Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wildflowers near the Falls

I purposely went to La Union, a province >6 hours by bus north of Manila to see waterfalls. (My previous post earlier about the Simminublan waterfalls). My travel buddy met me at Evelyn's house there, our base while looking for whatever interesting things we might go into. Evelyn is also looking for buddies who just want to go nature tripping, butterflies and photography. The only concrete plan is to go see a waterfalls, wherever that might be. Through the circuitous and undulating steep roads we went, enjoying the incredibly difficult trip. As most say "it is the process not the product", or  "enjoy the means more than the end". So we go, they plunged into the water, Linda even jumped from the cliff. But i stayed dry, looked for butterflies, dragonflies, and wildflowers. I even looked for hoyas at nearby trees, but found none!

So i might as well share with you the wildflowers.

 I am sorry, i do not know most of their names. Maybe i am the only one who love them that much. Above and below looks like a species of Impatiens. Both the stems, leaves and morphology of the flowers and fruits have semblance to Impatiens balsamina, even I. walleriana. When i searched in the web, i just realized there's a lot, as in a LOT,  of species of Impatiens. Unfortunately, i was not able to find one image that looks like this.

 those flowers are lovely with the bottom petals darker than that on top

 This one has very minute flowers in spikes, but the leaves have smudges of red like drops of blood. Of course, i don't know it too. They are actually weeds.

 What a lovely color for flowers! I haven't seen any flower design or structure like this. And they are so small with half of that petal only one-third of a centimeter. If you don't call that small,  i don't know what is. Again, a NOID for me.

 Above is so striking in golden yellow. I am sure it is a legume, flowers looking like peas. I searched for its leaves and they look like that of peanuts. I am sure this is a peanut cousin.

 And while the above is a wildflower i know very much it is lantana. Whether it is L.camara or another species, i don't know. I watched for butterflies nectaring on it, but i didn't see any.

 This one is the favorite of butterflies, as we have them too in our property as weeds, and butterflies love them, the porter weed, Stachetarpheta jamaicensis. I will not forget that long scientific name because i had been teaching my nephew and niece this name since they are 5 yrs old. Now they can recite that long name even if they just woke up! That is the first Sci name they learned, hahaha.

Another NOID (No Identification). This is an umbel and the white flowers are arranged around it, i wonder why there are no white flowers at the center, maybe the maturity starts from that bottom. The golden yellow pollens are very prominent.

I searched for more wildflowers at the vicinity of the waterfalls, but the dragonflies and damselflies got my attention most. So next time i will be posting them too, maybe next post. Thanks for your visit and comments. Your comments are the life of my posts.

Monday, April 10, 2017

First Experience in the Pacific Ocean

In my so many years of travelling all over the Philippines, i have for a few times reached the beach of the Pacific Ocean. However, travelling on it on a boat has not happened yet till this trip to Albay, to an island called Rapu-rapu. It has always been said and written that we have 7,1007 islands and lately there are still some additions. And i guess they did not include those which vanish during high tides. On the plane, it really is lovely to look at the plenty of islands dotting the blue seas. 

Last March we need to evaluate a fishery project in an island cove in that island facing the Pacific Ocean. Despite my hesitance there is also that exciting feeling of trying something i haven't done before, as i am really scared not only of heights but also depths. That includes deep bodies of water. But this time, i said let's go! I hope against hope that i will not be scared. Thanks God, the sun is bright the whole day, there was not even some clouds looming in the horizon. The dry season is really the best time to do island travels, and this time i conquered myself. 

Those two bays in Rapu-rapu Island-Batan are the sites we visited. Going there entailed 1 hr in the inland waters and 1 more hour along the Pacific Ocean. Our route going there are the red arrows, while yellows show our route on the way back. That body of blue water is the Pacific Ocean. It doesn't look scary on the map, but we worked with the big waves on that blue expanse for an hour. 

Our rented boat has a maximum capacity of 25 and we were 11 passengers including
 the 3 crews who maneuver it very well. Below is the view of our boat 
with only tarpaulin sheets serving as the roof. 

