30 December 2017

Sculptural beauty of the coccoloba uvifera

     Hardy, salt spray resistant, and a hell of a conservation plant, the sea grape has the truly unlovely botanical name of coccoloba uvifera.
     The plant can grow close to or at the very edge of the beach; and it's prone to wander from its original site, forming what appears to be a colony but is usually just one plant.  It does this by layering whenever one of its branches touches ground for any length of time thus forming the sculpture that each plant becomes.
     The sea grape is one of the plants we don't remove at False Bluff, regardless of its size; and there are some really large clumps throughout the landscape.  

     Here's a fairly young plant showing the tendency for droopy branches, many of which will root because of their contact with the ground...some of the rooted branches will head south or north east or any other direction.  But all will be part of the parent plant...kind of like millennials who can't leave home.

     The Caribbean as seen through another young clump.

     This is a much older and established plant, capable of holding a swing or a hammock.  Several patches of our favorite zoysia grass have been planted under the clump and in a fairly short time the ground will be covered with a cushioned mat of emerald green.

     Another mature sea grape plant (partially visible just behind a young coconut palm) is close to one of our buildings.  This clump is host to a swing and for years has held a hammock or two as well.

25 December 2017

Joy to the world

Merry Christmas everybody!

Winsome at four months...
joy personified.

24 December 2017

Forbes Christmas movie list.....

     According to a Forbes' list some years ago of the ten top Christmas movies of all time, number one is Die Hard.  Quality and fun endure.  
     I used to think I was part of a very small group for thinking that Die Hard was the best Christmas movie ever, but I've learned that there are a whole bunch of us who agree on the point.

     'Welcome to the party, pal...."

18 December 2017

Grass and lilies, doing their things

     As a follow up to several posts, recent and otherwise, about two of our favorite landscape plants at False Bluff, here's a picture of the local (from Bluefields) zoysia grass and our much loved swamp (spider) lilies doing their thing in a location that suits them.  
     Worthy of note is that most all beach side locations suit them, something that can't be said of very many landscape plants.

12 December 2017

Jacinta's orchids

     This beauty is just about ready to bloom.

07 December 2017

Not just the swamp lily

     I wrote here not too long ago that if you were to drop a bulb of the swamp lily, our beloved and much used spider lily - that "...if you were to just throw one of the bulbs on the ground during friendly weather it will take hold where it lands."
     A bulb of the swamp lily is not the only thing that will take hold where it lands.  Here's a coconut growing where it landed at the foot of a nearby parent tree.

02 December 2017

Wood for The Nest

     As plans for El Nido began to come together (see recent October 6 post on this site), one of my decisions was what to use for flooring.  I had the option of using mahogany but chose, instead of mahogany's handsome look but dark color, as light-colored a wood as I could find.
     So I settled on a wood which grows locally and which was cut to order with a chain saw and then planed - edges and one side only: it's called aceituno.  It's not as nearly-white as holly which doesn't grow in Nicaragua anyway; and it has a more interesting grain than poplar which also doesn't grow in Nicaragua anyway.  But it's a nice addition.
     The botanical name of aceituno is Simarouba glauca and it has lots of common names in addition to aceituno.  The wood's used for things like furniture components and musical instruments.
     It's lovely and cool looking. Here's a close up of a piece before the first coat of marine varnish.

      And here are the floor boards themselves shown leaning upstairs in our first house after their first coat of varnish.  The varnish darkens it a bit...but not too much.