Image Hosted by Image Hosted by

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love autumn. Even here in the subtropics, the light turns a more golden shade, some trees even lose their leaves, and everything alive has had the entire summer to fatten up. The plants seem greener, which makes for even more verdant landscapes, and the insects and reptiles are nice and chunky.

Here are some impressions from the last two days, much of which I spent walking in the hills behind the house.

Roadside shrine

Shell ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

Phat Phungus

Treefern, Cyathea lepifera. Very common in these woods, and my favorite tree (although it's not a tree)

Medieval-looking tomato, Solanum aculeatissimum

No two ways about it - with a six-inch span from toe to toe, this golden orb spider (Nephila pilipe) is the baddest ass in the valley. I'm always fascinated with the shining black armor encasing the legs. If you look closely, you can
see her snacking on a freshly caught bluebottle.

Another knight in shining armor: Neolucanus swinhoei

Endemic Taiwanese Damselfly, Euphaua formosa. Love the racing stripes!

Papilio memnon heronus, one of the many papilio species around here

Symbrenthia lilaea formosanus, another endemic butterfly

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Borneo Trip

Just got back from my conference/field trip adventure in Kuching (Sarawak, East Malaysia, Borneo). If you like steamy jungles, colonial fortresses and shaved ice-cream with coconut milk, check out my photo reports neatly divided by topic, so you can skip the parts you don't want to see!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"Tigers are classified as liquids"

...says Hobbes, Calvin's tiger, in one of their strips. Guess this also applies for house cats.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Alien Crushed by Falling Anvil! Film at 11!

OK, I could have picked a more romantic header. But doesn't it just look like it? This is what's left from the gorgeous cherry splendor (see further below). The tree is void of blossoms now, they're all on the ground in my parking spot. I swear, this is how I found it.
Amazing what a little wind and time can do. I stood there with my two sons (5 and 8) for a long time, swapping impressions ("It's a troll face!" "No, it's a map!" "No, it's a mutant lobster!"...)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dirty Car Art

Maybe I should let this guy have a shot at my jalopy. Washing your car is overrated, anyway.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cherry (Flower) Float

If you just wait long enough, things will beautify themselves.
(Comments about my grimy car will be deleted)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Clear Skies, Bad Air

The weather just doesn't quit. I took these pix yesterday on the drive back up to our house. The air was so dry the only particles whatsoever were the smog enshrouding Taipei City...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Heralds of Spring

Chinese New Year is almost upon us, and harbingers of spring abound. Apart from the unusually warm weather (28°C/82°F) and our sons' particularly rowdy behavior, there's the cherry trees.

This one grows just across the road from our house.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


As if one's not enough...

New arrival: N. glabrata

The unusually warm winter of 06/07, with its sometimes very warm days and cool nights, has lured me into impulse-obtaining a whole slew of highland Nepenthes. They're doing very well now....let's hope I won't regret it once April officially rings in the summer.

Anyway, I finally managed to find a n. glabrata. Boy, she sure is dinky!