The waters are just very tamed and normal during the inland journey, it was at the Pacific side when even just the normal wind is enough to give us big rounded waves. The boatmen decrease the speed when encountering such bigger waves.  Actually, they might not be waves but just normal swaying of the water.

Above and the following pictures are some of the islands we encountered. There still are a lot of them, but i was not able to document all. I only labored to get the smaller, lovelier ones.

Small boats like that above is commonly seen along the routes. 
They are standing because they are fishermen trying to see where the
 schools of fishes are and put their nets nearby.

No two islands have the same vegetation and physical looks, above has a rocky beach.

even the islands have coconuts, some people might have planted them there

above island look so lovely in that cone shape

Above is aptly named the Vanishing Island, as only those huts are seen during high tides.
These huts are built on stilts to give way to the rising waters, looking like floating huts.

This is the only island there with a wide expanse of white beach. 
It is made into a resort with amenities for the tourists.

I am so curious with those cavelike crevices on the shore cliff. I wonder if people 
have gone there to look what are inside. But these waters are so deep 
blue in color which means the water is very deep.

The above area is the first cove we visited for our seaweed and squid pot projects. A small boat got some of us from our big boat to be carried to the stalked sites. I did not go that first time, but i took turn at the other bay where we took even a smaller boat with only 3 passengers.

On the way back from our visited sites, we took another route because the Pacific waves are bigger and might be scary for our boat. The boatmen decided to take the longer inland waters. Please look at the map for the yellow arrows. I put a small asterisk on the map to locate the area we were stranded for 1.5 hours. It was low tide when we got here, stopping our boat to push through.

We just stayed on the boat, watch the boys gleaning for shells in the shallow waters. We even resumed our discussions about a lot of topics. While i was talking with the boss, the research assistants took a nap leaning on the single boat post. I guess they really had a good rest.

That is one of the boatmen looking at the waters for the deeper areas to pass through. He signals his boat mate for the direction to take. This is already on our way back, no more big waves to contend with. I am so glad i did not experience the fear i tried hard not to feel, and i succeeded! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Decade of Blogging!

Time went by including blogging. I am not thinking about the time i've spent here, i just know a lot of changes happened through the years. It has been supporting me through, and i realized it has already been 9 years, as in NINE YEARS! It only takes 1 more year to be a DECADE of Blogging! It started on March 26, 2008. I also changed the design twice but not completely. Also, my Header Title changed once, but my name there remained. When i made another blog catering to my own garden and locality, this older one remained totally devoted to travels, photos and plants not from my own.

I still remember my blogger friends who taught me developing this, how to insert some changes, put some links, the data in my side bar, etc., etc. And some of my friends from far away countries already got other life achievements, or careers. Many already became grandparents, or acquired sons or daughters-in-law. Others still continuously comment and make virtual contacts. Others still blog but felt my posts are not interesting for them anymore. Some are still around but completely stopped posting; and unfortunately, some already passed on to the other dimension. Somehow another blogger friend let us know someone's passing and i always send prayers for them. We just leave this world in our own designated time, and we are all going there!

Blogging still fascinates me. It serves as my venue to show my photos and my interest with plants, creatures, landscapes and places. It also let me spend my extra time to simulate a semblance of diligence, not let my mind wander to maybe harbor some negative thoughts. I was given chances of putting words into thoughts and ideas, and let whoever may drop by know my preoccupation at the moment. My posts are normally spontaneously written, just my thoughts that moment. I treasure all the time they have spent reading my posts, looking at my photos and of course leaving their thoughts and comments. At this moment there are 220,082 visitors who dropped by.  As i put below my page, "your comments are the life of this blog", and they really propel me. I truly appreciate all of you, your energies sent here, and these all delighted me through the years. Thank you very much. As in any commencement exercise, a culmination is also the beginning. I hope you will all still be with me.

Related Posts with Thumbnails