Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cute Pretty Weeds

More weeds in the property become more conspicuous to me because of the macro lens. I have now more things to observe and document with my camera. These plants or weeds have already been here in the property even before i was born, but i get interested on them just now! I realized not only the critters with us are so lovely, these weeds with minute flowers are spectacular too.

Urena lobata, the inflorescence is around 1.0 cm in diameter. The fruits are small thorny bulbs.

 NOID, The length of the flowers are about 3-4mm.

The plant producing the above NOID blue petite flowers have lovely colors too. It is here where a lot of Dysdercus cingulatus are being hatched. I guess this is their alternative host when cotton and its relatives are not available.

Mimosa diplotricha  flower

Mimosa diplotricha  seedpods, which i also see for the first time. This is very conspicuous to the naked eyes but still, thanks to the macro lens. This is a very invasive weed that grows so fast in the tropics. A field full of this weed cannot be entered by mammals because of the the thorns along its stems.

Flemingia strobilifera, or wild hops. Above photo is the green bracts that enclosed the reproductive parts. The lower photo shows the dried bracts and a seed pod abnormally out of the bracts. Most of these pods are inside those bulging bracts till the pods fully dry and open for the seeds to scatter.

In many Asian countries, the plant parts are used for medicines, while modern studies showed its antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Isoflavonoids are just some of its useful chemical contents. But in our property they are mostly weeds, unwanted species. I don't even see butterflies or bees on them, but at least i like their ornamental display.

Oxalis curniculata. This weed grows in normally wet pots of ornamental plants. They just creep and not tolerant of dry soil. Its flower is only ~1.0cm in diameter. Those pods are lovely to play with when mature, press them a bit and the scattering of seeds give subtle firecracker-ly  sounds. Try it.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Insects All

I guess this is a wasp, but I don't really know its real name. I love the colors of the legs in full yellow in contrast with the totally black body and wings.

 Two pupae seemingly of different maturities, the left being more mature than that at the right. However, it looks like the left is a bit unhealthy to promote a healthy adult butterfly, as it seems pressed at the middle.

This is the exoskeleton or exuvia of a grasshopper, which already emerged as a full adult. This might have been left for a while as the lower abdomen is already missing, could already have been detached. I didn't even see the adult in its vicinity.

Camera Critters Meme

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Beginnings!

New Beginnings!

Despite the conditions we are experiencing now, about 32-34°C daytime temperatures without water, many plants and animals continue on with their genetic potential of growing and propagating their own species. A lot of them might be dormant and others are deciduous in response to these conditions, but a few looks very much alive and productive. Earlier, I posted those which responded by producing a lot of flowers like avocados and mangoes, this time i am posting some new vegetative growths, and of course eggs of some butterflies.

Averrhoa bilimbi leaves

 Asplenium nidus or birds' nest frond

 butterfly eggs on Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Graphium agamemnon egg on Annona muricata leaf

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dry Season Blooms

Dry season is here, the many symptoms are already evident aside from the heat. Plants have unusual responses to this change in environmental conditions. Deciduous trees decide to shed their leaves during this time, but this is exhibited by mostly forest trees. Others show the almost autumnal colors. There are also trees that decide to flower at the onset of the dry season, and there are those producing very vigorous flushes or nicely colored shoot growths.    

                                                                       avocado flowers, Persea americana

   In July to August, we will again have a lot of avocado fruits, and sometimes we have the problem of disposal. When the single assembler-wholesaler in our area died, nobody seems to be interested again to act as middleman in disposing fruits from small producers. On the other hand, our family cannot eat all our produce.

                                                                                       mango flowers, Mangifera indica

Mango flowers extensively too. However, we don't get many fruits normally due to pests and diseases. Commercial growers individually wrap fruits, which we cannot do ourselves. Insects are very happy with our area as they can eat as much as they want. It is both advantageous and disadvantageous though.

   kamyas, kalamyas flowers and fruits (Averrhoa bilimbi)

Fruits of this plant are traditionally and culturally intertwined with our food preparations. We use this as souring agent for meat and fish, and the mature fruits are dried, pickled or made into sweets.

  Averrhoa bilimbi flower in detail

Flowers are small, only about two centimeters in diameter if they are open.  Bees and insects love the nectar and help them be pollinated.

Pentas lanceolata and Coleus blumei

We also have the red pentas but they don't have good blooms when this photo was taken. You will notice the reclining stems of both the pentas and the coleus, that is because the chickens love to rest on them. They probably love the colder temperatures while resting there. At least they don't pick on the leaves. These are directly planted on the ground.

Chrysothemis pulchelia

Chrysothemis pulchelia has tubers or enlarged basal portion of the stem, when there is not enough water, they stay dormant and shoot again upon watering. Sometimes, the extreme heat kill these tubers but somehow during the following rainy season, a lot of shoots will emerge again somewhere. Their seeds probably manage to remain alive in the soil.

Dracaena surcolosa 

Dracaena surcolosa flowers

This is also called Florida beauty, one of the most resistant plants to neglect and drought. This is actually planted on a very thin topsoil, but it still grows luxuriantly and doesn't stop flowering. Those lantern-like blooms eventually turn into very red berries when ripened. The Chinese love this plant and considered very auspicious.

Clerodendrum speciossisimum

Clerodendrum speciossisimum

This bushy plant is considered a weed in our area. But i allow some of them to thrive because butterflies and bees love its flowers. An advantage of this is the ability to flower and bloom even without any care given, as long as they are planted directly on the ground. Its roots are deep allowing them to grow in the dry season. 

 Heliconia rostrata

Blooms of this heliconia starts in February and stay beautifully colorful throughout the dry season. When other blooms succumb to the hot temperatures without water, their blooms flourish and stay as food for insects for more than 2 months. 

Sanchezia speciosa 

Sanchezia speciosa blooms in Feb to March, but I don't like too much blooms. Sometimes i pinch them while still very young to preserve the beauty of their striped foliage. At the start of the rainy season, the plants will be pruned extensively to change the whole growth.

        Ruby Tuesday 2        My Photo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cutie Cute Cute!

These are my mothers newly-hatched native chicks. There are actually six of them, the two are trying to be more independent in loitering farther from the mother. I didn't take the photo of their mother, as she hasn't taken a bath nor change wardrobe yet after hatching these chicks.

Red cotton bugs, Dysdercus cingulatus. I think this is the mother as i see a lot of scattered youngsters at different levels of maturity and sizes around it. They are infesting a kind of weed with very minute blue flowers.

The older offspring and at the bottom is the youngest.

Camera Critters Meme

Ruby Tuesday 2