3 October 2013

stock malabar chestnut for 10-3-13
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Guess who’s got a MONEY TREE !!

(confession – this is a stock photo, but we really do have the trees)

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Remember that nut tree that Austin recognized as edible from Palau when we were at a funeral on the coast a few months ago?  The same tree that he got about 10 free trees of?  Well, it turns out it is a Malabar chestnut – and it is famous in the orient as a “Money Tree”
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Austin and Junia got all the trees planted this week.  Now, let the good fortune roll in!.
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It’s raining – and I’m in love with the green.  The camera isn’t catching the beautiful light green against the blue sky, but I had to try.
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Here are freshly harvested limes.  I love the green.
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Here is a leaf that goes green to red – and I have no idea for the name of this green – but you can tell I am green obsessed right now.   Never mind.
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Akka found some old photos of insects here on the porch.  Here is a big beetle that was around last wet season.
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Here is an interesting moth that Austin found a few years ago.  The wings look like stained glass.
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This less-photogenic fellow is a blister beetle.  Akka just found him this week and stuck him in a baby food jar.  We’ve had experience with this insect since Micronesia days.  They engage in chemical warfare – squirting out a liquid that raises blisters on you when they feel threatened.
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A bunch of chicks hatched  few days ago.  Austin wanted me to put a photo of them in.  These are factory-fresh – still egg-shaped.
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Akka and I were driving home from town – and he pointed out a very fine looking horse.   The photo does not do him justice – such a shiny brown coat and such a luxuriant mane and tail.   You don’t see horses this good up the valley where we live.  After we oohed and aahed a bit, we realized that he and his extended family were in the middle of the road.
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Animals in the road are normal here.
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11 July 2013

Farm Late Oct 2008 001I think I see tangan-tangan growing beside our sometime creek. Tiny, lacy leaflets, brown flat seed pods.  Gee whiz, I haven’t thought about tangan-tangan for 30 years.  It was the number 1 tree on Guam where typhoons took out all the big trees.  Tangan-tangan there grew to about 8 feet tall (it seems in my memory) – and was useful only for barbeque fires.  It lived on limestone – and if horses ate it their manes and tails would fall out.  (?)  maybe.   I’m surprised I remember so much about it!  Oh – right – Austin and I were newlyweds back then and I paid more attention to what he was saying all the time.

Hey!  Maybe that explains why the horses around here all have broken off manes and tails!  (The horses up the valley look so ratty compared to the ones down on the coast with really sleek coats and healthy manes and tails – but don’t tell my son Guy I said that, he loves his ratty looking horse he left behind.)

Speaking of horse (I really shouldn’t….. ha ha)

Saturday lunch at the farm:

– “lumi” – angel-hair algae from the coast, picked clean of all little rocks and then washed to get all the sand out, dissolved in hot coconut cream, with minced onion, red chillies and shredded carrot.

– salad of local cucumbers and imported carrots

– imported rice.

– and because my Hindu housekeeper is not here, barbequed horse from our freezer.

(poor young horse drowned a few months back – and it was just as easy to butcher her as to bury her.  The plan was that she’d be dogfood, but my boys were checking out prime cuts, and keeping them from tasting it was not going to happen.  No, I don’t eat it.  And I have a kosher-inspired kitchen now, where items that touch beef or mystery meat are never used for other meals.)

If this is tangan-tangan, it is pretty tall by the creek – 14 or 16 feet tall.  Is my memory wrong ?  Is it richer soil?   Is it lack of big storms?   Is it really not tangan-tangan at all?   (Kim’s “report”:   the place you find more questions than answers)

Oh right – about those little toads.  Austin and Akka were interested about the little toads away from the house.  Their theories:   the babies may be avoiding the adults.   OR  they learned to stay away (my theory, too)   OR  it is because that is where the grass was newly mown.   In any case, Austin’s going out to do the little toads in, soon.

The family found out I’m writing this weekly report.

Akka’s comment,    “”Did you mention the grapes?”

“What grapes?”

“We just told you, we’ve got a grape plant growing down at the cottage.”

I forgot about the grape plant as soon as he and Austin said it – I don’t believe them.  It is like the strawberries a few months ago.   “Kim, we’ve got a strawberry plant!”   Yeah, THREE strawberries total.  Sorry, it is not worth getting excited about.

Walking to a neighbor’s house on another hill, I have to pass by the house with the friendly goat.  I had never interacted with goats until this one a few months ago, but I’m normally not scared of animals and he was only hip high so  I scratched his head.  The goat just got friendlier and friendlier – taking an amorous interest in me.  A Serious Amorous Interest. Oh no!!  Getting away was way more of a challenge than I expected.  So this time I gave Mr. Lover-boy a wide miss.  He was being “very friendly” to the child who was scratching his head as I passed.  Oh dear!!!  If he is typical, no wonder goats have such an unsavory reputation!

Ticklish feet:  A butterfly with wings like dead leaves lighted on a starfruit lying on the ground.  An ant was walking around the starfruit, and I wondered what would happen when it found the butterfly’s leg – would the butterfly ignore it, or take off, or what?  A few moments later the ant did touch the foot … and the butterfly just raised her foot, flamingo-like.  Cute!