Vegetables or Fruits
With all of the new foods we have been trying, it got me thinking about which items are fruit and which are vegetables. Here is a list of the items that some people may not realize what is actually what.
Watermelon - It is even Oklahoma's state vegetable (even though it can be classified as both a vegetable and a fruit.)
Apple - like the watermelon, it is technically both a vegetable and a fruit
The following are technically fruits:
Coffee - it is a cherry pit
Here is a picture of our fruit today. The first picture with all of the orange fruit looking fruit is mainly limes for our fresh limeade today. There are a 3 oranges in that picture. The second picture is has the oranges and the cherimoya.
We are still waiting on the guanabana and the mangoes to ripen.
The flowers are loving the afternoon showers that we are now getting. :)
My husband put up my hammock chair outside the other day. This is very exciting! Now, I just need to find places for the actual hammocks. Although, if he thinks I might spend too much time napping in them, he might not put them up...
On the coffee work front, we are still busy. He cut a few rows down, which is called stumping, to promote new growth. On one half of the field, we cut every 4th row down. On the other half, we only cut selected trees. It will take a few 3-4 years before these trees produce coffee again.
A few days ago, we were raking leaves around the coffee and if you look carefully, you will see a white speck in the picture below. That is Rick raking near the end of the row.
After getting a few of the rows done, it was time to take a day off and go visit the beach.
The beach was a little overcast, so the temperature was just perfect, maybe high 80's or low 90's! But, it is now time to get back to work. :(
Scarabs and June Bug Season
I love Egyptian mythology, but I think they got the scarab thing wrong. The Egyptian god Khepri, Ra, was often depicted as a scarab. Scarabs were also often worn or carried by people. They were buried with scarab amulets and decorations...the list goes on, but you get the picture, they thought highly of the scarabs.
Now, lets discuss what these things really are: They eat dung and decomposing matter, they fly towards our house and crash repeatedly until they die and they get stuck in my hair if I don't constantly run around like a lunatic waving them away.
Each night this week we have had over 100 of these bugs flying around. As we sit down at the end of the day to watch t.v., we keep hearing "thwap" as they run into our windows. When I take the dogs out at night, they rush the doorway and then I have to do my bug dance. (There will never be a picture of this bug dance, so don't even ask!) The ones that manage to get inside fly around buzzing loudly and keep smacking into the walls. They are also making it hard for me to clean and paint our window sills, not to mention that the cat keeps thinking they are toys and keeps bringing them inside. To top it off, each morning I have to sweep handfuls of dead ones off of our porch. I will so not cry when this bug season is over.
I swept away our recent gold one, so the first picture below is copied from Google. The large black one below is still alive, but you can see this one was used as a toy by the cat. When they are threatened, they play opossum and roll into a ball and the kitty is positive that they were invented for her to play with.
As we were cleaning up outside this morning, we found this dead spider too. So, for my friends that are used to the June Bugs, I thought I would add this too.
P.S. There is no way that I would be this close taking a picture if it was still alive.
Wasp Larva - Ick!
We keep hearing bangs coming from on top of the new roof. It took us awhile to realize it was a type of fig falling from a one of the large jungle trees. Rick opened one of the figs up and there were these white maggot looking things inside. After we were totally grossed out, Rick did some research. It turns out that the flowers on the tree are pollinated by wasps, who happen to leave larva behind. As the figs grow, it incubates the larva and by the looks of it, a few eat their way out. We found a few of the figs with a small whole on the side of them and no larva inside. I think this is the most disgusting thing I have seen yet, so of course I had to share it!
On a lighter note, Hector, Rick and I went and harvested some more fruit. Mangoes, cherimoya and the largest tangerines that I have ever seen. The tangerine might have been bigger than the pineapple. Best fruit day ever!
Here is Tambi's random bug of the week. This poor one was missing a leg and it looks like he has a large stinger on his backside.
It is a good thing that we are good at harvesting coffee and do not rely on our pineapple growing skills. We have a pineapple plant in our backyard that I never remember to give water to and well....today, we notice that the poor, lonely pineapple is ripe. Normally, the pineapples in our front yard get picked by somebody when we are not looking and we never actually get to eat them. (Although, I suspect now that we have a fence, we will get to eat those pineapples too.) Today's backyard pineapple is our first one that we have grown that we will get to eat. Too bad it will only be a couple of bites!!!
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my neighbor's rock wall had some issues after an earthquake. For those that were wondering how the wall was coming along, I am happy to say that he fixed it by himself in 3 days. It would have taken me a lot longer!!!
My dog and the neighbor chickens
We put up a fence last week to keep the neighbor chickens from living in our yard, it turns out that chickens are smarter than I thought. They just went out of their front yard and came down our driveway. Thankfully, my neighbor recognized that I was done trying to solve the chicken problem and my dog would keep eating them if they kept coming to our house. (Okay, maybe they are not too smart...they did keep coming to the house with the dog that wanted to eat them.) So, my neighbor fenced his front yard and so far, the chickens are now staying on their own property and there have been no more unfortunate accidents.
Hector had a bar-b-que a few days ago. Food was awesome and my husband might be getting a little better at croquet. He did not win, but he tied for 3rd (out of 4 places). Okay, so no one wanted to come in 4th, so there were multiple 3rd places. :) We also tried another new-to-us fruit. It is a type of plum that looks like a green olive! I included a picture below, and oh my, it was so sweet and juicy! The only problem with it, is that the pit is a large, so you have to eat a few to make it worth while.
