Monday, January 28, 2008

Sleeping, Hatching, Hopping, Dropping and Ready to Eat...

On my nightly rounds I discovered this rather large looking rock-with-a-face just sitting there in the middle of the Bromiliad! A toad it was, and a large one at that, and I think it is a Cane Toad since there are supposedly only two toads on the island - Cane and Crested, and the crested don't live above 200 feet (we are around 500). So I've photographed him multiple times and should relocate him a block or more away so he doesn't eat the coquis. Look at that face!
Besides hopping things there are dropping things in our yard. Besides coconuts (a near miss) there have been many crashing breadfruit, banana trees, Anons, oranges and this little treasure - Soursop or guanabana. Press the fruit through a sieve, take the gooey/creamy white pile and mix it with a little sugar, water and milk and stick it in the freezer (or add ice) and you have a delightfully refreshing drink. A nice alternative to orange juice (we are drinking several glasses a day and still have many many oranges)! (The Malta is there for effect.)

Here are a couple fruits from the yard - a guanabana and a corazon. When is an anon not an anon? When it is in Puerto Rico and it is called a corazon. I guess it looks like a heart. Anyway, it is our new favorite fruit. Inside it is white with lots of black seeds. You have to use a spoon to eat it right. Scoop the seedy part first savoring the pear-like sweat taste and save the grainy flesh around the skin for last. Jeff likes them cold and I am anti anything cold. At first I thought they were too sweet and now I climb not-so-big tree limbs when we can't reach them with the ladder!
Well we finally have a hatchling! It is a lovely little gecko still sporting a piece of eggshell on its head. It is the only one that has hatched so far, and as you can see it is quite small when compared to my grubby little gardener's finger.
When we were up inspecting our upper area, and trying to decide whether to keep letting horses up there or not (we decided not) a little round yellow fruit was sitting on the ground. Hmmmm, that looks like passion fruit I thought with the thought not being too far fetched since I had seen passion flower flowers on some of our endless vines. We opened it up, pressed it through the sieve and had another tangy juice to drink! We liked it soooo much we found a nursery near Cabo Rojo or Aquadilla (on the way back from diving) that had vines for $2 each. We bought 5 and put them along the chainlink fence on the upper and lower parts of the property. If vines are gonna cover the fence we might as well be able to harvest something! Oh, and passion fruit isn't passion fruit here - it is parcha! I just call it yummy and cool looking.
Here's a little coqui frog posing on a diffenbachia plant at night. And of course the little baby gecko. And speaking of geckos - they are my new favorite subject to photograph now that I have figured out that they snooze in the ginger flowers at night. Almost every ginger flower will have a sleeping gecko in it by dark. The flash will usually get an eye open but not always. They don't seem to like the red flowers though - that would be the nicest shot. I look for a tail or a little head peaking out of a blossom.
I can find them sleeping on all kinds of leaves usually lined up with the ribline. They look very relaxed.

This one is my favorite - "gecko in a deep snooze."


Aimee said...

What cute little creatures! I love frogs... I even had a real one as a pet. That toad looks pretty happy in your yard. :)

Rosa said...

I love all your photographs! Do you do this as a hobby or business? What great pictures, I don't think my camera could take a picture of a rain storm and be able to clearly see the rain drops. Just Beautiful.

H Jr. said...

Cute pictures indeed! I think your baby gecko is of the nocturnal species (Hemidactylus_mabouia):

It is not the same as the diurnal ones (Polychrotidae, commonly known as anoles) that you find sleeping on your plants.

Not that I know any of these names by heart, I just googled lizards of Puerto Rico and found the pictures on Wikipedia. The nocturnal ones can be very prolific and you may find them hiding in closets, cabinets, etc. during the day.

Take care,

H Jr.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Thanks for the photo compliments - I sold my photographs (underwater only) in the states for 6 years after I left teaching. I hope to sell my work from here after I get a printer and figure out which line to stand in to get a business license. I'm not sure there is a market yet - Puerto Rico doesn't know how to do tourism which is probably why it isn't ruined yet! Thanks again, katrina