Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bulbophyllum longissimum

I actually dozed off after posting the pic without writing anything, would you believe it ?

Anyway, here's the name of this Bulbophyllum from Thailand and North Malaysia, and perhaps some other parts of Indochina. It was blooming in masses, and its long lateral sepals were waving in the slight breeze.

It is relatively uncommon but sometimes wild collected plants surface in large batches in the market. The bloom can be up to 20cm long - quite a spectacular sight especially when mass flowering.

It likes a relatively dry and bright place to thrive but humidity must be kept high -this appears to be a rather conflicting demand but unlike many other Bulbos I keep, this one can rot even if mounted on fern slab or stick.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Out of body experience

A bitter road, an arduous toil
Shuffles off this mortal coil
Spirit flies with angels' kin
On earth he leaves his dimpled skin

Good bye good bye .....

A spider's moult at swamp forest.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jugs and skin

We scaled a near vertical cliff around the District 1 of Sarawak to catch a glimpse of, in my opinion, the most beautiful lowland pitcher plant, Nepenthes northiana. The plant was first painted by the Victorian naturalist and painter Marianne North and subsequently named after her. Large specimens are rare nowadays due to collection pressure but as usual in this part of the world, the biggest threat is still habitat loss. The species is restricted to this limestone range, although rumour has it that a second locality has been recently found.

These limestone hills are not legally protected and are haphazardly blasted and dug up by natives in their search for the shiny yellow metal. In fact, we were brought to these plants by one of these natives when he took a break from 'mining' his own business. There is't enough gold to attract the likes of Freeport McMoran but there is probably enough for the locals to get by pretty comfortably.

Each of these glaringly red jug is 20cm or more in height, excluding the lid, and bunches of these dangling from the green rosettes rooted on stark vertical cliffs is quite surreal.

As our native guide brought us back to his village, we were introduced to a young smiling man with shoulder-length hair who claimed he would faint whenever he wears clothes. He thus goes around stark naked, even to the grocer and bank in town and the local police, who was accustomed to his antics, would not even blink an eye.

Well, enough jugs and skin for the day, I was totally bushed and could barely opened my eyes during dinner....

FYI - this one made it to UBC Botany Photo of the day - check out the interesting pictures there !

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reflections from Vietnam

A slow boat to nowhere I chanced to partake
Morn air was so chilled, in fact, my ears ached
Thought I was sober, if so, was hardly awake
A thin line dissected the real from the fake.

Li Bai I ain't
but can't stop tryin'

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