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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Random Flowers and Critters

Random Flowers and Critters

I'm still working on the text for some other posts but need to do some research and editing before I post them. In the meantime here are some photos I took recently. They are all from Alafua.



This is a Philippine Orchid, Philippine Ground Orchid, or Large Purple Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata) I planted some at Alafua in 2011 and they survived and have actually propagated so I am thinking of digging them up and dividing them so I can plant them again and extend the bed they are in. I just looked it up to get the binomial / scientific name and was surprised to discover that it is listed as vulnerable" in Australia!

It has been raining often and alot lately which is normal since it is still the rainy season here.
The funny thing is I did not notice that I had captured the raindrop on the end of the blade of grass until later.

Jasime flowers. I am not sure what this variety is called though.


One of the red Flame Violets that I have been propagating is flowering. They have an intense scarlet with yellow throats speckled with red. I tried to get a Macro of that but have not succeeded yet. The Burgandy leaved ones with Pink flowers have yet to flower since I rescued them but they are recovering well and should flower soon. All they need is some TLC and protection from maraduing chickens and dogs. Both who dug them up where I had planted them.



Some of my enemies. I have no idea who they belong to but they spend most of their time on our land and sleep up in the Mango Tree or the Rambutans. I want to get some of my own but keep them in a large enclosure so they stay away from the plants that are most likely to be damaged while they scratch around in the dirt.


Here is one the guys who has been very helpful pollinating the Zepheranthes. They have been going crazy on this hedge plant. Sorry I do not know the name of the plant. I will be putting it up as a Mystery Plant latter on.


I am not sure what these are. I assume they are Butterflies rather than moths because I only see them during they day. Some have yellow specks on their wings. They look rather hillarious because they are so excited although they do stay long enough on each plant for me to get some good Macros of them. But on their way to different flowers they flutter around frantically trying to decide which one they will grace with their presence.
Thank you Little Butterflies you are doing and excellent job.

References:

Wikipedia Spathoglottis plicata

Approved Conservation Advice for Spathoglottis plicata

 
Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.




Additional information:

Here are some of my current blogs:

·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters)

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology)

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general)










Friday, 25 January 2013

Mystery Plant

Mystery Plant

Okay I'm starting this thing in which every onw and then I will post a Mystery Plant. That is a plant that I have come across but have no idea what it is. If you know what it is please let me know.






I found the two specimens I have growing on some moss covered rocks (on a lava rock wall) up at Tanumalala which is up in along the centre of Upolu. That is probably the same altitude as Aleisa so it is very wet.
I have already gotten two cuttings from one. They grew up where the flower stalks were after the flowers had died off.
I am now waiting to see if the same thing occurs with the other flowers. i.e. will new shoots grow where the flowers were.
It is a soft stemmed plant right through. No sign of any woody stem emerging. i.e. it is soft stemmed right down to the root.
I have not checked the root system since I transplanted it but it was clinging to the rocks  and did not have a very extensive root system. Although it was not too hard to separate it from the rock and surrounding moss it seemed to have been pretty well attached.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Random Photos of Flowers, Kittens and Birds

Random Photos of Flowers, Kittens and Birds

Sorry everyone this post with just be one with random pictures of Flowers, Kittens and Birds.
I will include some details as to what they are and where they were taken but that is it. For once it looks like I am able to upload photos on Blogger in while Samoa so I will try and upload some on to the other posts I have been writing for publication latter.
A Pink Rain Lily (a.k.a Magic Lily) Zepheranthes robusta after rain
A White Rain Lily (a.k.a Magic Lily) Zepheranthes grandiflora after rain

A Samoan Triller (Mikivao)
A Honey Bee on the petal of a Pink Orchid Tree





White Rain Lily



Caspar Livingstone a.k.a. Stoney / The Silent One ... was lurking amongst the Purple Ground Orchids while I was trying to take some photos and made his presence known.


So ofcourse Pebble a.k.a. The CRAZY One also decided he just HAD to be in a picture too.





 
By the way THANK YOU to all my readers for visiting Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters as well as my other blogs if you have visited them (the links are below).
According to the stats provided by Blogger I have had visitors from the following countries:
United States, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Ukraine, South Korea, Hungary, Brazil, Malaysia, Fiji, India and Samoa.
Additional information:
Here is a list of my current blogs:
·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/
 

 

Hurricane Evan Part 2: The Aftermath


Hurricane Evan Part 2: The Aftermath
The Hurricane did tons of damage. The rivers and creeks overflowed and washed away homes and everything in their paths and flooded ...

