Friday, March 07, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Chinese dragons are a symbol of power, strength and good fortune and are often considered yang; the phoenix, often seen with the dragon, is considered yin. Dragons were long seen as the symbol of the emperors of China, with royal palaces, pottery, clothing, etc. often bearing dragon symbols. In Tainan, some of the temple rooftops have particularly elaborate dragons that are quite amazing to see.
Monday, March 03, 2014
The taxi had these cartoon-like lucky figurines on his dashboard. Lest you think the driver was a Nazi, note that the 'swastika' symbol predates its Nazi usage and is actually a quite ancient symbol dating back to the Indus Valley Civilizations and Paleolithic Europe. In Asia, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, still use the symbol to represent wealth, prosperity and auspiciousness.
View of Tainan, Taiwan, from the 31st floor. You can see that the city is quite large, as it stretches off into the horizon. The day started off cold and foggy in Taipei but, as we reached Tainan, the weather became warm, humid, and sunny.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Anguloa dubia, taken from the front of the flower. Anguloa dubia produces a profusion of five or six, yellow, scented blooms (per bulb!) that are a bit smaller than other Anguloa species but make up for it in numbers. The frangrance has been described as alternately like Wintergreen oil or perhaps lemon oil, in either case, fairly pleasant. In San Diego it blooms in the February/March timeframe, similar to the season in its native Columbia. They seem to grow outside in San Diego without issue although a bit of protection from the cold Winter rains is probably a good idea.
Anguloa dubia, showing that famous Anguloa tulip-like shape, the photo being shot from the side.
Saturday, March 01, 2014
Ida fragrans, a native of Ecuador and Columbia where it grows at around 5000 ft., blooming in the greenhouse. True to Oakeley's description, it has the fragrance of hyacinths at night (yes, I had to go out into the greenhouse at night to smell it to see if it was really true!). Much thanks to Dr. Henry Oakeley for the very helpful description (and the autograph on my copy of Lycaste, Ida and Anguloa). Notably, the picture of Ida fragrans in Orchidencyclopedia.com appears to be of something else (which ultimately forced me to look things up in Oakely, which I should have done in the first place).
A close-up of the lip detail here, showing the 5 keeled callus (which is mainly visible if you view it from above).