Naranjilla in Bloom

The other day while watering my plants I took a good look at my naranjilla plant (gift given to me by Deborah Millard just a few months ago) and was very surprised to see it was in flower. It is so small I just did not feel it would start to bear fruit for years, much less in a handful of months.

San Clemente 9.5.2013 007 San Clemente 9.5.2013 006 San Clemente 9.5.2013 004From searching online it looks like even this little plant can have fruit.  Not sure if I should allow it to continue to fruit or get rid of the flowers so that the tree itself would strengthen, if anyone has any experience with naranjilla let me know what you think.

Found on the Beach – WHAT Is It?

Now if you are going to start to ask what this is, I am going to let you know right off, I have no idea. It was on the beach one day while I was walking, it looked to me like half sting-ray and half fish…maybe half shark.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 001I did not get too close, I know it was already dead but again I did not get too close. Sometimes when the fishermen are hauling in their nets things get tangled up and end up in them that are not of interest to the fishermen. Usually within a few minutes a frigate bird has scooped it up. And the beach is once again clean…works for me!

Here is a close up to help you name this fishy for me.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 002My first email and comment came from John and Mary MacDonald our neighbors here in San Clemente. See what they wrote”

John Macdonald
8:38 AM (50 minutes ago)

I did a little reading on the guitarfish after Mary found the picture in our book and learned that they are in the ray family.  Google search has a lot of material on them and notes that the body is sort of a blend between shark and ray.  I think if you saw this swimming toward you near the surface the dorsal fin would convince you that it was a shark.
When I was out whale watching we saw some fish that I was sure were large sharks, but the fishermen told me they were Manta rays.  They have a large dorsal fin that looks like it came straight out of “Jaws!”
Have a great day,
John and Mary
Thanks John and Mary, I am learning so much about our new hometown.

Carambola (Star Fruit – but locals call it Fruta China)

Yesterday afternoon while sitting out in the yard I looked up to see several almost ripe star fruit just staring down at me.  My friend Eva said to add them to a regular salad for a special kick. That sounds like a lovely way to eat the bounty from our yard.

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There are several bunches of little pink flowers along with a few very tiny little fruits. It is so much fun to search in the branches to see if any of them contain fruit. It looks like we will have five very nice ripe fruit in the next several days and then several more over the next month.

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What a treat!

It’s the Yardbirds (okay some are on the beach)

I guess it is because of all the rain, the amount of bugs and yummy things available in our yard these days but we have seen a great number of different birds the past several days stopping in for a visit.

These are the tiniest sweet little parrots that I have seen. They can’t be bigger than 3″ or 4″ and are they chatterers, I only noticed them on the electric wires because they were carrying on so.

These crane type birds (UPDATE Sandy one reader said these birds are called Ibis 3/26/2012)  are normally out on the beach but the past several days they must have found some juicy bugs that have enticed them to our yard. They are very skittish and at the slightest movement they spread their huge wings and head skyward. Sorry that the pictures are not very clear they were always moving.

The yellow birds are the sweetest they come into the yard every day and they look like a couple to me. The male must be the one with the bright orange head.

Playas fisherman use balsa rafts to drop nets offshore. Then a group of men onshore pull the nets in, dragging everything that is in the water onto the beach. When they are near the beach the birds show up, dipping and diving trying to get a fresh fish. I have been told these are frigate birds and there should be some pelicans in the mix as well.

My knowledge of birds is basic as you can see. I just love watching them but if you know their names please be kind enough to share with me so I can share with my readers. Have a beautiful weekend! Nancy & Joe