Monday, October 9, 2017

A Visit to Calaguas Islands

I just realized i have not posted yet about this trip. I was thinking of something for posting in this blog, as i relegated all the common things i see at home to Pure Oxygen Generators (my 2nd blog). Somehow i already assigned the out of town experiences and photos to this original blogsite. Now i am thinking why of all travels i forgot to post this trip to Camarines Norte, Bicol Region! Imagine, this was still in the last 2 days of April this year.

It was actually an official trip for the evaluation of the soybean project, as well as some training on processing and cooking soybean products for the less fortunate women in one of the barangays in that island. We rented a van, and someone from the university as our lecturer/breeder joined us there later the following day. My previous trips there was by plane, which is only about 45 minutes. Since it was my first trip there by land i savored every landscape and things seen on the way, which lasted practically from sunrise to sunset. While my companion was sleeping on the front seat, i didn't close my eyes at all, my only live companions were WAZE and Facebook!

It was a circuitous route, through the mountains and sometimes along the sea! We just stop the van for lunch and sometimes at the gas stations! The first 3 photos are along the way, where we stopped by for lunch.

Gumaca, Quezon - where we stopped for lunch. It was a long stretch along the sea, and in this area are restaurants basically catering to travelers.

The island at the horizon is the Alabat Island, Quezon. 

We specifically chose this restaurant for the native materials they used for the hut. It might not be very visible, but there is a small attic at the roof. The open windows allow the breeze from the sea, which is already a part of the Pacific Ocean. 

This is the boat station on the way to Calaguas Islands, Vinzons, Camarines Norte. Those in the photo are the typical boats that ply this route. It took two hours for us to reach one of the Calaguas Islands where we had training in one of the isolated barangays.

It took us about 40 minutes to navigate the river-estuary before we reached the open sea. Nipa palms grow on both sides of the river, which has many tributaries to Vinzons. 

These are already some islands in the Calaguas group of islands. 


Another islands in the Calaguas group of islands. We can discern white beaches in some of them.

Above is a barren rock devoid of green vegetation, but there are also tourists that go there, evidenced by those boats at the sides.

Above is already the main tourist beach of the Calaguas Islands. Before coming here, i thought Calaguas Island is only one island, it turns out that the posts just described this place termed Calaguas Island. But there are actually many beaches in the other islands and at the back of this one, but not as developed yet as this.

This is the longest stretch of white beach in these areas. At the far end at the left is where the camping tent areas are. At night it is full of brightly colored tents. This is the view to the left, and below is the view to the right.

We reached this place at sunset, after our training lectures at the other island 30 minutes from here. 

 I still have lots of photos of the sunset and the other views in the morning of our stay. Actually, we just stayed for the night had dinner there and left again in the morning.

Next post is still about this beach. Please stay tuned.




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sunset Positions from my Window


Skywatching again!

You all know how fascinated i am in oserving the movements of the earth through my sunset views. Those of you who have been here in the past when i posted these sun's positions appreciated them, my photos. I hope some of you will be here again for this post. As there's no other way for me to choose, i only have the same position where to put my camera, and that is my 5th Floor West Window.

So these are the changes not only of the cloud conditions in each particular day of the month this year, but mostly the sun's positions in relation to the very distinct landmarks in my horizon. This is my small observatory, and i am doing this yearly. I am not only chasing Butterflies, i also chase the sun! 2017.

Note: These are all unedited photos straight from the files, not even cropping!


 January

 February

 March

 April

 May

 June

 July

 August

Below you will notice two almost identical shots. I noticed this only when i was choosing the photo to be representative of each month. I realized that i have many photos to choose from in April, and the sun's positions are clearly changing on top of that middle building from among the 3 prominent landmarks in my horizon. So it was in August when the same position was attained by the sun on its way back to the original position, far left of my 3 structural landmarks.

The sun was farthest right in June, the month when it starts to go back to the left. And in August it was at the same position at that building. My impatience was not able to wait until December, for me to say if the sun will be able to be back at the original position in January. I am sorry about that, but i will later update you on the happenings for the next 4 months. Please stay tuned!

 August

April


Friday, August 18, 2017

Some Wildflowers


There was a time in the past when all the flowers are wildflowers! When people started to have houses and parks, there are also plants that became domesticated and cared for by the people. Domestication probably started for food, for medicinal values,  and eventually for aesthetic reasons. Some wildflowers in some locales maybe domesticated in others, as per the cliche "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Then after decades or centuries of domestication, some plants eventually become wild again. These could be those left by some people, escaped domestication, and reverted back to become wild.

Our wildflowers in our area are not as colorful or attractive to men as those in colder climes. Besides, they are not very plentiful in contiguous locations. I uploaded here in pairs some that are found around our area in the province. They might not be lovely for humans, but they are much favored by butterflies.

