As night approached, the sky dimmed, with the sunset adding faint hues of pink to the greyish clouds amid the blue canvas.
By 7.45 pm, five of us participants started our night walk at Bukit Batok nature park, led by our knowledgeable guide Tony O’Dempsey.
We stopped by under a majestic rain tree, which supports a host of other plants, such as ferns and creepers, near the carpark entrance.
As we entered the park via the main track, we were fortunate to spot a solitary Sunda colugo, aka flying lemur, clinging onto a tall tree trunk.
Tony paused at a few junctures and told us about several kinds of plants, such as cinnamon (whose leaves appear to have freckles) and clidemia (whose leaves have a hairy surface).
He also demonstrated that the fruits of clidemia are edible by eating one himself, and I followed suit – I was glad to learn a jungle survival skill.
One of us spotted a green caterpillar hanging onto an imperceptible thread, as if it was floating in the air.
I decided to shine my phone light on some plants to see if I could see any creatures, and was soon rewarded with the sighting of a beetle resting on the underside of a leaf.
Tony pointed out a large tree with patches on its trunk, which bears resemblance to eucalyptus trees.
On the way back to the park entrance, we saw a snake skin, from which the snake had moulted, at the ceiling of a shelter.
Despite the late hours, I did not encounter any mosquito during the night walk in this regenerating secondary rainforest.
This contrasts with the fact that Bukit Batok housing estate opposite the park is currently experiencing a high number of dengue cases.
Perhaps restoring ecological health and making the urban environment conducive for frogs and dragonflies to control mosquito populations would be good?