The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 74,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.
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Living on the Island Garden City of Samal (otherwise known as IGaCoS), it behoves us to keep an attractive garden of our own. Previously, a fern I photographed at Davao’s Kadayawan festival gained some attention from an Australian gardening magazine. A new (and exciting) growth in our kitchen garden prompts me to illustrate some of the plants we surround ourselves with.
Elephant Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)
I had a complaint the other day about a terrible smell outside the kitchen. I went off to investigate and discovered an amazing flower about the circumference of a dinner plate stinking like a rotting corpse and covered in flies.
We were given the ‘jungle’ plant by a relative, it was just a strange prehistoric looking plant with a scaly stem which grew to about 5′ tall. The flower was a bit of a surprise.
While I had the camera in my hand, I also took a photo of another curious flower living outside the kitchen.
Blood flower, Fireball Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus)
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the garden…
Crepe Ginger/Spiral Ginger (Costas speciosus)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Cabbage tree (Cordyline)
Jungle geranium (Ixora coccinea)
Dwarf palm (Chamaedorea)
Another natural high on Samal is Puting Batu, the highest mountain on the island. Neglected for too long by the SBK team, we finally decided in the best tradition of European explorers to assault the north face by an aging Honda XRM / Kymco Super8 combination.
First stop to admire the view back across the Penaplata Bay towards Punta del Sol and Davao City
The riders and their mounts…including a scooter with off-road tyres!
End of the road for the two-wheeled assault! First I had to shed my pillion passenger, then the smell of burning rubber from the drive belt warned me that 40degrees was probably too steep for a city vehicle
So we parked the ‘bikes at the home of a friendly farmer and…
…in the best tradition of stiff-upper-lipped explorers…
…continued our way on foot
Some yard-long-leaves growing alongside the track
Nearing the peak, the view NE towards Davao Oriental province
Puting Batu peak this way
After enduring endless minutes hacking our way through the tortuous jungle path we had our first sign of having reached the top…
Literally a sign
Emerging from the jungle onto the peak we found we were in Hobbitland. So the Filipino bearers immediately celebrated with a meal and drinks.
Panoramic view south from the peak park
A good place for a castle
A lost valley doubtless inhabited by dinosaurs and Kong-sized apes
The expedition’s feeling of triumph vanished when we found the calling card of Captain Walter Snetterton