The Painted Cycad

Wow!  I just realized that it has been a month and a day since I last posted.  

Explanations first.  

I decided a while back to limit my posts to weekends which is when it is most convenient for me to take pictures and research.  The past weekends, however, have not been conducive to blogging which is why there have been no posts from my end.  It also explains why I haven't been commenting on your blogs.  The number of Google Reader items to read to play catch up = Scary!  I already started last night but I've barely made a dent in the numbers.  

There were two long weekends to enjoy last month, one of which was spent out of town communing with nature at our favorite go-to mountain home.  Here is a picture of Pals (from the "Plant Clinic" post) and I heading down to the stream for a swim.  You can almost make out the stream above my head.

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Royal True Yellow

In my previous post about finding the Lost Horizon in Shangri-La Putrajaya, I mentioned that the hotel was on a hill in the center of the city.  There is only one other property on the hill and that is the Istana Melawati, the second national palace and retreat house of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia.  Istana means "palace" and Melawati means "guard's tower".

So not only was I in a fabulous garden hotel, I was neigbors with royalty.  Well, almost.  I don't think the King and Queen were in residence while I was there.

I ended up visiting Istana Negara along Jalan Istana, which was the official residence of the King of Malaysia for 54 years up to November 2011.  

Beyond the palace gate are cypresses and casuarinas.

*** Click on this and subsequent images to enlarge.


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