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Monday, February 15, 2010

Lebadea Martha Malayana (Knight)

Photo was taken on a hot sunny afternoon with a willing subject in an open forest.
I notice butterflies generally like to sun them selves when there is an opportunity.
This is not the first time I got a few shot of a Knight butterfly but this time the subjects was truly cooperative and the lighting condition was also excellent.

Another thing I observe is that there is always an abundance of a certain species at a certain time, meaning if you see a certain type of butterfly, chances are you will see quite a few of them flying around in the same location. I am not able to explain this observation but that is what I notice.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Talipot palm tree (Corypha Umbracalifera)

A tall tree planted to provide shade and decoration years ago just next to a busy street, this particular Talipot palm has finally reached the end point of its life cycle and will bloom majestically for the first and last time.
A plant flowering every 30 to 80 years is not exactly a common occurrence, more so if the plant dies after blooming, it literally is a once in a lifetime event for the plant, the grandeur of such an event warrants at least a closer look.
Talipot Palms are of Hawaiian origin, some write it is from India and Sri Lanka but now widely distributed across the tropics, ideally suited to the hot and wet climate it grows exceptionally well here. It is also what is called a monocarpic palm, bearing fruit only once during its lifespan. It grows slowly and can reach quite a height over time, the specimen shown stands at over 50 feet.
During blooming, three stages can be observed, namely juvenile, flower initiation and vertical rachis (formation of the inflorescence or the spikes we see on the top during blooming). The final outcome would of course be for propagation where the tree starts yielding seeds.
With the flowering stage lasting about 3 months and seed formation taking another year, it would be fair to say that once a Talipot palm blooms it will shriveled and die within 2 years.
Other known uses of its leaves are for making hats, fans and umbrellas including cutting it into strips to be used as writing paper, but I doubt very much it is put into such use anymore today. The sap can apparently be also tapped to make palm wine.