After a very hot and dry April, we had May showers and flowers!
This is the first year our Philippine Teak produced flowers. We received 3 wildings from Dr. Ed Gomez in August 2016. They came from the Philippine Teak tree that he planted in the back of the Marine Science Institute in UP Diliman. We kept them in the nursery for 1 year before planting them near the cottage. Two survived, one died unexpectedly. This year, one of the two surviving trees flowered for the first time!
Our Narra trees also flowered for the first time this year! Tonji is very excited about the Narra flowers. He is already imagining a corridor of yellow blooms and the grass carpeted in fallen yellow flowers.
It was such a treat to see the Philippine Teak and Narra flowers after a hot and difficult summer. In March, Barkley’s eye got injured while we were at the refuge. Something small, like a seed got embedded in his right eye. He had surgery on his eye.
In April our outdoor activities ground to a halt while we tended to Barkley’s eye. It was very hot and dry at the refuge. We just did day trips without the dogs to check up on the plants, trees, and construction projects.
Everything dries up in April. The ponds have no water, the grass is brown, even the big clump of bamboo in the distance turns yellow. It’s such a relief when it starts to rain again in May and everything turns green again!
Have you seen this frog? He’s wanted! If you see a small frog with a stumpy body and stripes down its side, it could be an Asiatic Painted Frog Kaloula pulchra. The Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research is documenting and mapping the spread of this alien and invasive species. You can help them by sending a photo with the location (Barangay, Municipality/City, province, island), date, and your name to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Scientists believe that the frog was accidentally introduced through agricultural and horticultural products. Unbeknownst to gardeners and plant collectors, deep within the soil of their potted plants are hibernating frogs that will wake up and start mooing like a cow once the rainy season starts!
Non-natives like the Kaloula pulchra compete with the native wildlife for food and habitat. They can also spread diseases to the native wildlife.