Tag Archives: nile

Photo: Nile holding caiman, Amazon jungle near Iquitos, Peru

Nile holding caiman, Amazon jungle near Iquitos, Peru

Nile holding caiman, Amazon jungle near Iquitos, Peru

We rode about an hour and fifteen minutes upstream along a river in a small wooden boat with an outboard motor on the back.  Then we reached a large lagoon, just as the sun was setting.  There were five of us in the boat: two young female German tourists, two native guides, and myself.  We fished piranhas for about an hour, having little luck, though the guide and boat driver did catch a few.  The mosquitos were thick, swarming and biting us, even through our clothing.  My hands and back itched, though thankfully they stayed away from my face.  They completely ignored the tropical strength insect repellant I applied.

When it was truly dark, we left the fishing spot and cruised along the edge of the lagoon, the guide tracing his flashlight along the shore.  He spotted a pair of red eyes, though we couldn’t see them, and told the driver to kill the engine.  We approached on paddle, and he perched on the front of the boat.  Then he leaned down, and in one swift motion grabbed a caiman by it’s neck.  It struggled a little at first, but soon stopped, and sat calmly in his grasp.

The guide showed us how to hold the caiman, first taking it’s tail, for in addition to it’s razor sharp teeth, it’s tail could also do a fair amount of damage, and second taking it’s neck, just below the jaw, so it couldn’t bit.  It had a smooth, soft belly, and hard scales on its back.  The guide showed us how it had two sets of eyelids, one semi-transparent so it could see underwater, the other normal skin to keep out light and protect the eyes.

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Harvesting Lavender, Garberville, California

I joined my friend Brian at his place near Garberville to harvest lavender in July, to make into essential oil.  The oil is ready, but has not yet been collected from the distiller.  I’m excited to give it a smell.

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Lost Coast, Sinkyone Wilderness, Mendocino, California, USA

Photos from my camping trip with Mischka in Spring of 2012 along the Lost Coast in Mendocino’s Synkione Wilderness.

Full gallery

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Cherry Picking for Nile’s 32nd Birthday

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Shiitake Mushrooms

The first fruiting of my home grown shiitake mushroom patch.  Only two years for them to incubate and start producing!

For the shiitake mushrooms, I bought ~1000 inoculated plugs from fungi.com and put them into oak logs that I had cut on the property. It’s a pretty labor intensive process: cut the oak (other hardwoods work too), let it age for about six weeks on the ground, drill a hole for each of the plugs, pound the plugs in with a rubber hammer, cover with wax, set the logs against something, water and wait. It took nearly two years for them to start fruiting. It’s normally meant to be about six months, but mine took longer for some reason. There are a number of variables, so I’m not certain why.

I keep the logs behind the studio where they are mostly in shade, and water them with a lawn sprinkler every two days for fifteen minutes on a timer.

The process of plugging the logs took me about two half-days, with intermittent help from Rob and Kurt. The bigger logs weighed around 70 pounds each, and my back was sore for about two weeks afterwards from lifting them – that was bad. Big investment of energy up front, but now I only have to water them and harvest mushrooms.

You can also buy kits with inoculated substrate, usually wood chips or grain or something. These incubate faster, but also produce for a much shorter period of time – just a couple months. The logs are supposed to produce heavily for two years and then continue for up to five to six years, until the log is basically gone. You can check out more about this at fungi.com, and they have a variety of different mushrooms you can grow.

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Nile with some really big leaves, Moloaa, Kauai, USA

Nile with some really big leaves, Moloaa, Kauai, USA

Nile with some really big leaves, Moloaa, Kauai, USA

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Cenote Chemuyil

Our first cenote visit was in Chemuyil, about 20 km north of Tulum.  It was a small, crystal clear pool of water with lots of tiny fish and bright green algae growing on the bottom.  There were some underwater caves on the edges, but all were very dark and too scary to swim into without the right gear.  The sun was shining, and we had fun swimming and jumping off the platform above.

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