30 May 2014


     I just located this online.  Although there are other properties pictured by "Discover Real Estate," this picture shows my property at False Bluff which is not for sale.
    Edit:  I am pleased to report that within an hour of my contacting the realty company, they had deleted this picture from their site and apologized.  Nice actions!

29 May 2014


     The process of moving the electric poles from Kukra Hill to our front yard at False Bluff was repeated day after day after day, until all the poles that were needed in this section of ENEL's huge undertaking were waiting to be set in place somewhere in the clearing that stretched more than twenty five miles along the coast.

22 May 2014

Money, money, money

      Nicaragua's money is the "cordoba," with the accent on the "cor."  At least that's how cordoba's pronounced in much of Nicaragua.
     But in Bluefields most everybody pronounces cordoba like the word is spelled "car-d'ba."
     The United States has nicknames for some of its coins. For instance the word "quarter" is used for the coin that equals one-quarter of a dollar. Nicaragua just tells it like it is. A five-cordoba coin is known as "five cordobas," and a twenty-cordoba coin is known as "twenty cordobas" and so on...nary a nickname.
     Nicaragua's bills are different colors, according to each bill's face value.  For instance, the five-hundred-cordoba bill is red.  But my favorite is the fifty-cordoba bill: it's a really pretty shade of violet!
     I only had the green bill and a few coins for this shot (and yes, there's a little window on a lot of the bills).


19 May 2014


     After long months of clearing the right of way, the utility poles that will carry electricity were moved to False Bluff, ready to be put in place. So boat captain Jimmy Anderson began to bring not only a full crew of men each morning, but as many as ten treated utility poles as well.  Pulled along behind his loaded boat, crew and poles came from Kukra Hill through the lagoon and up our creek. Captain Anderson stayed on site with the boat during the day and he was needed from time to time for emergencies.

     The creek is only about ten-feet wide and twisty as you can see in the pictures in the December 22, 2011 blog post.  It makes for a beautiful transition from lagoon to Caribbean. But it is not navigable by a nearly forty-foot long boat trailing ten utility poles behind like a dog's tail.  So just inside the opening to the creek from the lagoon, crew members jumped out of the boat and pulled each pole, one by one, for the half-mile long slogging trip up the canal to our dock.

     Then the crew got the poles, one at a time, out of the water, onto the dock, up the walkway and into to our front yard, ready and waiting for placement.

15 May 2014


     What Nicaragua's national electric company, ENEL, is doing along our section of Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast is a huge undertaking.  The inland areas in which the work is being done is accessible only on foot. A boat can get men near where the work must be done, but only their feet can get them to the exact locations. We at False Bluff gave ENEL access to the beach via our canal, and the use of all of our facilities:  docks, land, wells, and building.
     Except for chainsaws, all the work is done by hand: clearing, getting the poles on site, installing the poles and running wire....
     Various crews from various localities do various jobs.  The first job was to hack open space for installing electric poles.  To do this along the coast near False Bluff, nearly thirty men with machetes came south from Kukra Hill by boat through Smokey Lane Lagoon and up our canal every morning.  Using our place as a staging area got them close to where a big chunk of their work had to be done.  The men in the crew carried water and food in addition to their machetes and their machete sharpening equipment; and a few men brought chain saws to cut what the machetes wouldn't, which wasn't much.
     And bit by bit the miles of 'bush' got chopped away, leaving an opening about eighty-feet wide like a ribbon through the jungle.

     This picture doesn't give a good perspective of the boat that ferried men and equipment to False Bluff. The boat's between thirty and forty feet long.

     Once again, here's the crew for the day heading from their boat/taxi across our front yard on their way to work.

     A bit difficult to envision a negative, but this newly opened space disappearing into a curve to the north is where electricity will travel.. and it's a very small part of the twenty-six miles that's being cleared. The stick at the foreground is where an electric pole will be planted.

     Chain saws at rest at the house.

08 May 2014

Fresh fish for dinner

     Cayman Roca is just that:  rock.
     About 2.5 miles out into the Caribbean, in front of False Bluff, is a small rock island inhabited by birds and some grass (see the 10 April, 2011 post for pictures).  Fishing trips are no big deal!

Rinsed and set to dry at the end of a successful trip.

Proud of his part of the catch.

The fish is onto a plate with rice, beans, cassava, and rough lime.

03 May 2014

Lizard eggs

     ....put into perspective.  I have no idea what kind of lizard laid these tiny things.

01 May 2014


     Tasting much like cilantro, 'Eryngium foetidum' has lots of names, including 'blessed thistle' from the French 'chardon beni,'  and 'spiny coriander.'  This biennial herb is indigenous to continental tropical America and the West Indies.  I've grown it in Richmond where it's only an annual.
     Used throughout the Caribbean as well as the Far East (check it out in some of Richmond's Vietnamese restaurants), it's rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin; and is widely used in herbal medicines. The leaves are a bit tougher and the flavor stronger than that of the cilantro most of us are accustomed to.  It dries well, retaining its color. 
     We grow a lot of it at False Bluff and use it raw in salads or cooked with many different foods. Good stuff!
 Here's a small patch between pineapple and sugar cane.

This picture shows the spiny leaves.