Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Early morning finds

I woke up early last Sunday to look for whatever i can find in the garden. I roam around, took advantage of the light, insects still inactive,  as well as the dew on leaves still at lower rate of evaporation. Somehow i found some things i haven't seen as close. They were normally very ordinary and considered non-essential till i peered through the close-up lens.

This is a very common sight on our streets when a tamarind tree is nearby. Those are the fallen flowers carpeting the ground. This only happens once a year at the beginning of the rainy season, and the fruits are ready during the dry months. 

 This is one of the petals of a flower, about 1.5cm in length. The veination is dark maroon on a yellow background making it attractive at close-up.

 the already wilted flower

 it seems like that side of the heliconia flower is sweet, because most of the flowers are occupied by those small black ants in that same location

this is the almost spent flowers of blood lily, Scadoxus multiflorus

a female praying mantis under the hoya leaves, abdomen is full of eggs 

a dart moth which is exceptional, as it is active during the day unlike most of the moths

I still have lots of finds this last Sunday morning, but i hoard my photos for next posts. Thank you for dropping by and leaving some comments.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Our Second Season Started

Our tropical country has two seasons, Dry and Wet. Our temperate country friends might be surprised how we live our whole life with just a Dry and a Wet Season. They are actually sometimes very dry and/or very wet. But these are just the main differences. There are also variations among regions of the country where we have currently eighteen, 17 administrative and 1 autonomous region. We have also 4 climate types and sub-types. This is the reason that my garden in the province has a very distinct long dry season and a wet season, typical of Type I climate. On the other hand, an area in Region VIII has a standing joke with its climate, as wet and very wet, because it has Type IV climate that is supposed to have evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year.

I am a PLUVIOPHILE, someone who loves rain, finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. Our official rainy season started in June, so you bet, i am at my best these days.

I find raindrops on taro leaves very artistic and exceptional, 

I find this basin-full of rain so lovely with the abstract patterns as rains fall 

I find even this wet tube so nice with that bokeh background

I find the ground puddles welcoming of diverse organisms, expressing joy itself

 ....the weeds so joyous swaying their leaves and flower with the wind

 ....the complex growth of colors in one side of mother's biodiversity garden

 ....the growth of mosses luxuriantly embracing the otherwise bare vertical ground wall

 ....the young leaves so attractive distinctly showing their colorful innocense

 ....the butterflies suddenly metamorphosed to adults cued in finding new food

 ....the butterflies freely roam again among new nectar plants

....even the birds twitter more happily, preening themselves more freely now

 .... the dormant hippeastrum ressurected to blooms again

 ....the dormant caladiums can display their fancy color displays again

 ...the above bald path during the dry season is now full of grasses and weeds; and my hoyas washed their leaves of the dry season dust, showing contentment, displaying luster

.... and my morning views upon opening my eyes most mornings are more dramatic with the clouds!

A pluviophile enjoys all these, finds joy in everything brought by the rain, and the above photos are just within the vicinity or our house and just around the garden. If i move my camera beyond my space, there will be more, and that will be for maybe the future posts.

I hope you found some information about my world, and myself, your blogger friend.

Monday, July 4, 2016

In Focus: Hoya alwitriana

Hoya alwitriana is one of the newly documented hoyas endemic in the Philippines with the complete name and authors as Hoya alwitriana Kloppenb., Siar, Guevarra & Carandang 2012.  It is an accepted species listed at The International Plant Names Index.

I have acquired it a few years ago, but unlike my other hoyas it gave me a slumped growth, unwilling to respond to my normal care and yet did not die. After two years, it finally produced the long stem where the peduncles emerge. It was not just a peduncle as i expect from a newly flowering hoya plant, it gave 3 consecutive peduncles. Aside from that stem, there is a peduncle emerging from the base, just immediately almost at the soil level. It was fantastic, and those peduncles didn't stop producing flowers. The old flowers drop, and the next buds come soonest. I am so stunned.

 The Buds
Here is the umbel arising from the base of the plant, just above the media surface.

Unopened buds have conspicuous brown dots or a semblance to sprinkling of dust particles. 

The pedicels are conspicuously lovely in dark pink to maroon. 

Newly Opened Flowers
opening flowers

 newly opened flowers

5 hrs after opening showing the slightly reflexed corollas

Honeybee Magnet

 Immediately after the flowers open in the morning, at about 8 a.m., a lot of honeybees converge on the flowers. These are our native Apis cerana. All the umbels have their share of the honeybees.  There are other open hoya flower species nearby, vitellina, pubicorolla, multiflora, pubicalyx, etc., but they only swarm on the H. alwitriana flowers. This phenomenon amazed me, but after about 10 or 15 minutes they all left. The buzzing sounds were suddenly gone. I can only surmise that the first nectar during opening is the most delicious or important nectar for this bees, or maybe the nectar is available only during those precious minutes!

 Not even one bee went to any of the already opened flowers. I watched the Hoya vitellina while opening, yet the bees seem to dislike it.

The plant

Its leaves are unusually bigger than the umbels, and can be described as oval in shape. There is a little curling down of the leaf margins. (Leaf characteristics can be technically read from the taxonomic publication)