Monday, October 14, 2013

Random Clouds

 I am a dreamer. 
I love to understand how nature works in a complex world where everything seems to be magical. 
Cumulus clouds "fair weather clouds"
The beauty of nature cannot be measured by physical admiration alone...
Mackarel sky
but by the recognition of worth in the realm of one's existence.
Cumulonimbus clouds

View from my window

Friday, August 23, 2013

Attack of the Rhino Beetle

The two bottle palm trees were the only plants we had when we moved in to our present home. For years, I have carefully trimmed off, pruned the brown, dried fronds  to clear away old diseased leaves and for aesthetic purposes. They endured all the storms that passed and with the right amount of water and care, they survived peacefully at the center of my humble garden where visitors can't help but notice its unique, ringed and swollen trunk. Perhaps it was the odd looking shape of the trunk that made the trees stood out in every tropical garden that is why it became the favorite plant to grow in landscapes.
bottle palm tree

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis
As an amateur gardener, I hardly knew that gradual discoloration in the crownshaft was an early sign of damage to the area. I had no idea that the insignificant markings just above the lovely trunk was the start of something...alarming. One day, I was devastated to see my favorite palm trees slowly dying, withering, the beautiful canopy of fronds were disintegrating. What have I done wrong? I must have over pruned and injured the poor thing! The culprit? The rhino beetle! I was told once a tree is attacked by it, there is no way you can save the tree. Irreversible damage was already done.


Rhino beetles prefer diseased, rotten wood, branches and leaves of trees for food. Some species attack healthy trees. Well, at least for now I am sure there are no snakes hiding in my garden because they are believed to be enemies of rhino beetles. In as much as I wanted to eradicate the insect before it causes harm to the remaining palm trees, my son thought it was cruel thing to crush it into pieces. Instead, he insisted to keep the beetle safe under his care and add it to his collection of pets. I guess the idea wasn't that bad at all...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Crosier and the Stent

When the DJ stent was pulled out from the bladder of the patient, I got curious why it was called "DJ". So, DJ stands for double "J," or JJ stent. It is coiled, curled like a letter "J" on both ends to prevent it from moving out of the the ureter. The stent is made of silicone, a time tested material that provides patient comfort and reduces the risk of chemical build up inside the body.
DJ stent that was removed 
Stenting is a method used to facilitate passage of the urine if there is blockage in one or both ureters, the tubes that connect the renal pelvis to the bladder.

More than a year ago, I blogged something about my staghorn fern and a staghorn calculus or kidney stone. 
Platycerium or staghorn fern
Now, I am blogging about DJ stent because it reminds of the coiled part of a crosier.
Asplenium nidus

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blooming Shades of Blue

It is often said that color blue signifies the calmness of the sky and the coolness of the ocean, a soothing color in promoting mental and physical relaxation. 
Plumbago auriculata
The color is commonly used in corporate logos because it signifies loyalty, trust and responsibility.

In my work place, we use "code blue" to patients who needs immediate medical intervention or to patients who needs to be resuscitated. When their blood circulation is compromised, oxygen level in their body decreases, they turn cyanotic thus the term code "blue." When a person gets bruised, they turn black and blue caused by hematoma, a blood clot brought about by the trauma. Also, people who are color blind or has color deficiency has difficulty distinguishing between red and green. A color blue deficiency is very rare as this would be total color blindness.

Torenia fournieri
Purple wishbone flower or bluewings
Blue is also associated to being sad, sentimental and nostalgic, a longing for familiar things in the past. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

City of Smiles

Bacolod, the City of smiles...

Look at what my hubby gave me after his trip to Bacolod. Lilies can be found everywhere but the thought of giving me something for my garden when he comes home from the trip was pretty much appreciated.
I love the scent of these bulbs. Once again I get to feel the soil in my hands. 
Days turned into weeks, weeks became months and the months welcomed sprouts of the plant.
And it started to bloom...
and blossomed into a beautiful white lily.
Now I have something to smile on like these happy faces.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hello Garden!

Northeast monsoon has been around casting a dry, cool atmospheric conditions in the area. Living in a tropical country, I can tell the ferns and  some plants alike are enjoying the cool, gentle air in the morning.

 The tree fern is producing more crosiers than I expected. Look at those exquisite hairy young stipes.
Five crosiers
Fertile leaves of staghorns never fail me. I am always delighted to see how fast they grow in my humble, limited garden. 
Fertile leaves of staghorn fern
Coming home from a tough but wonderful day, the basal leaves greet me like welcoming hands telling me I am home, safe and sound with my family and the weariness gradually disappears...

Basal leaves
I wonder why these crazy black ants never cease to leave this beautiful still unidentified bloom alone. This was given to me by an aunt.
Sweet unidentified bloom
My one and only jade plant is happily giving me colorful red flowerets. 
Crassula ovata
Even this thorny shrub is producing dainty pale lilac with yellow efflorescence at the center.
Malpighia coccigera

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fun in Hundred Islands

The last time I visited Hundred Islands was like ten years ago. Since it is just located in the province where I live, I seldom or barely visit the place at all. Nothing has changed much since my last sojourn except that I came to realize how beautiful the place was. It was a  haven for persons who wish to experience the calmness of the ocean scenery, where the only sound you can hear are the wind blowing and  the water splashing along the shores of the Hundred Islands, one of the enticing spots in the Philippines.

For one to appreciate the island hopping, a motor boat is readily available with a tour guide that will take you from one island to another.
View from the top of Governor's Island. 
Hubby and me.

Blue, calm water surrounding the islands.

Crocodile Island because of its shape.
Island shaped like a turle thus it is called the Turtle Island
Boat rides

Fascinating school of  fishes in the pristine waters.
Bat cave. See those black ones hanging onto the tree? Those are bats!

"Lulubog-lilitaw Island" or the "Now-You-See-It-Now-You-Don't Island," is said to be the 124th island when low tide. When high tide, it disappears making the islands 123 in all.

Oh, how inviting the white sand was!
Phymatosorous scolopendria hugging a tree.

First time to encounter bangar fruit, used in dyeing blankets. I don't think it is edible.

Sea cave with stalactites 

A quiet place for a stop over for some refreshment during the island tour.
Bewitched by the sunset.
Special thanks to Manong Jimmy as he is fondly called by many, our guide and navigator.

These Hands