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Posts Tagged ‘Close to Nature’


Been focused on the local news the last three days. There are so many conflicting reports about the supposedly “fake” and “artificial” shortage of water here in Metro Manila. The Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has done some presscons and they are telling the people that it is because of the El Nino phenomenon. Though a former employee of  Manila Water said that the agency closed the bypass from the Angat Dam going to La Mesa Dam so Manila Water which supplies our needs can’t get enough of it. This was denied by one of the directors of MWSS, they are the government agency tasked to see that water supply in Metro Manila is enough for everyone.

Come to think of it, and it is puzzling. Angat Dam has enough water to last until the rainy season sets in. And all the dams here in Luzon have enough water except La Mesa Dam where the concessionaire Manila Water gets its supply. The government wants to push through with Kaliwa Dam which will be funded by China at exorbitant interest rates. The people are calling for transparency in dam and other China funded projects. I must say, the president loves China and is beholden to it at the expense of the Filipino people. Nakakasawa na. What has become of us that in three years, the drug problems have become even grievous and such other concerns are not being addressed properly? Drugs are cheaper than water? When one is focused on the mindset of “kill, kill, kill”, this is the result. He has even threatened the priests and the Catholic Church anew by telling people in his speech that priests deserve to die.

I took pictures of the garden blooms early this morning. summer is almost here and my annual and perennial plants are blooming.  The Zinnias I planted from seeds a few months ago are a bloom.

Zinnia

Two varieties of shrimp plants

I don’t want to upload them all here to save on space. Have a blessed weekend everyone!

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I woke up early yesterday morning despite having lack of sleep the previous night attending the wake of my aunt.

I hate seeing the fallen leaves in front of the house, atop  the  two parked cars of my brother and ours so I have to sweep while drinking a hot cup of coffee. Wandered around the place and took several shots of the flowers growing there together with the coconut trees and mahogany trees planted years ago by my Dad.  I will update how our garden looks now after several years of not seeing it (in my other blog of course).

An old well. We used to fetch water here when we were kids and until potable water was provided by the town several years ago.

 

Mahogany trees

 

Our coconut trees. We had fresh buko during breakfast. Fresh from the tree of course.

 

A pile of old and dried coconut leaves which one can make into brooms. I told my brother to hire someone to clean it.

Honestly, it is nice to go back there and commune with nature again even for a short time. I brought home some jackfruit.

Since we are in a higher place, it is cold at night and in the early morning.

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So how was your Valentine celebrations?  I deliberately didn’t blog yesterday because I was so excited to finish a book I’ve found by Danielle Steel. I seldom read a Steel book now except when I like the subject and the synopsis of the story. It was set in Norfolk, England. It was my 29th read actually  (15 books ahead of schedule).

I have just updated my gardening blog Gardens and Empty Spaces.

You might want to visit it. I uploaded several high res shots that I took of my garden blooms late this afternoon.  I don’t want to reduce them so I posted them all there.

Many thanks for visiting the site.

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And if you’re quite familiar with Mary Oliver’s books, you have probably encountered this lovely and uplifting small hardbound volume  of Upstream. It’s a collection of essays of Mary Oliver that provides anecdotes and meditations, her life as a writer and  as a lover of nature. It was published in October 2016.

Thus the book begins with these words: “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” 

Unlike her poetry, these essays paint a fuller picture of how she was as a writer, how her life revolved around those things that ordinarily we wouldn’t even appreciate, turtle eggs and hatchlings, owls, spiders, trees, gulls, sunflowers  and the sea. She touched on such renowned authors like Emerson, Whitman and Poe. Learning something about the lives of these writers made me appreciate their words more.

I began reading this book two years ago but I read the essays in increments preferring the lovely poems in her other books. You could actually read it in just one sitting but imagining those scenes described in the book makes you pause and think about life.

At the end of the book, she gave a short tribute to the place where she lived for fifty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She ended her prose with: “I don’t know if I am heading toward heaven or that other, dark place, but I know I have already lived in heaven for fifty years. Thank you, Provincetown”.

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Woke up a little late because I went back to bed after Josef left for work at 5 am.  What a cold morning, perfect time to have that green tea while watering and inspecting the plants in the garden.

I harvested dried pods of blue ternatea to give to friends when they come over. The two vines I planted have so many green pods and flowers and they are nice covers from outside. They are happily climbing my steel matting. I have two dried red okra ready for planting. A cousin wants to try planting too. When I posted those pictures of my red okra, a lot of people reacted asking, “is it edible”? Of course, it is. It is just like the green one only in a different color.

Some months ago, I got some dried Zinnia flowers at the park near the house. Just planted them this morning. I do hope, they will thrive.  Jom, our good neighbor gave me three cuttings of African tea and I put them in two empty bottles with water. They are now sprouting leaves.  I’ve tasted a freshly brewed cup before. It tasted great.

 

I wonder where I’m going to plant these once they grow a little sturdy. Lack of space is the problem although these are not bushy plants. They are medicinal too.

And here’s something I love about gardening.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just  the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin

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I wonder how many calories I burned doing three hours of gardening this morning.  Yes, I started early around 6 am and stopped by  almost 9 am with only a cup of coffee to go and the company of our “makulit” dog Noki.  I am not done yet trimming the carabao grass.  And I have to cut  some dried leaves of my prayer plants.

A passive pursuit but a good morning exercise….gardening, that is. Anyway, I want to see the garden at its best this coming Christmas. My Bougainvillea blooms are doing a crazy dance in the morning breeze. I just love those clustered pink flowers. Once it starts flowering, it does not stop. It is a perennial plant and just right for our sunny weather.  Our neighbor gave me some cuttings of cherries. I wonder if they will grow in our climate here. I’ll just try to grow them first in pots.

It was cloudy early this morning so it was a perfect time to spend in the garden. Took some shots a while ago.

My Bougainvillea

My Bougainvillea is located outside at the corner of our lot and it makes a good view of our grotto.

 

Prayer plants

I am proud of my two shrubs of  burgundy okra. The photo I took before was a little blurry so I took two more shots. I am letting the earlier fruits to mature before I harvest them for planting.

 

It’s flowering at the moment.

 

Crossandra

These Crossandra blooms are growing everywhere in the garden. I wonder if it has any other color aside from orange.

 

 

 

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And when the world is still and quiet,

You hear the song clearly in your head.

And it whispers PEACE.

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