Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Recipes for busy moms/Fruits/Desserts/Salad/Decorative Ideas

Rare Pink Atis or Sugar Apples

By on September 28, 2020

Sugar Apple or Annona Squamosa, a tropical fruit in the Philippines with a pink or green heart-shaped fruit with pronounced green scales. Widely considered wild fruits thrive rapidly in any types of soil, grown from seed and can be planted in rough corners of the garden, it also looks attractive outdoors bearing many fruits at the same time and the tree never become tall enough with no disturbance to other plants. It is well adjusted even in a small spaces, the garden doesn’t need to be spacious to plant this kind of fruit.

I was so excited to discover the first fruit of an atis grown in our own backyard, it’s a pink Thailand variety, the fruit tree was abundant. Thailand varieties are much larger and far more luscious than the native ones.

My First harvest, pink in color with no bruises and black spots at all. The sweet taste is refreshing especially when it is cold but the most intriguing is to see the scaly- rough skin and the fruit itself contain numerous seeds. I’ve collected more than 15 seeds from one medium Atis alone.

Freshy-picked, you can see the internal parts, the creamy white in color of the flesh and the big stalk inside. From the picture itself, you can now imagine how many seeds inside it. To eat this kind of fruit, you need to be patient to remove the seeds however, it’s worth to taste the sweetness.

One thing good about picking fruits in your own backyard, well assured to be guaranteed fresh, clean and first hand to touch it. I’ve reduced and produced my expenses for fruits growing in our own backyard, it’s a big help and the excitement to get up early to pick the fruits is a blessing!

Atis tree continuously bearing fruits all year round, indeed, it is designed for our weekly consumption throughout the year, I just hope the tree will live longer.

When Picking Atis

Fruits can be left on trees until fully ripe or you can pick it after maturity, that is, if you know the indicator of maturity, you wait 2 days after picked up. If you have this kind, the only problem after maturity, birds and bats present a big problem in growing sugar apples and maybe necessary to cover the fruit before ripening time.

When buying Atis

Having bruises and black spots is not good, just represents how many people have touched it. Blackening of scales makes the fruit dirty and annoying to see, much as safer to buy a fresh one and the first hand.

Take care everyone, see you next posts

Thanks for reading my blog!

Continue Reading

My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Recipes for busy moms/Fruits/Desserts/Salad/Decorative Ideas | Technology/ Learning Tips

For Snails, Fork or Toothpick? Helpful Tips

By on September 24, 2020

In the restaurant, they serve some of my seafood favorites like; Black tiger prawns, crabs, lobsters, oysters, octopus. Beside the seafood platters, there’s a separate saucer for toothpicks to extract flesh of snails. If you noticed, toothpicks are often provided when snails are served especially in buffet restaurants. Informal way, they provide toothpick for snails and for formal is always with tongs accompanied by steel snail fork.

Now, in Buffet restaurants, what are those toothpicks for? If you hear the word toothpick, would immediately come to mind the definite purpose is normally used for picking the dirt of teeth and now we are using for food, that’s two different thing which is not good for two different purpose of one kind. Is it a yucky thing? It is already a common practice around. Oftentimes, following a good dinner when guests are dressed up and toothpicks are served first when snails are present for appetizers. However, after eating, usually you ask for the same kind.

It is already a common practice that you can see around. It’s probably the easiest way to keep table setting simple because of the number of guests involved that they can’t provide the proper fork intended for the purpose. Normally, in rural areas, they don’t use toothpick for snails either, they use their mouth to suck up pieces inside.

Ginataang Kuhol

I will now share with you my unforgettable but funny experience. I never forget the first time I tried snail in the province. At first serious sampling,I threw up! I’ve tried it again the 2nd time, this time is a more serious tasting. The good recipe was Ginataang Kuhol, the aroma you can smell inside the house and thought it was delicious. I carefully imitate what the olds are doing. Following it, I carefully picked one and goes directly to my mouth and sucked it. Glorious! I’m a damn sucker! I sucked everything including the flesh, watery part and sandy portion. The bad thing? I almost sucked the whole piece of shell. LOL! It was here that I learned to love the taste minus the shell.

My helpful tips calling for a change

For more successful and safe results, I suggest to use and select the best fork suited for seafood. It is improper and unpleasant to see toothpicks beside the food itself. Simple rules are easy to learn following basic rules in using appropriate fork. We have different kinds of fork for seafoods like; lobster fork, prawns fork, fish fork and cocktail fork for squid and octopus too.

