Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Butterflies, birds, and U.S. Marines

The past few weeks have seen beautiful weather, undoubtedly the warmest and driest September we have experienced here.  Certainly not what we think of as “rainy season” weather.
Marcia has photographed more butterflies and birds.  Included are pictures of an arctic warbler, a dollarbird, and a rufous night-heron that are first-timers to the blog.  Every nature photo was taken at Middleside very near our house, except the one labeled as taken at Battery Cheney.
We also had a visit by U.S. Marines who belong to the Special Forces “Recon” branch.  They were very impressed to learn the part the 4th Marines played in defending the island in 1942.
Butterflies on Shanghai Beauty blossoms

 Another Butterfly feeding on Shanghai Beauty blossoms

Butterfly camouflaged on a wall at Battery Cheney

Butterfly in the old butterfly garden

Butterfly on the house: the spots where you see blue are actually brilliant blue in sunlight, but this one insisted on posing in the shade - it would be considered large, except compared to the birdwing species we have see on the island

Not a butterfly, not a bird, but Marcia got this picture of a spider stringing its web along the clothesline attached to a dirty kitchen roof post

Grey-streaked flycatcher hunting from the acacia tree right behind the house

Black-naped oriole

Black-naped oriole seen in flight, defending a nesting site

Brown shrike hunting from a dead tree beside our solar panels

 Arctic warbler, heard frequently in the yard, but so active that it is hard to photograph

Dollarbird: it visited the yard for most of one day, and then appeared briefly the next morning

Rufous night-heron in the shadows of the acacia tree above the reservoir:
we have sometimes heard them call out in the early morning or just after dark, but this is our first sighting of the pair who feed on frogs in the open reservoir cells

Rufous night-heron above the reservoir

Unenhanced photo of clouds lit up over Cavite Province opposite the setting sun

Road to Battery Cheney blocked by fallen tree as a result of July's Typhoon Glenda.  A fair amount of work needs to be done to return the trails to walkable condition

U.S. Recon Marines and Filipino Special Forces members pose 
with Steve (in bright green shirt) at Battery Way

We are only a few days away from hosting another exciting tour.  This year we are anticipating having two WWII veterans with us who were part of the “Leyte Landing,” where General Douglas made good on his “I Shall Return” promise 70 years ago this coming October 20.  Our tour, arranged by Valor Tours of San Francisco in coordination with Rajah Tours here in the Philippines, will be part of the festivities in Leyte.  We have been there three times, including April 2013, and are wondering what we will see following the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, purportedly the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall over a populated area.  It will be very interesting to see how the resilient people of the Philippines have recovered in less than a year’s time.
Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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