Happy New Year : 1 January 2019 and the morning is fresh and fair – perfect for the magical moments happening in the Botanic Gardens.
The Gardens are abuzz with goings-on : children, pets, joggers, groups, yoga and tai chi, strollers, grandparents, families, photographers.
Perhaps because it is the beginning of the year … perhaps because there is no reason to rush anywhere … or perhaps because of the promise of fresh possibilities, the Gardens present much more than a walk, a run or exercise.
Three otters have taken residence in the body of water near the Cluny Park/MRT entrance and people are entranced with their antics. Sleek little heads torpedo through the water; there are plenty of photo-ops as they tumble ashore, sunbathe, play, turn topsy turvy or investigate sans fear, often coming close to the groups and children standing at a respectful distance.
Four black swans occupy the lake shore opposite the Jacob Ballas Gardens entry point to the Gardens; their slender necks outlined in the reflecting waters, preening, grooming, ignoring the people who pause with interest and in delight.
Countless turtles swim up to the boardwalk spanning a part of the water body between the Cluny Park and Jacob Ballas entry points; they submerge and re-appear endlessly, little heads bobbing, bobbing.
Monitor lizards and their families go about their business, and visitors stand aside as parents and youngsters cross paths, pause under palms or disappear into the undergrowth.
Varieties of birds and their calls fill the air: owls, parrots, cockatoos, the ubiquitous mynahs, sparrows, sun birds, golden orioles, green pigeons, pheasants …
Families of jungle fowl stir up the morning with crowing, fights between males, clucking mothers shepherding their chicks and a general busyness.
These then, are the unexpected, inspiring, heart-lifting magical moments that you might chance upon on a visit to the Botanical Gardens. Any time. Any day. All for free.
Photographs of the birds borrowed from the Mantamola Blog.