Seeing nature with new eyes

The other day, I went to look up an explanation of thunder and lightning. Somewhere between my childhood and motherhood, I’d misplaced this little nugget of information! Why is there thunder and lightning? What exactly is happening in the sky!

It’s true what they say. One of the greatest gifts I’ve received as a parent so far has been new lenses with which to see the world. Through the eyes of a baby. First, a mere infant, lying on his back captivated by sunlight and the flickering shadows of tree branches. Then, a tummy crawler, to whom the tiniest speck on the floor is magnified many times over. And now, a soon-to-be-walker, pulling himself up and cruising upright, but still looking mostly at adults’ knees when in a crowd. He’s also pointing at everything in sight, and captivated by dead, dried up leaves on the playground floor.

I’ve loved this neighbourhood since we moved here, for its greenery, the water.


But, in preparation for baby Heyho’s learning to ask questions, I’ve found myself wondering what tree I’m looking at, or what bird that is standing in the canal, or is that really called a monitor lizard? (There’s a creature that looks like one who’s made its home on the banks of the canal.)

Here are some resources I’ve found to help me in this newfound quest for nature knowledge:

  1. NParks’ SGBioAtlas app: I was really excited to find this! It’s got downloadable guides to locally found birds, butterflies and amphibians. The one for birds even has the names in Chinese, Malay and Tamil! And members of the public can upload sightings. There are some beautiful photos of gorgeous birds in there. (And this is the girl who hates pigeons talking… Just uploaded a blurry photo of a grey heron. At least, that’s what it looks like! Not sure if there’s an Android version of this app too?
  2. Nature Society Singapore’s Birds and Butterflies reference apps
  3. NParks’ Know 10 Trees
  4. NParks’ list of heritage trees
  5. NSS’ species checklist

To be updated as we learn of any others…

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