Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three Ponds and A Fountain

This morning, I couldn't help feel the temperature was perfect for bringing in new fish to my ponds. I guess fish thrive at water temps colder than 19C. The three ponds I started many years ago for my collection of fish, from the tri-color carp, to the friendly little guppies that children love, the elegant Chinese goldfish with their big tails and bulbous head.

I have counted every year that my farm is devastated by storms and I am convinced the only way these fish can survive is to have an aquarium ready after the summer to keep them from washing out when ponds overflow during the rainy season.

I did not include a pump this year, and removed the filter. I intend to keep the water clear and moving with a new system where electricity is not used, and I found that changing my ponds from a rectangular shape to a round one to help produce a natural current from the movement of the fish. The air around the pond will manage to get into the water provided that the fish swim in circles. I would like the pond to be self sufficient, and the only way to do that, is to place plants throughout.

This is my current project to put in dwarf papyrus, water lilies before replenishing the ponds with fish. The main pond will be for tilapia and carp, and the two smaller ones for goldfishes and guppies. The birds are already excited to have a free meal on me, and I will be placing a screen over the ponds to keep my guppies safe.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Caged birds are a disgrace..yet zoos have to take species out of the wild and display them for educational purposes. Our Manila zoos and wild life parks don't even have complete samples of the local species of birds that do exist. I can't blame the children who have no clue what bird species exist when there are few books on the subject in public libraries. I do see wild birds at my farm in Cavite. I notice these birds are struggling to hold on to habitat, and I am desperately trying to find funds to buy the surrounding areas of forests before these are cut by small farmers that have to sell or lose their land because they are under pressure from a younger generation to dispose of farm and orchard land and move into cities. The rainforests are gone, and all the wide areas of coconut plantations are being cut down for coco lumber. The biggest crime of the century as far as I am concerned is seeing thousands of acres of CALABARZOn rainforests from Makiling to Tagaytay to the watersheds of upland Cavite end up as land development, killing off the habitat of sea eagles, and falconets, and many rare wildlife sancutaries for the sake of progress. Here is a slide show of Romy Orcon's photos of wild birds of CALABARZON and nieghboring provinces of Luzon. These photos may be the only way our grandchildren will get to see these birds.

Wild Birds of the Philippines - The Monkey Eating Eagle

I was looking for photos of wild birds of the Philippines to act as a reference for me to properly identify the birds I was seeing in my garden in Mandaluyong and Silang, Cavite, so I found a slide show of the photos of noted Philippine nature photographer, Romy Orcon. These are a few of the wild birds of the Philippines. Romy Orcon made a presentation on Earth Day in the Philippines, and he mentioned how rare the Toucans and other species that are being taken by poachers every year. I watched Romy in one of the videos I found on youtube teaching his young son how to spot and take photos of birds in flight at the Candaba Swamps in Pampanga. He was able to take a few photos of small herons and only one photo of one Philippine mallard duck. I remember as a young girl growing up in the Philippines, the candaba swamps was full of migrant birds and local water fowl. There are barely one or two wild birds and often local children will bring slingshots to kill these birds just for the sport of it. Now Romy's son he calls "Pogito" was lucky to capture one bird in flight. ONE BIRD!!!

This is so terrible....if all his young son could find was one bird, it is heart wrenching to know that in this country of the Philippines, few appreciate the wonderful bounty of rainforests and the wildlife contained within them. The biggest bird in the world, the Monkey Eating Eagle in the Southern region is on the verge of extinction as few untouched habitat exist. Here is a video of the most beautiful eagle on earth, the biggest and the rarest of eagles.