20 November 2014

2014-11-20  hidden eggs  R

Behold another hidden clutch of chicken eggs, this one on an undeveloped part of a hill near a set of bee boxes.    Such fertility.

Speaking of fertility…..


Our kids live all around the Pacific rim – last time we all managed to get together was 5 years ago, and there are more of us now.   In celebration of the triumph of family over inertia and other commitments, I give you each family member with the bit of flora or fauna of choice.

2014-11-20 BEAMER and coffee Cr

Doris (“Beamer”), our beloved matriarch,   Crown of thorn flowers in her hair, and more importantly COFFEE in her cup!

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2014-11-12  AKKA and strawberry  Cr

Akka and a big fat strawberry he grew

2014-11-20 MONICA and uci  R

Monica and an uci (OO-thee) plant.  This plant is very important for traditional garlands.  It has a unique “clean” scent.

2014-11-20 KIKI and 4-petal plumeria  Cr

Kiki and a four-petal plumeria.

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2014-11-20 MAKI and jackfruit  Cr

Honorary Uncle Maki – lucky us that he is in Fiji right now – with jackfruit.

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2014-11-20 LUA and Mangoes  Cr

Lua and mangoes – she was asking for mangoes once she arrived and was surprised to hear we have them at the farm.

2014-11-20 MAX and dogs  'Cr

Max and our dogs.

2014-11-20 VICTOR and chickies  Cr

Victor and some chickies.

2014-11-20 ALICE and Teddy  R

Alice and Teddy the cat.

2014-11-20 HAZEL and bougainvillea  Cr

Hazel and bougainvillea.   We picked it out for her thinking it would be easy.  Then she started carrying it with her everywhere.

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2014-11-20 JUNIA and Flora  Cr

Junia and “Flora” margarine spread.  Austin won’t let me buy margarine, but one of the in-laws smuggled some in.

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2014-11-20 CLARA and bananas  Cr

Clara and a stalk of bananas.  She was shooing away fruit flies with her hand.

2014-11-20 NIGEL and crabs  R

Nigel and mangrove crabs.  His brother had caught these crabs (Nigel’s family lives near Nausori on the other side of Suva) and Nigel brought them to the farm for one of our dinners.  YUMMY !!

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2014-11-20 RAKESH and wild fledgling  Cr

Uncle Rakesh, one of my Raksha Bandan brothers, and a wild fledgling.  Herein lies a story.  Clara wanted to be photographed with the nest of baby birds.  Junia warned us not to get too close or the birds would jump out.  We got too close.  The dogs were too interested.  Rakesh rescued the fledgling to return it to the nest.

2014-11-20 VINA and betelnut  Cr

Auntie Vina  (she is Beamer’s personal assistant, Rakesh’s wife, Maki’s “Rakee sister” all at once) and betel nuts growing in front of the house.   Vina just told me betel nut is very important in some of the Hindu prayer ceremonies!

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2014-11-20 GUY and peppers  R

Guy and some of the beautiful bell peppers (capsicums) Austin bought at Taiwan Mission.

2014-11-20 MAMI and duranta   R

Mami with a purple flower we did not know the name of.  Junia tells us it is “duranta” – and they also had it in Haifa.  (Guy, Mami and Junia all served in Haifa together.)

2014-11-20 LEO and hibiscus  Cr

Leo, currently the youngest family member, with hibiscus.

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2014-11-20 GRANDDADDY  R


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23 October 2014

2014-10-23  metallic bug   Cr

This was the real beauty from this week – a gorgeous metallic looking insect.  I think this bug is even on one of the Fiji postage stamps.

2014-10-23 Billy and sister  Cr


I saw Billy the goat and his sister foraging in the drain beside the road, thought “how sweet” and stopped to take a photo.

2014-10-23 Billy  R

Billy recognized me and came up to say Hi!   I was so happy and surprised.   Billy’s owner told me that it’s good he stayed with us for a month, because he is not afraid of dogs any more.  If a dog comes near, Billy turns around and shows them his horns 🙂

2014-09-25 waka levu   R


The proper way to drink yaqona (kava) the local mild intoxicant, is to pound the root, add water and squeeze.  The lazy way is to use powdered kava.  Anyway,  the dried roots are organized into a bundle called a waka.  I asked this man if I could take his picture because it is one of the biggest waka I ever saw.   Almost for sure he bought this to take to some ceremony (wedding, funeral, petition to a chief).

2014-10-23  kanikani R

And THIS is an example of kanikani, the “lizard skin” condition that happens to people who drink too much kava.   It results from Vitamin A depletion.    This is my friend’s foot.

2014-10-23  mangos 1  Cr


That long drought had one surprising side effect:  MANGOES !

2014-10-23  mangos 2  R

The tree is loaded.   We are shocked.

2014-10-23  land swans  Cr


Two ganders that always hang out in our yard have taken to chilling in the driveway.  I know they are ganders because they are pure white.  The female pilgrim geese have some gray on them.


My dear friend planted the tree in memory of her grandpa  (see 21 August ) …. and then I forgot about the tree!   We had that awful drought, and the tree on the top of the hill …. well, I was afraid it was dead.  Austin said it might survive and that I should just watch it.

2014-10-23  Vova survives   R

Finally!  It is putting out new leaves.   Isn’t this a delightful fleur-de-lis configuration!

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2014-10-23 bleeding heart  R

This is a flower I love that we have in Suva, a kind of ‘bleeding-heart.’

Happy Diwali.

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