Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sansevieria trifasciata- Mother-in-law's Tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly known as Mother-in-law's Tongue or simply MIL is a popular houseplant. Its thick succulent leaves can withstand prolong period of drought.

MIL leaf blades against a background of Philodendron Imbe

Whether planted in the ground or in a container, MIL thrives happily. Sometimes they revert to a form where the yellow edge is not present as seen in the single clump in front.

A Pygmy Grass Blue (Zizula hylax pygmaea), with shreded wings perched on the tip of a blade. 

 Sometimes the leaf blades lose its yellow margins as in this particular one.

A pair of sparrows attempted to get in between the succulent leaves for reasons still unknown to me. Are they getting into a tryst or attempting to build a nest?

Crossing borders from sharp leaf blade to leaf blade was not an issue at all.

This is the dwarf version with the leaf blades arranged in a rosette. I cheekily gave it the moniker, 'Daughter-in-law's tongue'.

This is the plain Jane, "Daughter-in-law's tongue' with no yellow stripes.

These Daughter-in-law's tongue are used as landscape plants with an ixora hedge at the back.

It is my favourite indoor plant as it can stand neglect. This is placed on the first floor landing where it can get sunlight streaming in from the staircase window.

This pot of MIL's Tongue has being at the same spot on the staircase landing for around 3 years and badly needs to be repotted and spruced up.

Tasha likes to scamper up the staircase ahead of me and turn back to watch my slower ascent. I have to find a way to indicate to her that there's no competition, as I do not wish to fracture any bones in my body.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bougainvillea 'Raspberry Ice' and Yellow Vented Bulbuls

Bougainvillea 'Raspberry Ice' is one of the most beautiful bougy around. Its beauty lies in the beautiful contrast of the vermillion bracts against the yellow-green variegated leaves.

Flowers are generally terminal.

The yellow-green variegated foliage of Bougainvillea 'raspberry ice' provides a great foil for its bright red bracts.

A Yellow Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) perched on a thorny branch. The vicious thorns do not seem to bother it.


It is an alert bird and though supposedly at rest, it cocked its head this way and that to survey its surroundings.


They are are frequently seen in pairs though not exactly lovey dovey like love the  birds. They give each other space.

A cluster of colourful bracts with vegetation on the hill slopes in the background.

Some wandering branches of this blue pea flower (Ternatea Clitorea) twined on a woody bougy stem and in its midst put forth a flower with much flourish.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hip Coiffure of Yellow-vented Bulbuls

I love the short spiky feathers on the crown of Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier). They are the originals. Youths nowadays seem to have taken a leaf from this particular avian hairstyle. To adopt a similiar spiky look, they have to resort to gel and other hair-raising products.

The spikes are brown and run from the front to the back of the head. Here it was nicely positioned just in front of ...

a red Hibiscus rosa sinensis.

The vine in front is Passiflora miniata (Scarlet Passion flower).

The vine is adventurous and has crept up everywhere, here, trying to make a and appearance into my porch.

I do wonder whether it has to do the daily routine of spiking up its tuft of short feathers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happenings on the Lawn

 My lawn has many stories to tell.

A Teeny Weeny Baby Toad

Normally toads are not favourites in the looks department. They look slimy and covered with warts. The way it moves around does not help its image too. It has an ungainly gait consisting of a series of jumps and squats. Nature works in unexpected ways and does not apportion 'looks' in equal quantities to all creatures. Again, this is very subjective as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It was a tiny little thing on the lawn looking like a scrap of dried leaf. 
I stooped to scoop it up only to realise that it was only a babe. Though a babe, warts were already apparent. Its back was liberally studded with them.

However, when I closely eyeballed this little toady babe, I forgot all about its warts and all. If eyes could melt hearts, this pair would win hands down.  Round eyes follow me or my camera as I move into different positions to get at the best angle.  

It stayed very still as I went clicking away. A stalk of grass flower just by the left eye complete the perfect pose. 

It looked a little scared and forlorn, left all alone to fend for itself. My maternal instinct almost made me want to scoop it up and mother it. When I came back after pausing to adjust the camera settings, it was nowhere to be seen.

The Pernicious Weeds
These pernicious weeds thrive freely in my garden. Many, many hours were spent rooting them out. I have to admit that we are the losers in this tussle for territorial turf.

Some of the weeds bear tiny delicate flowers that are beautiful but still not welcome to my lawn.
ID provided by James Missier: Lindernia crustacea (Malaysian False Pimpernel)

 Conyza canadensis (Canadian horseweed)


The flower heads of the Mimosa pudica (Touch-me-not, sleepyheads) are lovely with the lavender filaments looking like Medussa of Greek mythology. 

Tridax procumbens (coat buttons, tridax daisy). I brand this as our local Dandelions. With such effective dispersal of seeds, I'm afraid we are losing the battle for the lawn.

The Solitary Mushroom or Toadstool

Pristine toadstools made a sudden appearance almost right after a heavy shower.

Butterflies alight on grass too and play a role in pollination and seed dispersal.

Birds are frequent visitors to the lawn particularly when the grass is freshly mowed. They gather grass seeds, worms and tiny morsels of food. 


Zebra dove

Snails crawled out at night and  have a field day scavenging colourful food to munch on.

Tasha is always the princess of the lawn. She scampers and fly down the lawn leaving paw marks and uprooting tufts of grass. I generally frown on her flights of light headedness but she gave nary a care.


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