I planted some chilli pepper seeds today. I know they’re not indigenous but I’ll contain them to just one small enclosed flowerbed, right by the bedroom window. It’ll be fun to see how soon the seeds germinate, grow and bear fruit. Both Ian and I – and many of our friends – enjoy eating a chilli alongside our lunch or dinner…beyond spicing up proceedings, they say that, in moderation, chillies have many health-giving properties, including keeping the metabolism functioning at optimum rate. I am all in favour of natural remedies – and even more of natural preventatives - instead of automatically turning to prescription drugs at any hint of discomfort or illness in my body, I will look for a more natural solution first. Whether it be food, or medication, in my opinion the more processed it is, the more unnatural it is, therefore the less healthy it is, and the harder it is for my body to ingest. Sometimes modern medicine is the only way to cure an illness, but I’m convinced that nature has many of the answers and the more natural we can keep our lifestyles, the healthier we will be. Sometimes the solution to minor complaints and ailments are so much simpler than they may seem.
Still no birds at our birdbath…but plenty outside my kitchen window where I feed them too, and where we water the trees, bringing unexpected food for sunbirds and attracting insects which in turn attract the insectivores – not just the birds but the Banded Mongooses too. There are often too many birds to count – cheerful Yellow Vented Bulbuls, gloriously bright yellow Village Weavers (also called Black-Headed Weavers), Slatey Boubou Shrikes, Glossy Starlings, Superb Starlings, Olive Thrushes, Chestnut Weavers (they’re not in breeding plumage at the moment, so have rather a dull, sparrow-like appearance)…and so the list goes on. And then we have the Ground Squirrels, who love to chew on mango pips, and Tree Squirrels who love to chew on just about anything. We have a Black Tipped Mongoose (also known as a Slender Mongoose) nosing around too, whom we have christened ‘Slim’. He seeks out bits of cheese rind and left over sausage. I also see him nibbling at the leftover fruit. When he’s finished checking out the bird food, he often pops up into our house, to see if he can entice any more choice pickings from us, poking his little nose around the corner of the balcony and looking at us entreatingly, as if to say, you haven’t fed me my special tit-bit yet today. (It works every time!).