Friday, March 25

object of aggression

"on the wall, flameback," adri communicated to me in a low voice.  he was standing maybe 10 meters away from me, having come down the stair while i stood on the sloping asphalt driveway.

we were at the parking lot of the (former) legenda suites at cubi-triboa district in subic, having left drew, kitty and ivan at the street corner looking at blue-naped parrots on the agoho trees. 

 i looked at the tree beside the hotel wall, and saw a male woodpecker creeping up and down the tree trunk going about the usual woodpecker routine.

"yup, male!" i answered adri.
"SA WALL!(ON THE WALL!)" he said again.
"oo nga! male! (yes! male!)"  i wondered what the insistence was about.
"tignan mo SA wall! (look ON the wall!)"
and then i saw it...
the female flameback was actually perched on the vertical concrete wall of the hotel!
"ahhhh... oo nga no!"

talk about un-natural perches.  not only that... the female seemed quite agitated.  she seemed greatly threatened by another female flameback mirroring, literally, her every move.

she would swoop, fly in, attack, peck. a huge display of aggression... at herself! i could feel her hostility with her every charge and dip.  it was of course, just her reflection on the large glass windows of the building she was threatening/threatened by.  it was pretty comical to watch, this display of non self-awareness. by this time, kitty, drew and ivan had joined us in our observation.

it was also interesting to note that while this was going on, the male calmly  went about his business pecking away at the tree trunk, up and down, peck peck peck. initially i would think that the male of the species would be the sole aggressor.   but then again...
... apparently not.

after all, we each have our own antagonists... (and maybe like the woodpecker, once in a while we don't realise that our greatest antagonist is our self!)

(thanks to adri for the great pictures!)

Friday, March 18

breathing space

it's that time of the schoolyear when i suddenly realise how much paperwork i've put off and think of things i should have done better. i've been spending the last couple of weeks catching up, feeling tired, stressed and overwhelmed. last week's tragedy in japan and the horrific images from recent news reminded me not to forget the little things i enjoy in life, be grateful and not to take these things for granted.

to walk in silence in the company of friends, sunshine on my skin, wind on my face and feel the freedom of the outdoors.

how wonderful then to have friends who enjoy the same things and who are willing to drop everything and pursue a passion... even if it's in the middle of a work week.

Wednesday, March 16

on today's menu...

... we caught backyard brown shrike with this juicy tidbit. 

at first we though it was another unfortunate frog (remember this meal from last year?), but looking at the photo now, it looks like a little lizard that lost its tail (and it's head!).  yumyum.
i'm worried that the backyard shrike still seems to be on the slim side.  the days are getting longer and warmer.    i hope he gets fattened up in time for the long journey back home.

Saturday, March 5


early this year, our rambutan trees were crawling (literally) with these hairy caterpillars.  just the sight of them made MY skin crawl too.  i never found out what they metamorphosed into.

Thursday, March 3

park in the city: la mesa ecopark

i loved the iron fences at the la mesa ecopark in fairview, quezon city: curlicues, dragonflies and butterflies.  adri, nina, issa and i dropped in to kill a couple of hours last friday and enjoyed the clean air and fresh breeze and sunshine.  i'm glad we went in the morning before the lunch crowd came in.

northern quezon city has its share of parks that i wish the whole of metro manila had:  the la mesa ecopark, the quezon memorial park and the ninoy aquino parks and wildlife. not to mention sprawling university grounds of the UP and the ateneo and miriam college.  plus several memorial parks.  green spaces, good lungs for the city.

(do you know who these are or what legend this relates to?  a man and a woman riding the back of a giant turtle)

more pictures at: