Wednesday, May 29, 2013

wordless wednesday

  1. There aren’t many rules for this blog – mostly the usual ones: Every Wednesday, post a photo that speaks for itself (and you are the one to make that judgment!).
  2. Post only photos that you have authority to use.
  3. Include a link to this blog in your post -
  4. Leave the link to your Wordless Wednesday post below on Mr. Linky.
  5. Visit other blogs that are posted, being sure to leave a comment.
  6. Enjoy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

My black flower: Typhonium-divaricatum

Typhonium flagelliforme is a species of flowering plant in the family Araceae.[2]
 This photo, I cropped it to show just the flower. The spathe is the big petal-like part that people consider the "flower". It looks like a tongue.  The spadix is the thin spike part sticking out of it. It looks like a Dragon Arum, but the leaves are different. Can some one ID it?
About 20 years ago, I found the original plant in the jungles near to NTU. The Singapore government left the jungle for the soldiers to practise their warfare. Only a crazy person like me would ignore signs with 2 rifles on them.

I nurtured it, one day, many many years later, I saw the black flower. Not black black but burgundy black. The colour of dark liver. I was very excited. Many people come to my plants and they wowed at my "black tulip." I had a gardening column on NTU staff's Nanyang connect website, so the plant is seen all round the world as the professors are international.

So I grew many pots to present it friends. Strange as it may seem, my friends could not make their plants flower. It was as if some one says some people put a voodoo so that only they could have the special plant.

The bloom lasts only 1 day and is best only in the early morning. It doesn't bloom much. May be once every 2 years. If you don't catch it blooming in the morning, you have to wait for another year or 2. This applies only if you have a green thumb like me. 

This reminds me of the search for the black tulip. Only this slipper like flower is so rare. You see, I snuck into the jungle and stole the mother plant and brought the jungle back with me. I had been quite successful in propagating the plant in pots. 

An Australian friend thinks that a similar plant in Australia is called the black slipper. The way the bloom disappears reminds me of Cinderella having to rush back before the carriage turned back into the pumpkin. Perhaps the Aussie person was a great fan of children's stories and named it Cinderella, one of my all time favourites when I was young.

One Christmas, I received an email with a power point of presentation of flowers. This flower made their last page. My friend said it's your plant. They cropped it without the pot.

It makes me wonder if that photo came from my original plant photo. If they did, I wish, they would at least credit me. My lawyer daughter says, you didn't copyright it, you didn't water mark it. It's your own fault. At least, you feel privilege that some one borrowed your flower.

I am so excited, 2 of my FB friends have told me that they have it in Sarawak, and Luke tells me he has it in his garden, and 

  • Xiao Feng Huang Ann Chin this plant is highly 

    toxic,used externally forboils and 

    snake bites.In chinese is 土半

    夏.Latin name is typhonium divar


Typhonium is a genus in the Araceae family endemic to 

tropical Asia, the South Pacific, andAustralia. It consists of 

approximately 50 species that are typically found growing in 

wooded areas.

Iban Hospitality 2

John Benet leading in the welcome.

Happy children welcoming us.
As we enter, we are given a button hole, and a shot of the infamous Iban Duak, Some call it fire water. I declined because I was already feeling tipsy from the heat and jet lag. I didn't want to fall into the water on my return trip.
The communal living area. The private areas are to the left, where they ahve the bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.
The Longhouse is decorated beautifully.
My music teachers.

Traditionally, the Ibans were head hunters. Though this custom was stopped long ago, many long houses still keep the remains of the skull of their conquest of their enemies long time ago.
The banana tree depicts bountiful. At the end of the ceremony, they chopped the tree down signifying harvesting.

The headman, elders, and VIP guest perform the miring ceremony. Here, my student Ling Kie King represents us. A rooster is sacrificed.
The Ngajat dance, I don't think you need to be taught the steps, as my Kai Sister Magdeline says, the agung gong is memorising, and others suspect that it is the the fire water the duak that threw any inhibition our of the window. As for me, this was the first and probably the only chance I get to do this dance. I wanted my New Zealand students to share in the fun. The dance is very elegant as you can see our dance leader Awa. I just twirled my fingers. Wearing my Nyonya Kebaya set the mood.
You can see from the face of Da Mei and Ling Kie King that we had a great time.

Our own Real McCoy, Awa our Iban beauty.

Siblings Benson and Mag ah Lee, full of fun. That is why I love them.

John Benet and his family put on a show fit for kings and queens.
Happy Gawai Sarawak. 
For part one of this amazing journey.

Iban Hospitality: Food

We were welcomed by Awa and her friend.
Organiser John Benet welcomes us to the Longhouse.

 Using bamboo to cook rice in.

 jungle produce on the  menu.

Beautiful Awa,  and her mum.

Gawai falls on the 1st of June. This blog epitomizes Iban hospitality. I was guest to visit this Long house in Bintangnor. That day, guests had come all over the world to the reunion of Kai Chung School

Have a banana, HannahTry the salami, TommyGive with the gravy, DavyEverybody eats when they come to my house
Have a tomato, PlatoHere's cacciatore, DorieHave some baloney, TonyEverybody eats when they come to my house
I'll fix your favorite dishesHopin' this good food will fills yaStand in kitchen alone, work my fingers to the boneYou better eat if it kills ya
Pass me a pancake, MandrakeHave an hors-d'oeuvre-y, IrvyLook in the fendel, MendelEverybody eats when they come to my house
Mendel, Irvy, Mandrake, Tony, Dora, JohnyEverybody eats when they come to my house

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Skywatch Friday: Double rainbow

Things been good for us, on the last week on the Gold Coast, whilst walking along the Surfers Paradise beach, we saw a double rainbow.

We stayed at The Penthouse and it was by the beach.

Callistemon salignus, White Bottlebrush

Native to Australia, this evergreen tree grows best in places where full sun and no frost are the norm. It is drought resistant and can reach heights of 16–40 feet. Leaves of the white bottlebrush are narrow, simple, and alternately arranged with smooth leaf margins. The bark is white and has a peeling, papery texture. 

I took this photo at the Commonweath Court in Brisbane before I set on my venture, exploring Brisbane by myself. It was going to be my landmark. Very good in my head, after 2 - 3 hours walk across the Kurilpa Bridge  and back again over another bridge. I walked too far and lost my way. I had to ask a news agent, a landsome lawyer and a police man and two security guards at a family court, before my brother found me.

In deed, a country bumpkin visits the city.