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A Fairy Tale Setting

6 May

It looked like a scene from a fairy tale fable. It was not too late when we came back from dinner earlier this week. The frog was sitting so upright and rigid in front of the tree. Three mushrooms were growing next to the tree trunk, making the scene more fabled. I think the street light played a role in the dreamy scenario.

My feeble attempts with my iPhone XR

The frog did not even flinch when hubby crouched so close to it to take its picture. He managed to capture a few spectacular shots with his Samsung phone. I did not go as close as I was afraid the frog would jump. My photos taken with my iPhone XR pale in comparison to his attempt.

Hubby’s shots with his Samsung phone
Night and day difference for the three mushrooms

Once in a while, it is okay to appreciate a frog if they could sit there quietly, and create a surreal fairy tale scene, instead of being in the garden choir ensemble.

The Garden Choir, Part 2

3 May

There is another group of the garden choir that works during the day. Unlike the frogs performing live at night on rainy days, these birds perform in the morning. And they sure are just as annoying!

The shrill at a sharp pitch is a constant irritation. I do not know why people say birds chirping is soothing and therapeutic – this is the opposite! Occasionally, the tree shrews join the ensemble with non-stop clicking noises that are more argumentative than melodic.

On top of these irritations, the new neighbor behind our house is another strange creature. They have been renovating their house for the longest time ever. They could not do much when the pandemic broke, as renovation activities were not allowed within the estate. It was peaceful for the last two years. Lately, their renovation is in full swing as these activities are permitted again.

Their constant daily drilling and hacking have been driving us up the wall! Let’s not even go into the dust that we have to endure. Between these critters, noise and environmental pollution have become a constant in our lives. Sigh.

A Symbolic Growth, Part 3

15 Apr

So the mini pineapple was left on the kitchen counter to ripen, and it did. It took a few days for this process, and during this time, we could smell its fragrance in the kitchen. What a lovely smell! We were looking forward to savoring it.

The mini pineapple

When we finally cut it, it was not as sweet, unfortunately. A day or two more on the stem would have been better. But it was weakened by the excessive rain and water – we had to harvest it. Otherwise, the squirrels would get to it before us. Oh well. Let’s hope the next pineapple will survive the wet weather.

The Garden Choir

12 Apr

Whenever it rains, the garden suffers. It will flood because the water is too much for the drainage to handle. Some plants survive, but some suffer too, like the pineapple.

Occasionally we suffer too when the frogs come out! They will croak throughout the night, causing sleeplessness as their choir ensemble is too loud. Sigh.

Protecting Our Fruits, Part 2

11 Apr

The wire mesh protection on the papaya tree is not good enough to deter intruders from eating the papaya fruits. Even with our tall ladder, I cannot reach the top to cover all the fruits on the tree because the tree is too tall.

Last week, hubby discovered one slightly eaten fruit. The squirrel is getting clever as it managed to get inside the mesh to bite the papaya! The mesh protects only the outer fruits, and since there are still gaps to some exposed fruits and access from the top, it’s only a matter of deft agility to get inside for a feast.

One fruit is intact but the other is bitten slightly.

Oh well, at this point, we cannot do much. If the fruits ripen, we harvest them. If we don’t get to them first before the squirrel or otherwise, we should share and shouldn’t be too upset about it.

Protecting Our Fruits

22 Mar

There is something else other than the garden squirrels in our garden. The fruits on the papaya tree, while still on the tree, were eaten, and we were mildly irked by this discovery. So, we decided to do something about it. As there are quite a few fruits on the tree, we had to protect them.

Hubby said it could be a civet cat as the bite and claw marks on the recently eaten papaya were too big to be that of a squirrel. Further evidence is some orange-colored poop left on the retaining wall. How dare this uninvited intruder? Hrmph.

And so, I used some leftover wire mesh and covered the fruits from being a buffet offering. I think I did a good job.

Take that, you uninvited intruder!

Mixed Yield

28 Feb

It has been raining a lot, unusual for this time of the year, and it’s creating a lot of havoc for our garden. It gets flooded when the rain comes down fast and hard and does not drain away fast enough.

