Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Something incredible met me one morning

Last weekend I tried exploring some areas in the vicinity not used for agriculture for quite sometime. I found a lot of interesting things for photography, grasses, critters, patterns, colors, etc. The sun is just rising so i got enthralled. I also saw some wild guavas and helped myself. Getting fruits from the wild, newly washed by rain and directly putting them into your mouth gives a feeling of excitement, raw and  natural. This experience can be had only in the provinces.

Weeds also grow freely, colonizing species are abundant. There are also shrubs already bearing fruits for the birds and for the proliferation of species. Among the unusually exciting plant that particularly caught my attention is this climbing legume. I call this a legume because it exhibits many morphological characteristics of this type. I just am not sure if this is a colonizer too. 

The lush growth above seemingly conquering the rest is very promising.  It climbed among the rest competing for sunshine. 

Leaf transition from emergence to maturity is very dramatic. It started reddish brown, progressing to maturity by diminishing the reddish pigments to become green. You are quite well aware that young leaves have this color as protection from ultraviolet rays. These reddish or purplish pigments gradually lost to unmask the chlorophyll for photosynthesis.

 Please give attention to the almost overlapping leaflets, which somehow droop to avoid direct rays of the sun.

The midribs and veins turn green ahead than the flat leaf lamina. Position in space of the individual leaflets also become more level and more exposed to the sun's rays. 

 As the leaves become greener, the angular position in relation to the sun becomes more pronounced. This time they get more upright, or the tips point to an angle. And the color red or brown just slightly discernible. 

 A very dramatic effect made by the leaflet angles to capture more sun's rays produced the seemingly different colors. The above and bottom photo should have been nice representatives to Donna's Garden Walk Garden Talk Illumination meme. The top side facing the sun is dark green while the underside is lighter. 

And i love this pattern and texture the most.

Upon seeing these structures at the bottom of the midribs, i thought it might be a colonizing species! Or it might probably be very vulnerable or delicious to have much of those protection.  The thorns make it more competitive in terms of space and predators. Not many caterpillars can attempt climbing those thorny stems and midribs. Now, what is in it making it very active in protection!

This is the top portion of the plant in its elegant competitive stature, with all its beautiful leaves in color transition. I checked for some leaves which might have succumbed to predation, but i did not see any. 

I don't know this plant and attempts to look for it in the web proved futile. Even the vernacular term "kabit-kabag" is not in  world-wide-web. Perhaps, even our biodiversity authorities are not familiar with it or not encountered it. I hope it is not yet endangered as i learned of its medicinal use from my mother. 

I think it is a beautiful plant, what about you? 


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Vanda sanderiana Show

This is just a part of the previous post, Orchid Show at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Quezon City. I just separated the Vanda to show you all of them. Vanda (Euanthe) sanderiana, our waling-waling, considered "Queen of Philippine Flowers",  is said to be the acknowledged parents of the now world famous Vanda hybrids. It is endemic to the Philippines but now considered an endangered species.  Cross breeding, e.g. parents to parents, offspring to cousins and to grandparents, and/or intergeneric breeding produced a lot of wonderful colors, sizes and qualities that enthusiasts, scientists and collectors hope to bring home. In these kind of exhibits, you will see labels with lots of Xs (e.g. Mokara from (Arachnis x Ascocentrum x Vanda), showing the plant's parentage, or whose pollen is crossed with whose stigma. These names are very important for breeders to trace their pedigree and choose the important characteristics to incorporate in their future breeding expectations. 

Sometimes, the names get so long to write, and unbelievable to memorize! For us, i hope you will agree, those long scientific names are not very important, we are already happy to see them or photograph them. 

The waling-waling (above and below)

For more information: 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Illumination Attempts

It is not so easy for me to contemplate on what photos to choose for  Garden Walk Garden Talk's  Illumination. Maybe Donna's post scared me that much because I am very familiar of her amazing photos, her writing style, her educational background as an artist, her knowledge of post processing, etc. Nevertheless, I love the way she 'architectured' her post, the inspiration it evokes, and the challenges she left for her audience.

One of Onenezz asked me last night if I will be joining here. I replied on the negative. I also know she posted one week earlier, but I really did not intend to join. However, this Wednesday morning the links are still so few. So, I hurried through my files; no cropping, no edit, no nothing, just put the watermarks. These are my attempts at Illumination. It can be understood from the surface to the deepest, the literal to spiritual, the factual to hidden meanings. It might also be the path to Enlightenment.

It would be also much appreciated if Donna, the host, will generously critique my photos here.

 Dubai desert at sunset

Dubai airport at sunrise

 Main entrance to the University of the Philippines Los Baños lined with Royal palms on both sides. The university is a symbol of 'illumination' and UP is the leading university in the country, and that lamp near the UP sign is also a symbol for illumination.

This is the way to the University Library, which is on top of an incline. Isn't it very symbolic that the way to 'Illumination' is uphill, not easy to reach?

