nature

26) Where is this place ?

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Labrador Park Pt 3

Out of many, this is one of the “Black and White” houses on our little red dot.  The name “Black and White” depicted the black painted timber windows & doors and the white color painted walls.  Currently, there are about 600 colonial houses scattered around our main island.  In the past, it was meant for public servants’ lodgings but these days, these houses are on lease for residential, commercial or F&B usage.
The picture revealed House No 30, Bukit Chermin, which is one of the grandest and largest of the four existing bungalows along Bukit Chermin.  Just like the rest, the house is preserved by the URA, Conservation Unit.

However, the old Keppel Shipyard is gone at this time, it was relocated to another part of the island.  Now the mangrove is left behind listening up to the tide gushing up and telling the old story of reminiscence.

Strolling along the Coastal Walk in noon time, is hard to find a single soul.
A lonely bird ignoring a lonely stranger or a lonely stranger staring back at a ignoring bird.
I prefer a leafy sky.

Friend (19) – The Four Gentlemen

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plum flower (kind unknown)
plum flower (kind unknown) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plum Flower

My Friend, there is a nation who feels proud of you.  Your unyielding nature makes you look even emaciated.  But lanky is not your name.  You are not afraid of the cold winter, but you are the first to bloom in spring.  The first gentlemen standing on the land dancing fearlessly with spring and a smiling gentleman, I called.

Chrysanthemum

My Friend, you do not mind lying next to the grave, and you do not mind associating with strangers soaking up in holy bath.  But you mind only if fall brings you the beauty of grief or sorrows.  With your haughty attitude in autumn, I do not ask for much.  As maple leaves died out all over the floor just for your tender face.

Orchids, Bamboo and Rock, before 1740, by Zhen...
Orchids, Bamboo and Rock, before 1740, by Zheng Xie (1693—1765). Hanging scroll, ink on paper. The Palace Museum, Beijing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bamboo

My Friend, your elegant, free and easy attitude whirling in the wind, bring a pause to my reminiscent for others.  But you are so modest, you do not forbid birds and landscape rivals with you on a manuscript and you give way to a painter’s inspiration.

A shot of an (Cymbidium - cultivar) orchid
A shot of an (Cymbidium – cultivar) orchid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Orchid

My Friend, you are infamous.  You uphold the title of a National Flower and people sing so well of your elegant glory.  What else do you lack of?  Your distinctiveness, wholesome and noble sentiments put you high up to the zenith.  Infact, with your independent personality, praises are to you only a title, but a pursuit in the eyes of others.

24) Where is this place ?

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Labrador Park Pt 1

A trail to Labrador Park is not my plan.  I was there by a tail wind and with some historical stories behind.

To get away from the weekend crowd, Labrador Park is one good choice to reclaim a historic and ship theme scenery.  It’s a two-in-one goal! You may like to backpack sunshine and fresh air along while trailing.

Shades and forests are the bodies of this park.  There is one side road leading to Labrador Battery at the entrance located at the south tip of Singapore.  Labrador Battery is seated within the lush Labrador Nature Reserve.

◄It was one of the coastal artillery armed by the British Army in the 19th century.  They defended the western sea and stored ammunitions.►

At the entrance of this leafy road were the wall remains of the old Ford, built around 1886.  It was a “stone-faced” sea wall over 6-foot high, passable only by       ◄infantry.

And now, you can only hear cicadas calling and the little plants sticking their necks out to welcome you.

Whenever you feel confuse and tire, just remember there is a place for you to de-stress and rejuvenate, and that is Labrador Park !

6) Life – The Last Kampong

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Recently visited Singapore’s last Kampong – The Surau Kampong.  The Kampong is located in Buangkok, nearby the old Woodbridge Hospital which is now known as Institute of Mental Health.

“Kampong” in Malay literally means village.  In olden days, Kampong is the main building form before the reinforcement of concrete technology is established.

The common scene in Kampongs during rainy seasons is fun and memorable.  Villagers chasing after ducks and chickens, hastening to bring in clothes from their clothes lines to keep away from flood and rain, whilst barefooted kids and dogs hastily fleeing to find their own shelters.  Sadly, this amusing scene is a memory of the past in Singapore with the exception for this little last Kampong.

Kampong houses are usually constructed with zinc roofs and timber walls with windows and doors.  Floors are usually laid with cement screed and it feels chilling whenever you step on the floor day or night.  Leaving each other’s door open is a common sight in a Kampong.  That was the trust and camaraderie the villagers had for each other.

Wind charms, tree houses, birds, chicken, ducks, dogs, cats, fruit trees, flowers, make-shift fencing, stand alone post box, shabby toilets, raw and unpolished nature landscapes are the elements of Kampongs.

Smells of chicken poo floating in the air; gecko’s calling; mosquitoes whizzing in your ears; lizards clicking on the wall; cricket’s chirping with their dance; dogs bucking in the night; frogs singing with their orchestra are just part of the calling soul of a Kampong.

The Surau Kampong currently houses 28 families – 10 Malays and 18 Chinese.  In time to come, it may not be able to protect its own boundary.  As life is impermanent, more than ever in this fast changing Lion City.  Before Singapore gobbles up its last village, let’s step in more often to this carefree and slower pace of life as compared to the urban contemporaries.

Friend (17) – Dream

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Mantis
Mantis (Photo credit: Chausinha)

The afternoon sun brim over the church hall, through the space between the iron railed window grilles.  Looking out from the window covered with climbing morning glories, on the old brick wall parked a small mantis.

This mantis is so small and frail, he leaped while the wind blows, picking himself up over and over again against the wind.  This garden with a pond is surrounded with fragrant flowers enriched with fertile soil, conclusively with this little mantis who was injured through his fall but never succumb to his collapse.

