28 May 2015

2015-05-28 lemon-china Cr

These pretty kumquat things caught my eye.   I’d never noticed them on our property before; they are right on the side of Cardiac Hill.  Austin says they are called lemon-china (le-mon-CHEE-na) in Fiji.  I think these are the fruits that make the great local lemonade.


There was an annual crab migration down the river this week.  Junia told me about it – but I didn’t go to the river, much less take my camera.  (Note to self: mid-to-late May.  Try to catch it next year.)


You may remember I noticed lots of single strand spider creations about a month ago.  Saw them again this morning.  Dr. Smarty Pants has a theory – he says the baby spiders are dispersing.   That sounds good to me.

2015-05-28 chix dux worms 1  R


Austin yelled at me to come get a photo in the chicken yard.   He and a village youth were digging a new drainage path for the chicken yard, and they had a poultry riot going on.  Every spadeful brought up a bunch of worms.

2015-05-28 chix dux worms 2  R

The chickens were going for them – and also the ducks!   I didn’t know ducks like to eat worms!

2015-05-28 chix dux worms 3  R

Here is the dug up dirt being dump on the “high” end of the yard.  Loot at the poultry still chasing after the Happy Meal.

2015-05-28 hen house unimproved  R


We currently have 2 hen houses connected by the chicken yard.   This is the unimproved one.

2015-05-28 hen house unimproved  Cr

See close up of the dirt floor.

2015-05-28 hen house cement floor  R

Here is the house Austin and the lads are working on … they are cementing the floor and making it rat-proof.   What is that mess on the cement, you ask?   Hens and roosters roosted above it last night.  That is one night’s droppings from about 20 birds.    Austin will be putting dried grass on top of the cement under the roosts, to help the droppings turn into usable fertilizer.

And finally ….. what you have all been waiting for……

2015-05-28 Mama Po  Cr


She is a calm and happy mother.

2015-05-28 puppies 1  Cr

She delivered ten, but one died.

2015-05-28 puppies 2  R

There are four white pups (taking after Po).

2015-05-28 puppies 3  Cr

And there are five black pups (taking after Uncle Daddy).

I intend to do weekly updates on these bundles of cuteness until they all have new homes.

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May you all have a blessed and happy week.

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21 May 2015

2015-05-21 chicks  Cr

Eye candy for all y’all that want pictures of baby animals.   Austin got the incubator going again, so we have baby chicks again.

2015-05-21 bird at rest Cr

This was the strangest sight for me this week – a myna bird lying against the tyre of my truck!   It wasn’t there when I parked – of course.  I had no idea what had happened to it that it died right there.   And then it wasn’t dead.   After I took the photo I went up thinking to knock it away with my toe – but it stood up and toddled off.

Fiji ground frog from web

I made a new “blog friend” this week – an Aussie lady who is dotty for frogs.  I thought I had it made, but then I found out that she loves FROGS, not toads.   Hmm.    I didn’t know if Fiji even has frogs.   So I found out from an internet search (God bless the web!) that Fiji has one ground frog – public domain photo above – and one tree frog.   I will try to find them for real, but I put in this photo just to make my new friend happy.   : )

Boto means both “frog” and “toad” in Fijian.  When I play with clay with my grandson, he always takes a wad of clay and says “boto” and stomps on it.   There is a good reason.

2015-05-21 toad in road  R

Toad in Road.  There are usually lots of them.   Being short of blog ideas this week, I had a notion of reporting on the run-over toad carcass count.  I discovered that it is way down! Usually on our feeder road there are at least 20, but the other day when I went looking to photograph one there were only 10.   Maybe toads are less active in the colder weather, or maybe some kids have been acting as road-kill removers, kicking the flat bodies off the road.

2015-05-21 OutStanding  Cr

Another view from my morning walk today.   You know the story behind the Prize Winning Farmer, right?   He is a man who is “out standing in his field.”

2015-05-21 rat cages  R

Austin’s contribution this week –  he bought these rat cages for Fj$ 3.50 each – less than US$ 2.   Cheap !

2015-05-21 rat and pumpkins  Cr

They work !   (Ick !).

