Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Feathers

It ain't easy being busy and trying to get multitudinous things done when you've got a bird attached to your chest. But who could say "enough, go away!" to this adorable little face?? Not me, that's for sure :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mango Madness

There have been some nice mangoes in the grocery lately and we've enjoyed eating them up. I, being a bit of a budding plant junkie, saved the seeds to try my hand at growing mango trees. Why not?
Let's begin.

Here we have a big juicy Mexican mango and the cleaned, dried seed from a previously eaten mango on a tea saucer. That's a big seed, eh? One of the largest in the plant kingdom.
After eating the fruit, rinse and scrape the pulp from the seed and let it dry out for a couple days - it's much easier to handle when it isn't wet and slimy.














I used a pair of pliers and a screwdriver to carefully open the hull without damaging the tender seed inside. You can feel where the seed is inside and where the "slack" places are on the hull so you can grab on with the pliers and bend the hull a bit to loosen it up/snap it open.
Once opened, you can see the seed is enveloped in a material that looks and feels exactly like parchment paper.














Here is the emptied hull, the 'parchment' and the seed, which is partially removed from the innermost encasement of a flexible, woody-type brown material. Oh yeah, I've got all the proper technical terms here, sure.



This seed had begun to sprout a thick root while still in its hull inside the mango fruit.


(note: the seed pictured here is from a smaller mango variety than the big red shown above, which will be discussed later)




Once the mango seed is free and clear of it's enclosure, I loosely wrap it in a napkin and moisten with water and place inside a zip-seal bag. Here I have a holding station of 3 mango seeds and a nectarine seed resting atop an egg carton, which has been a handy little storage solution.
Every few days I peel back the napkin and check to see what's happening inside and add a few drops of water if needed.

It has been great fun to watch the progress. Much more has happened already (I've been slow to post this) and I will be providing updates on my little mango farm as I have time, so check back!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Saturday, so it must be.....

..... cleaning day! And when it's cleaning day I run the vacuum. And when I run the vacuum, Shamsie goes berserk. Because to this bird, vacuum = bath time. Without fail, I turn on the machine and that bird is having a bath. She's so smart, she knows "clean"!

video
She does a much more thorough bath and less running around the cage when I'm actually pushing the vacuum. I'm amazed she let me video her this much, I suppose the call of the tub was too strong.