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On the home front

This blog is turning out to read rather like a travel journal, full of all the places we've been. We do stay in the apartment occasionally though. Here's a few snaps of what's happening around here.

The balcony is turning into a miniature jungle, helped out by the rainforest-style weather we've been having lately. The tomato plants are shooting up so quickly I'm sure you could see them growing if you watched them for half an hour. They're just starting to look like flowering, so hopefully we'll have a crop soon!

The lettuces are kind of floppy but starting to look more lettuce-like, rather than just a random collection of leaves. The habanero plants, after producing tons of flowers and next to no fruit, have obviously found a pollinator - practically overnight they sprouted about a dozen little peppers!

Just outside, we have a couple of barn swallows nesting in the stairwell. They're smart little birds, with a pink waistcoat and blue tailcoat, and they live in a mud nest plastered onto a beam up by the ceiling. We found one tiny blue egg on the floor one day, but hopefully there are more in there and we'll get to see some chicks soon! These aren't the best photos, but the birds seemed a bit camera-shy, and I didn't want to keep them away from the eggs for long.


Finally, I was out for a walk yesterday and got a big surprise. Going up some concrete steps a few minutes away from our house, I suddenly noticed a snake sprawled across them in front of me! It stretched all the way across the steps with its tail hanging off the edge, so must have been a good 4 feet long. I retreated a few steps and took a good look, then, not being so keen on stepping over a snake that large, took an alternative route. I'm pretty sure it was a Texas rat snake, which according to this site is nonvenomous but ill-tempered, so I'm glad I didn't disturb its afternoon nap.

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