Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Birding Detour

I took a leave from the office for two days last week, Thursday and Friday. I attended our University Loyalty Day on 10 October for the much awaited bonding with batchmates and friends, getting older seeks the same age range i think! We had lunch and dinner, and the parade in the afternoon was exciting. Both the Ex Chancellor and the Now Chancellor are batchmates, and they marched with us. Bonding, talking, reminiscing, laughing and more eating happened from dinner onwards. A few of us even slept at a friend's house a bit at the rural side near a stream, furnitures looking like antiques. They turned their house to be a cozy restaurant and massage place using the traditional "hilot" massage. These services just started and presently they just cater to friends and friends' friends. Imagine having a wonderful massage with the natural music of the stream! So after a lot of bonding talks and massage, we had a wonderful sleep.

In the morning they dropped me at the Institute of Plant Breeding in the University complex. I had to get my order of hoya rooted cuttings. The staff arrived at 9:00am so i had one hour taking pictures around the research complex. If waiting for someone is not so exciting, this is the exact opposite as it seemed one hour is not enough.

 The attractive and special vegetarian dish prepared by our equally attractive batchmate, Dr. Pam Fernandez. It is always the first dish to finish, not only because it's very colorful but because many are curious of the taste of individual flowers. Some didn't know that a particular common flower can be eaten.

 Tuntungin Hill as viewed from the Institute of Plant Breeding.

 These are structures that are built mainly for function rather than beauty, but they evoke lots of memories! Even these plants have been here for many years.

 When i finished taking shots of the flowers, i saw these white things behind the hedges at the other side of the field. My lens didn't give much justice to them but that's fine, as I don't see them often. I am always  inside a moving vehicle when i see them, and getting photos were not possible. This time only the lens is the problem, but that's fine as well. I am gathering memories.

 Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) are called such because they are normally seen with cattles or big livestock. They are lazy feeders so they don't hunt food, but take advantage of the insects and worms around the livestock. Cattles are absent here but they are taking advantage of the newly mowed field. The tractor is near me, just finished mowing this whole lot. The tractor driver said these birds are getting the earthworms that surfaced after the mowing.

That was a wonderful morning, gathering a lot of things: memories, pictures, seeds and hoyas.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tuesday Reds!

 As I've always said in the past, our gardens in the tropics are normally filled with reds and orange. Maybe these colors really love the hot and warm climates, maybe that is the reason they are called warm colors. The blues and dark violets are seldom seen here, although much intrusion by the gardener can also produce all these blue colors if they want. However, they might need more patience, perseverance, time and money.

So without the needed adjectives i mentioned above, the absentee gardener like me must just be contented with the more common and self supporting plants. And they are the orange and the reds. Here are some of them.

A  Caladium leaf resembles batik from neighboring Asian countries. This could be one of their inspirations. Can this color pass as red already?

 Chrysothemis pulchella, a gesneriad, is said to have originated in North America. It is only some of the few that acclimatized well in the humid warm tropics. With its storage root it can transcend its presence through the seasons, allows dormancy during dry season and sprouts again when the rains come. The yellow corolla don't last long, outlasted by the red-orange calyx. It spreads fast with good soil conditions. In fact in my garden, i already declare it as invasive.

When speaking of contrast, the red ripe chili pepper is a very good specimen. It produces a variety of changing hues in maturation, from green, to orange to red, and of course to brown when dried. I also love how its calyx remained green supporting the ripe fruit.

 The mosquito is lured with the spadix of this anthurium, i wonder what it can get there as the flowers are not yet open. The white spadix contrasts nicely with the bright red showy spathe. It is reported that there are about 1,500 species of Anthurium andreanum, although the highbrids are the most common in commerce.

 Even this black ant cannot resist visiting the anthurium. Its black presence in ruby red is so very conspicuous. I wonder why it was alone there, and i would have loved it if he came in contact with the mosquito. I should have observed them more intently.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tortured for Beauty

Bonsai is an old art practice by the Chinese and Japanese that focuses on long-term term cultivation of trees in a container to make them look like miniature old trees. Bonsai making is a continuous regular shaping and pruning of plants to the desired shape and look. A layman in me thinks that the plant is subjected to a lifetime torture to attain a desired beautiful art. There are different bonsai styles, to mimic the normal tree shapes in nature. Some of these styles are nicely portrayed by the exhibits below.

These are presented during the last Philippine Orchid Society Show at the Quezon Memorial Circle, September 2013. There are normally two locations for the show: the landscape design exhibit, which is also a contest; and the commercial booths that sell plants, ornamentals, and garden accessories and supplies.

informal upright style

 formal upright style

 windswept style

 cascade style

a formal setting arrangement of bonsai in a landscape design

a pile of cut tree trunks and branches make a beautiful background

It was a very elegant formal design, that looks like a front door landscape. There was even the steps leading to the main door, partly open to show the welcome entrance. The bonsais are placed on some elevated cylindrical pedestals to provide beauty and balance. But everyone is mostly impressed with the pile of tree trunks and branches, cut into equal lenghts and piled in a very organized mix depending on the diameter of the trunk. It literally exemplifies a very organized chaos, and very beautiful. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails