Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fans and Flowering Orchid Vines

Bauhinia vine in flower
Individual blossoms are orange
A couple of months ago I accompanied my friends Ronald and Ernie on the road to Rizal province.  We were curious about the new wind turbines installed in Pililia and how it has affected the Rizal landscape.  So I once more brought out my long resting Sony camera from the drawer.  I have not used it for months as my fone camera had become more handy to take pictures with, but the Sony pictures take much better pictures of course. 

After passing through Teresa, Baras and Tanay towns, we were already anxious when the white fan-like structures would appear by the horizon. Every zigzagging turn we make I gaze into the next hill trying to get my first glimpse of a single turbine.  But while looking for the turbines, I instead caught a view of something pleasant and more interesting for me in one of the steep roadside slopes, a flowering specimen of Bauhinia vine.  I am guessing what we saw was probably agpoi or Bauhinia integrifolia.  I was also told recently by Ulysses Ferreras that the Bauhinia genus were reclassified into the genus Phanera but I am still used to using Bauhinia.
They cover an extensive part of the slope
The vine flowers are prolific
The two-lobed leaves are also attractive
Bauhinia is the genus of what we commonly call orchid tree (Bauhinia purpurea) and the alibangbang (Bauhinia malabarica). Some collectors refer to Bauhinia vines as orchid flower vines. The Indochinese species Bauhinina kockiana has already become popular in local gardening. But local gardeners are not familiar with the fact that the Philippines has a handful of native vining Bauhinia or Phanera species. That morning we encountered one in full regalia, on our way to the large Pililia wind turbines.

As for the new white Rizal province landmarks, I admit they are an intriguing addition into the undulating silhouette of the Southern Tagalog mountains. What I like about them is that you get different facets of each one on every turn of the road. We eventually also stopped roadside to take pictures of the large propellers, but I probably took more snaps of the Bauhinia than the wind turbines. 
The new Rizal wind turbines are very prominent 
There are about 2 clusters of them, definite changing the shape of the Rizal province horizon

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