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.
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.
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….
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
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.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS GALORE !!
#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.)
#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 !!!!)
#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?)
#4 Mystery flower above is …. Soursop! Really?!
#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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