Monday, November 18, 2013

October's Nature Notes

A little bit late in coming since we are over halfway through November, but perhaps better late than never. :)

October 1: We had a long, hard rain this morning.  The mangos on our tree are getting bigger!
Nature Journaling in the yard

October 3: There is a new banana tree sprout coming up next to the old one.  We found a waxbill nest in the bamboo bush along our back fence.
Nest of a black-crowned waxbill in our bamboo bush

October 15: The banana trees are growing bigger (at least the two smaller ones are).  We have a very interesting gecko/lizard trapped in our window.  We also saw a mouse in the kitchen (!!) who disappeared quickly behind the stove lid.  It has been raining at least a little bit everyday and sometimes a lot!!
Blossoms on a Croton

October 17: We noticed that the gecko in the window changes colors!  He is more orange when it is sunny and warm and more gray when it is cool and dark or cloudy.  We named him “Weather”, since he changes with the weather. (Sadly, we were having camera issues at the time, and I never got a photo of him!)    We saw two speckled mousebirds sitting on the wire outside this morning.
Fern Spores

October 21: It has been hot and sticky and sunny with only a little bit of rain.
Torch Ginger

October 22: We had heavy rains again yesterday that cooled everything off. We have a Madagascar periwinkle here in [our compound].  I also saw some bagflowers in our yard and in the neighbor’s yard.
These flowers are kind of weird, but really very beautiful at the same time

October 23: We also noticed some orchids in the neighbor’s yard.  There is some new torch ginger blooming in our yard.  The vine growing along our fence (remember that from last month?) is a passion fruit, and there are some flower buds on it.  Also, it clings to the fence by some curly-q’s.  More rain in the night.  We hear birds chirping.
Passion flower buds

October 28: More rain, nuff said. J We found another Barbados flower across the road.  We saw some mushrooms out in the grass.

October 29:  The gardener cut down the banana tree that was not doing well.
Nature Journaling on the front porch

October 30: We saw some pigeons (plain, ordinary pigeons!) just along the side of the road leading up to our gate. {This was notable since we spent most of last year chasing pigeons around the plaza in front of our apartment in France last year!!  But we’d not yet seen them here.}
The cut trunk of a banana tree

October 31: We identified the Indian shot flower.  The little red flower inside the bagflower is blooming.   We saw lots of sappy stuff in the cut trunk of the banana tree.  It was hot and dry yesterday – is dry season starting?
Indian Shot

A couple of journal entries to share…
I journaled the Indian shot...I've been trying to identify this plant all year!  My 8-year-old finally figured it out. :)

Michelle-Age-8 journaled about the Madagascar Periwinkle


  1. Having wandered over here from AO, I really enjoy your nature posts Jen - they seem so exotic compared to my English city garden! Despite the difference in location, there are plenty of reminders of our visits to my husband's French West Indian island of Guadeloupe - is the "weird" flower a Rose de Porcelaine by any chance? (Having learnt them all in French, I rarely know the English names!). My father-in-law would occasionally bring me a bouquet from his plot of land and these were the star player!

  2. Hi Heather,
    I just double checked our plant guidebook and sure enough, the French name for the torch ginger is Rose de Porcelaine. :) Given that we are living in a French speaking part of Africa, I suppose I ought to know the French names for these too. :) I'm glad that you enjoy following our nature's been fun trying to figure out what all of these 'exotic' things are. :)

  3. i always marvel at all the similarity between plants in peru and where you are! super interesting! the flower of the croton in particular surprised me, because we've lived here for a long time, even had these in our previous backyard, and i hadn't seen the flowers until this last year, i think! our crotons are particularly prone to plague here and often don't do well (which may explain why i hadn't seen many of their flowers...). does that happen in your area?