I confessed with you last Mon the reason for my 2-days off last week, to join my friend to his farm, "far from the madding crowd below". I prepared my psyche for it, so I was open for any eventualities, any sights, any activity, any food, and any experience!
The farm is on a hillside with lovely views of the surrounding mountains. The unpaved road might give some inconvenience, but it actually adds beauty to the experience, giving complete ambiance of remoteness or maybe exclusivity.
The tunnel-like entrance to the farm, is made such by constant pruning of the lower tree branches. Doesn't it have a dome-like significance? There is a faint light at the end of the tunnel, maybe on earth that light is not as bright as the more famous ONE!
Rainbow eucalyptus, rainbow gum, Mindanao gum, locally called bagras, Eucalyptus deglupta
The showy multicolored streaks covering the trunk is its very distinct feature. The bark of this tree matures in patches at different periods, with hues of blue, purple, orange, maroon. The peeled off patches reveal the young green barks. This is a native species here and grows very tall just like their Australian cousins, which otherwise have mostly white barks. Being fast growing produce light wood for making plywood and paper. Seeing it close and personal convinced me to plant a few trees in our own property. I will be planting it not for the trunk, but for its beauty.
The trunk of this tree is heavily guarded with scary networks of hard, thick thorns. I wonder if any herbivore can still approach it from the ground. They surely need wings to get to it and that is directly through the canopy. I am thrilled to know what kind of land animals this tree is very scared of, or its very expensive part or component that is so palatable to anything! Definitely no mammal can climb its trunk! Actually, this fruit is classified as a berry (sorry for calling it pome earlier), and fruits are beautifully reddish purple in color. That means it has lots of antioxidants!
Flacourtia rukam or bitongol in Tagalog
It is known in many names in Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Its fruits are eaten fresh and as preserves and jellies, and in these countries it is common to use the barks, leaves and roots for medicinal purposes. Some gardeners also use it to make bonsai, which i am sure is very exotic-looking. I am not interested at all to plant this in our property, unless i am very angry with my neighbor. A slight accident or ignorance about it will ensure a scary horrible scene. But surely, it will be a good perimeter fence to unfriendly neighborhood.