Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's still kite flying season - before the rains come


Dr Abe V Rotor
Flying Kites at Harvestime, detail of mural by the author 2007

Mandala, detail of mural by the author

Clear against the blue mountain far
Are specks of yellow, red and blue,
And white, and the many colors they make.

Swaying like birds, rising and swooping,
Suspended in time and space,
If not for the sinking sun.

The wind is fair, the grain is golden now,
Else the old folk would complain:
Don’t call the wind when the grain is young.

But kids that we were cared for nothing,
Except our kites at all cost to fly
From the other end of the string.

Up, up they soared into the sky,
Dwarfing Babel, trailing the Apollo-
Flight only our dreams could follow through.

My kite took me away to the city and beyond-
Years had passed and I see kites flying again,
Familiar they seem, but in another time.~

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Of death and immortality

Dr Abe V Rotor 

Wood in final state of decay; senile leaves of Luffa about to fall. 

If in dying there is beauty, and death itself is beautiful,  
     then immortality is not the ultimate end after all;
for it is death the reckoning of a new life onto its cycle   
     and life the anticipation of that which is beautiful. ~

Friday, April 12, 2013

Artifacts on the Farm

Artifacts on the Farm 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Indigo Vats
Fermenting tanks in the manufacture of añil or azul during the Spanish era. The product is derived from a plant, indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) which was extensively cultivated in the Ilocos Region.  Añil was exported to Europe through the Galleon Trade which operated for two centuries (17th and 17th century). San Vicente, Ilocos Sur    

Wooden sugarcane crusher, drawn by carabao on a circular path. The cane is fed between the rollers and repeated to extract the most juice which accumulate in a receptacle, usually an earthen jar or burnay.  The juice is cooked in large kettles and made into basi wine, vinegar, or directly cooked until it become red sugar, either powdered or in blocks. The wooden roller has been replaced by mechanized iron crushers.    

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hydrangea indicates acidity of soil

Hydrangea indicates acidity of soil  
Dr Abe V Rotor 



Hydrangea macrophylla.  The color of the flower indicates the relative acidity of the soil. An acidic soil (pH below 6) produces flower color closer to blue (top photo), whereas an alkaline soil (pH above 6) will produce flowers more pink (middle photo). This is caused by a color change of the flower pigment in the presence of  aluminum ions accumulated in the plants. Lowermost photo indicates slightly alkaline soil, and possibly of another cultivar.