Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Caught Flitting and Flirting

For those who love butterflies as much as I do, here's the second part of my double-features on butterfly profiles. The two species I've picked  this week are the Spotted Black Crow and the Asian Swallowtail.

The Spotted Black Crow
Euploea crameri

It has a somewhat dull colouring, and because of that, it is unattractive to predators. Even birds are said to dislike the taste of this dull butterfly. Smart butterfly, is what I say!
The upperside of the wings is very dark, more blackish than brownish. That accounts for it being named the Spotted Black (not brown) Crow. And where is it spotted? On the head, thorax and abdomen. A lovely white polka-dotted design. You can see this clearly in the photograph below.

For Leo at Haiku Heights:

I'll write you my thoughts
of how you charm my senses
iridescent love

The Asian Swallowtail
Papilio low ii

The Great Mormon
Papilio memnon

These are two indistinguishable species which are identical, and there are no consistent rules to tell them apart. As such, the shiny black butterfly above can be said to be either the Asian Swallowtail, or the Great Mormon! The fact is, both categories are swallowtails which are large, colourful butterflies from the family Papilonidae. The plain black one is the male of the species and the colourful ones in the three photographs below are the females.

I love the photograph below where I caught the Spotted Black Crow and the Asian Swallowtail on the same bunch of flowers at the same time. They both seem to like the hydrangea.

A waka for Poetic Forms 

you whimsical one
you flit and flirt amongst blooms
alight on my heart
repose in my constancy
indulge your fancy
in springs of my devotion
my love is for you
this pledge I solemnly etch
on tablet of  green jade stone 

Linking to:

Wall Unit | Modern Wall

Wall Unit | Modern Wall
Wall Unit | Modern Wall

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Modern Wall Units From

Modern Wall Units From
Modern Wall Units From

Tuscan Paint Colors

2nd in a series on Tuscan Decorating 
Tuscan paint colors represent the natural beauty of an Italian countryside. Learn how to create the Tuscan color palette that will compliment your home.
If you have made the decision to create your own personal Tuscan style home and decor, you've already established a Tuscan color palette. The key is to decide how to use these colors:

  • Golden Yellows

  • Terra Cotta

  • Olive/Sage/Leafy Greens

  • Natural Brown/Ochre

  • Warm Orange

  • Vibrant Blues

  • And...a touch of White

Here is a tip to make things a little easier and something that I always suggest to my clients:
Find a piece of fabric, a magazine picture, photo, or a simple combination of something that will provide a visual example of the Tuscan paint colors you are going to use. (I know someone who carried a very small 'bouquet' of silk flowers in the shades of her selected color palette and it worked well for her!)

Or, visit your local paint store and look for the color samples that are offered in combinations, and hone in on the selections that emphasize nature, natural colors and the beautiful shades found in the photo on this page. You may find a sample palette that is quite close to the Tuscan color scheme.

Once you have your palette in hand (literally), you are ready to decide how to use these beautiful Tuscan colors in your home.

Alway keep in the forefront of your design and decor planning that Tuscan decorating is the utilization of natural elements...simple...not pretentious...colorful yet not overbearing.

The more natural light a space receives, the more intense color can be used on the walls, if desired. To keep the living room light, choose yellow or gold tones. For a vibrant energy, choose red or orange tones.
The natural shades of brown, ochre and even sage/leafy green can be a great choice as well. Think about the colors you really enjoy seeing, because the wall color will be quite prominent in the space.

If you are a person who likes things a little more neutral overall, use warm golds, light browns or consider an off white with undertones of tan or gold. Then, use the more vibrant colors in accents, possibly in an area rug, artwork, pottery or on an accent wall.

Remember that white is almost always found somewhere in Tuscan colors, along with natural browns and brownish reds.

Combine your Tuscan colors with natural, nubby fabrics, colorful accents and you can create an authentic Tuscan look in your home.
  Read more about Tuscan Paint Colors

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Not You, It's The Decal

It's not you, It's the Decal
It's not you, It's the Decal

Chasing Butterflies

I spent three hours yesterday...chasing butterflies. More like stalking, actually. And I am giddy with delight at the result...150 photographs for my new collection! It was a glorious achievement for me. I had never managed to capture a single image of a butterfly in my garden, and now I have so many, I do not know where to start. I'm sure you realise by now that I was at a butterfly sanctuary, and not in the natural habitat of butterflies, and that was how I could get so many shots of these lovely flutterbys.

