12 February 2015


2015-02-12 red snake 2  R

At a loss for anything else new to blog about – I opened the bucket…..  TA DA.    This is the new (and currently only) snake checking out my camera case.

2015-02-12 red snake 1  R

I’ve named him Little Mr. Lal, because (1) he is still little – Thank God,  (2) it is definitely a  HE – we learned how to tell.  He has little hooks by his “vent” (that is butt- and everything else hole), and (3)  LAL is the Hindi word for RED.  He is a very red snake.

2015-02-12 red snake 3  R

According to Austin, Little Mr. Lal is red because he is adapted to living among mahogany trees.

We have not had a good track record with snakes.   In October 2013 people from the school begged Austin to come get the snake they found there.  We named him Sylvester, found out later it was a female – had her for about six months and she died.   People brought Austin another snake, this time a male – I never held him even once.  He died after about two months.  So I’m not worried about Little Mr. Lal becoming Humongous Mr. Lal.     I would be fine with Little Mr. Lal escaping, never to be seen again….

2015-02-08  Oja santa 1  R


A recent guest recognized this plant and got all excited because she has cooked with it before.   It is hoja santa (pronounced OH-hah SAN-ta, Spanish for “holy leaf”).   Austin brought down a seed pod looking part of it and had me taste.  It tastes a lot like sassafras. Akka is going to try out recipes.   You can read a bit about hoja santa here:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_auritum

SS 2015-02-05  ivi nuts  R


Another edible, one that is familiar to us, is ivi (EE-vee).  They come into season, and then the market is full of boiled ivi nuts.  They sell for about a dollar (US fifty cents) for a bag of 10 of them.  They taste a lot like chestnuts, but are bigger – about the size of a lid to a baby food jar. Ivi are also a great source or merriment and/or embarrassment …. the flatulence they create is tremendous.

 SS 2015-02-05 water spider  Cr


#1.  Observant reader, Lady of the Cakes,  said she didn’t think this was a spider.  She was right.  Dr. Show-Off tells me it is a CRICKET.   And not only that, I should tell you that it is sitting on an IVI fruit in the creek.   (I’d never seen an ivi inside its natural casing in my life.)

SS 2015-02-05  Dragonfly 2  R

#2  These are not dragonfly larvae, these are the little insects that the dragonfly larvae eat.  Austin and Sandra did not take any photos of the dragonfly larvae.  (Are you kidding me?!  Out of those hundreds of photos of dragonflies and their sheds?!!!   Good Lord !!!!)

SS 2015-02-05 wild orchid  R

#3  It wasn’t a wild orchid – I was right that much. ..COCOA FLOWER (“Kim, you are so dumb.  The cocoa pods are right there by it.”   …. What cocoa pods?)

SS 2015-02-05 mystery flower  1  R

#4  Mystery flower above is …. Soursop!   Really?!

SS 2015-02-05 mystery flower 2  R

#5 The other mystery flower is …….a sandalwood flower.

And there is lots more information on several of the other photos too.   Like the waterwalker was actually a pair of mating water striders.   The cactus flower, more specifically is the bud of Austin’s first dragon fruit.   The flying whatnots might be insects Austin’s aunt studied and were brought to Fiji to eat mosquitoes.  The yellow butterfly was on a daisy that the bees like for honey-making.  Sigh.

But I was really happy to hear from one reader this week that she really got a laugh from how much I didn’t know, since she never knows things either.   That reader is a guest to the farm who thought the goats by the road were deer…..

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May we all have a happy week.

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6 thoughts on “12 February 2015

  1. As usual I enjoyed your blog. I especially liked the snake and the “elephant ears”. I found it interesting when you said the leafs tasted like sassafras. My dad used to talk about sassafras tea. When he was growing up he would have to drink it as a medicine. I haven’t ever tasted it. I’, curious. If I come to visit that’s another thing I will have to taste. Hope you are doing well..

    • Hi Larry. Sassafras is the flavor of root beer. I was really peeved to hear that FDA banned the sale of sassafras because it has a carcinogenic compound in it. (There is no proof that that this 100% natural compound is carcinogenic in humans – BAH!) We are fine. You can plan to be a snake charmer as well as a sassafras-substitute taster.

  2. A cricket! They always do look like roaches to me. But then again, so does one of my scrunched-up rubber hairbands when I haven’t got my glasses on 🙂

    Love the snake. I want him! What does he eat? Insects? I assume he’s still too small to tackle anything more meaty…

    • You can have him! I’ll help with the paperwork!

      Austin was planning to feed him a gecko. Don’t know if he’s gotten around to it yet. When he gets bigger, we’ll feed him dying chicks. There is always at least one with each hatching – but he won’t need nearly as meany as we produce.

      • Where does he live? Confined? Or just crawling round the farm, looking for more healthy fattened-up chicks?

  3. Karolyn – Lord have mercy, NO! If he were loose, my daughter-in-law and I would both be having heart attacks, and/or moving out! Little Mr. Lal is in a bucket with a lid for now. When he is bigger we have a very nice cage for him.

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