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Posts Tagged ‘Close to Nature’


Saw this early this morning while I was watering our Arius tree. I thought at first it was deformed leaves eaten by some insects. Look at that monochromatic shade of its wings. I wonder if this is a butterfly. It didn’t move while I was taking some shots. If this is a butterfly, I guess it would have flown when I touched it but it didn’t.

Could you help me identify it? This is bigger than a moth.

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Finally, we see each other. And it’s been more than four months. Nissa and Obet are here with us, sadly though, Nate was left in their house. Nissa doesn’t want him to go out yet because kids under this general community quarantine (GCQ) as they call it are not allowed. Although they have a car, she’s afraid that they might be prevented from going to another area like Rizal province.

It’s nice to be able to get in touch personally with them again although it is kind of weird that Nate is not around. I miss him and I miss listening to his stories. Nissa will buy him a tab which he can operate when school opens and the two are not around. They’re required to report to the office twice a week and the rest of the week, they work from home. Nate knows how to use a tab on his own even without their supervision. This pandemic changed everyone’s plans and perspective and it continues changing the lives of the people worldwide.

I sorted some of my plants yesterday but I lack plant pots where I could transfer my Amazon lilies and Aglaonema plants. The lilies have enough bulbs for replanting. I am thinking of using those empty plastic bottles of mineral water as plant pots. I gave Obet and Nissa some plants (dwarf snake plant, red shrimp plant and another which until now I could not identify). Nissa said her mother -in-law will surely be thrilled because until now she is still grieving over the loss of her husband last April.

Time is not enough to catch up on everything, I’m glad though that we were able to see each other again.

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“How does one become a butterfly? They have to want to learn to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
― Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers

Posted this photo before. Nate’s visit at the Butterfly Garden in one of their trips in Baguio. He can’t even go out of the house now but he is happy being with his Mom everyday.

 

Caught it while we were about to leave for Manila  years and years ago. Taken in our garden in Pangasinan.

 

 

One of those lucky days in the garden.

 

Look, it was inside the house.

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I just finished  trimming the carabao grass early this morning. I’m happy my plants are well. Just updated my garden blog.

I posted some pics at my FB site and one of my friends who loves gardening too identified a plant  that I could not remember its name.

So this is called Scarlet Bush or Don Manuel. It is an easy to maintain plant. Just planted a sapling over a year ago. And it blooms non-stop.

I love this photo. Touched by the sun. That little orange Bougainvillea flower in front of our grotto was lighted by the rising sun.  I am propagating this, cut two stems a week ago and they are thriving well in two pots.

My Adenium bore seeds again and I planted them in small pots until they are old enough to be transferred.

Gardening is such a joy, don’t you think?

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The best time to garden at least in my neck of the woods is very early in the morning, when the sun hasn’t shown its face yet and the dawn is slowly fading into light. It is also the best time to uncoil your garden hose and point the nozzle to those plants slowly waking up in their slumber.

I uprooted weeds and trimmed the sides of our concrete garden steps. Yesterday, I attempted to garden outside our perimeter wall but I only lasted for an hour. There were so many bike riders passing by and I didn’t want to be exposed to so many people outside. The snake plants we planted there are now surrounded by overgrown grass that we haven’t touched for three months now. Maybe it would take two more mornings to clean everything there. Hopefully, two Sunday mornings more.

Sad news, the Manila Trial Court convicts Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Rey Santos Jr of cyber libel. So the name of the game now is to silence your critics.

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I’ve missed so many comments which didn’t show on my tab the past days. That’s one of the things I don’t like about using my tab to check my posts. Unless I open my computer to check everything, I miss a lot. I told you, life has become lazy days too.

April is almost gone. Tomorrow we’ll start another month.

One thing that I am always reminded of every time the month of May sets in is the song by The Bee Gees, First of May. And I silently sing it in my head. Aside from December, May is one of my favorite months – the month of flowers and the month of Mama Mary.

♫♫♪when I was small, and Christmas trees were tall♫♪

April seemed to take a little too long, what with this pandemic, lockdown and all.  Sometimes all you think is what to have and what to cook in your next meal. There are lots of idle times and you have lots to do but you can’t start.  It’s like the days pass by and you just go with the flow. You think, when will this ends? When will we have normal lives again? When will this stop? And you feel helpless, do a lot of prayers and cling to your faith.

I talk to Nissa every day now asking how they are coping. Yesterday, her brother-in-law brought home the remains of their Papa in a sealed urn. It is supposed to stay in a columbarium but the lockdown hinders one to move normally. They take their temperature every day even if they know he didn’t die of Covid.  It’s been more than three weeks now since he got sick and died a week ago. His doctor siblings said it was bacterial and his kidneys were not functioning well. Such is life, surprises (even not good ones) are lurking nearby.

