark? A dolphin masquerading as a shark? No it an otter masquerading as a shark. Hahaha

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Aww no it just the otter going in search of fish. And what a catch!

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Yum Yum8-NEC_3197The otters are thriving in urban Singapore and a guy I met later on mentioned that the population of otters in Singapore is now about 35+. However, their existence is being threatened by the wild dogs at Punggol and crocodile in Sungei Buloh. I think that the least of the otters’ worries.  After all, being eaten by predator is just part of nature and I think that is healthy and is a way of keeping the population in check. Their bigger worry should be the destruction of their habitat and lifestyle by us human in our continuous quest to build more and more houses to house the ever growing population.

 

Good Friday Run with Punggol Runners and Team Fatbird

On  a bright shiny Good Friday morning, we joined Team Fatbird and Punggol Runners in a holiday run at the Lorong Halus trail and wetland. Almost 100 runners turned up. I expected anytime to be stopped by the police for illegal gathering but I think the police are too busy with election matters to be concerned with mere runners.

This was the first time I am running with the Punggol Runners despite many invitations previously. This time round, only a few of us know the trails within the rubbish landfill so we had to oblige and turn up to lead them in. As usual, the trails were wet and muddy and the oil patch had grown much bigger since the last time we were there.

Kayano led the main group up to the dam and into Pasir Ris Farmway before meeting up at the Wetland. Meanwhile, lazy us decided to take a break at the Wetland and did not follow through. We ran back via the new Ponggol PCN through to Hougang PCN before calling it a day with a nice breakfast at the food centre.

Doing this type of run, I am always surprised by the type of runners that turns up. There are the usual speedster, those out for a nice run and those who simply want to run in a new place. What I am surprised at is the obviously unfit participants. While we generally welcome all runners, sometime managing people who can’t run and yet want to cover the full distance can be really a pain in the neck. Its fine if a not too fit runner gets cramp, that is okay but if the participants (I hesitate to use the word ‘runner’) are so unfit that they have to walk almost from the outset. what makes them think that they can cover the long distances on trail? I am not too sure whether they notice the distances that the group is coming.

I am not being an elitist but in order that such long runs do not drag into the late morning, perhaps next time organiser should have a sort of minimum  qualifying criteria for long runs such as these.

For those newbie who are just starting their runs, they should consider joining group runs such as the U Zonal Run, I Run or the various group runs by the various apparel companies.

TNF Trail Run Series #2 Lor Halus Wetland Trail

I finally managed to satisfy my curiosity as to what’s on the other side of the river. On Sunday morning, together with about 50 other runners doing the 2nd run of the TNF Trail Run Series, we ran from Tampines Road to Lorong Halus and remarkably in urban buildup Singapore, managed to run 16 km of trails and what could pass for bushland and swamp!

 There was thick vegetation to bash through
Wet ground to run on

More wet and this time slimy oily ground!

And also wide open ground
We got muddied, baked and toasted but I believe everybody enjoyed running in this new ground, hearing the chirping of the birds and the total absence of vehicle noise (except for the short stretch along Tampines Road). 

Lorong Halus Wetland

Singapore has a new nature playground. The Lorong Halus Wetland between Pasir Ris and Ponggol. The Wetland is build on landfill from trash but looking at it, one can never talk. It looks so clean and green. And apparently there are birds galore. More about the Lorong Halus Wetland here.

The site map of the Lorong  Halus Wetland

The welcome board at Pasir Ris Farmway

Using an innovative bio-remediation system, the PUB has designed the Lorong Halus Wetland to collect and treat water passing through the former landfill, preventing it from flowing into Serangoon River. The various reed and ponds traps and filter the ‘dirty’ stuff and prevent them from floating into the river which has become a reservoir. 

This bridge over the Serangoon River links Lor Halus to Ponggol
A cluster of food outlets at the Ponggol Promenade
The park connector at Ponggol which goes all the way to Hougang
The TPE that spans Serangoon River and divides Sengkang and Ponggol
Artificial plant resembling lallang that is supposed to light up at night
The real thing
Unique looking toilet along Ponggol Promenade
Serangoon River with the dam at the end
The trail that runs parallel to the river and leads to the dam
A closer look at the dam
After the dam – the sea 
The Ponggol housing estate in the background