We learn something new every day! However, I am going to back up and start at the beginning.
We have a neighbor that his house right next to the end of our coffee field. This neighbor has a horse, a dog and lots of free-range chickens. The chickens have decided to use our coffee field to roam around in and find bugs to eat. They seem to have no idea, nor do I think they care, whose property they are on. The coffee field literally touches their owner's backyard and their owner's roof line crosses over the fence.
Lets talk about the fence for a minute. It is a bunch of palm-like trees with 3 lines of barbed wire along the palms. This fence does not keep anything out, except maybe the horse. Even my dogs laugh at the fence and just duck under the wire to explore my neighbor's yard.
It turns out that one of my puppies should be renamed to "Killer of Chickens." I get it though, these chickens live in my dog's backyard and they run around and make silly noises. They are like little squeak toys to a puppy, except they taste better than the rubber toys I give her.
So, while we were taking a night off at the beach, our neighbor complained to the foreman that our dog keeps attacking their chickens. Thankfully, we had that night at the beach to relax and prepare for the fence project.
So, while Rick was avoiding the sun in his stylish hat, reading his kindle and the boy playing "throw the ball into the human basketball net" and me enjoying the sun as much as I can....the puppies were terrorizing chickens. Who knew?
I am including a couple of other beach pictures while I talking about the beach. Tons of iguanas were running around and the seagull was hoping to get my leftover dinner. By the way, the fish down here is amazing, but you have to get used to seeing the entire fish. :)
So, back to the fence.....who is to blame? The chickens for coming to our yard or my dog for attacking an animal in our yard? It doesn't really matter, the animals are just doing what they do. The puppy chases things and the chickens are just eating and scrounging for food. It never seems to happen while I am around and can train the puppy, so what to do?
We decide that we should try improving the barbed fence. We went and bought 400 feet of chicken wire and went along the barbed wire fence.
Now, the chickens should stay on their own side away from the puppies and puppies might stop bringing garbage over from my neighbor's compost/garbage. A win for everyone! Crossing my fingers that this works!
While we were 3/4 done with the fence, I looked up at one of the shade trees. It has these palm size fruit or pods all over it. Rick picked one of fruit things off of the ground, so that we could take it to Hector and find out what it is.
It turns out it is called a Cherimoya and supposedly it tastes like a blend of pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry. I could not wait to taste it, so I cut it open, even though Hector said it would be ready in 2 days! It is really good!!!!
Rick says it tastes more like a mango/papaya and I can definitely taste the pineapple.
My research shows:
Mark Twain called the cherimoya "the most delicious fruit known to men". The creamy texture of the flesh gives the fruit its secondary name, custard apple. It is good for ice cream, yogurts or just eating with a spoon.
Bugs for the week (all because Tambi likes to see them:)
Here is a caterpillar that was close to 4 inches long and the other bug is a random unknown kind of bug.
While the boy was coloring Easter Eggs, Rick found a nest with some pretty eggs. I have no idea what kind of bird laid them, but they are a pretty blue color.
Now that the new roof is on and the cracks in the stucco are filled, it is time to start painting. We tested our handy dandy paint sprayer, and yay, it worked!
We bought a 5 gallon bucket of red paint that was in a clearance bin. We got scared when Rick started spraying the house and it was bright orange!!! However, it did dry eventually dry and turn to the color that we originally thought that we purchased. But, we now know why it was on clearance, the paint is pretty crappy. It is very runny and we are pretty sure that the 1 coat application it advertises is a lie. We will probably end up going over the house a second time. :(
As you can see from the picture below, the dogs were not helping at all with the painting. They made sure they were next to us at all times and basically got in the way.
Below are before and after pictures of 2 sides of the house. Eventually the water tank will be relocated and it will even look nicer. We still have to paint the windows and the sidewalk by the back door, but that will be with other paint.
Earthquakes, Wasps and Water
This is just a quick update. Things are happening so fast around here, that I wanted to get a few updates in while I had a few minutes.
Earthquake on the Panama/Costa Rica Border
We experienced an earthquake this week that did a little damage. My neighbor, Hector, has been working on his rock wall for some time now. I guess he will have to continue to work on it a little bit longer. :(
There was no damage to our house, except for a broken infinity candle holder and my son's board games all bounced out of his closet and on to the floor. It was a little scary because the shaking seemed to last for a long time. They say it was about 15 seconds, but it seemed longer.
I included some pictures from other places from around the Boquete area. Some of the stores lost some merchandise and there were a few landslides. I personally did not see any damaged roads or landslides, but I included pictures that other people had reported.
It turns out that there is indeed a wasp that is only active at night. One of the only places in the world where they exist happens to be near us. So far, we have never had any issue with them. Early this morning my husband found them swarming. It looked like they were looking for a place to sleep for the day. Hopefully, they will move onward tonight or tomorrow we will have to encourage them to relocate. Here is a picture of them huddling in the mango tree for their daytime nap. (They are the yellow and brown cluster in the middle of the picture.)
The water tanks are up and functional! The plumbing is holding, the water pump works and the tanks are full of water. Another success!!!!