 This is in Ooty, India, a place on the mountains. The photo is on the other side of a beautiful rose garden which occupies a side of the hill. It seems to be a very great contrast, and India is associated to the word 'enlightenment'. This photo for me has lots of meanings from the superficial to the sublime!

Taken in Ooty, India too, on the way to the big Rose Garden i mentioned above

Monday, September 19, 2011

Recent Philippine Orchid Show

The recent garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City almost coincided with my trip to the Tinuy-an Falls in Mindanao. I had to leave the office for a few hours to see the show on its first day. It was a Friday and many people are expected to visit during the weekend. The disadvantage of my early visit was the still unfinished landscaping of the exhibit booths. But the commercial booths are already full of plants and flowers for sale. 

Of course, my main intention is not to buy anything but to take photos. As expected in orchid shows here, the more famous Vanda and Catleya are in exhibit. The pride of the country, the waling-waling or Vanda sanderiana is prominently displayed together with the more unique colors of the famous hybrids. What is also awesome are the endemic species which are in full bloom. These endemics are sought after for collections, which endangered their presence in the wild. I don't miss any orchid show in the city, but i still saw many species for the first time. They are really awesome! Even if I already gave up my orchids, seeing these exhibit make me miss my lost collections. 

These orchids are mounted overhead on natural trees in the park, and we have to look up to appreciate their beauty in their supposedly normal habitat.

This looks like a wall of Trichoglottis sp. Trichoglottis is a genus found in Eastern Asia mainly the Philippines. 

A bunch of  almost leafless canes of Dendrobium bracteosum

Trichoglottis philippinensis 

Oncidium hybrid

Cymbidium hybrid

Dendrochilum magnum (thanks Orchid de Dangao for the lead). Am sorry to not have taken the ID from the tag.

Rhyncostylis retusa (thanks to Orchid de Dangau for the species ID)

Rhynchovola David Sander, commonly known as Brassovola David Sander (Thanks to Orchid de Dangao for giving me the lead with his ID as Bras. David Sanders)

Habenaria myriotricha also known as H. medusae

Dendrobium chrysotoxum ( yes Orchid de Dangau this is D. chrysotoxum)

Grammatophylum scriptum adorned with some palms, ferns and silaginella in front

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Garden Dwellers

I am not good in shooting critters, which One of Onenezz is so good at. I am thrilled with her collages of dragonflies and butterflies in Tropical Nature Photos. There's a lot of critters too in our garden. I have tried many times to take their photos, but am always drawn to chase the butterflies. When butterflies are around, I forget the rest. However, this time I am fascinated by the works of some critters, mainly because they fully consumed many of our plants.

This big larva devoured all the leaves of a big periwinkle plant, which died eventually. I realized this plant is not so resistant to larvae's attacks. Some plants just produce more shoots again after the onslaught of larvae.

 This larva looks almost the same as the above, but it feasted on the chrysanthemum.

This young larva attacked the caladium, which together with another bigger larva finished 5 big leaves overnight.

YAICKS! Grrrr! Another one on the green caladium!

He looks so cute, with those beautiful "eyes" (sorry for the blurr, i dont have a better shot)

I got it from the caladium to pose for me with the help of my niece. I taught her to touch the larva without being scared. However, whenever it moves she made a loud shriek. Eventually, after a lot of caresses, she got so enamored with it that when the chickens came, she shooed them away or else they will easily have a piece of snack.

Some of the devoured caladium leaves courtesy of the cute brownish larva. It camouflaged itself near the petiole when the sun is already up.

The Colocasia above is an accomplishment of another larva, this time a black one (below)

It is so long but beautiful too! Can you see the two "antennae'' at its posterior tip. I don't know its name.

A hairy monster eating the Chrysothemis pulchelia, a few days later 3 plants were bald.

I believe this is the swallowtail larva, mimicking bird droppings when still at this stage. Eventually it will be a big green caterpillar too before it pupates. It might not however hide from the birds frequently seen above them. This plant is a species of citrus with very nice scent, but it doesn't produce fruits like the common citrus we know. It however is medicinal.

These okra plants succumbed to a lot of larvae which after eating the leaves make them as their blankets. Eventually, molds will grow from their excretions and the okra will die. 

This time i don't know if these ants are helpful to the plant. What i know is they make harvesting of the custard apple fruit very difficult. 

Now, i know this praying mantis might be helpful. However, its stance is a reply to my prodding so it will pose nicely for me! I don't know if this is the Chinese species which Randy Emitt beautifully photographed in his blogsite.

And these are the last enemies of our plants. The cats (we have 6), play hide and seek in the garden. In this photo they are in the amaryllis hedge. The dog is a little subtle, but it loves to rest and sleep there near some plants. I did not include here yet some chickens and the young goat kids.

Maybe you are thinking that our plants will not be able to grow well with these creatures plaguing them. But we still have lots of plants, so we still see the flowers and the fruits of those which survived their natural ordeals. Everyone is happy!

Some of our other unwholesome garden guests:

Camera Critters

Camera Critters
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