2015-05-21 Po 1  Cr

I’ve put off telling y’all about Po.  Sweet little Po.  She is pregnant.

You may remember that we had tragedy the last time we had a pregnant bitch, so I am feeling more anxiety than anticipation.

2015-05-21 Po 2  R

But unlike the other, her pregnancy appears to be progressing normally.  I think we will be getting cute puppy pictures soon.

And finally –

2015-05-21 Ryu  R

I saw this magnificent horse at work yesterday (didn’t have my camera with me) – pulling a sledge with a water barrel on it and my neighbor trotting on foot behind him.   Lovely muscles, shiny coat.  I mentioned how much I like the horse to my neighbor, and he said he borrowed it from Rakesh …. and I realized this is my son GUY’S horse !    He named him RYU, which means “dragon.”   He bought this horse and then he moved to Japan !   And we put it with Rakesh so he would get well-trained and be put to work.   Great job !

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14 May 2015

2015-05-14  fogbow 1 R

Guess what!   FOG BOW !   I had no idea there was such a thing – but we got one a few mornings ago.

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2015-05-14  aloe flower 1  Cr

Guess what!   ALOE FLOWER.

2015-05-14  aloe flower 2  R

I guess I had seen aloe flowers before, but I never noticed them.  These flowers are trying really hard to avoid association with the “family”

2015-05-14  aloe flower 9  R

… but here is a photo to show that these flowers are indeed attached to the aloe plant.  (Or are they acting as a flag for a family of shorties?  “Hey, y’all – the folks are down here!”)

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2015-05-14 bird  Cr

Guess what, Karolyn, I can get a picture of a bird, too, if I really try!   Of course I have no idea what it is since it’s not a myna or an owl.   I asked Austin.  It is a BULBUL, introduced from India.  Not a nightengale – even though it’s name suggested that it would be.  Loves papaya and is an agricultural pest – with a cute butt.

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2015-03-12 masi gwine to town  R

Remember this photo from two months ago?   This was our masi plants going to Suva where I mistakenly said that our friend would be pounding the “core” into cloth.  I was close.

2015-05-06 masi 2  R

Two weeks ago the friend gave me the cloth from those plants – it is made from the INNER BARK of the masi plants.  (Happy now, Austin?)   My friend said that the plants were a little old – that is why the cloth is not pure white and there are occasional small brown smudges.

2015-05-06 masi 4  Cr

Here is a close up so you can see the pounded fibers.   Nobody seemed to mind the creamy color and character smiudges.  Many people asked what I was planning to do with it.  I had no idea.

Once I got it home, Monica had and idea.   LOTS of ideas!

2015-05-14 Monica masi 1  R

TA DA !!!!    And this is only the beginning!

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7 May 2015

2015-05-06 centipede R

Well, this critter is a last minute addition.  I carried my camera along on my morning walk just in case there was something interesting.  This is the first centipede I have seen in our neighborhood.  There were plenty of them in Micronesia when we lived there, and every single member of our family has experienced the awful attack of a centipede.  After immortalizing this one, I nudged it with my shod foot to see if it was alive – it was in the middle of the road after all.  The creature slithered away, and I chose not to act on the impulse to kill it.

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2015-05-06 chicken pen  R

Austin’s friend in Vanuatu did the research on bio-security and what it will take for him to be able to export his chicks there.  Guess what …. this chicken pen is sub-standard.  It is SO substandard (for many reasons – some very obvious, such as rats and wild birds can get in) that it will take a complete overhaul.  The alternative is Austin will need to find a source of excellent chicks from an up-to-standard facility in Fiji.  He is now exploring options on both fronts.

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2015-05-06 pomegranate 1  Cr


2015-05-06 pomegranate 3  Cr

This is not from a tree Austin planted, but from one planted by the former owner Jai Karan.  God bless him!   As you can see the flesh on the seeds of this pomegranate is pink.

2015-05-06 pomegranate 4  R

We wondered if it was ripe, but when we tasted … YUM !  It was Monica’s first time eating pomegranate, and she declared it her new Favorite Fruit.

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2015-05-06 colts Cr

Finally, for those who require the fuzzy or furry to feel satisfied – two handsome young bucks who have just appeared in our neighborhood.

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