Our property at Malifa had several meters of property washed away. Luckily the trees and plants I had planted mimimised the loss. After the Hurricane I could not help noticing how the root systems of the avocado trees, Indonesian Wax Roses and Torch Gingers could be seen holding the remaining embankment together. These avocado trees that certain people had criticised me for planting. Interestingly and sadly I could not help wondering how much more would have been saved had the breadfruit trees and Fuafua trees that had been chopped down had  been retained.

 

 
 
It never ceases to amaze and infuriate me how despite all the talk of not cutting trees along waterways and all the programmes and blah blah about how important these and plants growing along the waterways are in preventing soil erosion etc ... people still have this demented urge to cut trees down and clear land on the banks of waterways.



I know grass is a plant but the root systems of lawns will do very little to prevent erosion. As for cutting down sickly or unsightly trees or trees that are too big and pose a danger in high winds; that is fine as long as you replace them with another tree. Actually my preference is for the rule of planting at least two trees for every tree you cut down.

Unfortunately here in Samoa there is this insane mania for cutting down trees and either not replacing them or replacing them with what I call excuses for trees.
Torch Gingers before Cyclone Evan (Malifa)



 Torch gingers after Cyclone Evan (Malifa)

Yet even with all the death and destruction caused by the cyclone nature is resuming its activity and there are some startling moments of surreal beauty all the more stunning because of the stark contrast between the destruction and devastation surrounding you.

 
The only good thing about the hurricane is that all that rain has the zepheranthes all popping up with flower buds. Mind you it is possible that this would have happened anyway as it is the rainy season although the sudden emergence of so many buds where previously there were none is astonishing. Maybe I did not really notice them when I looked a few days before the hurricane but I am sure I would have noticed because I do recall seeing a handful here and there and mentally rubbing my hands thinking of all the seeds I would have once they flower are pollinated and seed.

Photo of Zepheranthes flower buds
But now its a totally different story as there are a multitude of buds and the seed load will be exponentially bountiful indeed.

Here are some pictures of all the flower buds practically bursting to flower.
Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

 Facts:
Cyclone Evan struck the Samoan archipelago on 13 December 2012. It was rated as Tropical Cyclone Category 4.
The Samoan archipelago is comprised of the Independent State of Samoa and the American Territory of American Samoa.

Additional information:
Here my current blogs:

·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

 


 

 

Friday, 18 January 2013

French Formal Gardens of the Abbey de La Cambre Part 3

French Formal Gardens of the Abbey de La Cambre Part 3





























French Formal Gardens of the Abbey de La Cambre Part 1

French Formal Gardens of the Abbey de La Cambre  Part 1






Around spring time in July 2012 I went down to Avenue Louise because I wanted to take some photos of some statues that I have been meaning to photograph for a while. In particular this big composition at the entrance of the Cambre Forest of two men on horses.
But serendipity waylaid me on my way because as I was walking along one tree lined sidewalk looking for interesting and beautiful things (plants, flowers, buildings anything basically that caught my roving eyes). I came across some floral gems which I included in my earlier post "Flowers and trees on Avenue Louise" and literally stumbled across the French Formal Gardens of the Abbey de la Cambre by accident.




Wanting to get closer I suddenly realised that there was a park or something right there ... beckoning for me to explore.




In the meantime here are photos of my visit to the Abbey de la Cambre with some tid bits of information.


  

Flowers in beds of mixed flowers on centre strip of Avenue Louise in Brussels- Close to entrance of the Forest of La Cambre (Dutch: Ter Kamerenboos , French: Bois de la Cambre which is an urban public park on the edge of the Sonian Forest in Brussels.




 

 French Formal Gardens of the Abbey of La Cambre  (French: Abbaye de La Cambre, Dutch: Abdij Ter Kameren) is a former Cistercian abbey in Ixellels, Brussels located in the Maelbeek valley between the the Forest of La Cambre and the Ixelles Ponds. It was founded in 1196 although the current buildings date from the 18th century.


