Aug 26, 2016

Yellow Bird, Up High in Banana Tree

Yellow bird, you sit all alone like me
You can fly away, in the sky away
You're more lucky than me!


Two of these beautiful yellow birds sang gloriously for about twenty minutes outside my kitchen window the other day. The photo really doesn't do their brilliantly saturated yellow plumage justice. This is a male Indian golden oriole (Oriolus kundoo). That snazzy winged eyeliner differentiates them from other Eurasian orioles. They're usually a rather secretive bird preferring to live near the edge of forested areas and come to Nepal to breed. How any creature can be secretive with eye scorching yellow coloring like that I do not know. The males are quite territorial and these two were evidently contesting each other in song. We used to see much more of these forest birds years ago before our rural neighborhood started becoming gentrified.


And here's the aforementioned banana tree. Bananas love this Monsoon heat and humidity. Bananas are the messiest plant ever. They sustain a universe of bugs as well as continuously dropping and dripping all sorts of leaves, sap, and whatnot everywhere. Definitely a low maintenance but way way wayyyy back of the garden sort of plant. 


Speaking of messes and gentrification, I am no longer allowed to feed livestock on the road nor in front of our house. We now have a home owner's association on our street. A nasty neighbor lady complained about me feeding the animals on the street to the association. So now I have to walk about a half mile to the farmhouse pictured above to donate our leftover rice to the water buffalo that lives there. As you can see this gentrification nonsense has walled in this once rural farmhouse too. That's a typical Nepali rice straw haystack on the right and the buffalo's shack on the left.


Here's Ms Buffalo inside her tiny pen behind the gate. She's looking sleek, sassy, and happy to see Bibi bringing her some treats. I wonder how long before they ban Ms Buffalo from the neighborhood? I haven't seen my old friend Blackie in months, I hope he went up to higher ground for the Monsoon and is eating well. I'm not liking all this gentrification hooey either Ms Buffalo! I wish our homeowner's association would do something useful like fill the bathtub sized holes in our road or arrange garbage pick up for the neighborhood.


On a more pleasant note this gorgeous sizzling hot pink double hibiscus started blooming on the side of the driveway. I think this must be the Carmen Miranda of flowers with all those fantastic fuchsia frills. It was just a stub of a bare stick about six months ago and then BAM! (You know Bibi had to stick at least one flower in this post.)


The heliconia is doing it's thing on the side of the driveway too. Heliconia or lobster claw plant is in the bird of paradise family. It puts out six foot high cane like stems then puts out amazing two foot long blooms like this for a month or two. You have to cut them back and split up their rhizomes every year or they become a rangy raggedy mess.


Ms Dawg and I have figured out this system to beat the Monsoon heat. I run the air conditioning in the front bedroom then strategically place the floor fan in the hallway so it blasts the cool air out the front door. Ms Dawg then positions herself thusly to enjoy the refreshing breeze. (Please pardon the ripped screen door - that's part of having pets.)

Wish I was a yellow bird, 
I'd fly away with you
But I am not a yellow bird,
So here I sit, nothing else to do.....

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