The two attempts to plant vegetables, feeble as it is, have failed partly because of the rain. The moist habitat has been attracting mealybugs and is detrimental to the overall garden space.

The eggplants have not seen further yield since the last puny harvest. As for the lady’s fingers, hubby got rid of them because he did not want the mealybugs to contaminate the other plants. So he planted some shrubs to utilize the area while figuring out what to grow next.

On a brighter note, the papaya tree next to our frangipani tree has been in abundance! So much that sometimes, the garden squirrels help themselves to the fruits. We’re not complaining as there’s plenty for everyone, but we wouldn’t want to encourage the squirrels to keep eating the fruits on the tree.

Our mixed yield garden

A Rescue, Part 2

6 Apr

Just when we thought the situation was going well for the little birdie we rescued, things went awry. We had our usual weekend golf game, and as always, I would check with the halfway hut attendant who adopted our feathered rescue on its well-being.

Initially, little birdie was cared for by him, but he gave it to his brother because the brother wanted the bird. And since brother dearest had a birdcage, he agreed.

But he questioned the decision of leaving the birdcage outside the house. Brother dearest explained that it was too hot inside the house for the little bird. And if hung outside, it’s not so warm and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, this proved to be a terrible decision as the birdcage went missing the next day! The little birdie was bird-napped! Dear, oh dear.

While I am mildly upset, I’m just appalled at the fate that has befallen our feathered friend. I hope whoever swiped the birdcage is a true bird lover and would provide for the little birdie with just as much love as the attendant and his brother.

Our Garden, Part 2

2 Apr

After the recent pineapple theft right before our eyes by the garden squirrel, hubby took no chances with the latest pineapple as it is almost ripe and ready. He had put a wire mesh around the fruit as it grew to protect it from the squirrels. Of late, squirrels have been visiting us.

Last week, hubby set out a cage trap intended for a suspected rat intruder in the wet kitchen area, but a silly young squirrel fell for it instead. It wasn’t a big-sized squirrel, nor was it the scalded squirrel. He let it go because the furry critter did look rather cute but not our intention to trap it. Then several days later, two squirrels was simultaneously trapped! Two, I thought it was quite a feat.

I suspect the critters are coming around because there are fruits in the kitchen, and they can smell the enticing fragrance of ripe fruits. Thankfully, we are one step ahead of them this time, and our fruits are not compromised.

But with the whiff of the ripe fruits, we have to be careful, and since the current pineapple is almost ready, hubby decided to harvest it. I think it should be two or three days before we can savor this fruit of his labor.

And yesterday morning, the scalded squirrel had a brief encounter with me. It contemplated coming inside the house as we left the terrace door wide open. We had a short staring moment, and I won as I got up, causing it to scurry off.

Again out of pity, hubby left a piece of bread for the poor squirrel. I hope the birds will not eat it and continue pecking at their provided bird seeds. The things we do for our garden visitors.

Our Garden

26 Mar

Our garden is a sanctuary of sorts for all the critters in the area. Birds flock to our place for bird seeds provided on a timely schedule, squirrels romp here hoping for the same fortune as the birds, and earthworms make a mess of the garden surface while having a galore underground. The smaller critters – the bees and caterpillars enjoy the nectar and leaves at their own pace without any disturbance. It is a very fertile and happy place.

Recently we spotted an injured squirrel from the kitchen window. Unfortunately, I was too slow with the phone to get a picture. The poor thing looked like it got scalded for its tail, and part of its face and body is missing some fur with the bare pink skin showing. The poor critter is constantly looking very frightened and wary of the surroundings and still surviving.

One day, hubby – out of pity – threw out a piece of bread for the injured squirrel to eat. It came around and sniffed at the bread, unsure what it was. It is evident bread is something that is not in the squirrel’s natural environment. It even sniffed at the surrounding plants, wondering if the bread fell off from one of the nearby potted plants.

We couldn’t wait for it to eat the offering and left for the office soon after. That night, when we got home, the bread is gone. I am assuming the squirrel ate it, and we have not seen it since. Hopefully, it gained some strength from the offered food and is recovering well. We have to keep a lookout for it to appear again.