Wednesday, December 29, 2010

O'io for dinner?

Bonefish, O'io, Albula glossodonta. O'io are fast swimming fish that live off of crabs, shrimp, small fish and crustaceans. True to their name, they're pretty bony so the locals scrape the meat off the bones and make them into seasoned fishcake patties. This nice man was willing to pose with a huge O'io (bonefish) that he had just caught with a thrownet (you need to be realy fast to catch an O'io with a thrownet so he's pretty doggone talented in my book). He said he was having O'io fishcake for dinner.

The Amazing Mr. Frog

Frogfish, Orange Frogfish, Antennarius species. The frogfish is capable of walking (alternating fins forward) or "galloping" (two fins in unison) on its pectoral (and pelvic/ventral) fins and also of swimming. Young frogfish can even jet around by forcing water out of their gills!

Frogfish are also called angler fish because of the "bait" or lure that they can waive around to attract a good meal. The rod is called the illicium and the "bait," the esca, all part of a modified series of dorsal fins. When not in use, the illicium and esca can be withdrawn into a cavity between the second and third dorsal fins. When prey is successfully lured to the frogfish, the frogfish rapidly (6ms!) opens its mouth creating a sudden suction that draws the prey into its mouth. They can consume prey as big as themselves, even toxic lionfish, without ill effect.

The Angry Myna

Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis, Waikiki, Oahu. This mynah appeared wet, possibly from the recent heavy rains. Whatever the cause, he sure looked cranky!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Grapsus tenuicrustatus, a'ama, thin shelled rock crab, Oahu, Hawaii.


Makapu'u, Oahu. The waters off of Makapu'u are deep and are known for harboring large ulua (jacks), a favorite of Hawaiian fisherman.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Indulge your inner Santa with a little Christmas cheer! Hope this holiday season finds you all with friends, family and loved ones. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pleiospilos nelii or Split Rock Plant

Pleiospilos nelii or Split Rock Plant. The Split Rock is blooming again and, in the setting sun, proved too tempting to not take a picture of. For something that looks so rock-like, it really has a flamboyant bloom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea 'Predator' FCC/AOS

Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea 'Predator' FCC/AOS. This species grows on the Eastern plateau in Mexico from around 2000 feet to 4500 feet in altitude. The flowers smell like sweet vanilla.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seraphyta diffusa

Seraphyta diffusa. Warm growing from Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam and Brazil. The flowers remind me of a swarm of...well, mosquitos!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Poinsettia draped with morning dew. There was a dense marine layer (a.k.a. fog) hovering low over San Diego last night. When I awoke and poked my head out to snatch the morning paper, everything was covered with dew. The poinsettia was particularly beautiful, with the drops glistening in the morning sun.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Gongora amparoana

Gongora amparoana. This little Gongora was purchased as a Stanhopea seedling. However, low and behold, when it bloomed it turned out to be a Gongora! These are from Costa Rica at around 3,000 feet and tend to grow on the hot side which is why this one has grown a bit slow for me. It's seldom seen in cultivation so it's still kind of fun. I find Gongoras in general to be a little more sensitive to cold and weather than Stanhopeas which means they stay inside the greenhouse or the house. As for the pretty red background...that's one of those nice Christmas flyers that show up in great numbers at this time of year! McGyver would be proud.

Liquid Amber Tree

Liquid Amber Tree (a.k.a. American Sweetgum), Liquidambar styraciflua. The liquid amber trees have gained their "Fall" colors and oh what a glorious sight it is! It gets cold a little later in San Diego but it is finally cold enough to get some great colors.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi var. alba

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi var. alba. The typical form is found widespread throughout Southeast Asia in lowland forests.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Oddities of the Orchid World

Dendrochilum cootesii var. alba. Perhaps the non-albanistic form is prettier with its lime and peach tones; however, this albino cootesii is still an awesome sight, with it's crystalline white, upside-down flowers. This species is native to the Phillipines where it grows at around 5,000 to 6,000 feet.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

That Cattleya labiata time of year...

Cattleya labiata 'Schuller's' blooming on time along with the other Cattleya labiata (var. autumnalis) in the fall.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lc. Ruby Cheer

Lc. Ruby Cheer = Lc. Orglade's Cheer x Lc. Elaine's Ruby. This was blooming at the San Diego International Orchid Fair.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bad Day?

A dog looking grumpy... I suppose, being chained up on the driveway all day can do that to just about anyone.