Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dry Season Ending

It is December, our most wonderful temperatures throughout the year is now here. As most of my readers and followers know, we only have two seasons, the dry and the wet. Officially, December is still in the dry season, but in reality rains seem to be transported somewhere else. If not because of the colder temperatures, courtesy of colder winds coming from Northern Asia, we seem to be already in our dry season. Our thermometers averaged above 25°C in Metro Manila but higher in our province. Our smaller plants get stunted, and our gardens show their stresses. Most especially in our property in the province, which is bombarded by winds from the sea, our garden plants age earlier than usual. Butterflies are also not as plenty as last year, effect of the long El Niño phenomenon. Below are the Metro Manila conditions today, 29 November 2012.

Passing clouds. Warm.

Temperature:25 °C
Comfort Level:26 °C
Dew point:19 °C
Pressure:1013 millibars
Visibility:10 km
Wind:2 km/h from 20° North-northeastDirection South-southwest
Last update:Thu 05:00 PHT

The long nights favor the blooming of chrysanthemums. The flowers are still starting to open, while the gaillardia seed head is already developing,  had already shed the petals.

At the height of the marigold blooming days, the insects are so plenty, including the butterflies. Look at the legs of this big wasp, full of pollen!

 Only a few blooms are left now with our marigolds, most flowers already dehisced and formed the seeds. In a few days they are all dried and ready for the next generation of planting. High temperatures hasten this early maturation.

Some petals are still attached, but eventually will be totally gone.

Gaillardia already stopped blooming, i hope those seed heads are bearing seeds for the next season.

I am amazed at our little creatures, they are also orange. I am sorry i am not familiar with its ID.

I would love to try linking this to the Thursday Two Questions Meme. This is my first time to link there. Here are my two questions:

            1. Should i for the first time get the seeds from these marigolds to plant next year?
            2. I have not stored ornamental seeds yet, but plants keep coming when season comes, will the  
                 seeds remain viable with our tropical dry conditions? 

Copy this image and its link to place on your blog


Thursday, November 22, 2012

For the Arachnophiles +

This is a continuation of my previous post, where i have been peeping into the canopy or under canopy of plants. These are mostly the spiders that I normally did not see in my daily walks. They are mostly seen in the mornings, when our temperature is not yet so hot. I guess they hide among the leaves when the sun rises. Sometimes, going into the orchard is a bit yucky because of these spider webs, which are sticky to body and clothing. When that happens, unless the owner of the web is so big, I don't bother to look how the owner looks like. This time, I really looked for them, waited and extremely patient for the wind to stop, so I can at least get at least a decent photo. 

I just learned from the arachnophile FB page here, that many of these creatures with 4 pairs of legs are still unnamed. And they are not easy to identify, as a lot of characteristics mostly microscopic have to be considered in the classification. An authority said they will still work on those living in the tree canopy, those under the canopy, and the ground dwellers. I guess it is easier for plants than these spiders. Maybe that's the reason a lot of them here in the country still don't have scientific names. They further said, it is safer to stop at the Genus level at the moment. 

 I saw this one under the crotons and hibiscus leaves. I guess they call this within the Gasteracantha genus!

 This one doesn't have a big web, but i caught it dangling from its thread in space. They assume this is under the genus Poltys.

 Above and below seems unusual because it carry its abdomen uncharacteristically oblique. Its body is just one cm long, so very difficult for me to focus with the light wind. The abdomen looks like a cone shell and very colorful too.
 It is within the genus Opadometa.

 I have always posted this one in the past, as they are very conspicuous in our area. The webs are big and made in between the trees mostly above our heads. The adults are about 2-3 inches in length when fully mature. This belongs to the Nephilia genus.

 Most, if not all, spiders have this ability to produce the sticky sap on their abdomen. This is the facility for making their web. It is my first time to scrutinize that portal called spinnerets, where the sticky web comes out. I wonder why that area is very colorful too, not similar to the color of the body. If only I am close to an arachnologist, I will be so glad to join in the lab and look at these structures in the microscope! Oh how enchanting our world really is!

Camera Critters Meme

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fifth Floor Window Rains

Many of you are very familiar already with my 5th Floor Window scenes, most specifically sunsets. I guess the 5th Floor Window will be known for sunsets. But there's a lot more with it. If only I am a writer, i can make a lot of stories inspired by my 5th Floor Window. What about the drama of real people i chanced upon once-in-a while! The drama of birds are there too, just this morning I saw one dead pied fantail  at the corner of my ledge, with head looking up at me! I will post its picture in a later post. The only thing i haven't seen there yet is an airplane diving down, knock on wood! But i see lots of airplanes and helicopters, and oh yes the jets leaving white smokey trails, they are all there.  And I hope one of these days, i can capture a flight of a UFO, a real one! But who knows I might already have seen one, just that i didn't know how to look. And one more thing, i still have to watch the real meteor showers from my 5th floor window.

And now I have something for you, the rains!

 This is one of the more familiar views of my normal window scenes

 ...also one of the normal sunsets!

 Then suddenly i got this hazy sunset view despite the bright sun there at the horizon!

 my sunset view now becomes a surreal painting

 Big drops of rains so suddenly fall, a bit slanting from left due to strong wind

 This small hut owned by an old man got a thorough drenching. I know the man still use firewood in cooking his food, and he dries his chopped wood near this hut. Sometimes his area gets flooded after heavy rains. I hope he has enough firewood inside his hut to cook his food.

 these banana plants at the back of the old man's hut will benefit from the sudden downpour

 this fruit tree, housing many birds and insects will also welcome this rain beautifully

 this photo suddenly looks like an old picture from an old photo album

...and my basil, kangkong, orchid and ampalaya plants at the window ledge are certainly happy!

