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? 



  1. Love your compositions especially for the one that is symmetrical. The combination of the upper side and underside of the leaf for that one is just too incredible!

    Your photography is improving. :)

  2. hahaha, thanks One, this plant really provides inspiration. I am actually awed!

  3. Great photos! I love the shapes, light, shadows and textures.

    I wonder if this plant flowers. How is it used medicinally? Hope you do find out what it is.


  4. It's a gorgeous plant, and a source of nostalgia for me :) Hope you weren't that affected by the recent typhoon.

  5. Andrea, thanks for mentioning the meme. It is a great plant showing Illumination. It is a really interesting plant. It reminded me of Sensitive (Mimosa) plant a little bit the way it holds the leaves on the stem. It has pretty texture. Nice photos of it too with the sun hitting the army of leaves.

  6. FlowerLady - yes this plant flowers but i always see it from afar. It normally climbs long trees and inside heavy vegetation, so i am not familiar with the details. The very long pods are very visible though. I know its medicinal uses, and have used it once.

    Mark - why will this plant bring you nostalgia? Or maybe just my post and me because of the typhoon. We are okay here in Quezon City. Some provinces though are still flooded; e.g. N Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan.

    Donna - i love your term "army of leaves", yes it is like an army! This plant is really interesting in many ways. The mimosa-like leaves share sameness with a lot of legumes; trees, shrubs, vines. Amazing isn't it. Now i am thrilled to go near it again when its flowering time. I hope i can still go through the thicket.

  7. I learned something new from your post. I didn't know that young leaves have reddish color as protection from ultraviolet rays.

    I wonder why this plant is locally called 'kabit-kabag'. LOL... maybe it clings on you and gives you gas?

  8. Each picture, and each definition was wonderful. Plants are truly amazing things! They do so much more than we give them credit for. Great post!

  9. Beauty in simplicity. This plant is nostalgic to me too! I have seen it here in the wild. Whenever I go back to my hometown, I too like to explore for wild plants. They seem to enjoy living a wild existence, growing vibrant and green. I love how you play with lighting and symmetry in your photo compositions. Very good photography indeed!

  10. Beautiful photos Andrea! Good findings. There is so much to discover. And this legume has interesting colours and texture - marvellous!!

  11. Love how you showed this in your photos!!!

  12. Solitude Rising - you might not have seen Donna and mine's long discussion about plant pigments way back in her post. Plant pigments are carotenoids and there are many of them. Its study is very interesting, and they even react with temperatures. Do you know why our oranges in the Philippines are not orange? Even our tomatoes during summer are yellow instead of red! Those are interplay of carotenoids and their reaction with environmental conditions. We can even make techniques on their colors depending on our wants! If you want more details, tell me. We can have endless discussions on this, hahaha! I am just being naughty too, but what i said above are correct.

    On the other hand, kabit is yes, cling. Kabag is discussed quickly (mabilis) so that means a bat (paniki), maybe some old people put this vine around their fruiting trees to ward of the fruit bats. But i haven't heard it here, it is just my theory. If the accent is just like yours, slowly (malumay), that means in Tagalog as climbing or vine, which translates to clinging vine! Thanks for asking it, now i put more attention to that...yes maybe, could be!

  13. Holley Garden - that's right, and they are our greatest oxygen generators, nobody does it in any other way!

    Autumn Belle - you are really my friend, appreciating my works fully. Maybe the three of us with One should do a photowalk in the wild, and i can imagine the laughter and fun we will be having. So this plant is also in your area! I thought it is indigenous here.

    Stephanie - yes this plant is very interesting for normal eyes and photographic eyes as well.

    NHGarden - thanks for appreciating. I am glad you like my presentation. Please visit again.

  14. WOW!!! Ya got this Ozark Farm Chick turnin' every color of ugly jealously green. I so envy your photography ability. 'Just magical sweetie!

    God bless ya from the happy hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!!

  15. great sequences of shots. the plant looks very intriguing.

  16. Great post, Andrea... AND--such a great plant to photograph... Wow!!!!

  17. I agree, this is a beautiful plant, lovely shapes and colors. I like how you captured it from the different angles. It's a nice way to spend some time, admiring Mother Nature's more creative side, when she's not throwing a temper tantrum, eh? Stay safe this weekend when we may get hit by her again.

    ["Ciao" is just a greeting, hello or goodbye, in Italian. English speakers have adopted it, perhaps to sound cool... but I must admit I use it myself, although more with multilingual European friends. :-) ]

  18. Nessy - thank you so much for your kind words, I've been to yours too and loved your grandson!

    Life Ramblings - Autumn Belle says she saw this too in her hometown, just like where i saw it here, also my hometown! But i still want to join you in your world travels.

    Betsy - yes it is lovely but not enough to compare with the plants in your latest tour. However, those ferns that you saw we also have a lot here.

    Francisca - Thank you for the reminder that Mother Nature seems to have her eyes on us this time, even if many towns are still under deep water from the last typhoon. And yes, i recall, yes Ciao is Italian how can i forget that!

  19. Now I learned two new Tagalog words:

    Aside from "gas in the tummy", "kabag" also means:
    pronounced fast - bat
    pronounced slowly - vine

    Maybe that's one of the "malalim na tagalog" words. I have to keep that in mind :)


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