According to the brochure I received at the Malacca Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary, there are 30 species there. I think I managed to photograph 18 or so different species. I am in the process of identifying the ones I photographed, and this might take quite a while.So, I shall feature only two varieties in my first post on butterflies.

I'll feature my favourites first.

This was the first butterfly I saw as I parted the screen to enter the enclosure. This specimen was a wonderful introduction to the host of butterflies I was to see. Impressive, to say the least, as its wingspan was about 5 inches! And no wonder, as this was royalty...the Raja Brooke's Birdwing, the most recognised butterfly in Malaysia, practically the national butterfly. International trade of this butterfly is prohibited, as it is a protected species.

Raja Brooke's Birdwing
Trogonoptera brookiana

Inside, there were more of this variety...they were the most visible, not only because of their superior size, but also because they loved to stay at one place for quite a long time before they moved on to attach themselves to another place.

This fella  seemed to be filling up on gas for the next flight out!

I didn't realise that butterflies need to drink, no wonder there was a small waterfall from which the water made puddles among the pebbles, so that the butterflies could stop by for a drink. I would think the nectar provided enough liquid nourishment! Ignorant me. I am learning quite a bit about butterflies with the reading up I'm doing for this post. That's part of the excitement for me...learning new things.

This one, I actually caught landing on the yellow ixora!

The Common Birdwing
Troides helena

This is another large butterfly. I love this particular Common birdwing in the image below, damaged wing and all. This Troides helena had graciously deigned to let me shoot it feeding on the yellow ixora. How's that for colour coordinated dining?

The Common birdwing is among the largest butterflies you will find in Asia. The ones in the photographs are about 6 inches from one wing tip to the other.

This is another lovely specimen, wings not damaged by the early morning rain.
[Photo submission for Photo Challenge - Bokeh]

I can't help but be inspired by these butterflies, to write a haiku for Leo's Haiku Heights:

incandescent green
flash of electric blue wings
breathe beauty into life 

Linking to:
Haiku Heights
Fertilizer Friday
Macro Friday
Weekend Flowers
Macro Flowers Saturday
Photo Challenge: Bokeh
Fabulous Friday
Mosaic Monday
Macro Monday
Mellow Yellow Monday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden of A Thousand Flowers

I have posted on my garden visits in many parts of the world, but have not had the time to post on the gardens in my hometown. This one which I am posting about has an ambitious name, "Taman Seribu Bunga", meaning Garden of A Thousand Flowers.

The last time I visited it, there were lots of orchids in bloom. This time...none. I was a little disappointed, but the other areas made up for that. 

Let's go in and count the flowers! 

Colourful carpet of annuals at the entrance to the public garden

This grove of Golden Chain trees greets us from the car park area.

Lophantera lactescens

Manicured garden with hardscapes including gazebos are found throughout the grounds.

A close-up of the Mussaenda philippica also known as Buddha's Lamp, Bangkok Rose (the bushes in the previous photo, to the left)

This walkway is lined with clumps of  bamboo  on the left.

This path has a row of  heliconia  backed by tall palms on the left.


Heliconia augusta

Drunken Sailor, or  Quisqualis indica, all  in a row.

Giant-leaved yam plants.

Musa ornata, a tall banana tree with  lavender flowers. The yellow stamen-looking off-shoots must be the beginnings of young combs of bananas. The ants want the first taste, I see.

Sweet pink Peacock Flowers

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Another mussaenda variety

Mussaenda luteola, dwarf yellow variety called White Wing. You can see why.

"Misai Kucing", meaning Cat's Whiskers

Orthosiphon aristatus

 My favourite part of the garden

Topiaried bougainvillea with a carpet of annuals beneath them.

If your count hasn't reached one thousand, my job has not ended. I shall have to  make another visit to this garden for more tropical delights. The bromeliads, ferns and palms are waiting for their turn to be featured in the next segment of Taman Seribu Bunga.

In the garden...
(my first tanka for submission  to Poetic Form at The Purple Tree House)

temptation beckons
passion reaches for a taste
tainted fruit so sweet
faded petals on the ground
soiled for all eternity

written by rosie gan

( also for Poetry Picnic Week #1)

Linking to: