Friday, December 16, 2016

The Majestic Mayon Volcano

Our Majestic Mayon Volcano is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world because of its almost perfect cone. That shape is almost the same from whichever angle you look at. It is also famous because it is very active with 48 eruptions in 400 years, the earliest being recorded in 1616. Located in Albay province in the Bicol Region, one will always see it at a distance wherever you are in the region.

My trip to Albay on 12-14 December, this week,  paved way to give me some shooting chances despite the distance. Our destination is on its west side, but the airport is on its South side. At least i was able to watch it with those angles. They say it is seldom seen clear without clouds. But in the early mornings or dawn and at dusk, clouds left letting us gaze at its splendor, majestic beauty.

This is the view from the guesthouse window at 8:00 in the morning.  The clouds are already coming in and covered it in a few minutes. 

On our 2nd day i woke up before 6:00 am to watch it. I went to an upland area within the Coconut Research Center's campus, and the view didn't fail me. There is always some clouds coming out of its crater, as shown in the above photo. 

a wide angle shot before sunrise from the same spot

 another shot showing the other hill in the foreground and the coconut plantations

 This view is just in front of the guest house where we stayed for 2 nights. I shot this from the driveway.

This is the small hill at its west side, almost developing to have another perfect cone. Mt Mayon is at the back overexposed.

 Another hill at the left side of Mayon also trying to mimic its shape. I wonder if this is also a volcano trying to have another perfect cone with the eruptions. 

A wider angle shot of Mt Mayon

This is the view at 8:00 am on our way to the airport, shot from the highway almost at the south side. 

Finally, this is shot at the pre-departure area in Legaspi City Airport. The clouds are already coming in, and after a few minutes it cannot be seen anymore until our very much delayed flight left at 2:30 in the afternoon. We are very lucky to have been given the chance to see it clear. But of course i also took chances to see it when it is clear, I woke up early just for it. Thanks Mt Mayon you didn't disappoint me. 

This is the map of the towns around Mt. Mayon, showing the location of Guinobatan, where we stayed. Legazpi City is where the airport is.

Friday, November 18, 2016

5th Floor Window Sunsets 2016

I hope you still remember my horizon, my sunsets. I am sorry for posting almost the same looks, as that is the only horizon i got from my 5th Floor Window.

I have posted these style the previous years to compare the position of the sun's view in relation to the objects in my horizon. This just shows the movement of the earth in its rotation in one day, and in relation to the sun in a year's time. I noticed the single path for the first 7 months or until July, after which the the sun was observed coming back to the original position. To the astronomers and physicists, that will mean very different things, but for me that is just a wonderful way for my sunsets not to be boring. Can you imagine what i will feel if the sun is always on top of the spire of that Iglesia ni Kristo church? I might not be too eager to watch my sunrise if that happens.

Another nice thought is the reality that our earth is still moving. Or else we might be at the end of our state! I will be too alarmed when that happens! God bless.












November sundown

November sundown

November sundown

Friday, November 4, 2016

Baguio City Lepidopterans Too

Lepidopterans are moths and butterflies, didn't separate the two to distribute the colors. I opted not to post all the butterfly species i found in Baguio City in my first post as it gets too long.

I am used to butterflies in our garden too difficult to photograph because they are always fluttering. Here in the highlands with the subtropical temperatures they seem to be too kind to the camera. I can even take more shots and more angles with them still there, not flying away. It is relatively easier to take photos there compared to our hot lowlands. The reason is because it is more difficult to fly when the air is laden with high humidity, more so when it is cold. So my friend and i had a great time looking for them, shoot and delighted.

The following are more moths than  butterflies. In our place moths are mostly nocturnal, but here, there are plenty of daytime moths. 

Xanthoneura telesinus Mabille 1878
Hesperiidae; Hesperiinae

Unidentified Gelechioid

Timandra sp. nr. punctinervis
(Geometridae; Sterrhinae; Timandrini)

Nyctemera luzonensis EREBIDAE 

I am so fascinated by this photo, as the skipper alighted on a very lovely leaf with all those trichomes and the fantastic color! And look at the very long proboscis! I wonder why it is not coiled when there is no nectar to sip here!

Above and 2 bottom photos: This looper is also fascinating, because of its color and design. It will become a moth, however i still don't know which.

Some of the larvae converge on this host plant, which i also am not familiar with. It is a sub-tropical plant so i am not familiar.

