We live in a neighborhood where most people live off the land, gathering their coconuts, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and fish from the orchards and canals on their land, or even on government lands that they keep manicured and rich with fruiting trees in exchange for a few ingredients. The villagers here actually organize their land into irrigation canals with planted mounds of coconut, mango, banana and other trees. Some canals are overgrown with duckweed. The sign above says "no fishing."
Above, a lily in our little pond. It blooms in the evening and closes around the time of the late-morning sun.
I love this deep bluish-green bamboo grove. Our fledgling bamboo (which we transplanted from our last home) is a rich gold, with streaks of green.
We call this the green path because no one sweeps it regularly, so it is always overgreen with moss and covered over with a soft layer of bamboo.
The monitor lizard gets a bad rap because its Thai name, "hia" in Thai, is one of the greatest insults that can be hurled at someone, along the lines of f***er. So the polite name is "thua ngeun thua thong," which means the "silver and gold one," or voranus, which is its scientific name.
It lives on land and in the water. The old auntie who lives by herself next door calls it "ai kay," which can be translated to "that gator." It has apparently nabbed several of her cats.
We see about one monitor lizard a day. It's a shy animal, always dodging into the forest as we approach. It's quite cute when it's taking a leisurely swim (like above), tucking it's arms neatly at its side and gently swaying side to side, like I might do if I were pretending to be an underwater torpedo. When it is scared, it goes pretty deep underwater, and you can only follow it by following it's trail of air bubbles on the surface of the canal.