Monday, August 27

farewell maggie

(2002 - 2012)

you will always be the baby.
i won't be able to take care of you anymore, 
but i know you are well now with emily, sabine & pearl,
waiting for me over the rainbow bridge.

it's the end of an era.

Sunday, August 12

rainy day reads

it looks like my life is back to normal starting tomorrow, and the weather situation is looking up.  hopefully we have several sunny days before the rainy season kicks in again.

having left my work in the office (wink, wink), i had almost a whole week catching up on extra-curricular activities usually reserved for semestral breaks. well, at least activities that could be done indoors while on house flood-watch.

as the neighborhood creek swelled and overflowed over and again with the hard rain, the doggies were stuck indoors with albert, warm and safe and ... asleep!  it was tempting to follow their suite, but the rain made me too nervous to rest and i had to keep busy and awake.
what do fur-kids do on a rainy day? clockwise: maggie: sleep, bertie: eat, dooku: sleep

with the usual outdoor stuff out of the question i was stuck with virtual butterfly-watching and vicarious birding.

rainy day reads: kenn kaufman's kingbird highway and khew sin khoon & horace tan's singapore butte- and cat field guides
adri had gotten me 2 books from his recent trip to singapore: a butterfly photographic field guide and a caterpillar photographic field guide.  so as rain poured outside my window, i was transported to sunny gardens with butterflies fluttering about.  the philippines' shares many species with south-east asian neighbor singapore, and although there are many local and endemic species unique to our country, we don't have a handy field guide available (unless i count butterfly enthusiasts lydia & co.- but they won't fit in my bag and i can't bring them on bird- and butte- watching trips all the time!), so in the meantime hong kong and singapore field guides have to do. 

i am addicted to the singapore butterfly enthusiasts websites, the butterfly circle and the very organized online photographic gallery.  i have been trying to get a copy of the butterfly field guide for the longest time since its launch 2 years ago. many have failed (sorry george & ben for having you walk all over singapore in vain) but it was finally adri who got them for me: super duper thanks adri!

from time to time i would leaf through kenn kaufman's kingbird highway, a chronicle of his personal"big year" in the 1970s.  the bird club launched the first local big year competition last july, but i didn't join.  i have different objectives for my current birding year, and a competition to see the most birds in 365 days is not one of them!

now i'm starting the work week normally and looking forward to sunnier weekends so i can move on from virtual and vicarious activities indoors to actual and personal adventures outside!

Saturday, August 11

sunshine at last

the news kept on saying that it was not a typhoon or even a tropical storm, "just" a nameless annual habagat, the southwest monsoon rains exacerbated by some storm approaching china.  with the horrors of ondoy, we moved our cars up the street, rolled up our carpets and prayed for the best while bracing for the worst.  while the backyard turned into a lagoon tuesday and wednesday, our house was spared.  unfortunately, most of metro manila, central luzon and nearby provinces of rizal and laguna in the south were not, and the floods came again.

our backyard turns into a lagoon!

on thursday, the rains finally let up, and on friday there was more sunshine than there had been the past 2 weeks combined!

the skinks i had been recently associating with sunshine finally showed up, sunbathing on the front walk as expected.  they seemed to have survived the floods intact ( i actually saw one climbing up our concrete fence as the floods rose wednesday afternoon... i had never seen one climb a wall before!)... i counted three of them sunning: 2 giants and a slightly smaller one.

witht he sun, the garden suddenly came alive... butterflies fluttered around, and birdsong sounded from the trees: bulbuls, white-eyes, tree-sparrows and our backyard  pied fantail must have missed the sun even more than myself.

and at the backyard... a pair of olive-backed sunbirds! what better bird than that to welcome the sun?