Cherating Beach

Since it's the holiday season, we took the opportunity to visit the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

There were various textures to the sand.
It was mostly soft and nice to touch.
Sometimes it got ticklish when the crabs and hermit crabs crawl all over our feet.

Can you see the hermit crabs fighting above?
Perhaps only two of them are fighting for the same shell.
The winner would leave behind an empty shell which may be just the right size for a smaller hermit crab.
Why not wait for an abandoned house?
But which side to wait?
The queue on the right side is definitely longer.

Seashells are always lovely but the hermit crabs were not interested in these.

As for me, I was more drawn towards the woods than jet ski or parasail.

The beach is not only white or grey.
These are some wildflowers that brighten up the beach.

Happy New Year!


Plain Tiger Butterfly Dance

This butterfly is called a Plain Tiger or Danaus chrysippus.

The wings on the upper side has brighter and richer colours compared to the underside.

They performed a beautiful dance today which I thought you may enjoy watching. 
Unfortunately they chose the compost pile as their stage.
They thought the backdrop was ideal.

Perfect synchronization?
Hope you have enjoyed the short dance performed by the Plain Tigers.


Wild Flower Bloom Day Dec 2010

It's Summer. 
It's always Summer.
There is only Summer.

My yellow cosmos is blooming like crazy.
Cosmos arrived in my garden on its own 3 years ago.
It has continued to self seed ever since.
I was hoping for some 'fall' colours and thought I could get away with a wilting flower above.
Kindly acknowledge the cute praying mantis that just said 'Hi!'

I have Hibiscus, Zinnia and fruit plants blooming but I prefer to post these wild flowers. 
I am in the mood for fall and winter colours.
It must be a contagious mood.

The wild flower blooms above look like alphabets O and S, don't they?
It says; 'Only Summer!'

For more blooms, please visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens.


Environmental Speech

It was said that Chief Seattle delivered this meaningful speech during a land treaty negotiation in 1855. The article was reproduced by Henry Smith in1887. I read this as a child and the message strike a chord in me till today. I think there are some useful advice in this message that we can practice today. In fact, I believe most of us are already doing so.

How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which coursed through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth, and it is a part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man--all belong to the same family.

So when the great white Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father, and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us.

This shining water that moves in the streams and the rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. 

The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves, and his children’s birthright is forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleansed by rain or scented with the pine cone.

The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath: the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white men, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.

So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition. The white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.

I am a savage, and I do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage, and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover --our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land: but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. This earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt upon its Creator.

The Whites, too, shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

But in your perishing, you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted out by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone." Where is the eagle Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we agree, it wiIl be to secure the reservation you have promised. There, perhaps, we may live out our brief days as we wish. When the last red man has vanished from this earth, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people. For they love this earth as the newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So if we sell you our land, love it as we've loved it. Care for it as we’ve cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children. and love it . . . as God loves us all.

One thing we know. Our God is the same God. This earth is precious to him. Even the white man cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.


Kissing a Toad

Toad : "Hi, Big Fella!"

Toad : "Move over. You are in my way!"

Clifford : "I must be dreaming...zz..."

Clifford : "Mom! It's a talking toad!!!"

Goldee : "Beware! The last one I chewed on made my mouth white and foamy.
I ended up looking like a clown with huge, white lips."

Clifford : "I guess a peck is harmless. It's cute."

Toad : "Er...Excuse, me."

Toad : "Stop drooling on me. I don't want to get any slimier."

Toad : "Yikes! I need a bath right now! 

Toad : "In case you are wondering, I do not have royal blood in me. I am NOT a frog and shall NOT change into a prince."


Citrus Butterfly

I always consider myself fortunate whenever I get to take close-up shots of butterflies.

Today I am more than fortunate. 
I managed to see this butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.
This is a Citrus Butterfly, Lime Butterfly, or Papilio Demoleus.
Can you imagine that such beauty only last for 5 days?

A butterfly doesn't have a mouth to bite nor chew.
It has a long straw like structure called proboscis that it uses to drink nectar. 
When not in use, it is coiled up.

When the butterfly was young and green, it wore a 'hair band'.
This caterpillar has a red tongue that resembles snake fangs.
This is the final stage of the caterpillar, shortly before it became a pupa.

When the caterpillar was even younger, it looked less attractive. 
Can you see why they are called 'bird droppings'?

I suspect this is where the caterpillar emerged from.
A Citrus Butterfly lays a single egg on each leaf.

Now that you have seen the entire Lifecycle of a Citrus Butterfly backwards, what next?
A mother butterfly laying eggs?
I am not that fortunate yet.
Perhaps you could help to complete the cycle with that image.

Happy Birthday to me!



Early in the morning, when many are still asleep...

I find the millipedes very busy...

Very soon, there would be an addition of up to 300 to this family!!!

The name, millipede suggests that it has 1000 legs, 
In actual fact, none has more than 375 pairs.

Millipedes normally eat dead plant material. 
They occasionally graze on roots and shoots of seedlings.
Frog and lizards eat millipedes.
I normally leave them alone. 
Sometimes I transfer them to the compost pile.

Do they bother you?
I think I bothered them.


Eco Bazaar at Setia Eco Park

Cute as well as useful, this red mushroom is a water spike made from porous terracotta. 

Water will slowly seep out of the unpainted cone, below the mushroom.
It is ideal for keeping potted plants hydrated.

Watering Spikes are just one of the many items I brought to the Eco Bazaar in Setia Eco Park last Sunday.

I requested for 4 tables to display my wares.

Canopies were prepared for us but my goods overflowed from the 4 tables and canopy, much to my own surprise.

Chilli was a HOT favourite.

So were my fruiting mulberry plants, lemon grass and herbs.

Many people admired the moon cactus but not that many people purchased them.
One gentleman purchased 2 pots of moon cactus but was pressured by family members to exchange the cactus for some other plants.
Some say that putting cactus plants in the house bring bad luck.
I am sure some of you would have heard the same story.
I think that if one believes that it will bring bad luck, then it probably will.
If one finds a moon cactus beautiful, then it will probably bring about smiles followed by happiness.
What do you think?


Keeping Moon Cactus Happy

These non-green cactus are known as Hibotan. 
The red ones are also known as Ruby Ball Cactus or Red Cap Cactus. 
The yellow ones are sometimes named Moon Cactus.
The first red Hibotan were produced by E. Watanabe in Japan.
He sowed thousands of seeds before yielding two bright red mutants.
He kept them alive through grafting.

Moon Cactus are as beautiful as any flowers.
Although they last a whole lot longer than flowers do, nevertheless they do not last perpetually.
Everything has a lifespan.
Moon Cactus has a lifespan of several months up to several years.

Tips for Keeping Moon Cactus Happy

Place it where it receives bright but indirect sunlight.
This is because the chlorophyll containing bottom part of the graft is a tropical cactus and not a desert cactus.

Water only when the soil is completely dry.
Never permit the cactus pot to stand in water. 
Ideally, use a clay pot as it dries up easily after watering, avoiding root rot.

Apply high phosphorus fertilizer only once in a few months.
Cacti has relatively low nutrient requirements.

May you be able to keep your Moon Cactus Happy & Healthy!


Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day Nov 2010

The yellow cactus is not a flower but it is definitely as beautiful as one.
The succulent on  the left is also not a flower but could be easily pass on as one too.

These grafted cactus is sometimes called Moon Cactus.
The top is a desert cactus.
The bottom is a jungle cactus.

The top relies on the bottom to supply food as it doesn't have any chlorophyll to make food.

Unlike other cactus, they should not be exposed to extreme sunlight.

For real blooms, please visit 


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