31 July 2012

Another new stove

   The selection of propane table-top cook stoves in Bluefields is incredible, ranging from one-burner to six, and from stainless steel to porcelain in such colors as blue, green, red, white, and yellow.   This sort of stove may be readily available in Virginia, but the closest I've ever seen are Coleman-type camp stoves.
   We now have a plain-jane two-burner.   Makes that early morning coffee quick and simple! 

24 July 2012

Seaside vineyard

   Not actually a vineyard since the plant's not a vine, but the sea grape is pretty amazing and it really does produce grapes. The plant's deep, spreading root system clings to the sand, often right at the edge of high tide where it's daily washed by salty water...to no apparent ill effect.  On a windy day the big leaves drip from the salty water that coats them, blown through the air from the Caribbean...again, to no apparent ill effect.  The sea grape thrives in this coastal environment.  

   The fat grapes form in long clusters of a size between twenty-five cents U.S. and five cordoba Nicaragua.  They ripen unevenly - that is, not the entire cluster at once but one at a time - to red.   The single seed in each makes up most of the grape; but what's edible is sweet and a bit tart. 

17 July 2012

Team (is sometimes an) effort

    A rather remarkable husband and wife team live at and care for False Bluff.  And like most married couples... 
one may embarrass the other from time to time.  He posed for this picture.  He really did.  Really.

09 July 2012

A thatched roof (grow your own)

   I opted to thatch the roof for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I really like the way it looks.   Also, thatching is ecologically sound, using vegetation which grows in the area.   What we're using at False Bluff are the fronds from a type of palm tree.  We have since planted some of this palm so now we'll be growing our own roofs for future use.   
   Thatching material is harvested by removing selected branches, or fronds, from a tree, leaving the tree and other fronds to grow.....not by cutting down and thus killing the tree (although I have heard there are some who harvest thatching in just such an incredibly short-viewed manner).
   The longevity and low maintenance of this type of roofing surpasses 'zinc' roofing, particularly close to the sea (which we most definitely are) where salt in the constant breeze takes an immediate toll on everything. Maintaining a metal roof can be a full time job. In fact, watching 'zinc' rust is a time-honored pastime in the Caribbean.  
   And I've been told that when a falling coconut hits a metal roof, at the very least you've got a dent in your roof.   Those heavy suckers bounce and roll when they hit thatching.
Inside, from an upstairs breezeway and...

from a bedroom (for air circulation, bedroom walls don't reach the roof)
A bunch of thatch-palm babies to plant

03 July 2012

False Bluff Views

     In any direction, at any time, beautiful False Bluff...