Taking Time to Observe: part 2 Plants

For most of my life, I’ve lived In temperate climates. As an adult, I’ve spent some brief times in alpine, Arctic, and desert regions. Only recently have I spent any significant amount of time in a tropical climate. I’ve lived in the Philippines now for about three years. Last month, I wrote about some of the small creatures I see hereabouts. But what is most striking, and reminds me daily of my tropical surroundings, are the plants. The countryside is filled with lush, fast growing foliage. The exotic ambiance is even evident in the wind. I sometimes think I hear rain, only to look up to see the wind moving the fronds of the coconut trees. When the wind moves the wide leaves of the banana trees I still look up, half expecting to see a sailing ship in the air.

Banana trees on a misty tropical morning.

Vegetables and fruits are available anytime of the year. Some, I’d only seen on grocery shelves, but never fresh from the tree or plant.

Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit flowers
Papaya flowers on the male tree
Pineapple fruit developing.
before I came to the Philippines, I thought the fruit developed as a root.
Newly arrived and hoping for a fresh pina colada

Even many of the trees and flowers here are strange and interesting to me.

A tree called balete by the local folks here.
A white leafed tree that seems rather common in the nearby forests.
Wild figs
Spider lily

And to finish up with more wild and exotic plants.

A bridal veil fungus.

And the one most curious to me, the amorphophallus.

The amorphophallus makes its first appearance looking like an alien species from space.
It then develops a stalk.
The matured plant has an edible tuber like root. It is cultivated as food in some places, or used as an emergency famine food in others. Locally, it is sometimes used as food for pigs.

we westerners living in Asia are fond of reminding each other that “we’re not in Kansas anymore “. I can simply look around me to know that is true.

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