Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bukit Timah to Caldecott

This is perhaps the longest hiking route I ever had. It is 18.7 KM according to Endomondo. I did not put this route in WikiLoc because it is just a combination of the previous hiking routes.

The route started at Bus Stop near Pei Wah Ave. The intention is to go all the way north to Jln Anak Bukit but was distracted by the construction at the junction thus ended up in Jln Jurong Kechil. I only realize the mistake after walking almost a kilometer down the road.

On Consulting the map, there seems to be a private estate that is accessible across the road to cut across it. I took the chance and went into it. Unfortunately, I made another wrong turn to the left instead of to the right and thus missed the road that goes into the estate. I end up going on the outskirt of the estate with an unmarked road and come to a dead end.

Looking at the map again, the Bukit Regency was right in front and the perimeter fence seemed to be accessible. I decided to walk around the Regency perimeter fence. A huge mistake. The clearing outside the fence ended after I walked a hundred meters. It was just grass covering the area beyond that. I decided foolishly to continue walking across as it is only a matter of two hundred meters more.

After bashing through the knee height grass and get my shoes and sock all wet due to the dew, I managed to reach Upper Bukit Timah Rd. It is a foolish move but is still enjoyable. Fortunately, there is no obstacles that I could not manage. The round about added about two kilometers to the hike.

The actual hike starts at Hindhede Dr. Spotted a bird right at the entrance of the trail. Waited 5 minutes for the bird to emerge from its nest but failed. The bird settled down in the nest. Disappointed but had to move on.

A while later a Male Black Archduke gracefully fly around me and settled down for me to take a picture. There are at least three different specie of Archdukes in Singapore. It is a bit hard to distinguish between them. The male is slightly easier to differentiate but the females were way too similar.

Further down the path there is a Pear-Shaped Leucage spider enjoying its meal.

A distance down the path and I caught sight of a Golden Orb Web Spider. The wind is continuously blowing thus the picture is quite blur.

After the Kampong Trail, the path goes into open fields. This portion is a wide cycling route. The Zanziba Yam is small but since it is so near, I could zoom in to the max.

An Orange Leafhopper (a kind of Cicada) popped on a leaf and I am obliged to take a picture of it.

After crossing Riffle Range Road I saw a Spotted Dracaena blooming. This plant flower previously took me a long time to find its name. It is the first time I saw the flower blooms. Notice the spotted leaves? That's where it gets its name from.

Further down the trail, I saw a Heart Leaf Ivy. Unfortunately there is no flower.

Dark Brand Bush Brown is small and is very common. It is kind of difficult to identify with many species that look alike. This one insists that I took a picture of it. It flew right in front of me and stopped at elbow level.

The Common Baron is easier to recognize.

On approaching Durian Trail, I made a mistake without looking at the map. I went into a wrong trail way ahead of the trail junction. I mistook the sign post to be at the junction of the loop. The trail lead to a dead end. Turning back, I went into yet another wrong trail. This time I am rewarded by spotting a Common Faun.

Further down I saw a female Archduke.

Female Archduke is very hard to recognize. The camera I had performs badly in dim light. The picture is very grainy thus making ID very much more difficult. According to information from internet, the Black Archduke has all black antenna. You can see from the picture that the antenna is no where to be seen as it is moving way too fast to be captured. The Common Archduke antenna is bright orange and the fourth row of the spots on the body is larger than the black Archduke. This one looks like it is a Common Archduke. However, another picture of it showed its color that looked much more brownish although its antenna looks orange. This is where the Yellow Archduke come into mind. The Yellow Archduke is dark brown in color and its antenna is yellow on the tip. It is very confusing. It ended up I decided to ID this as Yellow Archduke. But posting in FB group ended up with a member giving its name as Black Archduke. I am totally confused.

Meanwhile, I trekked back to the right trail again following strictly to the GPS map trail I plotted. Two mushroom was spotted. One is unknown the other is a Bracket Fungus.

A Common Five Ring flew near by and I took quite some time waiting for it to settle down.

Ypthima species also looked quite similar. They are identified by the rings on the lower wing. You can see that there are 6 rings here. Well, the last two is counted as one if the yellow ring merged. This was unknown to me till I saw a blog that describes how to spot this specie. Luckily, I had only one other picture of this specie previously but never get published because of the confusion I had between a five ring and a six ring.

After taking the picture of the Five Ring, I notice something moved near my shoe. It is a Many-lined Sun Skink. This lizard usually runs away quickly even before I approach. This one is perhaps still sleepy. Noticed that the angle of the shot is almost straight down?

There is nothing much to see along the Riffle Range Road. At the Riffle Range Link (which is actually a trail), I spotted another female Archduke. This one is quite worn out. It again looked like a Common Archduke with its antenna visibly orange despite the grainy picture. Again the antenna looked orange but not the "widely orange" as described. Moreover, the color of the wing is still brownish. I decided to iD it as Yellow Archduke again.

While walking and looking around, I walked right into yet another caterpillar hanging from a tall tree. I never expected it as the tree is way too tall. This is a Bagworm Moth caterpillar (Psychidae). There is no way to ID it as it does not come out of its home.

Before crossing over to Sime Track, I spotted a branch with pinkish fruit or flower bud. Could not ID it.

At the Golf Link trail, it started to rain. Nothing much of the wild life will be available if it rains. I spotted one bird far away resting on water weeds. This is most like a Great Egret since I zoomed in from the distance yet still able to capture a good large image of it.

Walked a long distance without seeing another wildlife due to the rain. Saw a tiny flowering plant close to the end of the golf course. This is a Curvedflower Chasalis. The flower is indeed curved near its receptacle.

At the Lorne Trail, a Malayan Viscount come out in the rain.

A very old Branded Imperial also appears.

Almost at the end of Lorne Trail I spot a blackish butterfly resting on a branch. Had to use flash in order to capture the image. This one is a Saturn.

A few Pacific Swallow were resting on the rails of the curved bridge probably finds nothing flying due to the rain.

I ended the trail at Caldecott MRT without having any luck of another picture.

Not many pictures are available thus I will omit the Picasa Web album address. Since I did not record the trail in WikiLoc, there is no trail maps available too.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Celebrity Endorsed Products

Each year companies spent billions getting celebrity to endorse their products. It is due to the fact that customers likes celebrities. Just by appearing next to the product automatically attracts eyes.

Ideally, when a celebrity endorses a product, it means that they have chosen the product for their quality or features. This applies especially to those who excel in their profession. Some of the endorsement means that they have to put on the product when doing their profession. Others simply took part in the ads for the product. Yet other simply allow their face and signature to appear next to the product ads.

In actual fact, most if not all celebrities endorse the product for money. As long as the company pay them, they will endorse anything. Thus the ideal remains ideal and has nothing to do about the product. If you do a search with this title and add "go bad", you will find tons of jokes about bad endorsement celebrities. Famous celebrities end up damaging their own image because of that.

One typical local celebrity endorses "Pawn shop". I would say that is a bad choice. Others like e-cigarette endorsement is simply a bad move. Are they encouraging smoking again? In the 50s celebrity endorse cigarettes and cigars. Many junk food company used celebrity to endorse their products yet we nowadays encourage eating healthy food.

As a consumer, if you buy products just because celebrities endorsed it, you may end up with a bad choice and probably wasted money on it. The best choice is to ignore the endorsements and compare the products. Choose which ever that suits you rather than what the celebrities says otherwise.