Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's in my backyard

Like most other blogs, this one has obviously taken a break--partially because I had to figure out how to do some Photoshopping, and partially because the subject of this post took about two months to develop.

First of all, here's a decent view of our backyard. The grass was just cut, so the weeds aren't the usual foot tall. The vines you see at the base of the banana tree bunch are chains of love, which is this nasty invasive species from Asia which is basically covering all of the natural vegetation (including, unfortunately, massive swaths of land by the roads with their respective papaya and breadfruit trees, and the swordgrass). But you can also see our mansanita tree, and the banana trees' suckers sprouting up, in the bunch and to the left. Oh, but wait . . .

What's that? (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

I noticed this the blossom growing a few weeks before I left for Sanlågu in May, and so had a chance to at least take some shots to capture the rate of growth. Surprisingly enough, unlike everything else that shoots up here on Guåhan, the fruit bunch takes a relatively long time to mature.

Here you see the inside of the blossom beginning to face upwards as the blossom leaves fall off.

But the leaves don't just fall off--they do this interesting curl just before doing so. It's pretty elegant.

Slowly you see the rest of the bunch beginning to form . . .

I really don't know why industrial designers haven't taken this shape into account when doing new light fixtures.

Anyway, that is what I saw. And then I went away for three weeks, and then got lazy and forgot to take more pictures of the trees (actually, the weeds got long and annoying, or sometimes it was raining or it was too late in the day to catch good lght, or I didn't want to walk out there because the mosquitos would feast, and basically I was a wuss).

But finally we cut down the banana bunch and gave them to Nanan Biha.

According to her, we probably should have cut off the blossom about two feet ago so that the tree's energy could channel into the fruit (as opposed to the flower), and then let the bunch go for another month to ripen.

But as you can see, there are plenty more plants that might bear within the next year or so, so it could possibly be ensalåda fafalu from the backyard.

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