Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Green, Breathing Spaces -- The Significance of Parks at a Time of Pandemic

The reimagined Japanese garden at Sycip Park
After the lockdowns were eased a bit, it was a great time to revisit nearby parks in my corner of Metro Manila.  The Washington Sycip Park in Legaspi Village, Makati, is about 10-12 minutes brisk walk away from home but I looked forward to being surrounded by trees after being walled by concrete during the ECQ periods.  Not that I don't have plants and birds outside my window but it's nice to go out, have coffee and a donut in the park while breathing in the air sans a mask.  Of course, social distancing is still a must as well as putting on a mask and face shield after eating and drinking as well as venturing to and from the park.  I would like to think quite a lot of people feel the same way as I can see the park frequented by a number of people, young and old, who seem eager to go out for a breath of fresher air.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Makati Birding Chronicles: Egret on the Post Office Roof, Bulbul along Dela Rosa

Little Egret on roof of Makati City Post Office building

Walking around Makati can be an opportunity for spotting wildlife.  Take this Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) for instance.  I've spotted it before when I passed by the Makati City Post Office but never had my camera with me until today.  I was really looking forward to spotting the Finlayson's squirrel in the Washington Sycip Park but with the drizzly early afternoon, I headed home early to take a nap.  

But taking a different route home, I took a chance and passed by the pedestrian overpass in front of the post office building thinking I may get the opportunity to see the egret anew.  And I was glad to have made the detour for it flew up from the estero the moment I went up the overpass and crossed to the post office.  Talk about perfect timing (I'm re-reading Derrick Jensen's  book entitled "A Language Older than Words" at the moment so I'm thinking it may be the universe telling me something).

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Sycip Park Meditation turned into a Squirrel Hunt - Invasion of an Invasive Species?

Finlayson's squirrel in Sycip Park
I normally seek the company of trees during the weekends so I can draw in different kinds of vibes and energies during meditation.  Today, I took another bench in the Washington Sycip Park in Makati, my regular haunt, as my favorite one was occupied.  It was providential as I spotted movement high up a tree near a Bagras (rainbow Eucalyptus tree) right in front of where I was seated and sipping my Dunkin' coffee.  My first thought was it may be a skink or rodent.  Well, it was a rodent alright but not a rat.  Rather, it was a squirrel.  Some park maintenance staff I briefly chatted with said there's a pair residing in the park though they do not have an idea of where these came from.  My hunch is that they can be pets released into the park by hobbyists.  Fellow blogger and long-time friend, Dong Ho of www.escapeislands.com, shared this Esquire Magazine link on Squirrels in Metro Manila, which may offer an explanation.

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