Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our Outdoors!

We are still waiting for the much needed rain. Metro Manila is already raining every afternoon since June started, but our area in the province where our plants are already starving and dying still hasn't received its share. We are officially already in the rainy season, but why, it seems so unfair! Except for an early short rain in May because of a thunderstorm, we haven't been blessed with the free water! We already have three typhoons, but all the clouds went to the city, where water is not really much wanted because it is so fully cemented that leads to fast flooding. I wish clouds can easily be blown where they are more wanted.

Mother's pets: Mother and children/hen and chicks

It is good that chickens don't take a bath, but they drink water too!

even with rationed water they still feel starved and thirsty

They have to eat the plants leaves and grasses, where they can get water supplement

their father cannot do anything, i hope there is rain dance for chickens too

Oh plenty of water, but that is in the hotel grounds, no chickens allowed

...and here is another body of water, but it is in the park very far from home!

Our World Tuesday Graphic  Outdoor-Wednesday-logo_thumb1_thumb1

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Deviation from Plants

I realized i have not posted creatures in this blogsite for a while. I have posted lately some butterflies though, and still i have lots of them to post before our rainy season in June. That is when lots of butterfly eggs hatch, in time for their caterpillars have lots of food. So, now i will be posting the all-year-round creatures, or some are dry season creatures.

We only see this beetle at night, they love to go to bright light sources. Its shell is so hard that when you press the back at its neck portion, it will click hard on the surface emitting a loud sound. This makes it sometimes as toys by young boys, by placing it on top of matchboxes for the clicking tok-tok-toks!

 This coccinellid or lady bug is so cute, and a bit different in design with the more common spotted ladybugs. My friend blogger, Caroline Gill, calls it testudinate lady bug because of the turtle-like design. I love the name Harlequin ladybird, and Asian lady beetle . The scientific name is Heteroneda reticulata. Thanks Caroline for sending me the link to Project Noah which led me to its ID.

These are the most common ones, and despite of its commonness i still can't afford not to shoot them. They are the most photographed creatures in our household, and they make a lot of poses that really catch our attention. 

Just like this one, i don't know why she likes sleeping in the backyard on top of those pile of dry leaves. It seems like the ants and termites there don't sting her!

 These are my sisters brood. Whenever ours have kittens, the mother bring them one by one to my sisters house. When they are older, the mother coached them back to return to our house. I don't know what arrangements they have among themselves, but it seems that is the general practice. Whenever someone wants to deliver her kittens, they always come to our house for mother's attention. We concluded that mother is good in attending to delivery chores, while my sister is good in feeding them.

 And this kid is my nephew's other pet. He always bring them out to eat the grasses in the vicinity. Tethering them is the normal way of letting them eat during the dry season, when weeds and food are difficult for goats.

Haha, he still prefers his mother's milk than the grasses. The mother can't eat when her baby is sucking her milk. We in the household have fun literally watching our farm creatures. And i don't get bored waiting for them to pose for me. 

Camera Critters

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Watery Moment

At the small jeepney terminal where we wait for the jeepney to be filled up of commuters to the provincial city for the bus terminal to Metro Manila, I got off first to the nearby shoreline. I was hoping to see a spectacularly beautiful colorful stone to be brought to the big city for a friend. However, the water is high and most of the lovely stones are under water. I gave up the idea and instead looked at the horizon.

 colorful stones are still under water, we have to wait for the low tide for them to be accessible

 the water was calm good for some leisurely boat rides, i envy these teens spending their time here

 the three young teens at the back are just having some fun, while the 3 men in front might be going for some fishing on the deeper areas

 Colorful motorized boats ply these shores. At the background is where the Batangas International Port is located.
 Look at that boat, it is so beautiful, and the man's hat looks like the traditional Vietnamese hat. Not many of us are using these hats here. The conventional baseball caps are the most common for boys and men. And look at the trunks holding the soil not to be profusely eroded by high violent waves, during typhoons! At the right is a 'talisay' tree, Terminalia catappa, which are volunteer trees in our marginal areas. At the left however, is the commercially famous industrial crop, the coconut or Cocos nucifera, where the famous Virgin Coconut Oil and the now becoming famous coco sugar is produced.

I bet this is just a leisurely ride for these young teens. They are making the most of the calm waters, as these is not happening often in these parts of our shores.

Our World Tuesday Graphic   Outdoor-Wednesday-logo_thumb1_thumb1 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Crows and orioles

The crows ('uwak' in the Tagalog dialect) are always around spying on mother's eggs, chicks, and who knows maybe they are also keen on somebody else's chicks. Crows are known to be one of the world's most intelligent animals, and that is very prominently displayed in our property. They are also omnivorous, so eats everything available in their area. They can also hear sounds not possible for the humans to hear and they have been shown to have the ability to visually recognize individual humans. They inform their group about the presence of "bad" humans through squawking. Maybe in our property, they very well know my mother, because they scurry away whenever mother goes near their perch. She  usually throws stones to drive these crows eyeing her free range chickens.

The crows and orioles in our skies in the province are perennial enemies. Their fights happen when the orioles have nests on top of trees. Even if the orioles are smaller, they are good fighters too. They are very noisy, maybe calling their peers, and i see maybe 6-7 of them fighting crows on air. And the squawking and bird noise obviously tell of angry voices. I haven't seen any oriole egg or nestling stolen by the crows, but maybe with their size and intelligence and the distressed sounds of the orioles, maybe they were able to get them. Of course we hate the crows, but i am sure they are essential parts of our ecosystem. They also eat some of our unwanted creatures in the farm like snakes, rodents, and insects. 

Oriole's back view

oriole with one wing open preening itself very well

oriole's back underside showing the anus and the black patch on its abdomen

showing the top abdomen and tail's underside

Oriole's full side view showing the red beak, black eyes and black feet

crow perched on a coconut leaf scanning environment for food

leaving the perch for maybe a possible take of food

a group of crows on the thick canopy preening themselves after the rain

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