 

PHOTO

 

Some examples of the bosquets in the Abbey of La Cambre ‘s French formal garden. A bosquet is a formal plantation of trees planted in strict regularity as to rank and file. They are traditionally paves with gravel

 

Pleached

 

PHOTO

 

 

 

Facts:

Text

The Sonian Forest (Dutch: Zoniënwoud,French: Forêt de Soignes) is a 4,421-hectare (10,920-acre) forest that lies across the south-eastern part ofBrussels, Belgium

Pleaching is a technique to weave the branches of trees into a hedge.

Additional details:



I will be posting the photos of the statues on another blog along with photos of historic buildings and other architecturally beautiful or interesting buildings on my other blog devoted to Architecture, Art, Sculptures, Statues, history and culture.

Hurricane Evan PART 1


Hurricane Evan PART 1

Not long after I arrived in Samoa Hurricane Evan struck ... pretty much without warning. I say that not merely because on the morning of the hurricane I was delighted with the rainy weather and taking advantage of it to do some gardening: planting some cuttings of Indonesian Wax Roses and weeding the tautalaititi out of the Zepheranthes beds. No ... I say it struck without warning because although the night before there was some public announcement warning that scrolled across the screen briefly on the TV that was about high winds and possible flooding in low lying areas, but nothing about a cyclone.  Maybe there was one but I did not see or hear anything and no one mentioned anything about a Cyclone approaching to me.



It was only as the evening approached and I commented on how the constant rain and wind seemed like pre-cyclone weather that I found out that there was indeed a cyclone approaching. Someone said that that was supposed to have been passing by us but then decided to stop by for a visit.

As for me planting things in the rain that is how I prefer to do things as otherwise it is just too hot. For me rainy weather is perfect planting weather. It is cool and overcast and the rain is not only refreshing but saves me having to go around watering everything. Preferably I try to do major transplanting into the ground during the Rainy Season which also just happens to be the Cyclone Season.

No biggie it was windy in the morning and throughout the day but the Cyclone did not really hit till that night and lasted throughout the next day and night.
 


During the cyclone we could not do much else but sit around looking outside. Fortunately the house at Alafua has a long overhang and even with all the wind not much rain got into the house even though it has big screened windows without louvers.  I cannot recall who drew the plans of the house but I like their thinking since the wide overhang all around keeps it well shaded and there is absolutely no need for louvers which I hate with a passion. I was even able to go out during a slight lull in the cyclone and take some pictures and videos of some of the damage although the quality of the images are not that great. This is because I do not have a waterproof camera and the only way I could take photos was to stick it in a clear plastic ziplock bag and seal it in and then go outside. I stayed mainly under the overhang of the house but also went to the old butchery shed but after a while all the rain drops on the plastic made taking photos pointless.

Here are some pictures of the cyclone viewed at Alafua. The pictures do not really give a good idea of the strength on the winds. According to reports there were gusts of up to 210 km/h (130 mph). The wind uprooted lots of trees or broke branches off. The rivers and creeks overflowed and washed away homes and everything in their paths and there was considerable flooding in all the low-lying areas especially in Downtown Apia such as Taufusi, Fugalei, Lalovaea, Maluafou and Mulivai areas.

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

PHOTO of Cyclone Evan

 


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

 

Facts:

Cyclone Evan struck the Samoan archipelago on 13 December 2012. It was rated as Tropical Cyclone Category 4.

 

The Samoan archipelago is comprised of the Independent State of Samoa and the American Territory of American Samoa.

 

Additional information:

As I said I will be posting the photographs of the statues on another blog which will cover “A blog about art, sculpture, food, history, culture, literature among other things. Basically this blog will be a catch all for other topics that I cannot logically cover in my existing blogs:

·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

 

or some planned blogs

·          fait justicia ruat coelum - Let Justice be done though the Heavens Fall (Socio Legal issues):

·          ventus me vocat – The Wind calls me (Occult and esoteric matters, Ancient beliefs and belief systems, magic and religion): http://ventusmevocat.blogspot.com/

 

 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

China Guizhou Province Part 3

China Guizhou Province Part 3

Just a few more photos of Guizhou Province. This was a relatively small ornamental garden tucked away along one part of the national part we visited. It had koi ponds with water lillies. bouganvillia and one area full of bonsai.
When I say relatively small I mean in relation to the rest of the park.


 















Creative Commons License
Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.