Friends, your name is “DREAM”

Praying mantis
Praying mantis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With you, saplings thrive and sprout year after year.

With you, failure is no longer an easy compromise.

With you, the wings of a dream turn stronger.

With you, countenance of the youth loses its silhouette of frustration.  The forlorn feels warm in blizzard nights.

Friend(16)- Autumn Rain

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This few months, the haze from Indonesia has smog Lion City all over again.  Our smoky heart yearns to see the bright sun and flashing star yet and again.

On that day, through my window west direction, my friend finally arrived.

He came from distant lands, dragging along in his left hand layers of thick dark clouds coming from the mountain.  Trudging in his right hand a large rainy blow.  Standing behind the window, awaken from my sweet drowse, surrounded with the sniff of the immense rain.

With this timely arrival of breeze, I know the rainy season is not far away as it adds ease and bliss to my heart and a little gay.

Friend, your name is “Autumn Rain”.

Rainy Day.
Rainy Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faraway overlooking from my balcony, I evidence your arrival. As the Chinese poem said, “ Rain comes from the wind”. Friend, swinging your sleeves left and right, disperses the dense smoke in our city and dispels mist in our spirits.

Rainfall forms A beautiful Autumn.

Your are not just my Friend, you are indeed a friend to this piece of Land.

My friend, with you the land formats the four seasons, farmers gain their autumn harvest.

My friend, thank you for your attention, and thank you for selflessly nourishing this barren land.

Friend (10) – Epiphyllum / 朋友(10)- 昙花

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摸黑起早,就为了一沾昙花的笑容。但来时一晚,无缘在大家高兴的时候碰面,心里不免有点失望。但想想,花儿如果知道你因为看不到它美丽的一面而失望,它不是比你更失望。

Getting up in the dark just to steal a glance of the smile of the Epiphyllum.  Then again, was not on time for this happy moment for her glory.  Though a little disappointed, but after some thoughts, if the Queen of the Night were to know of my regrets was due to her premature appearance before dawn, guess she may feel more remorseful than me.

想到这点,急忙拿起相机拍下它矫柔隐退的那一刻,为自己写下与花共舞的一章。

The thought of this makes me capture the soft retreat of this unusual moment while I penned down my own chapter of Dances with the Flowers.

世人赞叹昙花一现的珍贵,因为它开花那一刻是如此的短暂。

While all admire the rarely night blooms of its kind, for the reason it wilthers mysteriously shortly before dawn.

相比之下,在它凋谢的时候,却无人瞻仰。原因是花已老去,好景已逝。试问,有几个人会赞美老去的花朵呢?

In contrast, when it withers, there was no one to pay her their last respects, as she shrivels, good time is already a past.  How often do we praise an aged blossom?

没有一朵花永远被人赞美。

Then, no bloom forever earned our praises.

镌古永恒,是我今早追寻昙花的那一刻,我将不会忘记那种追花的感觉。花虽已凋谢,但那股追花的信念,正在心里慢慢地化开。

The moment I pursue this Queen of the Night is going to be eternal, I will never fail to remember the trail.  Though she had faded, but the sentiment of the pursuit has just began.

9) Friend – Pyrite / 朋友(9) – 黄铁矿

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太太买给我的这块小矿石摆在桌上已有好几年。华人相信这种黄铁矿能带给人财运,至今,我还怀疑。

My wife gave me a piece of Pyrite and it was lying on my table for several years. Some believe that Pyrite can bring wealth, but I am sceptical about the effects it can convey.

这小矿石酷似黄金,但与黄金的身价却天渊之别。

This Ore resembles gold, but in contrast with gold, it worth a world of difference.

无疑的,在众多的矿石中它是一个小人物;一两的山寨版黄金。

Undoubtedly, in the giant colliery, it is a little guy;an ounce of countefeit gold.

但如果你细细把它放大看,里头的景观有如外太空星球的表面,它本身组成的立方体层层叠叠,充满艺术感,就好比展览馆里的艺术品。

But under the magnifying glass, the landscape of this little guy resembles the outer space, the planet’s surface.  The cube itself is a composition of layers of nature’s art works resurfacing in an exhibition hall.

 

这些纹路有致的小立方体,每一个代表人生的转折,一个转折将会影响下一个位置。而这些弯曲转折的山路,不就是它把故事凑起来的小镜头吗?

The lines caustic by the little small cubes, each and every pieces representing a turning point in life; a turning point affecting the next position. Just like the curvy turning point of a mountain, pooling the little shot of our own story.

8) Friend – Freedom / 朋友(8) – 自由

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露台外又多了一位小不点,外貌平凡,身材普通。

There is a little plant growing outside the terrace, simple looking and ordinary.

它又是太太在外头采香而来,看着七里香(Murraya)伸展双臂,象似一个小孩要求母亲的拥抱,在太阳温煦的手掌里微笑。

It is my wife’s latest seed picking collection from the park outside, looking at the Murraya, it’s stretching it’s arms like a child, awaiting from the embrace of its mother, smiling in the sun’s warmth palm.

朋友,你看到吗?它叫“自由”。

Do you see its freedom…friends?

它有肥沃的泥土,它有充足的水分,它有无忧的童真。

It has fertile soil, it has plenty of moisture, it has carefree innocence.

嬉戏就是它的玩具,哭闹就是它的手脚,它有跌倒的权力,它有伤心的自由。

我不打算给它特别的呵护,只让它拥有一双自由的翅膀,这样它的童年才有意义。

No toys required, it has the freedom of a bawl.  It has the right of its fall. Liberty to its own poignancy.

No intention to provide it with special care, as it was given the wings of freedom, to make its childhood significant.

16) Where is this Mangrove ? / 在哪里找到这红树林

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Where can you find this Mangrove ? / 在哪里找到这红树林