Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sycip Park: Another Lifer Bird Spotted - Yellow-bellied Gerygone


Patience does has its benefits.  After several Saturdays of not spotting a new bird/insect/wildlife at the Washington Sycip Park, nature gave me a present yesterday in the form of a Yellow-bellied Gerygone (erstwhile known as the Yellow-bellied Flyeater; Scientific name: Gerygone sulphurea).  I wasn't even seated on my favorite bench when I spotted these birds making merry on the branches of a tall Bagras tree along the foot path.

I've recently read a comment on a friend's FB post on birds that all the writer sees are the same Eurasian Tree Sparrows in the city.  This new lifer is a testament to the fact that they're actually there, hidden from our eyes, just waiting for us to be patient, curious, and interested in spotting them.



An Empath's Indoor Garden & A Short Note on ANSI LED grow light

My indoor garden & ANSI LED Grow Light

I've been gardening ever since I was a kid so I personally know the joy of getting your hands on the earth (I don't like calling it dirt), making do with whatever resources I had at that time, growing plants either from leftover seeds from eaten veggies or cuttings culled from the neighborhood gardens.  The resurgence of interest in gardening last year IMHO, is both a good and a bad thing.  

ANSILED 24W grow light (ANSI website)

Good because it made a lot of people connect back to nature.  Bad because even my erstwhile favorite store (not anymore as she turned snooty) at the Cartimar garden stores is charging so much for plants I used to grow from free cuttings.  Also bittersweet is that I used to see really humongous Alocasia in the forests when I used to go hiking up the mountains.

Plants such as Pothos (also called Devil's Ivy) and Adansonii (Swiss cheese plant because the leaves have holes in them when receiving adequate sunlight) were among my favorite shrubs before.  Now, a small pot of pothos (depending on the variety) can cost P200-400.  Some enterprising sellers (a lot of them non-gardeners) even sell on a per-leaf basis which is like highway robbery.

Another thing that's not nice is that we're dealing with sellers who know close to nothing about what they're selling.  Some even mis-label their plants with the names of the hottest-selling plant at the moment.  Whether intentional or not, it keeps people from being educated about the plant that they're buying and what the plant really requires.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Finding Nature In The City: Hive On The Treetops, Glossy Starlings Hopping With Sparrows, Miracles Unfolding in Plain Sight


We celebrated Earth Day just a few days ago but the truth is, every day ought to be Earth Day.  Even with the extended quarantines, we ought to pay tribute to the planet. As the Eastern school of thought states, we're not separate from nature, from the Earth.  Even if we hide inside air conditioned buildings, air conditioned vehicles, hemmed in by concrete in the middle of the city, we are connected to nature.  Even if my current milieu is just a short walk or jeepney ride away to the nearest park, it is fulfilling to keep revisiting the place.  I keep discovering something new every time I drop by, proof that Nature is dynamic.  Pandemic or no pandemic, the flow of life goes on whether we're conscious of it or not.

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