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User / Rana Pipiens
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N 38 B 217 C 10 E Mar 24, 2019 F Mar 24, 2019
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It was a nicely bright day with blue skies, so I didn't really need to go into the Green House, home to South African plants. But having been away awhile, I wanted to recatch my garden tred.
And I was lucky to do so...
Here's pretty Cyrtanthus falcatus, Falcate Fire Lily, from the Drakensberg area of South Africa. It was first described by Robert Allen Dyer (1900-1987) in 1939-40 in Herbetia. But that journal isn't on line so I can't tell you more.
Enjoy!

Tags:   Amaryllis Falcate Fire Lily Drakensberg, South Africa Robert Allen Dyer flower Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Cyrtanthus falcatus

N 34 B 532 C 16 E Mar 22, 2019 F Mar 23, 2019
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It is well known that Tulips were first introduced to western Europe from the Ottoman Empire mainly through The Low Countries at the end of the sixteenth century. Between 1568 and 1648 The Low Countries were wresting their independence from the mighty Habsburg Empire; and in 1612 the Ottomans were the first to recognise the young nation. From early on one of the slogans of the Dutch fighters against catholic 'Spain' had been 'Liever Turks dan Paaps' (Rather Turkish than Papist). The Ottomans - 'Turks', in the common parlance - and the Dutch were allies against their mutual adversary, Spain. Mercantile relations between the two nations were strong, but there was lots of warfare as well and many ships 'changed hands'. The crews, if not dispatched to another world - e.g. nailed by their ears to the decks and drowned - were often enslaved. Thus there were many Dutch christian slaves in 'Turkish' muslim hands, and vice versa.
Holland grew to be a foremost sea-power in the seventeeenth century. That made it necessary to expand the capacity for shipbuilding. To that end Amsterdam constructed a number of 'islands' on the city's wateredge. From where I'm typing this - de Oudeschans (the Old Redoubt or Bulwark) - I look across the water about 100 metres away upon one of them, Uilenburg, now a residential area with some warehouses and such. In the Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat you can see this (see inset) gable stone: INDE.TVRCKSE.SLAEF (In the Turkish Slave), depicting a Turkish 'slave' in chains. The stone derives from a house owned by a ship's surgeon, one Jan T(h)euneman (ca.1660-before 1729), whose family must have made good being able to afford such a building. He seems to have risen in social hierarchy, too. Mere ship's surgeons were not usually part of the distinguished Amsterdam medical guild, but he was admitted in 1687. Perhaps his fortune was earned through trade with the 'Turks'.
The Tulip of the main photo wasn't discovered until the middle of the nineteenth century, and I've posted a varietal form earlier (www.flickr.com/photos/87453322@N00/33432003762/in/photoli...). It's originally found on the very eastern fringe of that great seventeenth-century Ottoman Empire. Here it is in our own Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam established in 1638.

Tags:   Ottoman Empire 'Liever Turks dan Paaps' 'INDE.TVRCKSE.SLAEF' Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 114, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Habsburg Empire Jan T(h)euneman ship's surgeon Uilenburg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands medical guild Tulipa humilis Herb. Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Spain Oudeschans, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Alborz Lowly Tulip flower bulb gable stone

N 46 B 632 C 22 E Mar 13, 2019 F Mar 18, 2019
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After a chat with coconut farmers, I spent my final morning for a while on Lombok on Mangsit Hill, looking south along the great stretch of black sand that's Kerandangan Beach and north to the white sands of Mangsit Beach stretching to Setangi. Wonderful places.
Of course, I paid attention, too, to more immediate surroundings: here's a beautiful Percher; look at those eyes! It's taking the sun on Joint-Vetch, Aeschynomene americana, imported into Indonesia for cattle fodder and since naturalised.
As for me? well, I'm now perched above my Amsterdam canal...

Tags:   Dragonfly Joint-Vetch Aeschynomene americana Chalky Percher Diplacodes trivialis insects Kerandangan Beach, Kerandangan, Lombok Mangist Beach, Mangsit, Lombok

N 16 B 535 C 10 E Mar 13, 2019 F Mar 13, 2019
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The climbing feats of Coconut Palm workers are astonishing. In a matter of a few minutes they shimmy up those trunks to the nuts in the top, right under the fronds. Here still on the ground a climber is getting ready to slake his thirst from a fresh coconut before the heat of the climb. In the inset you'll see his machete. In the Sasak language of Central Lombok the rope foothold is called ilat-ilat.

Tags:   ilat-ilat Kerandangan, Lombok, Indonesia Coconut Coconut Palm Climber thirst

N 28 B 968 C 13 E Mar 12, 2019 F Mar 12, 2019
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Take a little time out, do! from sunbathing and snorkeling and swimming! Look for the tiny sea-land creatures on the rocky coasts!
Here on the Mangsit Rocks are two denizens of the narrow border between land and sea. At the top right is a Marine Louse or Slater, Ligia australiensis - I think. There are lots of Ligia but this one is distinguished by its long antennae. They're really quite beautiful if you can spy on one with a magnifying glass. Crabs like them for another reason. Yes! you guessed: for food.
The other inset is of a Leaping Blenny, Alticus saliens. Perhaps 'Leaping' doesn't do these creatures justice. If you've watched them, 'Dancing' is a better description. These Blennies are in fact wetland creatures. Apart from being hatched in the sea, they spend their lives right on the edge of water and land. Like Amphibians - such as yours truly, Rana Pipiens - they can also breathe through their skin. You won't often see them alone; they're very gregarious and dance upon the wet rocks their entire lives. With their fine camouflage colors they usually escape the crabs lurking in the crevices. It's great looking on as Blennies perform their wet Ballets!
Then dive in yourself for a spate out of the hot Sun!

Tags:   Marine Slater Sea Louse Ligia australiensis Mangsit Rocks, Mangsit, Lombok, Indonesia Leaping Blenny Dancing Blenny animals amphibians rocks sea water isopoda Alticus saliens camouflage


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