30 March 2018

Extraordinary Jose

     I've known Jose for years.  I've watched him grow from boyhood to manhood.  He's taller, more responsible, learned, and with plans to head to medical school.  
     I will gleefully celebrate as he goes forward. 

     (And thank you for the bracelet you made me.)

25 March 2018

The False Bluff journey

     "Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision."                 
                  Ayn Rand

21 March 2018

Guess what

     ...lives inside this seed.

     I never would have guessed that a sea turtle lives inside each of these seeds; but Mr. Lawrence on Big Corn Island knew there was a turtle in each and he skillfully coaxes them out, one at a time.

     Lawrence Dacosta Downs is an artisan and over the years I've purchased some of his beautiful hand made jewelry.  But when I saw one of his turtles I knew I had to have one. Thanks to Mr. Lawrence I now have a whole bale of his tiny turtles.  

     When you visit Big Island, Rowena at Sunrise Hotel in South End can help connect you with Mr. Lawrence.  'Ena and Mr. Lawrence are two more of the extraordinary people on Nicaragua's Caribbean side.

17 March 2018

The nursery expands....

     Much of the decision to open a plant nursery was self-serving: I need salt tolerant landscape plants and was pretty sure there are other people who want the same thing.  
     Setting space aside for growing plants was no problem and so the nursery was laid out in a space south of our existing buildings near where visitors step off the main pier.  
     The immediate challenge was to locate and establish 'mother' plants, the either highly or moderately salt tolerant plants from which we could propagate plants for use at False Bluff or for sale.  Locating such plant stock continues to be a problem although our inventory is growing.  Even in the United States very few nurseries specialize in salt tolerant plants.  In Nicaragua, so far we're it; and we're not up and running yet.  
     Even in the nursery oriented town of Catarina in Nicaragua's west side I couldn't find any salt tolerant plants...hibiscus colored like I've only seen in catalogues - yes; roses - yes, although not rugosa which is sometimes called the beach rose.  I couldn't even find oleander, a very salt tolerant and a very showy shrub.  Most people who shop in Catarina don't need - probably haven't even thought about - salt tolerant plants, so it make sense the people there don't waste their time and money growing things people aren't going to buy.  
     But over time we have gathered some highly and some moderately salt tolerant landscape plants.  Not all of the plants we've added have showy blooms - some of them have showy foliage instead.  And a few of our plants were added simply because of their root systems, things like like sea oats and vetiver. 
     And, of course, as the inventory of plants has increased, the size of nursery has increased.

     Our mother plants are thriving and growing in our coastal environment; and some of them are even supplying us with cuttings to root;  and the sea grape seedlings (that came from seeds harvested from plants at False Bluff) are more than ready to plant or sell.


13 March 2018

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

     The picture of Winsome shown in the December 25, post was taken when she was five months old.  She's now nine months and weighed in at the vet's office last week at 90 pounds.  She's good company.  

        The short video below was probably filmed in Europe and has most likely outlived its featured Dogue de Bordeaux; but the grace and playfulness of the breed show clearly.

09 March 2018

Maybe blooming next month?

     Ha! Probably not - but at the rate these things are putting out new growth, who knows.
     Last month I described propagating an oleander by tip cutting and included a picture of the new plants I had just potted.
     Just weeks later the amount of new growth is pretty astonishing...am only showing one of them but they've all grown at the same rate.  This is fun.

05 March 2018

A typical hardware store in RACS

     I've never shopped at a hardware store in Bluefields where the staff was anything but genial and anxious to help.  This store is near the Santa Rosa bridge on the way to the airport.

     RACCS, or RACS in its shortened form, stands for Region Autonoma de la Costa Caribe Sur.  
     Up until a few years ago it was RAAS, which stood for Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur.  I think someone somewhere simply made a correction: Nicaragua's east coast is on the Caribbean not the Atlantic.  Been that way for a very very long time.     
     All of this RACS stuff just refers to the southernmost of Nicaragua's two autonomous regions.