Ants and Mooshing Spices

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He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.

-- The Buddha

Thai Tales
Thai Tales (Reload page for more pictures.)

Farm tools dangle from the branches of the jackfruit now. The local farmers keeping them stashed there. During the day the farmers take breaks under our tree. The only unpleasant note in our idyll is the ants. We have an assortment. There are the large black ones which are more like cockroaches, wandering about without following trails and getting in your coffee cup. Then the black normalish ones. They have a penchant for eating the wood door frame to the bathroom. The problem children are the large red ants which make concealed nests everywhere among the foliage. But the major pain is the little army of fire ants. Slightly smaller than normal black ones, their bite is more painful than the large red ones, and they are legion. Their trail across the driveway is a solid inch across. When they bite they hang on with the tenacity of bulldogs. Nothing is safe from those guys. In battle with the termites and heavier duty victims they bring up huge soldier ants a full 3/4 of an inch long to do the slicing and dicing. To Yunee's annoyance I bought a liter bottle of sugar syrup. Some kind of horror drink Thai's love. I have been feeding the miniature red army. In a test I sugar syruped a trail from their stomping ground to a nest of the large red ants. It was a little frightening. Those big guys chopped up hundreds but before an hour was out there was no nest left. All the bodies, ant larvae and eggs, and some of the nest webbing itself, gone. I once put a huge handsome specimen of a black scorpion near those little beasties thinking they would clean it for me. They dismembered it and carried off the pieces. One a scale of 1 to 10 of utterly belligerent omnivores those guys rate a 14.

And then there is our porch plant. I rescued this potted wonder from the sun. It had about 10 unfried leaves at the time. A philodendron sort of thing I set it on the porch and fed it some horseshit. A couple of months later some 20 stems had far outgrown the supporting stick in the center. When I tried to prop it up better it went flug. It spent a week all over the porch looking a bit like a large beached octopus. I then tied some 20 bits of string to various stems and up to the eaves. >From the looks of things it probably has designs on caving in the roof in months to come.

Yunee's wonky friend has just arrived. She sits on the floor whamming away with concrete mortar and pestle, mooshing spices for dinner. A typical domestic scene. Yunee is out in the yard, getting eaten by ants, while picking bits of it to toss in the dinner. In a few minutes there will be a caustic steam rising from the wok which will remove the hair from inside your nose. A good time for me to retreat to the yard.

Thai Tales
Thai Tales (Reload page for more pictures.)

Thai Tales
Thai Tales (Reload page for more pictures.)

Thai Tales
Thai Tales (Reload page for more pictures.)