Sunday, November 15, 2009

King of the Castle


King of the Castle

My friend and I
return after our whale walking
to her home in the rain forest
and entering the bush
we take a short cut
across the neighbour's yard
where we notice
something odd...


a large area of garden
under the trees
has been cleared of mulch
the irrigation pipes exposed...

and over here
in this section
a huge mound
of leaf litter
and ground cover
banking up
around the palms


and here we have the culprit
the king of his very own castle
the very industrious brush turkey


the male bush (or brush) turkey
has been very busy
readying his nursery


for it is his job
to scratch and flick
scratch and flick


until he has a home fit
for the incubation
of 16-24 eggs


of which he then is responsible
for maintaining the climate control
the optimum temperature
for hatching is 33-35*C
Father will add to
or remove coverage
as need be
according to his beak thermometer's readings
which are taken
several times a day


the mounds can be 1.5 m high
and about 4m wide



and the same site
will be used
year after year


as he scratches and flicks
his yellow wattle
swirls around his neck
the wattle increases in size
and brightness
at breeding time


 I wrote about the bush turkeys here
including information
about an albino turkey chick
spotted in town last spring....

 the owner of this property
has been told
it is an offense
to remove the nest
and reclaim his garden...

We'll leave this busy bush turkey
to his focused

scratch and flick
scratch and flick

he has a schedule to meet...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hot Stuff

Hot Stuff

on my walk
I noticed the ginger


Shell Ginger
is a clumping ornamental ginger
called Alpinia zerumbet


sometimes referred to as
Pink Porcelain Lady


The shell ginger
has sweet bell shaped
pink and white flowers


 with a bright yellow inside petal
showing red spots and stripes


The rhizome
is native to South East Asia


and grows well in this climate


The other ginger
the hot stuff
is also a rhizome
called Zingiber officinale
from the Sanskrit word siugabera
meaning shaped like a horn

In the early 1900s
ginger was planted at Buderim
a town one hour's drive
south of Noosa
on the Sunshine Coast

The ginger was used
for the domestic market
Up until that time
ginger had been imported
from China


During the war times
when supply was difficult
to obtain from China
a plantation was developed
and now the industry provides ginger
and ginger products
to 17 countries
around the world

The Buderim Ginger Factory
produces a range of ginger products
marmalades and jam
toppings and sauces
beverages and confectionery

but my favourite
is crystalised ginger
which I love to eat
with walnuts
or almonds


 Ginger is one of man's earliest medicines
It first appears
in China's Pen Tsao Ching
a classic of herbs
circa 3000 BC
and is mentioned by Confucius
for its health properties
as a carminative
aiding digestion

It is also frequently mentioned
in Greek and Roman literature

Ginger was one of the original
Silk Road products

I like to use fresh ginger in Asian cooking
drop a few slices into a pot of tea
on a hot day drink ginger and lime cordial
or sip an ice cold ginger beer...

and of course
there are many
wonderful baking recipes
using ground ginger

Delicious hot stuff