Saturday, May 4, 2013


Paintings by Wilfred, a local (Hoedspruit) artist, I love the colors

How do you know the food you buy is really food? By that I mean how you know it is not genetically modified, just for starters. There is quite an easy test for your veggies. Let’s say you have a butternut and you want to know, you simply plant some of the seeds and see if they grow and if they do grow, they are not gm and you are now growing your own butternuts.

I am sharing my kitchen with at least two nests of small black ants, they are complete sugar addicts. Besides from the ants there is a squirrel that comes for the bread and a mouse or maybe two and the monkeys are starting to take a closer look. It is time for lockdown!

Let us get one thing very straight, I like little crawly things, I find them fascinating and sometimes infuriating, when they take over. I have learned that if you keep you space clean there is no problem; it is when you leave stuff to eat lying around when the problems start. I refuse to use poisons because I simply do not like the stuff near me. I will rather live with the ants and things.

I also find where they enter the kitchen, and then I leave some food for them, just outside or sometimes just inside, but out of the way. They then eat this and don’t come running all over the kitchen looking for stuff, but again if there are thing lying around, they will come for it, they will go invite their cousins on the neighbors property to come help if there is enough.

 It is really interesting to watch and see what they consider food. They obviously cannot resist honey, or sugar, if you leave tea bags (from a cup with sugar in) they will suck the teabags dry!, maybe they just like the tea, either way here is a quick way to dry teabags, which you can soak in paraffin or something and use as firelighters, leave it for the ants.

They do not recognize concentrated Oros type cool drinks as “food”, although it is very sweet. They completely ignore it. I always considered margarine to be more plastic than food; I do not think that anymore, the ants love the margarine, so it must have something they recognize as food, like seed oils?

Hostile take-over! Forgot to put the margarine away…

Then there are the raisons, now this has me wondering! I have this bag full of “commercial” raisins. They taste good and I left a few out for the ants, they won’t eat it, they do not recognize it as food! By all rhyme and reason they should love it! Now I am scrutinizing this packet, reading the labels. There is nothing strange there accept for a preservative called sulphur dioxide. So I Google this and sulpher dioxide (SO2) is another by product from the petro chemical industry, to be precise, it is a colorless gas, released from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil. This gas is sprayed onto the fruit as a preservative. That gas that smells like rotten eggs, that is sculpture dioxide.

 If you Google some more you get, as usual, too much information and facts and fiction of all kinds. There are the normal rumors about it causing cancer and then there was some studies done and it was found that contact with SO2 effects the respiratory system and can cause bronchitis and induce asthma  and things like that, but I am no scientist, so I will just listen to the ants.

I am well aware that I might sound like a crazy old coon carrying on about the ants and all, but doesn’t the bible say something about watching the ants and becoming wise (not exactly those words but something like that)?

The packed (with the raisons) also does not say anything about genetically modified or not, I was under the impression it is now law in South Africa for this information (gm or not) to be in the packaging, so much for law, or rather the implementation thereof.
I do not think I will eat these raison either, maybe feed it to the monkeys, definitely not, but then again, it will be interesting to see if they will eat it….. I suppose once won’t kill them.

Not Fya, another Orb Web Spider

Then the sad story, my spider is dead. Joyce killed her! There was this awesome Fennel Orb living on my veranda, she spun her web under the roof. We had a few run ins in the beginning, but she wizened up very quickly and just moved her web a bit higher. I was great watching her grow and eat and grow and surprise! She was not getting fat, she was pregnant. I saw her cocoon the eggs and she was her slim and slender self again.

Then doom stuck. Joyce, the lady that works for Dieter and Monica as Domestic decides to sweep and clean my veranda, why I do not know! Okay so she obviously meant well, but in the process she killed Fya with a broom! at least it was not Doom! (The poison people stray on insects). Death was instant.

Now I feel like a surrogate mother, I have (I have no idea how many) baby spiders/eggs to look after. I will protect Fya’s offspring with my life!

My cottage and me, halfway up this tree. Monkeys and more, never a bore….

I have been wondering about something. When I write by hand, I use my left hand, but when I use a computer I do it with the mouse in the right hand. I can do both, but somehow the right hand takes over. Now I have been wondering if this can affect your creative process and how you think and perceive things. Different parts of the brain are at work here, so I might be onto something. I am going to write things by hand first, let the ideas flow by hand and then copy to computer and see if there is any notable difference in style etc.     

 To be continued