Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Birds and The Bees

Sunrise on The Farm. It is going to be another glorious day!

It is the start of the fruit season too.

The King of fruits as you know had started flowering earlier. I can't show you much progress except that there are now more and bigger flowers.

The next stage will be anthesis - when the anther will burst open exposing the pollen-covered stamens. The birds and the bees (and moi) are all waiting for this. With proper pollination there'll be heavy fruiting.

The first fruit will drop (remember, we don't harvest durian - they drop by themselves when ripe) ninety days from anthesis. I'm predicting anthesis in about a week. So we will get some durian around March 2011. You can start placing your orders for the King now... ;)

Another great pollinators of durians are the bats (Eonycteris speleae). A couple flew into the Farm House to start nesting, but unfortunately for them, and pour moi, they were hit by the ceiling fan. Hopefully their next of kins will come by. I need all the help I can get.

Do not however confuse the bats with flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus). You do NOT want them on your farm.

The bees in the meantime are not without food. The rambutans and longans are flowering too. So are the cikus (sapodilla). Take a look at the busy bees, while I snap photos of some birds, from a distance...

Pollinating the Longan

Flowering Rambutan trees amongst the Durian

Insects having fun time with the nectar

And the Bees helping themselves, and making sure
we get abundance of fruits later - Fair dinkum?

Sapodilla is another fruit found in abundance on The Farm. Locally it is known as Ciku, or Sawo Nilo. To the botanist it is Manilkara zapota. It is available all year round at various stages - flowers, young fruits, and matured ones - shown below:

Birds - various species of birds have come to make The Farm their home.

So far with the 55 - 250mm zoom lens attached to my Cannon 550 D, I'm only able to take tiny images of them, sometimes only silhouettes! Obviously I need bigger zoom...take a look at these anyway:

Can you see the yellow bird?

It then flew off and landed on this dead branch

Here it is again

Those on the fencing pillars are Pigeons - normally one
then joined by another. Can't get much nearer to them
than this (about 30ft), I'm afraid

For much better and really beautiful pics of birds (complete with names) pop over to bird enthusiast John Saunders.

My follower Cheryl, from yesterday's post, can be found here.

OK dokay, all that's left for me to do is to extend a big WELCOME to The Farm to Rosalie Rigby, my brand new follower. She does beautiful artwork by the Australian countryside. Check out her paintings here.


Grandpa said...

I had mistakenly called the bird on the fencing pillar 'pigeon', I think they are doves, or locally known as burung terkukur, or ketitir - nice singing birds. Villagers keep them in cages at home. There are competitions too for the best singers

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Grandpa! here is something for you:

(and yep they are mourning doves.. we have them here too. i love to hear them in the morning)

Su said...

Those are amazing pics, even if you can't get very close. Wow.

Grandpa said...

OFG, I'm truly sorry for your loss. Take care

Su,thanks. I hope they'll grow tamer or I'll have to camouflage myself!

Joanna St. James said...

I have never heard of any of these fruits before, will you give us a lesson one day?

Grandpa said...

Hi Joanna, that's an excellent idea! These fruits are all delicious and full of goodness, but not well-known. So more info will help promote them.

You may have already read about the Durian in my earlier posts, so I will talk about the rest next. Thanks for the suggestion.

erica and christy said...

It's always nice to stop by your blog and see the beautiful pictures and learn a few things! Thanks for that and for providing links. Thanks also for commenting on our blog today, Christy :0)

Grandpa said...

Hi Christy, thank you! Always a pleasure!

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...they were hit by the ceiling fan

Oh, man. Death by ceiling fan. Poor bats. I had forgotten what good pollinators they are. Good observation!

Grandpa said...

Maria, Yes, I was actually lying down on the floor one evening when it happened - unfortunately they couldn't be saved.

For durians pollens from different trees need to be exchanged, and bats are the most efficient for this

John Saunders said...

Hi Grandpa, what a lucky person you are, living in such a beautiful environment! I managed to identify the Mourning Doves, I have seen them in Morocco and I think there is a Flycatcher species in one of the photo`s with a dove, but not sure of the others. Lovely to see the insects aswell, here in Britain it is a bit too cold for much insect activity, roll on the summer!
Thanks for the mention of my blog!

Grandpa said...

Hi John, thanks for coming over. There are many more species e.g the Kingfisher which always hang around my fish pond, and other colourful, and noisy ones too.

My pleasure John.

Linnea said...

Hi Grandpa, there's never a dull moment on your farm. You're finding lots to photograph. It's fun to see such a different environment than the one I live in. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the weekend.

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

What wonderful photos! I've traveled all over SE Asia, but I've never had the opportunity to try durian. I do love rambutans, however!

Akelamalu said...

Very informative post with great pictures, thanks for sharing Grandpa.

Su said...

I came back and re-read-- this was such a fascinating post. The sapodilla look a bit like kiwi-- are they related? Or is it my inexperienced eyes? (Of course, my midwestern US brain thinks they look like potatoes growing on a tree-- don't mind me, I get a bit crazy from time to time.)

secret agent woman said...

I put up a bat house in the hopes of attracting bats, but no luck yet. Plenty of bees to pollinate, though!

Grandpa said...

Linnea, thanks for dropping by. I enjoy your photos too!

Samantha Verant, thank you. Durians are available only once or twice a year, so you have to be around when they are in season.

Akelamalu, thank you! My pleasure.

Hi Su, they do look alike but I don't think they are related. I'll probably do a post to talk a bit more about sapodilla.

secret agent woman, give it time. I hope they come and nest and help you with the pollination