Friday, 27 July 2007

Beautiful Trinidad by Rosie

These are more of my friend Rosie's pictures. I love everything about this shot. The bands of rain coming out of the cloud, the light on the sand and the silhouette of the walking child. Really lovely.
This is the bamboo cathedral in Chaguaramas. It is so beautiful it really is almost holy. If you are very lucky, you may catch sight of a red howler monkey or a caiman (small alligator) in the surrounding forest. This is up on the northern tip of the island and part of an old US army base from World War 11. I learnt at Asa Wright the bamboo is the fastest growing grass in the world and can grow up to 2-3 inches per day. It blooms only once every 100 years after which it dies. I have never seen a bamboo flower so I will have to investigate to see if this is only true for a particular type of bamboo. If this is true for all; I have a new quest. To see the bamboo flower.

These two little ones are just shooting the breeze. I would love to hear the conversation.

Coconut has become synonomous with the tropics. There are few global symbols that conjure such an instant association with the word "holiday". The waving coconut tree can say it all with one frond. Coconut water is very nutritious and is an excellent rehydrant for a very ill person. The water is not to be confused with coconut milk. The water comes from the green nut. The head is lopped off and the water poured out and consumed immediately. It will not last unrefrigerated.When the green nut is cut in half, the jelly is soft and sweet. The ones in this picture may be slightly past their prime for water and jelly.
Most people who live outside of the tropics will only know the dried coconut which is brown and hairy. It is usually not safe to consume the liquid in the nut at this stage. When the nut is cracked open at this stage, the flesh will have solidified and is quite oily and, well, nutlike. Discard the liquid in the nut. To make coconut milk (that you cook with), the firm flesh is cut into pieces and it is put in the blender with a small amount of water. Pulse until pureed and then strain through a fine strainer or a piece of muslin. The end result is coconut milk which is VERY rich. It is usually used in desserts, curries and our national spinach (or dasheen bush) soup. It is also about a million calories per mouthful. If you were stuck on a deserted island, you could live on green and dry coconuts for quite some time and stay healthy.