19 September 2013

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Lautoka is a beautiful city, especially if you love trees.  There are rows of palms, of mango trees, of huge vaivai, of “Itt”s.  There is mahogany and teak and date palm.  We ended up spending most of the week in Lautoka at the large regional hospital.   Above is a shot of the corner where Hospital Road meets the main road.

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I’m shocked that on-line resources do not mention Lautoka’s many parks and stately avenues.   Lautoka has been a prosperous little city because of the sugar industry, and some farsighted people invested in making it beautiful.  Here are a few shots I got of some of the magnificent trees.
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Even the main street is lined with palms.   Maybe we can read history of bad weather from their bent trunks.

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This was the view from the hospital room.
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 Beautiful, eh?   I kept thinking about how none of the coconut trees were “decapitated” from the recent fierce hurricane: so many of the coconut trees in Guam are headless because of the storms.   Then later, Austin and I noticed this group of headless royal palms.
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That is weird because royal palms throw off their leaves during storms, and almost never lose their crowns or get blown over.  That’s why Austin always plants royal palms near any house we live in.   Anyway, he’s thinking maybe a piece of flying tin got them, since it is 3 trees in a row.
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Just a little more around the hospital.  Beautiful hibiscus.  I envy the healthiness of this plant – as you recall I often bemoan the plight of my hibiscus bush at home.
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This beauty was blooming in the parking lot.  I asked Austin what it is – he doesn’t know.  Says we have it at home.  He was quite dismissive, but I found the flower charming.
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And I can’t leave the hospital without showing off the TALLEST Cousin Itt trees I’ve ever seen – standing there against the hospital. …  And finally we could go home.   This is part of what met us.
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More ducklings – these are a couple of days old and going to their new owner today.
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Austin wanted to make sure EVERYBODY notices that there are some with pink bills and some with blue.  He thinks the pink-billed duck is a hybrid.  (Sometimes he goes on about their feet – some are yellow and some are black.  Big deal.)
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And finally – this is the happiest thing that met all of us on our happy, healthy return from our sojourn in the west.   Tarsi’s puppies – 5 females and 3 males.
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PS – I feel the report is not complete without mentioning that  I did not notice any flora or fauna inside the hospital.   I actually LOOKED for vermin for my report, and there was none.  For the tropics this is incredible.  The other thing is that we did not have to “shell” out any money for the 6 day hospital stay.  It was paid for by our tax dollars.  The care was beautiful, and I think it deserves a mention.

13 June 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAustin says more duckings are starting to hatch.  Right now we have two pens of young ducklings, in one pen is a hybrid who is twice as big as his brothers.

I saw some kind of sea bird in a leafless tree about 8 km up the valley road.  Wouldn’t have seen it if I wasn’t looking at the tree wondering why it had no leaves.  If I knew the names of sea birds, I could tell you what it was.

Ants are digging deep trails across bare sandy soil on our property, I don’t remember seeing that before.  I wonder what is up.

On the trail – back way to my house – I saw a bunch of half-eaten ripe guavas.  I wondered why my neighbor was only eating half of them, and then figured out it must be birds.  Duh!

Sensitive plant is in bloom.  I HATE that plant and it has sprung up all over in spite of all my ripping out of so many plants for so many years.   Austin says the honeybees like it, and a local lady makes incontinence medicine out of it, so I guess it is not ALL bad – but I wish it were gone off our land.

In the same vein, there is a stupid spathodia tree blooming not 200 yards from the border of our land.  That tree is not going to invade our property – I will blow it up first.

There is some kind of delicious looking little yellow melon growing on the path, but it must not be edible, because no one has brought any home to cook.

I just realized – we don’t have any toads on our porch!  Austin has spent so much time being the Toad Slayer – and it is really paying off.  Surprise!   (we live on  this porch – our kitchen is out here and our living room too)