Squirrels and Chipmunks

You know it’s a really cold and windy winter’s day when even the squirrels get grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that this one sat huddled in the fork of the tree, displaying what I believe was universal body language for ‘It’s too cold, (insert expletive)’. I miss the squirrels in New Haven, scampering around, much…

Okame Cherry (Prunus x incamp ‘Okame’)

As the snow starts to melt and trees begin to stir, whispers of cherry blossoms will soon drift across bare branches armed with tiny little buds, waiting to burst forth. The cherry blossoms that come to mind- with five delicate, notched petals- tend to be the Yoshinos, which make up the bulk of the cherry…

Yellowstone National Park

No attention was paid to the throng of hushed tourists, necks craned, peering through long telescopic camera lenses that lent them a somewhat comical air. We must have looked utterly ridiculous to the elk (Cervus canadensis), with our bright jackets clearly defying the basic principles of camouflage. Also called wapiti, elk roam forests and forest…

Crocuses (Crocus sp.)

As winter comes to an end, and the Northern hemisphere begins to shake off its cold till the next year, crocuses are one of the earliest to emerge from under the snow. A genus comprising about 90 species, it prefers cold climates and is native to central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East,…

Hort Park II

I’ve spent quite some time trying to identify plants in the U.S., but I’m not yet too familiar with those in Singapore. In the first place, some of those in the park really aren’t too commonly seen- like this silky afgekia (Afgekia sericea Craib), for example. Besides looking pretty, the plant’s roots are thought to…

Hort Park I

The weather forecast promised some clouds, so off I bounded to Hort Park despite it already nearing noontime. Armed with my camera and a reliably terrible sense of direction, I was soon on the treetop walk heading away from the park. It was nice too, though. Perhaps that’ll be an adventure for next time. I…

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Ginkgo biloba is probably most commonly seen, or rather noticed, as an extract and health supplement sitting on pharmacy shelves. But the ginkgo has a rather poignant history. It’s been found in fossils dating back 270 million years, which means that it’s been around for a very, very long time. Its distinct fan-shaped leaves are…