For the last three mornings, I woke up early to tend the garden. I am finally done trimming the carabao grass. The garden hose is new, we had to call the plumber who did the installation of the aircon three days ago to fix it.  My Pandakaki plants and Tagaytay cherry plants need pruning too. That has to wait until this afternoon when it is not too hot. Gardening is really a great way of  de-stressing, a therapeutic activity that does not need too much  expertise but just the love of the soil and all its environs.  It’s more of  experiments really because they say that there are no gardening mistakes, everything that you plant becomes a part of the garden.

I planted some squash seeds at the back garden and they have sprouted. What a joy to see new shoots.

Let’s just hope the month of May will flatten the curve worldwide.

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Nate And His Butterflies

Have you ever tried catching a butterfly with your hands?

You can’t, right? Unless you use a butterfly net to catch one.

Let Nature be their friend.

Let them free,

Before you know it,

They might land somewhere near

And you’ll be able to admire their shapes, colors, and the

designs of their wings.

There are so many plants that butterflies love.

They have very short lives.

Enjoy them while they fly.

 

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I gardened for a while this morning replanting my rain lilies, some succulents and trimmed the Fukien tea plants. It is a lovely weather to garden now. The sun is shining and yet there is a cold morning breeze blowing. Perfect 🙂

Two weeks ago, we had a left-over piece of Chayote inside the ref. It is a tropical fruit shaped like a pear, with green skin and white flesh, that is usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable. I love mixing it with tinola, sometimes with chop suey  or pancit.

What a great surprise when I saw these green shoots. It is a sun-loving perennial and all parts of it are edible from the roots to the tender tips of the vine. I hope this would grow well and bear fruits so I won’t have to buy some in the market.

 

In a few days, we would harvest our langka (jackfruit). It is getting so big now. There are more fruits growing at the base of the tree. Hopefully, we could cook them as veggies.

 

 

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For gardeners out there, have you tried this? I have this old post which I wrote in May 11, 2009 and posted it at my blog Gardens and Empty Spaces. Back then “like” was not yet introduced by WordPress I think but you can comment on the post. This has earned a lot of comments.  Someone commented just yesterday. I am reposting it here.

In our trip to Zambales  a few days ago, I learned some interesting facts about growing things in one’s backyard, very common of which is the papaya plant. Papaya is a soft-wooded perennial plant that has an average lifespan of 5 years and would grow about 4 meters high. The flowering stage is from five to eight months after planting and harvesting comes around five to six months after that.

My sister-in-law is a certified farmer, she underwent a complete 6-months seminar given by the Dept. of Agriculture.  She shared with us what she learned and gave us some seeds of different vegetables which are quite easy to grow, given a small space ,even just in pots.

I was not even aware that you would be able to know whether that papaya tree in your own backyard will bear fruit or not. Most of us just wait for papaya to produce flowers before we will be able to detect whether it is a male or a female.  Papaya flowers are just like jasmine blossoms. The flowers of female papayas are close to the stems while that of the male ones produce long flowers. But we really don’t have to wait for six months before we’ll be able to know if they are worth cultivating or not.  That’s a waste of time and space, according to my sister-in-law. We know for a fact that only female papayas produce those sweet and delicious fruits. One sure way of knowing is this, papaya male plants have one straight root while those of the females are branched-out, producing two or more roots, they’re the only ones that you have to transfer and plant.  Interesting!

Tomatoes are capable of self-pollination so they grow fruits on their own. Same goes true with squash. We have planted some squash  and tomatoes in our small backyard and  they’re growing  by leaps and bounds everyday.  We also planted pechay (Pak Choi) in small pots. Eggplant seedlings are sprouting like crazy. I can’t wait, I am quite excited waiting for everything to grow.

I tried planting chayote two days ago at the back garden. We have a permanent trellis there where it could climb on. It is also known as mirliton squash,  an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.  When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash; it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Let us see how it grows in the next few days.

Our back garden and that’s Noki looking at some of our cats.

Planted some sweet potato vines a couple of months ago. We use the young leaves (found at the tip of each branch) to mix with our sinigang.

 

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Took a few photos this morning while the sun is up. They are the same plants but the flowers have survived the storm.

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Our grotto which we had constructed after my treatment ten years ago. We used to have Koi fish here.

I was surprised by this lovely Adenium, the flowers are no longer split.

 

A cluster of pink Vinca. Sturdy blooms.

 

A single-petaled Zinnia.

I harvested Calamansi before the typhoon. The two trees shed off some of the ripe fruits during the storm. I need to transfer my Papaya seedling soon.

Have a lovely Wednesday all.

 

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