Saturday, January 31, 2015

By the flowers of oleina #4 - Autumn Leaf

Autumn Leaf - Doleschalia bisaltide species
Family : Nymphalidae
Sub-family : Nymphalinae

Flower buds and white flowers of the Eugenia oleina
Zone D

By the flowers of oleina #3 - Maplet

Maplet - a Chersonesia peraka species
Family : Nymphalidae
Sub-family : Cyrestinae

Flushes and flowers of the Eugenia oleina trees
View of Zone F looking south

Friday, January 30, 2015

By the flowers of oleina #2 - Dark Glassy Tiger

Dark Glassy Tiger - Parantica agleoides agleoidesFamily : Nymphalidae
Sub-family : Danainae

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Dark Glassy Tiger
Taken on 31 Jan'15
Location : Zone B
View of flowering Eugenia oleina trees
Zone C

By the flowers of oleina #1 - Malay Lacewing

Malay Lacewing - Cethosia hypsea hypsina

 Just yesterday I noticed only a handful of the Eugenia oleina trees at the park bursting with fresh flower buds and flowers.  Today at least a dozen of the trees simultaneously flower profusely.  The trees are everywhere in the park - on slopes and hills,  along roads and streams and open garden areas.  Thus the butterflies too are seen everywhere.  I intend to capture as many species of butterflies that are attracted to the oleina flowers this season.  To start with the series is this beautiful lacewing butterfly.  The most intricate patterns are on the underside wings which display a lacy design enriched in colours of black, red, cream, bright orange and white.  The upperside wings have very attractive bright orange, white and  black design.
Underside of the Malay Lacewing
Attractive orange, black and white colours on the upperside

Eugenia oleina trees are seen flowering at the park since about two days ago.
The season of flowering has come and so are the many species of butterflies that are attracted to the white flowers.
Zone B

Thursday, January 29, 2015

An aquatic plant called 'Emparuk'

Emparuk (Malay) - Limnocharis flava
Location : Stream at Zone F
This is a small start.  I have begun to cultivate the 'Emparuk' a flowering aquatic plant at the park.  It loves the muddy places and slow moving streams.  The plant is edible.  Its flowers, shoots and young leaves can be fried or eaten as salad by dipping it in warm water first or grilled.  For more images of the Emparuk please check them out in my blog on plants here

Views of the park today - 29 Jan'15

Tibouchina urvelleana shrub or Glory bush against Traveller's Palm in the background.
Zone C

View of Zone G, looking south

Provinsi Manila
Zone B

View towards Zone F, looking south-west

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blood Banana

Blood Banana - Musa acuminata
Family : Musaceae - Banana family
 Note: The cluster of flowers is hidden by large overlapping bracts.  Birds are attracted to the flowers.
Blood Banana
Zone C
This is a banana species that is excellent for an ornamental planting for its bronze to red variegated leaves and medium-sized trunks.   My experience is that it needs semi-shade to grow well.  Many birds are attracted to its flowers.  More of such species can be planted at certain locations in the park in the future.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Common Iora - Aegithina viridissima, at the Eugenia oleina tree
Malays call this bird as 'Burung Kunyit Kacat'
Zone C
Recently I noticed many Common Ioras around at the park.  Their favourite hangouts  are the Eugenia oleina and the Jackfruit trees.  At the moment the Eugeina oleina trees are flushing.  There are no fruits or flowers yet.  Thus they are dropping by the trees in search for caterpillars and ants.  They are small birds and mesh well among the leaves.  Their voice however announce their presence.  The distinctive call sounds like this ...Weeeeeeeeeee-tu . 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Highlights today at the park - 26 Jan'15

Red-eyed Bulbul

Rainy day
Zone B

Little Spiderhunter
Zone C

Kulat Jelutong (Malay) - Lentinus sajor-caju
Zone B

Friday, January 23, 2015

Orange cup fungus

Cup fungus

 Rummaging under the canopy of trees and rattan at Provinsi Rattan this afternoon, I stumbled upon the cup fungus.  This is the first time I come across this orange coloured cup fungus.
Fungi feed by digesting organic mater with special enzymes.  From the jungle floor they take up significant minerals which it 'give back' to the trees when the fungus consume sugar (carbohydrates for its energy)  and nitrogen substances from the tree roots and other living tissues.  This relationship is symbiotic.   As a living entity fungi cannot gain energy direct from the sun or through photosynthesis. 
Location : Provinsi Rattan

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New terrestrial orchid found

 Found a new terrestrial orchid with upright flower spikes at Zone B yesterday.  The area is at the edge  of the Kruak wetlands.  The damp earth covered with rotting branches, fronds and leaves have provided the ideal conditions for this new discovery.  At this point of writing I'm still unsure what species of wild orchids it belong to. Could it belong to the Nephelaphyllum tribe of which the Tania is a likely candidate.  Or it could be placed under the Phaius tribe of which two genus are relevant i.e. Phaius and Calanthe.  I'll study in further detail this new find and will revert in future posting its likely nomenclature.  What excites me is its colourful sepals that are a light brownish purple.  The two petals are whitish and the lip is a nice subtle brownish purple with attractive orange brown centre leading to its reproductive parts.  I have reserved a name for it....

Autumn in Kambatik

Foreground are orange - red flushes of Eugenia oleina, yellow green leaves of the Tabebuia alba with white flowers in the middle ground.
View looking east.
Autumn like colours of the Eugenia oleina flushes
Stretch of road along Zone B
Red flushes of the Ceylon Ironwood tree (Mesua ferrea) at the foreground, with Eugenia oleina flushes in the background
Location : Zone C
Light yellow flushes of the Mango tree at right, mixed with Eugenia oleina flushes at foreground and background.
Location: Zone G
All images taken today - 22 Jan'15

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A spider, a cricket and a dragonfly

All images taken on 21 Jan'15
Location : Kruak wetlands

Advancing into Kruak wetlands

Red Dragonflies are a common sight at the Kruak Wetlands

Thickets over the Kruak wetlands
 'Kruak' in Malay refers to the White-breasted Waterhen.  The Kruak wetlands is situated between Zone B and Zone C and is a low-lying basin between two hills.  This wetland area is covered with thickets of the Shrubby Dillenia, heliconia plants,bamboos, palms, ferns, creepers, grasses and small trees, while the surrounding hills are covered with lowland dipterocarp forest species.  Often the Sambar deers will leave trails of disturbed grasses after they have combed the wetlands areas during their nightly visits.  Today I worked hard on draining some of the water from the wetlands area by manually digging more drain outlets into the areas frequented by the Sambar deers.  It is a satisfying feeling to see the  many deer trails abound in the area.  The Kruak wetlands is also home to many birds, small mammals and insects.  It is the best area to photograph dragonflies.  The birds that regularly visit the wetlands area are like the Little Spiderhunter, Browh-throated Sunbirds, Prinias, Bubuls, Crimson Sunbird and the shy and fast running Kruak or White-breasted Waterhen. 
Thickets of Heliconia plants are attractive to many birds species

Typical lowland dipterocarp forest ecology surrounding  the low-lying  wetlands.
The palm at the center of the picture is the 'Nibong' (Oncosperma tigillarium)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Highlights today at the park - 19 Jan'15

Little Spiderhunter
Zone C

Plantain Squirrel
Botanic Island One

Heliconia 'Sexy Pink'
Plumeria obtusa
Zone C