Which fork works best for snails? Seafood is considered safe and special using appropriate fork which is easier intended for this purpose. If you don’t have the steel snail fork or silver one, there’s a decorative fork which is plastic but firm and disposable like toothpicks too, the price is just right especially the small ones just like the price of toothpicks in a box. Check photos above of Ginataang Kuhol with decorative snail fork that has a firm pointed tines.

Continue Reading

Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography

Pollinator-Friendly Garden/Baguio Botanical Park

By on September 23, 2020

For nature lovers and flower enthusiasts, one attraction you should never miss when visiting the city of Pines (Baguio city) is the Botanical Garden, it is a peaceful refuge to reconnect with nature, you’ll see here the most beautiful flowers that comes in range of colors from bright pink, red, orange, and yellow, name it, they all have it! Other flowers with lovely blossoms turning to wonder shades of blue, purple and deep red in the afternoon, it added interesting textures to the garden.

 I never miss to visit this place when in the ‘’City of the Cool Sun’’ I’m putting more time to enjoy strolling around the stunning hidden paths of the outstandingly handsome foliage and perennials grown directly in the ground.

The buzzing of bees and the presence of other pollinators like honeybees and butterflies caught my attention, couldn’t help but snap few photos, taking snapshots is fun and rewarding undertaking while enjoying the cool weather. Let me show you some of the photos taken there but I tell you one thing, flowers be the most frequently photographed subject of nature but to include the honeybees pollinating the flowers makes it more interesting, that should be kept in mind too. Hope you’ll agree after viewing, Let’s get started!

Photos of Beautiful Flowers and the Honeybees

Baguio Botanical Garden is really a pollinator- friendly garden, you’ll see here the process of pollination, on how honeybees pollinate the flowers. Stunning Dahlias produced the larger flowers of all varieties.

Me with the honeybees working together they will pollinate the flowers, I do the shots. This is ‘lil fun Jo!

Focusing very close to the subject to get this result, macro shots!

I’m very careful in doing this, timing must be precise enough not to disturb bees.

Dahlia flowers- the best flowers for the honeybees, it provides pollen and sweet nectar which is the favorite of the honeybees however, you’ll see the Inula and everlasting flowers which are also a honeybee favorite as well.

How do bees pollinate flowers? Check my macro shots.

Honeybees feast on everlasting flowers too.

Honeybees pollinating Inula flowers.

Baguio Botanical Garden is really a restful shelter on hot summer days, a place of relaxation and tranquility.

Thanks for reading my blog!

See you next posts..

Continue Reading

My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Travel and Adventure

Magnificent Sunset Over Manila Bay

By on September 19, 2020

To relieve stress, take few minutes out of your time to experience the romantic moments of sunset. Viewing these magnificent sunset photos is just like bringing you to a peaceful place to find the serenity from the comfort of your bed, you’ll explore the beauty of nature without even leaving home. It’s nice to view before bedtime, I’m 100% sure you’ll get a restful sleep afterwards.

While facing the global crisis, you’ll come to realize that sunset can do wonders, viewing can be quiet soothing and it will remind you how beautiful life is! Now, Let’s get started!

The Beautiful Manila Bay Sunset

I regularly checked all photos from file folders of my desktop, I had a magnificent array to choose from among most compelling images from different travels in and out of the country, my local road trips, beautiful landmarks, beach photos, food, people and other lovely landscapes. I feel like a time traveler, I just want to put my heart into my stories. I’m using 22 sunset photos all in all, it was photographed before the pandemic. Ok fellas! Happy viewing!

Photography Location: Manila Bay (Port of Manila) Roxas Boulevard, Manila Phils.

 The beauty of nature that passes so quickly, when the sun touches the horizon in a matter of minutes, when the light reflected off the water, it adds a strong romantic mood of the image.

Me with the sunset, I’m doing a good habit to find something new to feature here, it represents a great turning point to cheer you up while facing coronavirus pandemic season. There are more surprises waiting for you here, you may also love the beauty of nature from the rocky coastline to reflective sea. I’m here to capture great moments at my favorite photography spot, Manila Bay Roxas Blvd.

The sunset over Manila bay, a very dramatic setting in the evening, the glowing radiance of red, yellow, orange, purple and blue reflections of the sun below the horizon.

The fishermen’s bestfriend, an extremely reliable dog with the background of the dramatic sunset.

Handsome dog with the sunset background is a beautiful piece to add here. It’s rare find to see them here.

The sad cat is another rare animal never before seen here. I’m lucky to have 3 species around while capturing the sunset.

The horse makes a lovely setting, horse-drawn carriage tour is common here, we call it,”Kalesa”

This guy made a living by selling balloons here, he had all the youthful colors that brings beauty to the background.

