February 2012 News Bulletin

Dear Friends,

The last few weeks we have been unconventionally dry with very little rain, but unlike the middle months of the year where the cool winds come from the dry SE the northern monsoonal winds prevailed picking up  air vapor from the warm ocean and blowing its hot breathe onshore. Our ‘ripped’ broad acre patch struggled with this condition with our sprouts sagging and those that survived looking largely  stressed and traumatized from the experience and I’m uncertain if they will grow and mature into the cereals that we want them to be. But Alas! more seeds remain and sow we go on.

It seems  to be that the collective willing for rain of ‘top enders’ has been strong and the monsoon has decided to reform threatening a tropical low right on our door step, be careful what you wish for. These heavy rains and wild winds cause native fruits to fall blanketing the ground below. I was riding my bike through the Casurina Coastal Reserve when an Emerald Dove rose silently and heavily, finding cover where it watches alertly, with its head bobbing to ensure eye contact as wind stirred with leaves and branches obscuring its view. This bird is often encountered at close range picking its way through the ground litter of the monsoonal vine forest and that day had been feasting on a carpet of Flueggea virosa berries which are a favored food of humans and animals alike. They are delicately small and sweet tasting especially when perfectly ripe. There I sat awhile at some distance, binocs in hand, and waited as many birds paid a visit some swallowing their fruit whole and others loading up take away undoubtedly to impatiently expecting squawking chicks. If you are ambling along and notice that a fruit tree is laden or has littered the ground with berries do take the time and wait to see what turns up for you never know who might be in the neighborhood.

This weeks co editor is Emily ‘chicken’ Gray, who is providing us with some technical advise on the use of spades along with appropriate music as well as a recipe that taste’s so good it will send you bananas. Thank you Emily and happy birthday. 


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