Friday, December 19, 2008

Pasko Na Naman Muli

(The title means "It's Christmas again", it's a cool Filipino Christmas jovial song.)

I spotted a brown shrike (tarat), seeking refuge in the Philippines from the cold Chinese winters, outside my window this morning (photo was taken through a screen, that's why it's crappy). The migratory tarat, different from our local black ones, usually arrives around September, but I haven't seen one this year until today.

A few days ago in Cambodia, while zooming around the city on a moped, I would often remark loudly, above the wind, "Putangina!! Ang lamig!!!!" and go on about how it never gets that cold in the Philippines. Well, I came back to the garden and realized, that it indeed almost measures up.

The nights are a bit too cold for my tropical constitution, and I can't take a shower without heating water (which I do in a kettle, with added herbs for fragrance and pleasure). The soil is a bit dry, with humidity pretty low overall. There is still morning dew, but I don't think there is as much decomposing happening. The mushrooms on my logs are going away. And, oddly enough, there are mosquitoes everywhere.

Frankly, I haven't understood this weather completely just yet. I was looking forward to putting a bunch of plants in, but it seems to be pretty difficult to do that now, my gut tells me.

I need some more time to figure this whole mood out, and I'll post about it. In the meantime, behold our family Christmas bamboo!

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