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The Cotton Wool Tree : An educational field trip

A good opportunity for an educational field trip presented itself as I was driving into Nanyang Technological University. I noticed  white billowy candy floss-like strewn all over the grassy slopes.

Educational Field Trip

White kapok

It was the local “kapok” tree’s fruiting season.  It is scientifically known as the Ceiba pentandra and it is a tall majestic tree which can grow up to 150 feet. I had been waiting for this season for a while because B’s bolster is stuffed with the very same thing! It’s the same stuffing that most Asian kids have in their bolster and I myself actually prefer it (psst !  my own adult size bolster is also stuffed with this!) compared to the microfiber stuffing… it’s the real original memory foam meets cotton wool… meaning that it holds its shape firm while  conforming to whatever limb or body part you put on it. The best part? It’s all natural… not some petroleum derived by product.

Nature Trip

Nature Trip

So it was with great excitement that I organised an outing for B to pay a visit ( and not a moment too soon because soon after that, the excavators moved in and now that area is a construction site!).

There were many pods strewn on the ground and we even picked up a few for her school’s nature corner .  It was interesting to see that the cotton in the pods had indentations on the surface looking somewhat like corn. How beautiful! I had never known that!

Corn or cotton?

Corn or cotton?

And another surprise for us – there were such pretty red bugs eating the cotton! The red was fire engine red that they were just all over the pods. So we had an extra discussion about the use of nature’s scavengers that eat rotting fruit and how their excrement would fertilize the soil and the bugs themselves are part of the food chain. What a bonus!  I found out later that these were cottonstainer bugs that are actually a pest to the cotton farmers. It must really be candy floss to them!

Cottonstainer bug

Cottonstainer bug

After that, it was a good run in the park for her and Daddy a midst the shady trees.  And B discovered that chasing Mynah birds is good fun too!

Doesn't it remind you of a Peter Rabbit country woods?

Doesn’t it remind you of a Peter Rabbit country woods?

Running in the park

Chasing Mynah birds

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