Saturday, 22 September 2012

Garden Classroom - 15 Sept 2012

Posting by Xian Jin

During the weekend, we went to Universiti Malaya, the alma mater of my parents. When I first saw this place, I felt a sense of excitement. It was a huge place with many different faculties, fields, stadiums, courts and other things. But we're there for the Taman Rimba Ilmu, a rainforest garden rather than a flower garden.

My brother and I posing in front of the Universiti Malaya's logo.

We were early as the traffic was extraordinarily clear and were the first participants to arrive. There was a stadium at the opposite of Rimba Ilmu so we had some fun there. 

 An ice-breaking session and a simple exercise to warm ourselves up. This garden walk was organized by the Malaysian Nature Society. Soon, we were ready to move. Before that, we were given bags and tweezers to collect the dried leaves, fruits and twigs on the ground.

Our guide showed us a short tree named dinosaur palm. It has sharp leaves as a form of protection. It was believed that the dinosaurs liked to eat the seed in the middle of the palm. The guide then showed us a weird plant with fur. It was called the golden chicken fern. It's an endangered plant. Next, it was the thorny palm tree, which has many sharp thorns all around its trunk to prevent animals from eating its fruit.

This was a special plant called the umbrella palm. It has huge leaves and only found in Malaysia. If we forget to bring our umbrella, these will do!

Half way through the walk, we stumbled upon something unexpectedly. We found a monkey's skull and its backbone skeleton, almost covered in the ground. It was an exciting discovery. It was my first time seeing such a thing!

After the walk, we went to the exhibition room where all the information and specimens of insects and seeds of Malaysia were kept. We did a nature journal about the sounds we heard in the garden, our favourite thing that happened, the plants and insects we saw and so on. At the end we did a collage of all the leaves, twigs and fruits we collected. A word of caution for those who want to visit Rimba Ilmu - must bring a powerful mossie repellant!

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