22 August 2013

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Alert guest said “you didn’t write about the poison peanut last week.”  She’s right.  I forgot.  So, to make up for that lapse, here are some photos (above) and here is the story.   We have two fence post trees, a vaivai species called bainicagi (wind fence) which makes the sweet flowers I photographed a couple of weeks ago and totally different tree called bainidakai (gun fence – it reminded someone of a rack of standing rifles) which is now fruiting. Son Akka saw the covered seed of the bainidakai and tried one … and it tasted good.  Junia tells me he was skeptical about that seed because he had never seen any animal eating them.  Junia and Austin each ate one (Austin’s comment: “tastes really good – like a peanut!”) – and Akka ate about 6 and had sucked on the seed coverings.   Junia and Austin were fine after their little experiment.  Akka wasn’t.  He has a different theory for why it is named “GUN” fence – he says it’s because it “shoots things out both ends.”

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I took 2 house guests for a trip to Kula Eco Park – and forgot to take a camera along. I held a crested iguana, a banded iguana (stock photo above), a snake with a bad tail – only my second or third time to touch a snake, it is getting a little easier.  We saw kula birds, lorakeets, barn owls, peacocks and pea hens. We saw some big turtles in a seawater tank.  In the small marine building there was signage naming and describing every coral but not a single reference to any of the fish – very funny to me.   And lo and behold, there were ducks and ducklings down by their creek just like the duckies back home.
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There were double-doored rooms where the birds could fly freely;  inside there were more lorakeets, and some huge pigeons.  We were hunting for a golden dove that a sign said was there and couldn’t see any.  My friend thought to look for the source of the barking sound.  There it was — the golden dove (another stock photo – above), really camouflaged in a tree whose leaves had yellow spots.   She was quite tickled, “I never knew a bird to bark before!”
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This was my first trip to Kula Eco-Park – and I give it a thumbs up.
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Mongoose kill count is now 19. Austin took some out of the freezer and cooked them up, but the dogs won’t eat them.  Memo to anyone who eats mongoose:  something’s gotta be pretty bad if a DOG won’t touch it.
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We were really happy to get a visit this week from an old friend from Micronesia. He has lived in more different Micronesian islands than anybody alive probably and we were together on Pohnpei for several years.  Anyway, “what does this have to do with flora and fauna?” you may ask.  Well, I’ll tell you: he is an amateur juggler/magician and he told me of a trick of his that I had to see, and had to share with you.   Below is a video of Brother Dave JUGGLING TOADS.
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(Dangnabbit !!   The video won’t upload – but here is a still.)   
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I promise that all 3 toads were released unharmed back where Dave found them…. I cannot promise that Austin won’t do them in someday soon.

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