Mycalesis aramis

Above and Below: RED HELEN

Menelaides helenus hystaspes C.& R. Felder 1862

Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Papilionini

Monday, October 24, 2016

Baguio City Lepidopterans

I was not able to post for the last two weeks, a little occupied with work. I even missed the October GBBD. I was only able to post for the FB friends, but really cannot cope with blogging, as this needs a PC to work on. But i will make-up for that with this post, i hope you will enjoy my photos.

The week before last we had an activity for 4 days in Baguio City, a place in the highlands, we normally call the Summer Capital of the Philippines. It is a city, Shangrila-like, amidst steep mountain sides. It is reached via a very circuitous route traversing very deep ravines with strong water current, through a highway that usually closes every after a strong typhoon due to landslides. So a city on top of the mountains, with sub-tropical climate, is a lovely respite for us living in the hot lowlands of Metro Manila.

After the 3-day sessions of whole-day project evaluations and critiquing, a half-day is free, and we were allowed to roam wherever we wanted to. In my case, i wanted my afternoon to roam the parks and botanical garden. So i asked the administrator of a group on butterflies for a meeting, and she gave her whole afternoon showing me where the butterflies are! She is very knowledgeable on Baguio's butterflies and moths, we scanned two parks. That was our first meeting so we learned about each other while chasing butterflies. Here are most of them. I leave some photos for another post.

EREBIDAE Nyctemera  luzonensis

Metalmark Moth

Zethera pimplea pimplea Erichson 1834
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Mycalesis aramis

Mycalesis aramis

Pieris canidia canidia (Linnaeus, 1768)

Pieris canidia canidia (Linnaeus, 1768)

Pieris canidia canidia (Linnaeus, 1768)

Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Monday, September 19, 2016

Philippines Orchid Show 2016

Garden Shows in the Philippines are usually held at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City. As i am living in the vicinity and my office is just around the corner, i normally do not miss the big garden shows. There are many garden shows per year; horticulture garden show, orchid show, cactus and succulents, bonsai shows, arids and aroids. Every show has both the exhibit and commercial areas.  Exhibits showcase the predominant species or varieties famous or blooming at that period. The commercial areas, on the other hand, not only carry the theme plants but also other saleable plants like fruit trees, vegetables, other ornamentals, fertilizers, garden needs and more.

The Philippine Orchid Society show was held at the end of August to the 1st week of September, but i failed to post it at once. I went there only for a lunch meeting and was not able to take more and better photos. But somehow, these will give some ideas on what we have.

Waling-waling or Vanda sanderiana is our pride, as it is native to the Philippines and served as parent to most of the commercial vanda hybrids in commerce. I do not think anybody will say it is not beautiful, rather everyone is awed by its beauty. The time for the orchid show is always set when waling-waling is blooming. It is always the highlight of the show. Other orchids and plants used for the landscape exhibits and competitions are only secondary.

 This landscape design did not use many orchids as centerpiece, the terete vanda are just on the sides. Those hanging greens at the arbor however are also endemic to the Philippines, Dendrobium anosmum or what we call "sanggumay". It produces cascades of sweet scented viole or white blooms.

 A landscape design with mostly Phalaenopsis hybrids, or commonly called butterfly orchids, is showcased here. Phals, as it is also called is also native to the country. Beautiful foliage plants embelish and add beauty to the total structure.

By the way, these designs are also in competition, but i will not tell you the winners. I purposely cropped the awards and ribbons to hide that. However, winning plants can be seen in the exhibit, as shown by the blue, red and white ribbons.

Above is a composite of many orchid genera, but of course they are also native here. The top portion is occupied by the waling-waling, with lower portions with Phalaenopsis, Rhenanthera, Oncidium, and other lesser known species. You can see lots of blue ribbons and plaques there, i can't seem to crop them without destroying the photo.

 This is a showcase mostly of different Vanda cultivars, Mokara, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis and others.
 big clumps of waling-waling 

Waling-waling, Vanda sanderiana, at its best

The  following varieties and hybrids just will show us the endless possibilities of the offsprings and grand offsprings of Vanda sanderiana. There are interspecific hybrids, intergeneric hybrids and more. All of us will be enthralled with their beauty, awed, mesmerized and wish we have a few of them in our gardens. 

I hope this will inspire you to go into orchid growing. I have been caught in it once, many years before. But time and space did not allow me to do it full time, so eventually they failed. I only have a few self-supporting ones at home, at the mercy of the elements. Whenever they produce a few blooms, they are the star of the garden. They surely know how to catch every attention!



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