That rainfall only lasted for 15 min. It didn't come with any announcement at all, like cloudy skies or drizzles. The sun is hot there in the horizon as if it is just a very ordinary day. It just happened suddenly. And just like how it appeared, it also suddenly went off, just like that. I am awed, but most of us liked it. I love having a  5th floor window!

Our World Tuesday Graphic   Outdoor-Wednesday-logo_thumb1_thumb1[1]

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Small Critters I Saw First Time!

I spent one morning last weekend looking for the very small living organisms on leaves and trunks. I am particularly looking for lady beetles. But it turned out that there's a lot of insects and spiders there that have long been hiding from me, so it seems. They are not actually hiding, I just did not particularly spend time watching them. This time I was able to observe the other world these creatures occupy. I have been living in the farm since birth, and yet I only know the obvious. Those smaller than 1.0cm are unknown to me. It was amazing as this world unfolded in my eyes. I ended up following wherever they went, because i need to get their pictures, even if we have not been formally introduced. Therefore, i really don't know yet their names.

 The owner of this house is so shy it suddenly hide into the sanctity of the branches and leaves. It is so high on the tree that i cannot look for him. I don't even know how he looks like. But at least i took the photo of its house, and I really love it twinkling against the morning sky.

 This organism looks bizarre, at least to me. I wonder if the rest of the population in their world thinks like me too. It is hard and stuck itself on a dense lichen patch at the trunk of a citrus tree. I am awed at the openings of that concave structure, whether it is a house or the actual organism. I don't even know if it is abandoned or if it is already dead. Hopefully, i will be able to be informed of my dilemma.

This insect is also at the branch of the citrus, it is a flying insect but mostly stays on the branch. It is about 1cm in length up to the tip of its snout, whatever that thing is! I have been scrutinizing it with the macro lens, but it always go to the other side of the branch away from me. Eventually, it flew away, left me with nothing of particular significance! I guess it is associated with the oozing disease of citrus.

I am very sure this is a spider, LOL, of course it has 4 pairs of legs! Great, it is an arachnid, belonging to the family Arachnidae. Oh I am so knowledgeable about it, can you get my sarcasm? Farther from knowing it is a spider, i don't know anything about it. But it is cute! (Thanks Randy Emmitt for telling us this is a jumping spider)

 This one is a spider too, but this one gave me the longest time to decipher. Its form is a bit unusual for a spider. The head is bent as a flap parallel to its abdomen when resting. It can also glide through a string from its abdomen, where it attaches itself for protection when provoked. I actually provoked it to move so many times, but sometimes it just stopped with that folded body stance, maybe to mimic something for purpose that i will just leave it alone. Those very long legs covered its head, I am really so perplexed. I will still post this to the Arachnophiles forum for possible ID.

 Again, this is another spider, and it has beautiful artistic design. It is also very small in length. The nice thing is it is not attempting to hide from me, he just allowed me to take its photos. I read somewhere, that in other species the colors can be deceiving sometimes. A brightly colored one can be poisonous. But I will not be poisoned by this one, unless it projects some liquid trajectorially to its assumed predator. Lovely eh!

And the highlight of my morning is seeing this insect, maybe wasp, doing its best to kill this cricket that is bigger than him. I wish i had a video equipment to take the struggling predator and prey, it was very interesting! The predator did not leave its hold on the head until the prey is immovable and paralyzed. Then its problem now is to haul it to the safety of its sanctuary. He tried to pull it upside down, then push it on the other side, but still he can't move it. Actually it is heavy for him. So he waited, until maybe the prey is dead and doesn't cling to the leaf surface anymore. Then at that position he was able to move it away. When he reached the leafy portion of the plant he got lost from my sight. 

Camera Critters Meme

Monday, November 12, 2012

All in One Day!

My 5th Floor Window gives me a whole world on its own. Oh, not actually just a world but also a glimpse of the universe, a world beyond. I might have just been occupying a very small space in our building of 7 stories, but my window gives me special information otherwise not bestowed on others. The window gives me a very special privilege.

So who needs to go out on weekends? I certainly cannot trade-in the time outside, as I might miss my sunsets, or i will miss the birds alighting the tree just below my window. And the picture of the sky changes so fast, I might miss a cloud formation looming in the distance. So can you blame me for confining my body inside this four corners of space? 

I am showing you the changes in my west sky when I get out of bed in the morning till the sun sets. And these photos only happened in one day, 11 November 2012, to be exact. 

The tallest structures in my skyline are the Iglesia ni Kristo Church at the left, the television tower at the center and a condominium unit at the right. This is the wide angle shot at 6:30am, when i woke up.

 A larger shot of the Iglesia ni Kristo Church

this clouded sky is at noon

 my west sky started to change color immediately before the sun sets at 5:25pm, this is at 5:30pm

 a few minutes after the sunset, 5:40pm

the wide angle shot with almost 3/4 of the sky showing, dwarfing the TV channel and the condominium building

 It is a fiery afternoon, would you agree

 an umbrella tree at the distance has a beautiful silhouette

a coconut tree near it is fully illuminated too

and this is my window framing my line of view!

And the world for me seems so enchanting and magical at these few moments, till the world is again almost completely dark, only illuminated now with the worldly bulbs from streets and buildings. WHEW!!!

Our World Tuesday Graphic    Ruby Tuesday 2  Inspiration Avenue Challenge Link
Related Posts with Thumbnails