24 September 2020

Forget the Flora this week, folks – it’s all Fauna: Canis lupus familiaris.

First off – Bingo disappeared a few weeks ago. I didn’t want to say anything, because it doesn’t look good to lose a dog, and because Austin wouldn’t be THAT farmer anymore (you know, there was a farmer had a dog….). Bittersweetly, Bingo did reappear, but it was never the same.

In the meantime two things happened. ONE – it rained, and all the Bingo-smell was gone. and TWO – Monica brought her dog from Suva.

He is named “Raki” for Rakiraki (rah-kee-rah-kee), the town he comes from – but it sounds like “Rocky” to me – and that’s the name I’m sticking with. Here is Rocky playing with Jumper. Rocky is small but scrappy.

Winky went to her beauty parlor for a new look.

A cow-pie dye job or something. Rocky approved.

Around this time Bingo showed up for some good Teitei chow. No luck. Rocky ran him off, and his two old girlfriends did nothing to stop it. So long, Bingo – there’s a new stud in town.

The only thing not-to-like about Rocky was the midnight serenades. Tarsi used to bark all night about nothing, and we’d gotten used to peace at night since she died. No more. Rocky is a crooner. He really earns the “lupus” part of his Latin name. Ar-Roooooooooo. Ar-rooooooooo. And of course all the other dogs here join in once he starts. Other than that, Rocky was a sweetie.

Then yesterday, I walk over to this:

What is this? Two dead juveniles. Akka told me Rocky got them.

And that was only the beginning of a killing spree.

Jumper, the opportunist, was caught eating one of Rocky’s victims. By noon, Rocky had killed at least five.

We called Monica, who is in Suva this week. She said we can give him away.

For now, Rocky is in the doghouse, metaphorically. We don’t have any real doghouse.

He’s on a rope. Looking contrite. Waiting for sentencing.

I like Rocky. The plan was that he would live over on the site where Akka and Monica will be building. I hope he can be rehabbed. We’ll see.


Arts and Crafts Corner. My neighbor wants me to teach her how to knit. I made some samples of different stitches I know, got curious, went on you-tube, found a heap more stitches. The lace was clunky with yarn, so I decided to try it with feedbag string. Ta Da!


Happy Week, Everybody.


17 September 2020

OY – a day late and a dollar short, again! So it is “17 September” YOUR time….. I got tied up in Suva. But don’t want to miss blogging this week because I have INTERESTING Flora and INTERESTING Fauna to share.

The Flora … a new fruit:

“Chocolate pudding” fruit. Now ripe.

It is DELICIOUS! The texture is just like pudding. The flavor is gently sweet – a bit like dates, even a hint of chocolate.

Funny – the Fijian name is sapote (sa-PO-tay) which is a whole lot like sapota (sa-PO-tuh) which means “underwear” Do I need to say more?


The Fauna … another HUGE mongoose

Austin is sure that this is a completely different species of mongoose. It’s not only bigger, it also acts really different. It is very calm and does not hiss at us. Monica wanted to keep it for a pet, but it had already eaten six goose eggs at least, and Austin was determined to get rid of it. “How about seeing if Kula Eco Park wants it?” I asked.

In June 2019 Austin got a huge one like this and Kula Eco Park took it. He didn’t think they’d want another – but he called and they said yes.

Turns out the older giant mongoose is a female, and Giant Mongoose 2020 is a male. This boy is more than 2 feet long (650 cm+) and weighs at least 3 Kg (7 pounds). He is like a huge housecat. This is one time that everybody wins on the outcome. Yay!


Dry weather, ponds going down, so time to harvest the tilapia/malea.

Harvesting was fun and muddy work. Some of the fish are for the table. The rest are in my swimming pool again.



I saw some old potato sack in the hatchery and decided to try embroidery with the feedbag strings.

This was the best of the efforts. Austin’s comment: “That will make nice smoke for the bees.” Turns out the burlap’s purpose is to feed the bee smoker. Ha.


Happy week, everybody.


10 September 2020

Monday was a public holiday and some of us decided to go to the river for a picnic. The nice shallow swimming spot was too sunny, but one of our friends said we could walk across and it’s shady on the other side. She was right.

Looking upstream.

Kids play on the sand bank.
Looking downstream. What is that on the far bank?
Laundry day at the river.
Farmer with bullocks – emply sledge, he has already dropped off his bags of corn.

Fun time in a place that is not so modernized yet.


Monica caught this photo of a cactus flower on the path to the pavilion.

Look quick!

By the time I went up to see it, it was gone.


Nicole and baby went to visit her parents – and she came back with …..

celery grows here ?!!



Ok, Akka is Smarty Pants Jr. …. those WERE ducks last week, not geese. White muscovy ducks. I was wrong. (I would have known the difference in person … and I didn’t know we have white ducks. Well, now I know.)


Happy week, everybody.


3 September 2020

Wow – the date matches YOUR calendar instead of mine (across the date line) this week. Reason: the power was out yesterday, and then the internet was still down for a few hours after the power came back on. Excuses, excuses.

I’m uninspired – but luckily Akka is.

He sent me these cocks squaring off:

Feathers are about to fly.

Looks like a big fight was about to happen. But what really happened is that one rooster chose to de-escalate matters by pretending to eat. ha ha.

Now that Akka is doing most of the chicken feeding, he is getting kind of fond of the birds. This one is his favorite because of the way the wings sweep up and back (most unusual).

Extra proud posture!

He calls him Wings.

And Akka shot over this photo which he identified as “two white ducks that are always together.”

Best buds – whatever species they are.

I’m pretty sure that it is a pair of ganders. Dr. Smarty Pants will let us know when he sees the blog.

Speaking of which – Dr. Smarty Pants gave me corrections that I never put in for a few weeks back. They were for this photo:

two “turka” chicks

The two “full-blood” naked neck chicks. Only the one on the right is truly “full-blood”; the one on the left is “half blood.” And the bulge in their necks is that their “crops” are full. (The crop is where food sits for awhile on its way to the gizzard.)


Oh, Dr. Smarty Pants – he really does keep busy! Right now he is getting quotes from businesses with diggers because he landed a government grant for fish ponds! Akka and Monica are going to be raising some gigantic tilapia – as high quality Fish Food is part of the grant. The idea is that people raise the first batch of tilapia with government help, and then reserve part of the fish sales to pay for the high quality food for the next batch of fish. Grow, sell, repeat. If we can make this work, we can pass it on!


Happy week, Everybody.