Friday, December 13, 2013

Glad that's off my bucket list

I've been obsessing over this difficult-to-find fruit for the last couple of years, like it might be the last in a series of bizarre fruits which, when eaten, unlock immortality.  My friends and I were engaged in a "have you ever eaten XXX?" conversation, and this one was missing from my list.  In Thai, it's "ma-kwid"; in English, "limonia."

It's not delicious.  Cheese, yeast, and bread aromas wafted out, overpowering some more subtle ones (vanilla, perhaps) and that's not because the fruit was rotten. There's some sweetness there. The seeds are edible and crunchy. The best comparison in my mind would be to tamarinds, but apparently it's more closely related to ordinary citrus fruits, like oranges. Psychologically, the color and mushy texture doesn't help its appeal, of course.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lynched Openbill

Sorry about the quality of the image.

I found this situation a bit too surreal to ignore.  It's an Asian Openbill.  It appears that the bird met its death by hanging. Adding to the bizarreness is the cross-like feature on the rope or branch.  The critter has been up there for several days now, surveying the rice field, ignorant of the thunderstorms.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rove Beetle Brushup

Above is the result (on me!) of barehandedly killing a "rove beetle."  They don't bite, they don't sting, but their internal juices contain a nasty chemical.  As with poison ivy, the discoloration tells the viewer where your hands journeyed shortly after the initial contact.

It's more of a stinging sensation than itching.  Not a big deal.  More than anything, I'm not thrilled about the prospect of repeatedly explaining what it is and what it isn't (NOT herpes!) over the next week...there's a mark on my face, so there's no hiding.  But if you google for references to the rove beetle, you're like to find superlatives like "extremely painful" and "more potent than cobra venom."  I wouldn't trade 1,000 brushups with the rove beetle for one cluster headache.

The Thai term for these buggers is "duang gon gradot", which translates to something like "ass jumping beetle."