Saturday, 20 September 2008

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Household Altar

I'm into religion, suddenly. I've got so fed up with widely published trash and propaganda about Muslims that I've decided to fight back.
Muslims do not allow images of God, or idolatry in any form (except for the Ka'aba).
Certain Christians like to have a series of images of their gods and goddesses around the house, just like the Romans used to do.
Jesus takes the place of Apollo, and the Virgin Mary takes over from whatever ancient female god you ever thought of (Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus, etc).

Monday, 8 September 2008

Kayabasa pumpkin flower early morning

Out of the 100 or so pumpkin seeds I sowed earlier this year, only one has survived, but it has survived with a vengeance. Every other morning I go down to the end of the garden and redirect its trail in the opposite direction, so now it's looking like a plate of vegetable spaghetti.

It flowers in the early morning, before the sun shrivels it up. Not a sign of a pumpkin fruit yet.

I was imagining lots of pumpkin curries, but all I've got is these goddamned flowers, and sweet little tendrils.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Mushrooms on way to CR

Taken on a midnight visit to the CR. These mushrooms are called barogong here, and are edible, just. They have virtually no taste at all.
I do miss the big fat wild mushrooms of Europe at this time of year.
I think these are a Cuprinus sp

CR stands for 'Comfort Room' in the Philippines. They're usually anything but, and mine is no exception.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Poikilospermum sp. This can't be jungle broccoli, can it ? Yes

We found this strange set of flowers in the local forest (or, at least, Ron did, and it turns out to be even more strange than I ever thought.
1) Either the leaves or the flowers are eaten by people in Sabah, Borneo, so my silly comment about jungle broccoli just might be right.
A species of climber called binatong (Poikilospermum sp.) found in abundance in both Sabah and Sarawak is also collected and cooked as
2) It has a wonderful relationship with ants, who actually plant this liana's seeds at the entrances to their nests.
However, they (ants) maintain a very close relationship to another plant, the hemi-epiphyte Poikilospermum cordifolium. Most entrances of these ants on tree trunks have some seedlings of this Poikilospermum, obviously planted by the ants that act like gardeners. Some of the plants grow very large and send roots down the trunk into the soil. As the ant colonies around those large hemi-epiphytes are currently still active, this suggests that such colonies may live for many years at the same spot, and that the association between Crematogaster (ant) and Camponotus (ant) is a very stable one. This relationship between the two ants in a common nest is termed parabiosis.....
And what's more, the two ant species live together in total harmony, which is fairly amazing.
The two species are a big one, and a small one, but they live together quite happily. Wish our politicians could do the same.

Thanks for the new shirt darling

Boholanon second hand shirt Siargao Island Philippines
The Bolanons (gypsy traders) are in town, running ukay-ukay (second-hand clothes stalls), in advance of the fiesta, so I gave up and reluctantly gave some cash to Shedney to shop and buy a new bed-sheet and a few other bits.

She bought me this (it doesn't even button on the right side!). But it is light and cool, so maybe I'll make a real effort to try hard and wear it in public, for loyalty's sake.

It cost $1.50, which makes it expensive around here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Bridge to Cloud 9

I haven't been to Cloud 9 , the famous Siargao surfing spot, for some time: (the famous wave is that little white streak on the right of the picture, which was taken at low tide) so I was disturbed to find the destruction going on around it.
Wanton destruction at Cloud 9, Siargao Island, Philippines
This used to be the main entrance to the Cloud 9 wave, flanked and shaded by coconut trees. It's bordered by two private resorts, either side, but the owners of this land have left it undeveloped.
I met up with our new mayor, one Felipe Espejon, who was supervising this stuff, complained about the destruction, and was warned, very explicitly, that I should 'behave myself' if I wanted to keep on living here.