Sunday, February 14, 2016

Wild pigeon in relative safety and comfort

Large leaves of the Ong Lumok (Artocarpus odoratissimus) and purple curtains  of Congea velutina.

A lovely pair of the Little Green Pigeon
 The Little Green Pigeon is beginning to adapt itself to the greenery at the garden. On many occasions during this January and February I saw a pair of these lovely birds finding comfort in the shade of the tall Ong Lumok tree (Artocarpus odoratissmus).  There among the large leaves of the Ong Lumok and vines of the Congea velutina the birds hide and rest in relative safety.  They are seen in the early morning and late afternoon.  How I wish they start building a nest which is a good test that these wild pigeon birds if given proper habitat can also survive in town gardens.
Little Green Pigeon (center of picture) finding comfort in the shade of the Ong Lumok tree

Monday, February 8, 2016

A new butterfly drops by the garden

Common Mormon ( Papilio polytes romulus) settling on the Cats Tails leaves

 It was a very pleasant surprise this afternoon when I stumbled upon the Common Mormon.  It was seen flying about the garden in slow flight movements, which is typical of the species.  It hovered at the Yellow Ixora and moved about places to the heliconia leaves and many other plants in the garden.  When it decided to settle at the Cats Tails leaves for a brief rest a meter from where I stood, it spread out its wings to allow me a good photoshoot session.  The Common Mormon is a medium-sized 'swallow tail' with black wings.  Its hind wings have beautiful red marks  and a unique 'tail'.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Kambatik garden pyramid

Varying foliage and colours in the Kambatik garden.  With flowers we sense the changing times and seasons.

Contrasting broad and large leaves
I like to look at  a garden like viewing a pyramid.  At the bottom level is the architecture, another row up is the environmental sustainability and the very top of the pyramid is pleasure.  We start first by thinking from the basic building block of space planning, choice of texture, shapes and colours for these constitute the the architectural aspects of the garden.  Combining the contrasting leaves forms and textures help obtain a distinctive exotic and tropical image.  For instance, large or broad leaves can be combined with structural plants like palms.  The flowers and foliage can recreate the feelings or mood of change of seasons. Most importantly plant trees, trees and trees because trees are the urban lungs. Columns of biomass around our house provide better micro-climatic comfort and oxygen.  Without trees we have no future. Simple as that.   Next in the environmental sustainability come the important denizens of the garden, principally the wildlife from the lowly earthworms to those high above the trees mainly the birds, butterflies and bees.  These group of garden creatures are our "voiceless" neighbours with which we should care and collaborate with.  They need us to give the freedom to build their nests, provide food (edible landscaping) and branches to preen and play.  In the process the garden becomes a nature sanctuary for food, foliage and fun for the wildlife.  Finally, at the top of the pyramid view is the pleasure we get from both active and passive recreation.  In active mode we sweat in bodily welfare from excercise and working out in the garden.  Most important is the inspiration that the garden can give us.  In reflective mood we begin to find the feeling and sense of beauty of the place and nature in particular.  That is it! The garden is a step into paradise. Therefore, create your own Kambatik garden.  It is never too late to create paradise on earth especially if you believe that ours is a blue and green planet.
Colour the garden. 
A denizen of the garden  - a place for food, fun and foliage cover.

Two birds in the garden

Long-tailed Shrike clinging on the terminal frond of the Carpentaria palm tree
Front garden
CU of Long-tailed Shrike
 My visit to Kuching will not be significant if I don't see the Long-tailed Shrike in the garden here.  I saw it clinging to the very tip of the terminal frond of the Carpentaria palm at the front garden just the other day.  So its presence in the garden is a confirmation that this species is indeed a Kuching bird.  I say this because I have not seen this bird in Bintulu, though I'm every ready for a surprise.  At the back garden it seemed customary for the Oriental Magpie-robin to wake me up early every morning.  Thus we are always served with  melodious musical notes from  morning to late afternoon.  I look forward to more sightings of other Kuching birds in the garden this visit.
A great songster - Oriental Magpie-robin