Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Philodendron Xanadu with Birds, Dragonfly and Caterpillar

Philodendron Xanadu makes attractive house plants. To me they are the smaller cousins of Philodendron bipinnatifidum.

Due to constraints in space, these two P. xanadu have to be planted in the same container

These two plants and many other plantlets sprouted from the stem of the mother plant when I decapitated it for looking too leggy.

Philodendron Xanadu and portulaca grandiflora happily cohabit the same container.

A fledgling took a brief respite from the fierce sun to perch below the over- arching fronds.

A sparrow perched on the rim of the container of P. xanadu pondering its next move.

A Dawn dropwing dragonfly brought a drop of colour to this verdant scene.

A tiny, hairy caterpillar walked purposely ...

down a blade of leaf.

This Madagascar Periwinkle is a favourite with caterpillars. Overnight the leaves can be decimated by them in their feeding frenzy.

and ended up with some tiny dried leaves on the Philodendron leaf.

The attractive and glossy burgundy bract partially covered the white spadix.

This burgeoning spadix is about to pop out of the protective bract. These bright appendages can be seen on the plant for many weeks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Bulbul's Prized Catch of the Day

I spotted this Yellow Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) rustling admist the branches of the Hibiscus shrub with something in its beak. I quickly zoomed in and snapped a couple of shots. It was only when I zoomed in the camera for a preview that I realized that it was a young gecko or house lizard.

Hibiscus rosa sinensis 'Madeline Champion'
A young pale gecko was triumphantly displayed as its prized catch of the day.

It then flew with its bounty towards a Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus) that was attached to a Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda). The other epiphytic plant is an lavender-white dendrobium orchid.

I can't see exactly what was happening up on the the palm tree but I can imagine as much. The hungry Bulbul fledlgings must have torn the poor gecko limb to limb for a hearty breakfast.

Red Bougainvillea with The Lipstick Palm as a backdrop.
It later flew off to perch on a nearby Bougainvillea branch to quietly survey for more prey before ...

landing on another Bougainvillea branch with variegated leaves. There is something in its beak too. 

These are the double-petalled Quisqualis indica (Rangoon creeper) flowers.

Another Bulbul was spotted on the perimeter wall of the garden eyeing ...
the blue conifer, Juniperus chinensis with the magenta bougainvillea in front of it

In the evenng, I saw a Bulbul perched on a metal stake overlooking a neighbour's house.

Ane yet another one on a palm tree that is bathed in the warm glow of the
evening sun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Romps on Yellow-Peach-Orange Hibiscus

Planting Hibiscus shrubs is a good bet if you want to welcome fauna into your garden. The shrub itself would be a vibrant microcosm of fauna activities.

These hybrids are showy but are ...
 more prone to mealy bugs infestations.

Six-legged critters love hibiscus flowers to distraction; they are crawling all over the buds in great anticipation.

This stink bug is about to try out some acrobatics ... to reach its object of desire.

A beautiful floral escapade for this bug.

A favourite activity of Carpenter bees is bud-hugging while soaking in the sunshine.  One of their favourite perches are Hibiscus flower buds.

They can indulge in this the whole day with only very few short breaks of nectar sipping on flowers such as the Thunbergia Grandiflora. I've not seen them partaking of the nectar from the Hibiscus.

 A double-petaled variety.

Some unidentified crawling insects milling around.

Another solitary critter peeking out at the world, prefering to be far from the madding crowd.

“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eyes level
 with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Single petal variety; Hibiscus rosa sinensis 'Madeline Champion'

A sunbird swinging on the flower stalk of the hibiscus.

Alas, the blooms last only a day but  a new crop will make an appearance on the shrub the next day giving the illusion long lasting blooms 


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