Harvesting The Rice

This morning when I woke up and started moving about the house I took a look out the window as usual. I just love seeing nature and this peaceful country side. The province life of the Philippines is so much better and healthier than being in the polluted concrete jungle called Manila. 

I noticed my neighbors were working the rice pad’s.  They are cutting it, stacking for drying, and separating the rice from the plant. It’s not easy work as light as rice seems. It’s a lot of bending over, swinging a blade, stacking, and being under direct sun. For me, if I was doing it, I am sure my back would be killing me.

Rice stacked for drying
Neighbours in the rice paddy

From an upper view the stack of rice looks similar to the shape of a doughnut. The rice that isn’t quite ready remains uncut as seen near the stack. 

Breaking for a moment
Burnt straw

Later they will burn the straw from the rice to return some of the nutrients back into the soil. 

When all the rice is gathered they will separate it under improvised shade made of palm leaves.

Separating the rice under improvised shade

Later they will lay it out again on tarpaulins for the rice to continue hardening in the husk. Some will be saved for seed and the rest will go to the mill and the rice grains will be separated from the husk. This is the Provincial farmers life.

Photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG MACRO zoom lens with hood. No editing or filters were used other than name and data stamp.

Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my photos. Please follow me here and on Instagram @david_lee_martin. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran


April Flower’s Part 2

Once again I went around our Barangay Agaas taking macro photos of flower and such. Barangay Agaas is part of the Caramoan Municipality in Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines. I don’t know thw local or scientific names. I just enjoy them, so here they are. 

Some are very colorful, unique, and stand out. I just like how they can stand out from the background. I used manual focus without the flash. I wanted to isolated the flower from it’s surrounding’s. 

The Camera I used is a Canon EOS 1200D. The lens is a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro with Hood. No filters were used. No Photoshop either. 

If you like what you see in my photos you can follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin

As always, thanks for viewing and reading. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Drop The Mexico Border Wall

This is an opinion piece.

What if we could drop the wall completely and absorb Mexico to Join the United States? Its a thought. Don’t think of me as a Liberal. I am an Idealist. I am also very conservative. It would be a hell of a process, but unity can be achieved. This would actually save money and reduce deficit if done right. Here are some of my thoughts on this issue.

The wall is Estimated to cost between 12 to 15 billion US Dollars. In my opinion It would be cheaper to absorb Mexico, let them adopt the dollar. The US government can open multiple social security offices there so they can get a tax payer ID or Social Security number and start paying into the US tax system. Understandably it can’t happen all at once. I would put a 18 month transition period on it.

This would also save money from being wasted on deportations, Immigration departments, border patrols, and prison spaces. With this there will also be less immigration if they have what they need at home.

This would open up many markets. Current Americans will be able to move to Mexican territories and buy property and invest there, and they could in turn do the same in US. Students can also access more schools.

The market on textiles, agricultural, and automotive goods will be eased. There would no longer be an import and export tax. Goods can flow both ways with ease.

I would keep Current border check points in place only to stop the flow of illegal drugs. Vehicles will be inspected by dogs and x-ray occasionally when needed.

For Illegal Mexicans already in the US, they will have to go back to Mexican territories to get their citizenship and tax ID sorted before returning to US. This also ensures there will be less people making US Dollars without contributing to the system. Employers who are caught employing citizens without the tax ID or Social security number sorted will be penalized.

Families that have been divided by the wall will be able to reunite. Their Military and Law enforcement will be overhauled and better supported and assimilated into our forces.

For Mexicans living below the poverty level, after processing into their new citizen status with Tax ID or Social Security number, they will be able to apply for Social Services assistance and medicare. This will improve their health and quality of life.

Here are some facts about Mexico:

Spanish is national language

Religion: 83% Roman Catholic, 10% protestant christian, 0.2 other religion, 5% atheist, 3% unspecified

Mexico has a congress and a senate.

It is the 13th largest independent nation.

There are 31 states in Mexico.

Population 2015 Census: 119,530, 753

Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Mexico’s Geography consists of desert, mountains, rain forest, and sub-tropical regions.

Economy: 15th Largest nominal GDP and 11th largest by purchasing power.

Average income per household is equal to about 14,400 US Dollars.
As always, thanks for reading and viewing.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Wildflowers in Macro

I thought I would share some macro shots of wild flowers I took from around Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines.

I don’t know the names of all these flowers. When I see something I like I just point and shoot. 

Photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D (aka T5 rebel in US) using a Sigma lens 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO with hood and no filters.  

I may start selling prints online soon. I think it may be  good way to support my hobby. What do my viewers think of that idea? More of my photography can be seen on istagram with user ID david_lee_martin.  

As always, thanks for viewing and reading. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran


Enhancing the Subject

Depth of Field

Today I am just focusing on photography composition. I chose this wild flower growing near our village. I don’t know it’s official name. I focused on the subject taking the back ground out of focus to isolate it. 

Close up

Closer I became the more details you can see. The color is very nice and stands out from it’s surroundings.


This shot was a close up with my 300mm sigma lens. Zoomed all the way out with macro on. You can see the details of each flower very nicely.

Camera Used is a Canon EOS 1200D. Lens is a Sigma APO DG 70-300mm with Macro. No filters were used, hood only to prevent glare. 

If you like my photography and would like to help me improve my hobby please see my patreon account. As always, thanks for viewing and reading. 

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Post Script edit: it’s a type of Santan Flower. 

Guaiabero Parrot

Yesterday while at our Piggery I noticed a bird hoppin through the branches above; And to my surprise is was a Parrot. Check her out. 

Research took a while on Google. There are so many tropical birds that are green. The male of this species has a bluish face and the females have a yellow stripe around the back of the neck. 

Sorry for the image being dark. The pictures were taken in a moment of opportunity. These Photos were taken near Barangay Agaas, Part of the Caramoan municipality, Bicol, Philippines. 

She did not stick around long enough for me to adjust my location to her. 

And it’s bye bye. 

Camera Used is a Canon EOS 1200D, Sigma lens 70-300mm with hood attached. No filters. 

As always, Thank you for reading and viewing.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Emerald Jewel Scarab Beetle

Today my wife found a beetle in front of the house and brought it to me. So I took some time and looked it up out of curiosity and thought I would share it. 

I looked on Google and Pinterest for it. It’s not too common of a find. It can be seen throughout Asia and some sites referred to it as a garden pest. It is also known as a Leaf Chafer Beetle.

As I was looking for it through search engines I was surprised that people collect these beetles and pay rediculous amounts for them in small glass frames. Not this one says me.

It’s underside is very beautiful and shiny. It’s not aggressive when handled. 

After I took the shots I put him in my wife’s planter on the balcony. He can live and leave as he likes.

Camera for the floor shots was my Canon EOS 1200D with Sigma 70-300mm zoom lens with Macro. The shots over the Dirt was with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

If you like my photography and blogs feel free to contribute to my hobby at www.patreon.com/davidleemartin. I just opened this account at patreon. I hope it does well. 

Thank you as always for viewing and reading.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran