Thursday, 31 December 2015

Going Bananas in the Haze

Our study of the banana trees in our garden led us to many discoveries. As we observed the trees day after day, we noticed the growth, the living creatures that the trees had supported, the changing weather and environment and the butterflies and moths that they had attracted.

Brandon has started a 'Banana Journal'.

 The Lady Finger Banana or Pisang Mas has very thin skin and the flesh is very sweet. The lengthwise veins on the leaves make them weak, easily tear in the wind.

A very interesting discovery about the banana skippers. These are leaf-rolling caterpillars. Watch out for tears on the leaves but these are not caused by the wind. Rather, these leaves are torn and rolled beautifully as shelter to the larvae of the banana skipper. Other than a shelter, the leaves also provide a food source for the larvae and they leave behind lotsa, lotsa 'poop', an obvious tip to the predator wasps! Look out, they also have a supernatural ability to blast their poop like howitzers, up to 3 ft a second, in a soaring arc that carries them up to 2 ft away! So ever wonder what happens to the poop from the caterpillars? Another beautiful story of God's creation, everything serves a purpose. The leafcutter ants will use the caterpillar poop in their fungus garden. These amazing ants are the world's smallest farmers growing fungi as a food source.

Bountiful harvest. Besides the fruits, the trees have many uses, the aromatic leaves can be used to wrap food and the inner stem and banana flower as food.

There're so many amazing discoveries as we take time to observe the same thing over some time. Brandon also loves the Dragon's Scale ferns that now wrap around our Podocarpus tree trunk. One thing leads to another, like playing a nature detective.

So much for the choking haze. We found our solace in God's creation.

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