Around here, you’ll see the ship, yacht and Fishermen’s boat, it adds interesting element to the background.

Outrageously, a stunning view of the bayside sunset. The sun sets just beside the Hotel H2O, a fine dining is good while watching the sunset, it is really a spectacular spot for sunset dining.

Light from the water brings interesting foreground and background details.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Stay Safe Everyone and Take care!

Continue Reading

Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography

Quarantine Photography/Carpenter Bees

By on September 16, 2020

What a little progress moving through difficult times, we don’t have the normal movement during this pandemic. Most of our movement are restricted and limited, I’m not at my normal activity anymore. All my everyday activities have changed throughout tough times, I can’t go out to shoot interesting subjects, I’m scared, I need to take necessary measures to protect my health, I just have to stay home until coronavirus pandemic is over but when? Life seems uncertain for now. I’m terribly missing my normal routine of pre-pandemic life.

Going through while staying hopeful to cheer me up, I’m doing a good habit to photograph what our garden offers, I think this would be an endless garden photography, it gave me the opportunity to feel the cool breeze, the morning dew and blooming flowers with insects encircling around. These photos of carpenter bees are entertainment to view and will surely cheer you up during coronavirus pandemic season. Carpenter bees are not social insects like the honeybees and bumble bees but they do not bite, they are not aggressive, the female does have but will only sting if handled directly. Go for it! I hope you’ll enjoy viewing my morning visitors.

Note: Macro Photography of Honeybees next post, don’t miss it! More selection of items from butterflies to bees, dragonflies and the blooming flowers.

25 Photos of Beautiful Carpenter Bees

From a different perspective during isolation, the garden would be my favorite photography spot for now, I need to grow and challenge my photography skills. For a blogger like me, this is one effective measure to kill boredom.

These photos serves as my quarantine collection of carpenter bees, it’s a reminder of my long quarantine activities. It’s not easy to snap these flying insects under extreme location exposing my skin under the bright sun in mid-afternoon shooting however, I’m lucky to have them in our own front and backyard garden.

I hope you’ll like it, these carpenter bees photos will surely provides smiles and happiness during difficult times.

Ok Fellas!

Keep Safe and Healthy

Thanks for reading my blog!

Continue Reading

Events/ Holidays/ Special Occasions | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography

Hoping for a COVID-Free Christmas

By on September 2, 2020

It’s now the 2nd day of ‘’Ber Months’’ it is running from September-December, it reminds us of the coming of holiday season and countdown to Christmas. What to expect? Is it a spirit to get us even more? We’ll come to that later. At least we now experience a bit cooler weather, we hear Christmas songs on the radio, we usually see Christmas trees and delightful decorations in shopping malls and the fun preparation and excitement to decorate starts but what is Christmas in the year of COVID-19? It is hard to imagine that we will celebrate Christmas differently this year 2020.

Given the concern and restrictions about the Coronavirus pandemic, the reduction of air travelers, it is impossible to think restrictions would be lifted by Christmas. What Christmas Year 2020 would look like? I think, there’s no more holiday shopping, no lucky find in the department store, no more New Year Countdown. At the present time, people are scared to go out into crowds and closed spaces. It is also weird to think that Santa will also wear mask and face shield (personal protective equipment) Can you guess what’s inside Santa’s bag? Is it hand sanitizers, alcohol, liquid gel to destroy the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19? Will Santa have to social distance too? it might be a COVID Christmas and I’m super worried Santa’s ‘’Ho Ho Ho’’ would be Hu Hu Hu…

Expectations from people like me, as an optimist, I’m naturally delighted to what people believe in, it’s a COVID-free Christmas but when you look at your life, something different we look through, the greatest happiness this holiday season is for Santa to deliver vaccine in advance. I think that’s pretty special! Things might not be completely good until there is vaccine.

I’m reviewing my memory list, I’m a memory keeper, I have had a list of old notes from past years, the names of my close friends, colleagues and cousins to share simple pleasures with. I never forget wonderful friends no matter if its COVID or not…

It’s too early to think about Christmas, forget first the frosty decors and the festive tree trimmings, no more planning ahead, no more advance booking to travel, no more Christmas holidays abroad for the family. Other friends, they have to spend Christmas apart because of the coronavirus. Anyway, planning is underway to ensure a safe yuletide season to all. Our presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque said’’ it is still possible to enjoy holiday season in the Philippines. We’ll see, lets pray and hope for the best to come.

Goodnight everyone. Take care. Stay safe and healthy.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Continue Reading