On safari at our house

It has been a while since I wrote anything about what has been happening
in our garden so I thought would provide an update. The big news is the
rains have arrived, and within 48 hours the entire country has turned
from hazy brown to a clear green. It is quite amazing actually. Perhaps
the most amazing thing are the flying ants. They are dormant for like 9
months, then about an hour before the first rain started they began
emerging from holes in the ground at a staggering rate. Somehow they
know exactly when the rains will start, and all fly out at once. As soon
as they emerged we had about 30 birds swooping and catching them in mid
air. All of this was happening right outside my office and I was
fascinated. I went outside and took some videos, but they are too big to

"A plague on both your houses!" A few hours later when it was dark, the
air was full of a different flying insect, more like a small brown
grasshopper with 4 wings. There were about 50 crawling on each window,
and quite a few made it into the house as well.

I think it is pretty wasteful to water grass in a country when people
are complaining of draught, hence some of our grass died this winter/dry
season. Our gardeners are now replanting it piece by piece. In America
you buy a truck full of sod - grass and dirt that you just unroll and
instantly you have thick healthy grass. Here, they transplant it, blade
by blade.

We have been eating very well from our garden. Tomatoes, onions, green
peppers, chili peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, maize,
carrots and tons of herbs too. Also, our four huge mango trees are full
of mangoes that are just ripening. If anybody has some good recipes for
what to do with bucketfulls of mangoes please share!

Boy George (our lizard like creature that is definitely not a chameleon)
now has some new friends (children? lovers?) and he scurries all over
our lawn.

I also found a real chameleon crossing the street while I was cycling,
so I brought him home and named him Karma. They are incredible
creatures. I placed him into some plants next to where we have breakfast
and he instantly blended in and disappeared. We also have Amp, our
tailless yellow lizard who likes to watch us while we eat lunch.

I can't remember if I blogged about the tarantula that we found in the
kitchen. Claudia's eyes moved to just behind and above me and got really
really big. It was straight out of a horror movie. Lazaro our gardener
found him near the beer the next morning and squashed him.

There are also number of bats in our attic that squeak us to sleep, and
large cockroaches which seem to feast on guano, swim in our hot water
tank and then die in the midst of their gluttony. It certainly adds a
unique set of minerals to our baths.

3 Response to On safari at our house

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Those are gorgeous pictures. However I don't envy you for the cockroaches... or the tarantulas. Good for you for not watering the grass.

  2. Mike Waller says:

    Cut the mangos into small squares 1/2", mix with papaya squares of the same size, add red chili pepper and lime juice and cilantro if you have it, for a great salsa. Sometime we substitute thyme ofmint for the cilantro for an interesting taste.

    We had a neurotic chameleon that like to climb our purple polka dot curtains and turned the most interesting purple and green.


  3. Mike says:

    Sounds like an interesting salsa. Definitely will give it a try. Was the chameleon a pet or just friendly curtain climber?

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