Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Durian hunting - pt2

Durians, like the smelly tofu and perhaps blue cheese, is an acquired taste. But I do know of toddlers having their first durians, rejecting them one day and relishing them the very next. I even know of a dog which love the fruits so much that it had a tooth decay after consuming too much…I think they are not designed to eat sweet sticky stuff.

Well, squirrels here have certainly acquired a taste for the thorny fruit, so many of these durians have holes like this made by the toothy rodents. Elsewhere around the region, it was said that wild pigs and even tigers like the fruits, and we all know with certainty that Orang utans are big fans as well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Durian hunting- a weekend night out

A clean little stroke to check out the meat.

There was a rustling of leaves in the near total darkness followed by a loud thud. The fruit of a durian, Durio zibethinus has fallen....we combed the area with our torches for 3 hours to picked up what was already fallen and then waited for the rest to drop from the sky.

Somehow, durian collecting is traditionally done in the night, where most fruits apparently fall. By daytime, diurnal animals and more likely other humans may get to them first. There are of course, some risks, but fruits do not fall like the leaves of a maple do, so injury is not common, presumably. Well, Alfred Russel Wallace did know of a person blinded in one eye by the falling fruit but that was a hundred years ago....

Hearing the heavy fruits falling around me in near total darkness was both unnerving and exhilarating, but by 3 am, I decided that I had enough. I laid myself down on the mat to doze under the shadows of leaves and light of stars, taking in the humid air tinted with fresh and rotting durians..... not caring too much if it was a durian tree I was under ...

Harvest awaits as I awake....

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