Beauty and The Bees

In early August, we decided it was time for another annual Honey Harvest.
(Did it in August too, in 2017)

They have been busy buzzing but have not swarmed so we felt they, or I should say ‘the queen’, is contented with the location of the hive*.
(There’s a reason why we were watching that factor, keep reading.)

The honey harvest was scheduled, weather permitted so we got going.

The smoking began

Each bar was carefully inspected when removed.

The bees were gently brushed off.

Combs were cut off into a bucket which got immediately covered thereafter.

Oh, they knew …

We made sure we only harvested a small fraction of what was there. They will have time to make more for their needs in winter but why take more than we will use in a year?

As is, from the 6 bars that were “harvested” we ended up with 11 lbs of pure Honey.

Aren’t they just beautiful?

The Honey Harvest worked as planned but …

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The Gourds Must Be Crazy

The heat resistant Luffa vine has been kind to me this (extra hot) summer. Some years there are more male flowers so less fruition but this time I see Ma Nature allowing loads of female blooms. I think she’s helping our bees as well, with food nearby, so less need for heated long distance buzzing.

Yes, it is producing gourds galore – good reason to eat what’s in season.

Some Angled Luffa hanging from the arbor.

This one needs a ladder to get to ~ now that’s really hanging loose ~ shaka🤟

I love my usual simple-to-cook Luffa Fu Yong dish which I sometimes like to vary by adding what I find in the freezer. 

Luffa & sliced chicken

and when nicely sauteed till fragant

Add the egg as natural thickener (of sort)

And when I’m in the mood for some spicy dish, I cook it Indian style which is called the Peechinga Curry.

The basic items, ready for the pan.

Follow the recipe on this Link and you will get a pan full of hot (temperature and taste-wise) delicious Luffa.

Luffa cooked Indian style

Delicious with plain white rice … and vegetarian too!

I have to remember to take more pics and record what/how my Luffa gourds end up in the kitchen as. They are definitely not just grown for scrub sponges.

It’s been a Long, Hot (& Dry) Summer

It’s been warmer than usual and the plants are not happy (at all)!
Global warming? Who knows … I’m not an expert and only exist on this nano spec of the globe with a backyard that has been and is still being roasted.

I chose the lesser of 2 “evils” … let everything grow, like a wild forest, because if the tall ones can survive the heat, they’ll provide the lower plants some shade.

It’s just wild!

It’s a real forest.

Survival of the Fittest.

The harvest has not been good either ~ oh! those poor plants ~ but …
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Heatwave …

“We’re having a heatwave
A tropical heatwave
The temperature’s rising,
It isn’t surprising,
She certainly can can-can…”  ~  Irving Berlin

Yes, even the birds are feeling the heat. Right below the bird feeder laid Mrs Blue Jay, catching the very mild breeze, spreading her feathers and trying to cool down.


Sometimes I do wonder how Mother Nature designs her birds, their size, their beaks, their colors and their feathers’ patterns.


She is just so pretty! I’m 90% sure it’s a female (male ones usually have more blue under their chins) and she’s probably squawking a request for Ma Nature to give us some rain because we need it … badly.

Is this an Omen?

Frankly, I don’t know.
On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, we took a local bus to old San Juan and walked the tourist walk which was very enjoyable.

Yes, we saw the old streets and walked amongst the pigeons,

passed some very meaningful historic statues like LaRogativa,

I even took note of some nice street drain covers,

and the beautiful multi-coloured houses of La Perla. Did they all survive Hurricane Irma? I don’t know but I hope so.


and then the strangest thing happened.

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Pandan ~ Can baby roots be forced to grow?

I have received a very interesting email from a reader (Mr/Ms H. M.L.) with questions as per captioned and whether I add Epsom salt &/or coffee to my soil.

In reply:  I have never tried forcing “baby roots” to grow but you have actually triggered my curiosity with that question. I think it’s time for a new experiment. No, I have not added Epsom salt and yes, I do add used ground coffee to my soil.

However, IF you have 2 very matured plants and are willing to try getting “babies” out of them, you have 2 options.*

Land-babies sprouting from a chopped off “old” stalk which has had its trunk and aerial roots buried about 1 ft in rich composted manure and then mulched to retain moisture,
or Aqua-babies, which are growing from a stalk being rooted in water. These small plants were just green spots when the stalk was submerged and to me that  indicated potential growth.


These will grow in (yes, under) water until they are tall enough to be exposed above soil when I bury all the water cultivated (white-hair like) roots in soil.

We have just had the Summer Solstice and I think the Pandan plants are feeling the Moon’s magnetic charge. See some of the parent plants with their “babies”.

So, Mr/Ms H. M.L., I can’t answer your main question about forced growth of baby roots yet but … that will be my experiment for 2018.
Thank you for igniting that flame of curiosity.  😉

*Forewarning: If your plants die because of poor handling, bad soil, infertility, etc … don’t blame me. Try at your own risk.

Singapore is NOT part of Malaysia!!

Singapore was literally “kicked out” of Malaysia in 1965.

The island is a sovereign city-state known globally as the Republic of Singapore and we celebrated our 51st year of independence in 2016.  BUT *sigh* sadly the US State Department still thinks Singapore is part of Malaysia.

We are NOT part of Malaysia!

No one seems to be googling/checking for errors even though everyone with a PR/media job to perform has a (if not more) computer on their work desk + tablets + super cellphones. They are not layman-bloggers like myself, they get paid(!) to do their jobs … and their editor(s), overseer(s), bosses seem to be equally complacent.
I give up! 

Update:  It’s now gone global. Yes, it’s in the South China Morning Post and if anyone thinks this is one of China’s teeny-weeny newspaper, I’m sorry to disappoint you but this is a global news site & newspaper read by businessmen, politicians, etc.

Uh-oh… the BBC screwed up

BBC ~ the famous British Broadcasting Corporation ~ should know maps, global maps, right?

Singapore was once under the British rule, yes, we were part of the British Colony for 144 years. Wouldn’t a British news corporation then know where to get a proper map ~ be it from their archives or even Google Maps? Someone in the mapping department of the BBC must have been in post-pubcrawl stupor or working many hours overtime, but the editor … away on vacation?

To put the map of Sentosa, which is a resort island off the southern coast of Singapore, connected by a short road and cable car, as the island of Singapore is hard to believe and “digest”.

BBC’s wrong map!

and it took Coconuts.Co (a Singapore news site) to correct the BBC!

Coconuts.co did a superb correction.

How on earth (pun intended) can BBC air such a glaring error globally?
Go figure!