Everything is growing over here in mid-summer Zambia. Highs are around 80 F and lows around 60 F every day. Clouds often build up throughout the day and then break into a relatively short pouring rain in the late afternoon, with just enough clouds clearing around sundown to create the most gorgeous streaky sunsets.
Given the moderate warm weather and abundant moisture my garden is thriving, even though we’ve only been here 7 weeks. Behind these oranges are the tomatoes on the left, the lettuce on the right (which we’re picking and enjoying every day in fresh salads) and in the row behind the lettuce are basil and cucumber seedlings (which actually have about doubled in size since taking this photo just a few days ago).
As many of you know I grew up in Southern California where we had lemon and orange trees so I’m very excited to be back in the land of year-round citrus/tropical fruits. We already have 4+ each of mango, guava, orange, lemon, papaya and avocado trees.
In addition to the fruits and vegetables we have an abundance of flowers. I’ve planted sweet peas (in preparation for the cooler season), morning glories, zinnias and California poppies. I’ve also planted mint, thyme and sage seedlings I got from the nursery.
The tropical flowers and rose bushes are all blooming too (these were already here).
Last week we planted celery, cabbage, more lettuce, spinach and peppers. It’s kind of late for peppers given we’ll be moving into a cooler season, but the weather is so mild here year round that I think they’ll do okay. The spring/winter here is known as the cool/dry season so we’ll have to water our garden instead of relying on nature. September and October are known as the hot season. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to garden year round.
If you remember earlier I posted a photo of Yvonne’s (the landlord’s mother) tomato crop, planted just beyond our brick wall. Here’s a photo of her and you can see the tomatoes are doing fantastic. (BTW, her stuff hasn’t come from the states either and she moved back here in October after being in Maryland working as a nurse for ten years.)
Not only are the plants growing but the puppy is really GROWING.
When we got her she was about 16 lbs. and about the same size as Buddy (our Westie-Poo) so we crate-trained her in his crate, figuring that by the time she outgrew it she’d be housebroke. Here she is in mid-January.
Now, six weeks later she is housebroke and doesn’t need the crate, but like a toddler who doesn’t want to give up her crib, she does NOT want to give up the crate.
We often find her sleeping in it, though her head sticks farther and farther out. (It must be uncomfortable given the ridge at the entrance of the crate but she persists in using it.)
She prefers to sleep on her back which looks downright painful to me in the undersized crate.
One day we couldn’t find her and discovered she had given up on the crate and found the next best thing — the fireplace!
Like Alex’s Rottweiler Kala, it’s too much work to stand to eat so she lies down and holds the bowl between her paws and chaws away. (She’s not neat or delicate in her eating, as you can see.)
Though she looks pudgy above, she’s really not as you can see here. She’s just extremely barrel-chested.
Best of all, she and Buddy play at least three times a day — running and chasing each other, wrestling each other and licking each other.