Petrea volubilis. Common Names : Sandpaper Vine, Queen’s Wreath, Purple Wreath, Sandpaper. A woody climber, has a twining growth form and can grow up to 6m in height with the aid of support. The plant forms a shrub when not supported.
Foliage: The evergreen leaves are simple, arranged in whorls and are ovate-elliptic to elliptical in shape. The upper surface of the leaves has a rough texture.
Flowers: The flowers are borne on arching racemes, up to 30cm long. The star-shaped flowers are pale blue to violet and have conspicuous, slender calyx lobes which are of a lighter shade as compared to the flowers. The calyx persists on the plant after the flowers have dropped, gradually drying up and turning brown. Picture taken a few days ago at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Troides helena, the Common birdwing, is a butterfly belonging to the family Papilionidae. It is often found in the wildlife trade due to its popularity with butterfly collectors. The butterfly has seventeen subspecies. Pictures of a female specimen taken at Singapore Botanic Gardens. August 21st 2018.
The flower: Scarlet Spiral Flag, Red Button Ginger, is a perennial herbaceous plant about 1-2 m tall, with a clump forming growth habit. The broadly elliptical leaves (15 cm long, 8 cm wide) are hairless, glossy and spirally arranged along the stems. The inflorescence is cylindrical with a tapered tip (6-10 cm long) and occurs at the stem tip. The bracts are tightly overlapped, bright red and waxy. The reddish-orange, tubular flowers have a yellow-orange lip near the apex. They emerge at the top of the inflorescence, 1-3 at a time from between the bracts.
We were up at Mt Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, about half an hour prior to the sun setting and I caught this beautiful above-the-clouds picture while waiting for the sun to set. Temperatures here at 10,000 feet above sea level was 10˚C at that time, and much lower with the winds blowing.
“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared: “Go down again – I dwell among the people.” ― John Henry Newman
The moon from my backyard one morning at 5.50 am. A full moon at the time. Having taken many shots of the moon before, I was trying out another approach to photographing the moon using a low ISO, high shutter speeds, and larger apertures. The lens is 600mm, on a Sony A7R camera with a full frame format at 36.4 Megapixels. The picture is heavily cropped to show the moon craters and other details.
The red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus). They feed on fruits and small insects and they conspicuously perch on trees and their calls are a loud three or four note calls. They are very common in hill forests and urban gardens within its range. Picture taken in my garden. Bird having a bath. The red-whiskered bulbul is featured on Singapore $5 notes of the “Bird Series” currency notes released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 1976 and 1984. This bird was also featured on the Singapore $0.10 stamp in the 1978 postage stamp series “Singing Birds”.
The Oriental White-eye is a yellow-green bird which is easily recognised by a prominent white eye-ring, hence it is also known locally as mata putih, meaning ‘white eyes’ in Malay.
It had not been seen in Singapore since the 1970s, possibly due to progressive habitat loss, of both mangrove and forest. Small flocks have been regularly seen since the 1990s. It is unsure if these flocks were from a small remnant population or feral population formed from escapees from the caged bird trade, as this species is a popular caged bird. Illegal trapping is still going on in our parks and nature reserves.
This picture was taken on September 25th 2018, at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. While going towards my parked car, I noticed at the edge of a low plant divider, that while the rest of the plant leaves were a nice rich deep green, the end of this branch, where there were some whitish powder-like substance at the leaf bases have caused the leaves to change colour and wither. But the colour changes were so strikingly beautiful!
A pathogen is an organism that causes a disease. There are four main types of pathogen: virus, bacteria, fungi, protists. All types of pathogen have a simple life cycle. They infect a host, reproduce (or replicate themselves if a virus), spread from their host and then infect other organisms. Plant pathogens kill or reduce the growth of many plants, which in turn can reduce biodiversity. In some cases, it infects the chloroplasts of plant leaves and changes their colour from green to yellow or white in a mosaic pattern. It can also make leaves crinkled or curled up. This reduces the plant’s ability to photosynthesise and grow properly, which can reduce farmers’ crop yields. Leaf colouration is also affected by the mineral content of the soils, eg. magnesium and by essential vitamins eg. nitrates.
We took a special trip to Bali and stayed two nights at the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort, an easy five to seven minute walk through the Resort grounds, to this temple. Tanah Lot famous for it’s sunsets. Unfortunately, because of cloudy weather, and the position of the sun being more in the northern hemisphere, the spectacular sunset as envisioned as a red-orange ball with the silhouette of the temple, was unattainable this time. Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot (literally “Tanah Lot temple“), a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and decided to rest there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. At the base of the rocky island, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. The temple is purportedly protected by a giant snake, which was created from Nirartha’s selendang (a type of sash) when he established the island.
Musa Siam Yellow banana. An elegant slim ornamental species with attractive dark green leaves, gorgeous yellow flowering bracts and small ornamental fruits that are produced yearly. An impressive ornamental for small areas and container gardening. Picture taken at the Singapore Botanic gardens.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.
I love that quote! It totally reminds me that we should never sell ourselves short in life. We should never assume we are not capable of achieving GREATNESS because WE ARE! Every one of us is capable of achieving so much more than we ever give ourselves credit for. If you look at the accomplishments throughout history you will find that all of them were done by ordinary people who pushed themselves beyond their limits in order to accomplish extraordinary things!
This portrait of the White-throated Kingfisher was taken one morning, June 19th at the Singapore Botanic Gardens at the Symphony lake. The white-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) also known as the white-breasted kingfisher is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Asia from the Sinai east through the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines. This kingfisher is a resident over much of its range, although some populations may make short distance movements. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the tops of buildings in urban areas or on wires. A very colourful and handsome bird!