29 Nov 2011

Kuala Gula and matang mangrove - Study of Mangroves

My children and I love hands on, experiential learning. One that we enjoyed tremendously was about Caves, where we  made our own speleothems, created our own cave art out of pounded soil, learnt about bats by building a robotic bat and actually observing them while  Caving at Gua Tempurung. That whole thing was totally memorable, and we will probably visit that topic again.

This time we decided on studying swamps. I've not really recorded our studies except for this entry Book study on Swamp  where my children squabbled! heh heh..  Well, so our study actually began by several visits to different mangroves in K Selangor, Setiawan and P Ketam. Then we borrowed several books and bought a video about mangroves (Magic Schoolbus), where we learnt about why mangroves were important, and what  the habitat consist of, and the different species of trees found in mangroves.

To complete the study we decided on a field trip, and for that we decided to head towards Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary which is "made up of different wetlands consisting of rivers, mangrove islands, mudflats, estuaries and fringes of mangrove forests along the coast,"(Mangroves of Kuala Gula).  We went on a really lovely boat ride watching birds and just enjoying the serenity of the place. We did not see as many migratory birds as what we saw at Kapar Power Station, but we saw a great variety of birds! I've never seen so many different species of King Fishers in my life! and the amazing amount of Kites, Egrets, Herons, Lesser Adjutant and migratory birds of course.

The following day we visited the Matang Mangrove Forest and Mr. Chuah's Carcoal Factory where we just recapped all we've learnt. Some pictures

Getting on the boat at K Gula

Egrets sitting on floating fish farms

fisherman checking on shrimp nets (I'm sure you know, was messing around with photoshop on this one. Water is clean but not as blue as this.)

Brahminy Kite collecting twigs
Fish Farm

King Fisher-Pic taken by @Lim Puay Aun
Since we were there, we decided to pop by the Chinese Fishing Village, where we saw how dried prawns and belacan was made.

(Colored) Dried shrimp and salted fish

Making Belacan out of dried shrimp and salt
Visit to Mr. Chuah's Charcoal Factory in Kuala Sepetang, where we learnt about how mangrove trees are used in charcoal making.

Trying a hand at debarking a tree
entering the kiln

Wood is steamed in the kiln. You can see where the steam escapes the kiln

Wood is stood on stones to allow thorough and equal steaming on all sides of the wood
After a long process of steaming and drying approximately 32 days in total, this is how the wood looks. If you turn it up, you'll see gleaming, shining charcoal

Read to be weighed, chopped and packed.

 Matang Mangrove Forest -Largest Mangrove Forest in Malaysia

new root growing

Rhizophora seedling

roots growing already
Just for fun, my kids looked for a shallow area where they planted the seedlings they found

And so with this we conclude our study of mangroves. On to the next habitat...


gail said...

I am always amazed and thrilled to see how hands on your teaching is! No video game zombies in your home!

Martha said...

thanks G. We have video games, but very limited..perhaps once a week or once in 2 weeks. :)

michiko--blogpost-blogspot.com said...

You are very good teacher and good mother.
And your children are very lucky to have mum like you that you think about how many children can have these opportunity to study natural things?
I said many times always admire Martha.

Anonymous said...

How neat! Your kids are definitely blessed! I really enjoyed all these pictures.

marie said...

That is so awesome. My kids, and I, would love a fieldtrip like that. What great real life learning adventures they are having.

Mini Mocha said...

Fun and interesting. Great adventure. Lovely bird.

Carolyn said...

Yes, i agree with some of the comments. I really admire you very much, Martha. Really such a hands on mother! I have great respect for you.

btw, how was the bentong charity event? sorry, i couldn't go as i was back in my hometown that weekend.

Can I be included in your field trips next time? hehehe..

Martha said...

:) all...I enjoy planning and going on these trips as much as my children. @carolyn, will invite you on one :)

Carolyn said...

yipee!!!!!! muacks!

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