Monday, August 17, 2009

Monsoon Madness

summer, what a concept!  we've been back here since the end of june and the nepali expression for summer is called 'monsoon'.  

those bucolic summer days in the states turn wet, rainy and moist here most of the time.  of course, there are these wondrous cumulus clouds and lush landscape -- but i fight the leeches ('juga') in the back garden all summer.  they no longer psychologically disturb me quite as much as they used to... although i'm constantly checking my crocs or wellingtons to knock them off when they climb aboard. fascinating little, remorseless creatures w/ a mind to suck.  and suck, and suck...  

it's amazing to watch their single-minded devotion to the life's pursuit, but not quite as enviable to be the object of their fascination.  the slush up from a narrow, thin string-like creature to a fat, corpulent, over-intoxicated beast on the joys of my bodily fluids.  read: my blood.  

the best way to deal with them is either: a) try to flick them off with your finger, as i do fairly easily or, if the horror, the horror strikes you, b) put a dab of salt on them and they shrivel into non-existence as quickly as water on the wicked witch of the west.  alas, poor 'juga' i knew him well...

still, it's the same warm summer rain that brings out the leeches that feeds the bamboo in the garden and w/ some 40 varieties, i may soon have (or already do...) the most diverse, garden variety collection in nepal. 

on the weekend mornings, in between a bit of swordplay with our homemade bamboo fences, ms. leah and i go looking at the 'tusa' (shoots) to see what's literally come up.  we have these cute, thin 'nigalo' types and then these plump, tubular, 6" diameter priapic creatures rising from the soil.  each has its own beauty, esp. some of the crowns which resemble a javanese 'kris' (those short knives w/ wavy blades).  there are amazing colors and styles to each 'tusa' as it splits the earth and rises skyward at this time of year.  

leah also likes the multitude of small mushrooms that gather around their roots, too.  bold, orange or red little toadstools or amazing chocolate brown gothic creations, like the stucco islamic ceilings at the alhambra or the claw-like white, translucent tubes with dark, gnarled fingers at the end.  none of these more than an inch or two off the ground.  

all of these exquisite natural, visual, sensual delights for the eyes 

living quietly, each to itself, surrounding us in our own backyard during the monsoon;

just keep one eye for those little leeches, 

mindless of the remarkable beauty all around them...

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