4 September 2014

2014-09-03 Alien skull   Cr

I saw this skull sitting on a coconut log down at the pond.  What the heck?!  So I asked Dr. Smarty Pants what it is.  He replied, and I quote, “It is the skull of an alien,”  thus doubly earning his nickname.   

2014-09-01 dried road  R


It is so danged dry!   This is the clay road and my grandson’s foot.

2014-09-01 dried roots 1  R

This is the creek at the bottom of the hill.   

2014-09-01 goose attack   R


Above you see Austin’s arm after a goose attack.  He wasn’t carrying water at the time, he was checking a nest and a gander went after him.  Unlike the last injury of his I posted (“bystander in a cock fight”) this time he was the deliberate target.  Our respect for goose fierceness has risen.   …. ANYHOW, I put this in to show what I was being wary of when I went to check the pond.

2014-09-03 goose hole   Cr

Last year I showed the pond all dried out.  This year Austin and team dug a well in the bottom of it because, unlike ducks, geese HAVE to have water.   See the biscuit bucket beside the hole?  That is to carry water to fill the well.  The water table is even lower than that now.

2014-09-03 North facing Cardiac Hill  R


Behold Cardiac HIll in this drought.  So brown and crunchy – so different from the days of dewy grass spiderwebs and miniature flowers.   I kept thinking about poor Cardiac Hill as I walked back up to the house.

2014-09-03 South facing ginger terraces  Cr

Then washing dishes and looking out over the ginger terrace, I started thinking “what the heck?!”   The ginger is still all green – and we aren’t irrigating.   Why can these terraces be so green when Cardiac Hill is naught but tinder?  ….   And then I remembered something Dr. Smarty Pants has been saying ever since we moved here:

2014-09-03 North facing slope  Cr

NORTH- facing slope – what I see across the little valley as I look south from my kitchen. (Sorry there was so much smoke in the air.)   North-facing slopes here catch much more of the sun and they are much dryer.   Cardiac Hill is on a north-facing slope.

2014-09-03 South facing slope   Cr

SOUTH – facing slope – what I see across another little valley as I look north from the top of Cardiac Hill. South-facing slopes get less sun and they are much wetter.  More trees colonize them and if you want to dig a bore hole and hit water easily, you want to dig at the bottom of a south-facing slope.  The ginger terraces are on a south-facing slope.   TA DA!



Eleven months ago I took the above photo of damage to a hill at a place near here.  The cause of the damage was too many cattle on the land.

2014-09-03 cattle damage  R

Now with the foliage burned off we can see the damage even to the top of the tall hill.   Erosion of this nature sets up a chain reaction that causes problems for folks all the way downstream, including us.  I wish there were a happy solution.   

2014-09-03 thorns and barbs  R


This plant has a pretty little red flower, but yesterday I really noticed the thorns for the first time, and right beside rolls of barbed wire.   It is my “Welcome to the Desert that is My World”  photo of the week.

There are predictions of rain for next week.  Anyone want to place some bets?

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7 thoughts on “4 September 2014

  1. Hi Kim, I had no idea it was as dry there as it is this time of year. I figured you had a lot of rain year round. I liked the alien comment, however the tree roots in the picture on down look more like a Mastodon. Ha.

  2. Hi Larry – “tropical islands all have constant rain” is a common misconception. According to my observation, the tiny islands tend to be dry, and the bigger islands tend to be schizophrenic. On the bigger islands the clouds will come in from one direction, dump their payload before hitting the mountains, and arrive on the back side emply-handed. That is called a “rain shadow”. On Viti Levu, the water mostly gets dumped in Suva, and Sigatoka (where I live) is on the “dry side”. Some years, though, it rains like crazy here and people start yelling “climate change.” Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Great blog again. You guys ever tried to build a Hugelkulture mound – wood stacked up and buried – retains moisture for long periods, plats grow well on top of them…

  4. The hole in the bottom of the pond…. 1-2 times per day we take buckets of water out and fill a big metal tub so the ducks and geese can bather and mate- thy much prefer to mate in water! The water refills the hole within a few minutes. A duck got badly stuck in the remaining mud of the pond today and I had to rescue her… she was grateful! The mud was there because I bailed out the temporary well and it rehydrated the pond mud… very sticky! Two geese sitting on eggs now- and five babies so far!

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