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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fall Fruit and other colors

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In Nova Friburgo there DSC07798[3]DSC07750is not much in the way of seasonal temperature changes. Mostly you follow the seasons by what color is in the forest in that moment. In the height of summer it is green, green green. The rains, rains, rains bring only greens to the forest. It is too heavy and too persistent to allow the sun to shine and flowers to bloom. Every year about this time, in the month before Easter there are days and often weeks of sun and the forest comes alive with color. In our garden, we have 4 or five caqui (persimmons) trees. They are all different varieties, but they begin to turn red, orange and yellow and the leaves begin to turn red in April through June. They are the only real fall looking tree that we have. This year all the caqui trees, all the varieties are laden with fruit. If you leave them on the tree too long the birds really enjoy themselves or the fruit begins to mildew. So this year I picked plenty and have been waiting for them to ripen in the kitchen. I have been putting them in the refrigerator as they are ready and today I made my first batch of Caqui jelly. Later we will have oranges that are too bitter to eat, but make great citrus marmalade – they are just beginning to turn orange (really they are yellow – but an orange is orange right?) The oranges ripen and can be used in my kitchen around June - July.

DSC04675[2]DSC04531[10] I don’t know the name of this tree, but it is common up here. They grow like weeds, the root system is everywhere – last year we had to cut down the one in these photos because it had gotten into our pipes and septic tank. The color is really beautiful – reddish orange at the tips to bright yellow at the base.   It eats flies and other small insects.













The morning glories grow wild along the roads.  Last year Manuel (the jardimeiro) planted starters he dug up in the forest all along our road front – we have been having a great show of deep blue flowers. The forests close to home are now full of Ipe da Montanha or 'flor-de-Maio' and the QUARESMEIRA. There are several trees that have the dark yellow blossoms and it is hard to tell which is which while driving and taking photos from the road. The quaresmeira is also in deep rich purple or in a soft pink varieties, the purple is most common.  The very best is when the purple tree and the yellow are side by side. DSC08659[3]DSC07064[3]











  1. Oh Ginger V...........these are beautiful pictures. I love the vividness of the color's you've captured in your snapshots.
    Puerto Rico, Aruba, Barbados and Curacoa used to be part of my territory when I worked as a third party auditor. I used to love to see of the beautiful flowers and plant life there!!
    I love Caqui marmalade. Our daughter brings it over from London when she comes over. It's a rare treat for us.

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  2. my batch of Caqui jelly is to -- what is that dry taste in your mouth - anyway it is not good and I will have to try again next week. I think that here if I can get a photo it will be vivid - the colors just ARE!
    kisses from Brazil

  3. Dear GingeV,
    Thanks. Seeing those lovely orange fruits from your photo; now I know how it's called.. "caqui or persimmons". WE got some here and we used to call it mini oranges.. heheh.. thanks to your blog, a new vocabulary learned.

    You're lucky to have that blooms all over your place. It must be refreshing and might revive those like me who remained confined behind four walls..

    Your photo shoots made me feels like I am there and enjoying it..
    Hope to see of your enchanting place..
    Care, Loida

  4. As usual, your photos are beautiful.

    My husband and I have gotten to the point that our garden was so much work that he dug up a lot of it and planted grass. (Only ten years ago he was digging up the grass and planting grapes, flowers, and herbs.) Bulb flowers (tulips & daffodils) still pop up in the Spring and I put annual flowers in some pots around the porch. We plant 3 or 4 tomato plants. There is nothing like a homegrown tomato and I make sauce from the extras. We also plant two 12-ft rows of pole beans because we both love green beans and eat them 4 to 5 times a week. Two years in a row rabbits ate all of our bean plants, so the next year we put up a 2-ft high electric fence that runs all summer on two D batteries. We had so much snow this past winter that the fence is ruined, so we have to put one up again ---a lot of work. Usually, we have enough beans for ourselves, some to give away and I blanch and freeze enough to last us through the winter. And even that little bit of gardening seems like a lot of work.