Wedella trilobata 

This is previously a ground cover for some landscapes. It has been declared invasive in some US cities. Maybe this in our area is planted as ornamental plant but eventually become invasive and conquered an area nearby. I don't mind it near our area as the Tiny Grass Blue butterflies love this.



porterweed, Stachetarpheta jamaicensis

Dark Blue Glassy Tiger, Tirumala orientalis semper


 unknown to me


Lagundi, Vitex negundo


 unknown to me

Tridax procumbens - that is a skipper which suddenly left when i am about to focus. 

This is a Palm Bob skipper that nectars on the plenty of Tridax procumbens flowers.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Skywatching Time

When at home in the city, in my very little corner of the world, literally my very small condo unit in the building, this is what i do!








Thursday, July 27, 2017

Violets are Blue!

I always miss posting at Wildflower Wednesday! It is already Thursday and suddenly i remember that it is the last week of the month, i went to the site of Clay and Limestone and there still are only a few linkers. I hurriedly edited my flowers, then suddenly a harsh thunderstorm hit a transformer nearby, and all our computers are dead. At last after 15 min, current is back, and i am back to posting.

I cannot find a title for my flowers, then i remember an old song..."Roses are red my love, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet my love, and i'm as sweet as you". I don't know if that is correct, but i got my title there.

This plant is now invading most street sides in our area in the province. It has been there maybe just a few years ago, starting as maybe one then its invasiveness now conquered most open marginal lands. Maybe i am the only person who is happy with them, mostly because of its violet/bluish flowers. I have actually posted them 2 yrs ago, but every after the first rains they emerge beautifully, from the dormant seeds during our dry season. I guess this is not a native here, as there's none of it during our childhood years. Our barren streets now look landscaped.

 this is one side of the barangay street

 the plants are so lovely after the rains during at night, they open in the morning

 it is now invading the grasslands, but i love the way i cropped this scene

 it has a short growing period so flowering is quick and simultaneous

Don't you just love it?

small insects hide or maybe eat among the plants and flowers, look at that tiny green hopper

the last time i visited, i saw lots of this flowers with eaten petals, but leaving the throat

This is the culprit, i wonder what this will become, maybe a moth. I wonder 
why they leave the throat uneaten!



this planthopper is also very tiny, shorter than half a centimeter

This is the bend a few meters from our house, it might not be beautifully landscaped-looking at the moment, but wait a little and this area will be fully teeming with bluish-violet flowers, Ruellia tuberosa.

I searched a little and found that it also has a lot of medicinal and useful properties, some of which are anti-inflamatory, antilipidemia, lower glycemic index, antioxidant, and a lot more. In fact, may studies have been done on it, as compiled by a herbal-medicinal site. In Ayurvedic medicine mostly, all parts of the plants are studied and used. 

At the moment our side of the property already has some singly growing plants. I am sure in just a few years, our street sides will also be having this plants, and by then it is already a noxious weed. 



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chasing Butterflies in Between Takes

We were out of town for Review and Evaluation of our funded research projects. It is scheduled for a 3-day stay in Tagaytay City, a few hours from our city office. This is a lovely tourist area specifically because of the colder temperatures, proximity to Manila, and the beautiful views of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake. In the last few years, the area expanded catering to the tourists and visitors; including hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, malls and rising condo units. At least our venue is at the back of the more congested areas.

In the morning before breakfast, i go out early to look for anything that might be nice with the camera. But my main purpose is actually to photograph butterflies. I entered a subdivision with more grasses and flowering grasses on the side street. There are butterflies, but as usual they are so flighty, and do not cooperate with me. Here are some of my camera loot.

The sky that morning is almost clear, that the sun is shining brightly,  and at 7 a.m. the heat is already a bit biting to our melanized skin. 

The banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) flowers are in full bloom, somehow i expected insects and butterflies nectaring on them, but i didn't see any. I just realized it is not attractive for them. 

This striped albatross (STRIPED ALBATROSS  (Appias olferna peducaea) is wandering inside the thick grasses, it seldom leaves the thicket, but i was able to get a better shot.

 TINY GRASS BLUE
Zizula hylax pygmaea Snellen 1876, Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

WASP MOTH, Amata s.

The above butterflies are seen in the morning on the open areas. The next are moths which are seen at night around the terrace of the hotel. When most people are already resting, while a few are in the bar getting some drinks, i was trying to capture the moths and other insects with my camera. 

Atteva sp. Yponomeutoidea: Attevidae
The above moth i posted in the Philippine Lepidoptera site in FB and an authority identified it, with further information that it is not illustrated yet among the 8 species in the country, so its species is not yet known, or probably known but not yet illustrated.

Aloa cardinalis Butler 1875 (syn. Amsacta cardinalis)  Arctiidae; Arctiinae 

 TUSSOCK MOTH

TUSSOCK MOTH

 PLUME MOTH

























Left: lacewing; Right: moth
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