03 April 2012


Last Sunday, I went on a Brunei Nature Society trip to Selirong Island in the north of Temburong, to walk through the mangrove forest there. This is what it looks like. You can just see the boardwalk on the right of the picture.I guess some people would not like to see the dense network of aerial prop roots of the mangrove trees (Rhizophora apicula) that rise out from the muddy swamp. But I found it magical.

Here is a picture showing the only species of palm tree (Nypa frutican) that can thrive there. It was fascinating to hear from our guide, Aywen Chak Wang Hoong, about the mechanisms these mangrove trees develop to enable them to survive in the salty water.It's a bit ironic that a phonetician like me, someone whose work involves listening to and analysing the sounds of speech, should appreciate the silence of the forest so much. But maybe it makes sense: that's where I really get away from work.