Graduation day for this gosling, going from a baby pen to a big goose enclosure. Austin had to come show him off. Even though he is quite large already, he still has baby fuzz – down – mohawk-style.
Goose teeth. And these are still adolescent choppers.
For those small cracks in an egg where the membrane is intact, Austin is trying something – beeswax. The embryo will die if the shell is cracked because of dehydration and contamination, and Austin wants to see if this will work. We will have success or great stink in a few weeks. Any bets?
Vatukola is Fiji’s gold mine, and Austin and I needed to deliver cassava for a funeral there on Tuesday night. We spent the night, and the next morning drove across the north of Viti Levu – the first time for both of us. What a trip! Anyway, this is a photo of Vatukola itself – peaceful river, lovely hills, and the smoke stack of the gold refinery …
… that belches smoke day and night. The only time it stopped was when the plant shut down during the strike. People were surprised that it stopped smoking then.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
The north coast of Viti Levu is fascinating, so many mountains, so many variations of moisture. I cannot share it all, but will share some of my favorites. This hill reminded me of an Aztec pyramid for some reason. It is just so strange and striated sitting right by the road.
These huge black rocks were three of hundreds of black boulders sitting on a mountain covered with downed yellow grasses.
Several miles down the road, these rocks did a balancing act..
Here are cattle grazing under another mountain. As you can see all of this area was dry, dry, dry….
… so of course it must be home to “Fiji Water” Personally, I’m rather put out with the company, but this isn’t the place. Just remember in Fiji, people take their showers and flush their toilets with Fiji water – just not the trademarked-bottled variety.
Sugar is the big industry in this part of Viti Levu. See how green it is. I asked Austin if they irrigate it, and he said No – the cane finds moisture for itself somehow. Cane can be cut down and grow up again for 3 harvests, i.e. 3 years. While I was looking for a good shot of cane at various stages of growth, we saw this scene. You see the little figure in the background?
Oops! We don’t see that very often.
Here is cane cut and lined up for loading
Here is a tractor with a bunch of cars for a sugar train, one car loaded and nine to go.
And here is a crushing mill with trucks lined up ready to off load, and also a sugar train engine under the tree.
EASTERN VITI LEVU
We knew we were rounding the top and hitting the wetter eastern side of the island when even the north-facing slopes had green grass. Also there were spathodia trees. Ugh. And flowers in peoples yards. Yay. And landslides….. We were surprised to see a big hunk of road that was so depressed everybody was going out of their way to avoid it. Nobody likes you when you are down in the dumps.
There were lots of horses with home-made saddle bags. This one is hauling bananas.
And we were able to buy the big river clams (kai) that Monica likes so much.
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