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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

ShaShinKi - Malaysia's Online Camera Shop!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

PalmScapes | Full Moon

Wow, it's already a month to the day since I started this blog. The Chinese terms it "full moon".

                                      inviting pool scene @ Bangsar South high rise condomium

So what's different from before that date till now?  How do I even begin to explain?

I started on the premise that I found the exotic palm family rampantly available in all our cityscapes and that my ignorance of it rather perplexing. Then determined to go on a journey to see how far, like how many species I can find, how much information, knowledge, observation I can gather from this project to make life more interesting and enriching for myself and hopefully, also for others in the same boat as me - "palm illiterates".

For as long as half a century, I knew zilch whatsoever about this family 'Palmaceae or Arecaceae'.  Just that they look different to ordinary trees but still a tree.  In a tropical rainforest zone, we have loads of perennially evergreen trees, too many that one just didn't bother to know or learn their names as there was no need to, unless one aspires to involve in horticulture, biology, ecology, taxonomy or other sub-disciplines of science.

Throughout the month, I was like a babe seeking nourishment from every possible source available. Like an infant taking its first crawl.  In palm talk, I'm not even a seedling, just a small seed. In cyber talk, I'm probably worse, still a PEBCAK (problem exists between chair and keyboard). Sigh!

During this period,  I learnt how tough it is to take on a project like a blog.  It's like caring for a young infant,
a pet animal or even the much dreaded, demanding tamagotchi (a hand held digital pet back in the 90's). It needs lots of nurture and maintenance.

So, what's transpired in just 30 short days?  Listed below but not in any particular order.

- scrounging for 'food' on the internet, every piece of morsel
- learnt basic palm terminology :- pinnate, palmate, inflorescence, rachis etc.
- compare differences between the palms I see and that from the research database
- learnt their identities by common names, some biological names by association
- open my eyes more to absorb peculiar differences between different species of palms
- check every specimen I encounter, similar outlook does not mean the same variety
- still cannot distinguish seedlings unless growing beside parent tree or stated on a tag
- never try figure out the age of palms, by rings or frond scars per year, ever
- there are fast, medium + slow growers (all too subjective for my post now)
- cannot guesstimate variety of young or small palm as they may look like the 'mini' of another species
- a species of palm may have a large variant with very subtle notable differences
- learnt to set up blog, add widgets, adsense, blog directories, community forums etc.
- take lots of amateur photos and close ups (helps me with ID really)
- type in lots when brain in gear
- match pics to species
- sit back, read and evaluate own efforts :  thinking aloud - did I get that right, wonder what others think etc.
- that palms being so diverse is just awesome

For those who have seen me through this, yet infancy stage, palms + blog + all, thanks for your continuing support by visits.  For earlier visitors from the US, Australia, Africa, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia (prior to flag counter 1Jun01) and found an elementary "site in progress", please do continue to drop by and give me a chance to grow. And to every visitor, if you like it - great, tell someone else. Much appreciate!

Of course, there's more to write and update. Considering there are hundreds of tropical species out there to look out for, it's becoming almost a full time job just thinking and dreaming about this adventure.

Lastly, I didn't do it alone - there are lots of expertise out there in cyberspace that I constantly refer to for guidance especially :-

I did not know anything about palms when I started but now, be it very slowly, this could be my very own version of  "TROPICAL PALM GUIDE FOR DUMB ME".

Come on board, enjoy the photo journey with me...

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