Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Philippines

We had two December 25ths last year

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Unlike most people, Eve and I lived through two December 25ths last year. The first one began in our hotel across from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Philippines, where we boarded a flight for Taipei. The second December 25th began over the Pacific Ocean at the International Date Line during our flight from Taipei to San Francisco. That second December 25th ended in Austin after our third and final flight.

The cloud pictures I took through the plane’s window between the Philippines and Taiwan turned out to be the last photographs of any kind I took on our trip, and so this 22-episode Philippine travelogue comes to an end.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 25, 2020 at 5:49 AM

Sibonga sunsets

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As you heard a few posts back, on December 23rd last year I wanted to see what the sunset along Sibonga’s waterfront might look like. What put the idea in my head was that on December 15th we’d been at the town square not far from the shore and I’d taken a few sunset pictures on my iPhone, including this one:

Late in the afternoon on the 23rd we walked out to the tip of the pier that juts into the Cebu Strait. Here’s one of the first pictures I took of the developing sunset:

Twelve minutes later, the view east toward Bohol had turned a pleasant rosy blue:

And six minutes after that we saw a more orange view looking west, back toward the town:

Notice how shades of gray distinguish “layers” of hills.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Rust and paint patterns on the Sibonga pier

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Late in the afternoon on December 23, 2019, we walked out to the tip of the Sibonga pier that juts into the Cebu Strait in hopes that we might enjoy a good sunset. While waiting, I got intrigued by the rust and paint patterns on the structures that boats tie up to. Not knowing what those things are called, I searched online. A few sites call objects like these bollards. A few other sites refer to them as mooring dolphins. Perhaps there’s not one universally accepted term in English. Anyone who knows is welcome to tell us.

Here’s a closer and more abstract view of the first one:

Could patterns like these have inspired the Abstract Expressionist painters?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Rainy view across to Panglao Island

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On December 21st, 2019, from a window seat at the Lantaw Native Restaurant in Tagbilaran on the Philippine island of Bohol we looked across the water to Panglao Island. Rain softened the view.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2020 at 4:48 PM

Palm fingerprints

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Palms behind the historical church in Baclayon, Bohol, caught my attention on December 21st last year.

It occurred to me that the patterns on those trunks could act like fingerprints
to identify individual trees—assuming anyone would ever want to do that.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 11, 2020 at 4:28 PM

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Philippine tarsier

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One of the smallest primates in the world is the Philippine tarsier (Carlito syrichta, formerly Tarsius syrichta). When we visited the island of Bohol on December 21, 2019, we stopped at a reserve to see some tarsiers. Unfortunately the sky was heavily overcast, even drizzly for some of the time we were there, and the tarsiers individually took shelter beneath leaves on trees. The result was that even after someone working there pointed a stick in the direction of a tarsier to show us where it was, we could barely make it out in the shadows. Taking a picture of something you can hardly see and that you’re not allowed to get close to or use a flash on isn’t easy, so I ended up making this portrait at ISO 3200 and cropping heavily in on the image afterwards. We do what we can with what comes our way. Fortunately this was one time when the camera saw better than my eyes did.

The American Heritage Dictionary gives this etymology for tarsier: “French, from tarse, tarsus (from its elongated ankles), from New Latin tarsus.” The New Latin was made from Greek tarsos, meaning ‘ankle.’

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 8, 2020 at 4:35 AM

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The Chocolate Hills

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As you recently heard, on December 20th of 2019 we finally got to make the two-hour crossing from Cebu City to Tagbilaran at the southwestern corner of Bohol. The final stop on our tour that day was a place where by climbing a long stairway to an observation platform we could look out over the Chocolate Hills. In the summer the hills are more chocolaty, which is to say drier and therefore browner, but all I can show you is how they looked in December; what they lacked in chocolatiness they made up for in mist and overcast. Some of the hills are rounder and others pointier, as a comparison of the two photographs makes clear.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 6, 2020 at 4:38 AM

An idea for a post

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On two of our earlier visits to the Philippines we tried to go to the island of Bohol, and each time we had to cancel our side trip there because of bad weather and rough seas. On December 20, 2019, we finally made the two-hour crossing from Cebu City to Tagbilaran, the main town on Bohol, located in the southwestern corner of the island. As part of an arranged tour, we stopped at the Bohol Python and Wildlife Park, where, as the name suggests, almost all of the animals came from outside the Philippines. Of the various insects in the butterfly enclosure there, I asked which ones were native to the Philippines. Two were. The first was the idea butterfly, Idea leuconoe, also known as the paper kite butterfly and rice paper butterfly.

The other native butterfly was the Magellan birdwing, Troides magellanus, shown twice below.

The first Magellan picture is more dynamic, the other more informative.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2020 at 4:42 PM

Leaf abstraction from the Bojo Nature Reserve on December 17th

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© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Sunset from the Quest Hotel

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From our room in Cebu City‘s Quest Hotel on December 18th we saw this good sunset.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2020 at 4:48 AM

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