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05 February 2017

Creeping ficus

     Ficus pumila in Virginia is sold at greenhouses for mostly indoor use. I have some in my home there.  However, in Bluefields near False Bluff this ficus shows its full potential. This is a picture of a building which houses a small hair salon....covered with ficus and trimmed only as needed!

29 January 2017

Raising and attaching our transformer

     I didn't purchase the transformer that provides power to my home in the USA.  In established neighborhoods in Bluefields transformers are provided although even there you can buy your own. Some businesses do and some homeowners do.
     But the only way I was going to get electricity from the new power lines that run along the coast was to buy a transformer...and there are certain obvious benefits, the most immediate of which is that I can say what gets attached to it and what doesn't. 
     Here are a few more photos of the transformer being put into place.
     A rope was tied around the transformer in preparation for lifting it to its height and position on the utility pole that is behind the house.

     The electician from ENEL prepares for his climb...

     and then outfits himself with everything he'll need once he gets where the transformer's going.

     Once at the height that will enable him to tap into the existing wires, that's done quickly and safely. Here the electrician is waiting for the transformer to arrive.

      Above the banana and cashew trees, the transformer is attached to the pole and connected to the grid.


14 January 2017

Getting ready to install our very own transformer

        In November 2016 I posted that we had purchased our very own transformer. Here are some photos from the day of installation. 
     The ENEL (national electric company) representative came out with two other men who I thought were there to help him. 
     The guys turned out to be with the boat rather than with ENEL and - as did I - stood around and watched, while the supplies and equipment were laid out or put on in anticipation of raising the transformer.

     Watching this guy was like watching someone prepare for war but it was obvious he knew what he was doing...every move was practiced, whether on the ground or near the top of a pole.

08 January 2017

In the works

     A small building, closer to the Caribbean than the existing building, with living space both above and below...the "ground" floor space will consist of hammocks and hanging chairs.  
     Life is good!

02 January 2017

Honey bee...

     ...on a palm tree flower (not a coconut palm).

28 December 2016

Still life sand, on a cloudy day.

25 December 2016

Die Hard

     Been reading opposing media stories recently, some claiming "No, Die Hard is not a Christmas movie" and others claiming, "Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie."
     I never knew this was in doubt: Die Hard is a Christmas movie....about the best ever.

24 December 2016


     Cold hibiscus tea on a hot day with sweat rolling off the cup.

19 December 2016

False crawl not the same as False Bluff...not at all.  When a female turtle crawls out of the ocean onto a beach, but for some reason does not nest, that's a false crawl.
     This, then, is a false crawl at False Bluff.
     Or maybe not a false crawl at False Bluff.
     Well, it's definitely at False Bluff.  What's not known is whether it's a false crawl.
     (It's too near the end of the year for this kind of stuff.)

False Bluff TTG: Swamp lily, in bloom

     ...up close and personal. This hardy, non-invasive plant would grow in the sea if the tides would allow it. 
     Resistant to salt spray and beautiful. It's fast growing; makes a handsome clump along the edge of the beach or along a walkway. It will be another ornamental we'll be offering from the plant nursery.

15 December 2016

Shades of green

     ...on a dead and downed coconut tree.

11 December 2016


      Definitely not something we'll be growing in the plant nursery, there are many species of orchids that just hang in the trees at False Bluff. 
     Here's one in bloom beside the canal just about at eye level as you go by in a boat.

08 December 2016

La Galleria

     A good meal in Bluefields even when the power is out.

04 December 2016

False Bluff TTG: hibiscus in bloom

     From bud to bloom, Just a few of the hibiscus in the nursery collection.

29 November 2016

Cesper Fox, a renaissance man

     As are so many of the people I've met on Nicaragua's east coast, Cesper is the epitome of a renaissance man. 
     He's an artist with sheet rock, fashioning these flamingos from sheet rock mud that were built over pieces of metal studs. They surrounded a support column and were more than twelve feet tall.

     He's building a house from the ground up for the Mayor of Kukra Hill, including roughing in electricity and plumbing.

      And a much smaller house at False Bluff (obviously not complete) although most of his structural work is unseen, underground.

     He's a loving and involved dad.....

      ...and a hell of a cook-fresh fish in cream sauce.

26 November 2016

24 November 2016

20 November 2016

Thanks mom!

     With temperatures dropping in Virginia, it's difficult to think of this without a shiver. But at the end of a hot day, when you're wearing boots you won't take off because you love them so much, Mom and a bucket of water are pretty wonderful.

16 November 2016

False Bluff TTG: more plants we have

     Some of the plants that we'll have available for sale at the nursery were already growing at False Bluff include the sea grape and the coconut palm.
     We're taking full advantage of the plethora of sea grape seeds by providing a 'shade cloth' tent and simpy throwing the seeds onto bare dirt. As a result we have several hundred sea grape seedlings.
      This shows not only the tent with seedlings; but, in the background to the right, some of our hibiscus...including a double white of which I could not get a good close shot.

     Each of these baby sea grape plants will go into its own pot before the tent is cleaned out to make way for a new batch of seeds to germinate...and so the cycle continues.

     And as long as coconut trees produce coconuts we'll have a never-ending supply of baby coconuut trees.
     Neither the sea grape nor the coconut palm have showy flowers but both are beautiful stewards of sandy soil with roots that stretch for great distances.
     And, of course, although not available at False Bluff until we planted it there, there is the zoysia grass that thrives right up to the edge of the beach and remains bright emerald green during both the dry and rainy season (and about which I've written so many times before).

12 November 2016

# 15 - our very own transformer

     Having power lines in the back yard was too good an opportunity to not take advantage of - not that we had any choice about the installation of the power lines.
     People have asked why the lines were installed where they were...along the nearly barren Caribbean coast, often in swampy areas with guy-wires needed just to keep them upright. With the amount of maintenance that's going to be involved, why bother? Hard to see this leaning pole...because it's leaning into a bunch of trees just about in the middle of the photo. And it was too swampy to get much closer. 
     Well, I suppose we could have gotten closer if we'd wanted to wade thru the swamp can do that when you come to visit and get us a nice close up.

     I've been told that the reason for the placement of these power lines (and perhaps this has been driven by funding because I don't know who provided the money) was to make electricity available to communities that have never had it, that might never have it, absent this installation.
     False Bluff is not a community so we had to buy a tranformer to get our electricity-as will many other owners along the beach. So far two of us have installed transformers; and at False Bluff we've got most of the house wired too. Momentous times!
     Never thought I'd have my own transformer but here's #15 in the back yard on the day... was lifted toward heaven like an offering to the god of power.