Sep 16, 2005

Strangers in the night, exchanging glances...

It is a dark and quiet night. A full and yellow moon rises above, lighting up the lonely streets of Changi.

Authorities thought they had done a good job of 'cleaning' Changi of its late night 'workers', but here, a Lady of the Night appears, dressed in her best 'work' attire. She scours the area, looking for the perfect catch. And then, the action begins.....

"Oh, Alfie! So big!" --- "Wah! So long!" --- "Whoa baby, do that again..."

Changi - Just Come Once and You'll Be Begging for More.

Now let me introduce you my handsome model, Alfie, better known as an Alpheus shrimp. Here's Alfie posing with his BIG claw and LONG feelers:

And Alfie again, DOING what he does best:

This snapping shrimp entertained me while I was waiting for the tide to go out. He just kept on going, in and out of his burrow, digging, picking bits of shells and stones, decorating his ‘home’. If I had extra camera batteries and like 10 gigs of memory on card, and if I didn’t get a major leg cramp from squatting in an awkward position on the shore for so long, I probably would have made a ‘low budget’ movie out of it. Heh heh…

This blog was actually written a couple of months back but I was saving it for a ‘lull period’ when we had nothing to Klog. Sorry for the ‘RA’ bit at the start! Had to get your attention right? So some of these shots were taken EARLY this morning, and some, on another morning when I was supposed to be ‘somewhere else’ instead of here on a beach, getting excited over little Penaeuses and friends.

Penaeus sp.

So apart from these prawny guys, crabs of all sizes, colours and disguises scurried about. Unfortunately, most of my pictures came out rather blurred; Lack of sleep & food = shaky hands. Got a whole lotta hermit crabs and other dudes up to some hanky panky on the beach too, but I'll save that for another korny Klog ;-)

The original plan for my visit to Changi Beach was to study seaweed and seagrass 'cos I feel nobody appreciates how useful these are, and how bare, boring and barren the shore would be without them. But I got distracted by so many other dudes!

Moon Snail

Sand Collar (eggs of Moon Snail)
See how it really does look like a collar! With the 'shoulder' part to the left & right, and a sort of Nehru collar shape there.

Small jelly-like anemone like these can be spotted all over the shore.

Curly-wurly branching anemone


And more buttons!

Now is it just me, or are you guys just really happy to see me?

Seapen with feathery bits retracted

This mollusc questions the meaning of life...

At one point, I was kneeling in a huge puddle of water enclosed by a bed of sea lettuce 'cos 3 different fishes seemed to be congregating at the same spot... like 3 uncles who go to the kopitiam every morning for their daily dose of kopi, kaya toast and gossip.

Introducing 'kopitiam uncle' number one --- Kite Butterflyfish! He looked rather beaten up, colours faded, fins chewed off a bit. This was more like "brudder" lah. He just stayed there, relek, 'tangkap jambu'...

Then, 'kopitiam uncle' number two --- Fan-bellied Filefish! This was one busy fella, like the actual kopi guy, darting about from one end to another end and back again. So cute... he actually swims at an angle, with his body slanted about 30 degrees to the left or right. Looked more like he was floating in a lopsided way. He just swam all around me, even right next to my booties.

And of course, all 'kopitiam' gangs must have their resident 'spy' a.k.a. kaypoh --- juvenile Peacock Sole! You can't see him but he can see you! Like those 'chi-ko-peks' that hide behind the void deck pillar while watching you adjust your bra strap or eavesdrops while you chit chat with the neighbour.

Here’s a little more info about Butterflyfish. Butterflyfish get their name because of the way they swim in and out of coral structures, like butterflies dancing around a flower. So I guess the Kite Butterflyfish looks like a kite drifting around clouds?

While most other fishes believe that there truly are “so many fish in the sea” and have multiple mating partners, Butterflyfish are perfect examples of commitment as they’re said to form male-female pairs, mate for life and are rarely seen apart from each other. Butterflyfish stick to their “in sickness and in health, till death do us part” vows, and remain together until either one falls prey to a predator. Awww… so sweet! Now if only men were………………….

*forcing head out of clouds* Okay! Back to reality. So anyway, no low tide trip to the shore is complete without things that make you go Ooh...


Underside of half of a dead jellyfish. oOoooh...

Okay, I'll have to save all the other pictures for yet another blog entry 'cos this one's getting too heavy! There were also many other little fishes and crabs that were too fast for me or too small for little cam. Now if I had a D70... *head floating in clouds again*

If I did make that ‘low budget’ movie, it would probably end like this:

CAMERA: ZOOM IN. Pair of Butterflyfish swim together around brightly coloured corals and sponges.

MUSIC: FADE UP “… up to the moment when we said our first Hello, little did we know, love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away, and ever since that night, we’ve been together…” THEN FADE UNDER.

CAMERA: ZOOM OUT. Tilt up slowly for full view of sunrise on horizon, and white clouds against clear blue skies.


“… It turned out so right, for strangers in the night” – Frank Sinatra

PS. I'm still compiling my seaweed & seagrass 'portfolio' and will present it some other day. Time for Lady of the Night to call it a day. :o)


Sivasothi said...

Clap! Clap!

Papa Jeff said...

As always, good job !! :)


UdangHantu said...

Looks like we found a potential script writer!

greengardn said...

You sure you dun mind a REALLY corny documentary? It will probably be called something like "Things that make you go Ouch!"

UdangHantu said...

Well.... We always intended a corny segment, and certain people have come up with ideas that I'm going to let them implement...

kilbunny said...

*wiping off tears* that was so beautiful! *SOBZ!* heh, impressive.