Sea Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus)
It can be identified by its distinctive heart-shaped leaves. The plant secretes a sugary substance through a small slit near the stalk of the leaf. Hence sometimes you can see many ants drinking from them when you turnover to the underside of the leaves. The ants, in turn will keep off insect pests hence protecting the plant.
We spotted a dead dried paradise tree snake lying on the grass. They are able to flatten their body and glide from one tree to the other.
The pong pong trees that are commonly seen on our roadside are non-native. They are commonly planted and its flowers are yellow in the centre.
Haha of course the journey is not all smooth. We had long walks and even crossed fences. If not this way, how can we see these many different species of plants?(;
We saw many of these volcano-shaped moulds. These are actually made by the mud lobster. They feed on organic particles by digging the sand and mud. Their action help to loosen the mud and allow air and water to penetrate through the soil. These facilitate the growth of mangrove seedling. The moulds also provide shelter for small aquatic creatures during low tides, forming a habitat otherwise known as the 'mud lobster condominum'!
Nipah Palm is a mangrove plant with the oldest known fossil, with pollen dated 70 million years old! Being a very useful plant, its immature fruits (also known as attap chee) are white translucent and hard jelly-like are a common ingredient used in local desserts.
After that we had a short tour of the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI). TMSI is a centre of excellence for research, development and consultancy in tropical marine science as well as environmental science. It is quite interesting as we tour around and see how they cultivate the marine animals in nurseries such as the giant clams(as shown in the right picture).
All in all it was a great trip despite the heavy downpour and thunderstorm! My first experience in St John's was good and I definitely want to go back there again, this time exploring the shores(: