Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Countryside Shots

Barangay is the smallest political administrative unit in the Philippines, a term for village or suburban neighborhood. There are countryside barangays and urban barangays.  As of June 2015 there 42,029 barangays listed in this country.  These are specific shots in our barangay and might be representative or common picture of countryside barangays here. 

 barangay road

barangay view

barangay kid and his pet dog

barangay plants at the start of the dry season

 tropical secondary growth mountain forest

barangay weeds

typical barangay flower is bougainvillea

garden spiders not sure whether friend or foe

kittens oblivious of the impending heat of summer

Nature Notes
Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March-ing Conditions!

This is the time when our Easterlies that bring us colder temperatures now stopped and all we get is the hot air coming from the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, that hot air is courtesy of the El NiƱo phenomenon, now looming in that area, bringing us even hotter temperatures, longer dry season and concomitant adversity in crops, animals and humans alike. Temperatures are now at 33-36°C with heat index at 39C, and we are just starting the dry season. I can't imagine what is still coming. 

Some provinces have already declared calamity status because of the scorching heat, cracking paddies and completely dried rice and corn plants. There are some available calamity funds, but that will not be able to sufficiently feed the needy, produce water for the crops and complete the cycle of production and food. This is a bad picture for the future, and this scenario might just be the beginning of worse scenarios that might come. 

The Blooms
the last hurrah for the chrysanthemums that flowered due to longer nights

last blooms also for the marigolds that have been blooming before Christmas

lantana might still linger around they are hardy to hot temperatures and dry season

this red salvia looks wonderfully lovely even with the heat

Dracaena surculosa flowers bloom at night that turn pink at dehiscence and eventually produce berry-like fruits

this hibiscus gets enough watering now inducing lovely blooms, it tolerates drier environments

not sure if this belongs to the justicia genus, but it surely produce attractive blooms and bracts

 The Foliage
Bougainvillea is a plant that tolerates our long dry season and hot months. They always produce plenty of blooms during this periods. At the back is a big cycas plant and a tall Dracaena bicolor.

My small Cycas revoluta is already old but still remains a small plant. It responds favorably to slight watering and full sun.

The Weeds

an unknown weed that has lovely very small blue flowers, as small as 5mm petals.

weeds near our place are already drying 

these are the already dried weeds en-masse

The Hoyas
Hoya nakarensis

Hoyas are receiving special care, or more watering compared to other plants. Of course they are my special pets, bought also from different sources and already used a lot of resources. They have to respond favorably as well. But they also suffer much stress this season. 

Hoya mindorensis

Hoya mindorensis

Hoya ilagiorum

Hoya paziae

Monday, March 14, 2016


Beaching, hmmm, what a term! There is no such a word, but i am creating it here.

One morning a few months ago when our temperatures are still colder, i nudged my nephew and niece to try early sunrise shots. They are not into photography yet, but i am trying to somehow get it to their consciousness. My nephew has already been trying the camera lent by a cousin. so we all have one camera each to use for the sunrise shots. The beach is only 7 minutes tricyle ride from our house on the hill, so we woke up early. My two companions are excited because that was only their first time for this activity. We were ready by 5:00am and were at the beach when it is still dark. But that was nice, as we can prepare our tripods and i can give them a few suggestions. But as a whole they were left on their own, let them learn by themselves.

Our beach is not really very conducive to swimming. It has bigger stones and the shore is not wide enough. Our town is actually known for scuba-diving and there are famous diving sites most especially at the back of the hill. Mabini is almost like a peninsula or a long piece of land protruding into the sea. This part facing east is Batangas Bay, while at the other side of the hill facing west is Balayan Bay. The map below shows Mabini town with its diving sites and the Maricaban Island at the south portion. Our Malimatoc Beach, facing east is labeled in purple, is not listed to have diving sites. However, it was known to be the site for the endangered species called rare golden scorpion fish (Rhinopias frondosa) found near Red Rock or what we locally call Pulang Bato.  I actually blogged about it earlier.

For photos of the golden scorpion fish and more information about it please read Jayvee Hernandez post. 

 Some fishermen are early with their boats too

 They are already in action even before the sun rises at that twin peaks.

 sun is now rising from the mountain at our horizon

 other small boats are still parked on the shores

 Small boats in this area are improving in designs, now they have those rising-curved ends

 This is Pulang Bato or Red Rock, the home of the golden scorpion fish

 the shore leading to Pulang Bato; the island at the back is Maricaban Island

 my niece trying to use a tripod with my Olympus E-620

 my nephew learning his borrowed Cannon camera

 Allen and Eriel, on their way to be photo hobbyists

 the sun is already high up there at 7:30 am

 i realized this boat is too small for fishing, maybe this is just for fun boating

That was my niece's photo of me without my knowing it. I guess she has the eye for nice shots, i hope it gets even better with time, and they don't stop shooting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

In Focus: Hoya siariae

Hoya siariae is endemic to the Philippines, one of the hoya species from among the almost 200 species found in the country. Its name is from one of the researcher-collectors of hoyas, Dr. Monina Siar. After years of working at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, she succumbed to cancer at middle age. She was my friend and colleague, who introduced me to hoyas and gave me my H diversifolia. 

Buds of Hoya siariae are not flat, but with angular protruding sharp corners, unlike most hoyas.

There are a few color forms like the yellowish corolla, the pinkish (above), whitish and red. But i only have the first two and don't have the last two. 

It is a very prolific hoya, it produces many peduncles per plant and flowers frequently. Just like most hoyas, the flowers are pointing downwards, technically called positively geotropic or pointing to the earth. The corolla reflexes the tips backwards leaving an almost cup-shaped flowers. There is also a slight scent that i can't compare with anything, but it is pleasant. 

The corona of my two color forms are both fuschia or purplish color. 

 The above photo shows 3 different stages of blooming, the top is fully open, the right and bottom already about to close before dropping the flowers. They are only open for 2 days. 

This is the other color form, more pinkish corolla than the first one. It has a lot of umbels at the same time at different stages of blooming. Ants are very common partakers of nectar of this hoya.

This is a small seedling, probably apomictic in origin, producing true-to-type characteristics. It immediately flowered from its first long shoot. It is known to hoya growers that a long leafless vine normally produces the peduncles, and this one just did as a seedling. 

Just last year Kloppenburg changed its name to Hoya blashernaezii ssp. siariae. Hoya blashernaezii has the same form characteristics with pure yellow color.

Floral Friday Fotos

Orange You Glad It's Friday