Happy New Year!

The weather is still a little unstable around here, with more days being cloudy and rainy than there are sunny days. Same with the temps, most nights are in the mid 60ºs and the days can be from 70º to the high 80ºs if the sun comes out. The good thing is that everything around here is very green, even though there’s still a lot of mud.

Time to dump the gravel.

With all the rain we have had the past couple of months, a lot of our gravel in the driveway washed away leaving nothing but mud. So it was finally dry enough to get a truck in here with 15 more yards of white gravel. Besides the driveway, more gravel was needed in front of the casita where it had also washed away, and a little more in front of the garage. It’s a shame we had to put it on top of all the grass that was filling in so nicely, but in a few months, I suppose it will grow back through the gravel.

With the help of the tractor and some rakes, Kelley and I had it spread out in no time.

Lots of plants, either wild or ones we planted around here are putting out flowers right now. I know it’s the middle of winter for most, and you might not see any flowers in your yard for a couple more months. So here are some flowers from around our place that will hopefully hold you over until your plants bloom or you can start planting again.

Type of Pea flower falling all over the driveway.
Blossoms on one of the Cordylines.
Beautiful flower on one of our Hawaiian Orchids.
Wild Polly Redheads are used to make nature’s iodine for bug bites, rashes, and other skin conditions.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow flowers start purple then turn lavender and eventually white as they mature.
A red Torch Ginger in front of the casita. We also have pink and white ones around.
Hibiscus flower

There are lots of squirrels around here and they seem to be hiding nuts for the winter. For the past couple of months, our Cohune palms have been dropping their nuts like crazy. Every day the squirrels can be seen picking them up and running off into the trees. They seem to be hiding them in places that are up off the ground where I guess other animals can’t get to them. We have seen them in trees, in a corner of the BBQ, inside the railing on the porch, and many more places. Below are a few pictures of some of their hiding spots.

Cohune nut hiding in the coconut tree
Another nut hiding on top of the Humming Bird feeder
Another hiding place was on the pillar of the house

We have had a couple of interesting insects around here lately. The first one is a rhinoceros beetle. He is a real powerhouse of an insect with a hard shell and intimidating horns on his head. Only the males have horns which are used in battle. They get up to three inches long, but this one was just over two inches. He really had a grip on the cement and it was tough to lift him up. When Kelley put him in her hand he really started to dig his legs in and get a grip on her.

This Rhinoceros Beetle hung around the garage for a good week or so.

The second big interesting insect around here this week, which we have seen many before was the peanut head. This one is about 4″ long and very cool looking. When his wings open up there are two spots that look like cat eyes to help scare predators away.

A very strange-looking Peanut Head bug

One of our Jamaican Lime trees is starting to put out a few fruit. Jamaican limes are green on the outside and bright orange on the inside and super juicy. Their taste is a combination of lime juice and orange juice. It’s a favorite to make a limeade for a hot summer day or with a little bit of rum it’s outstanding.

Jamaican Limes fresh off our tree

We are always willing to try something new to eat. The other day as we were wandering around the grocery store we saw a package that was written in Chinese and had a picture of chicken feet with some chili peppers. The feet were individually sealed so we assumed they were “snack feet”, bet you’ve never heard of snack feet before. Anyway, we bought them and took them home to try. They were fully cooked with a spicy sauce on them, and they were actually pretty good. Chances are we will never buy them again, but you have to try new things every so often.

I imagine you can use the toenails to pick out what gets stuck in your teeth.

Not much else has happened around here since Christmas, but I thought I’d get one more blog out to end the year. Here’s wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We hope to see you in 2024!

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!”

  1. Happy New Year! It’s always fun to see what’s happening in your lives in the jungle.

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