This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘From Your Window.’ See more responses here.
There’s a very large mango tree in the yard, which is an erratic producer of fruit. Some years, there’s not much. Other years, the tree looks like an overdecorated Christmas tree. In those times, it’s best not to spend much time under the tree, particularly when it’s windy, because the thud of fruit hitting the ground is frequent (though, standing under that tree is risky any time, since large branches are prone to breaking off).
When fruit does start to fall, wild pigs move in. There are always windfalls available and the pigs love this easily-accessed treat. The pig population around here varies, mostly depending on whether hunters are active in the area. Pigs are nocturnal, so do most of their foraging at night, but the younger ones are more likely to venture out in daylight hours, either because they haven’t yet learned how dangerous that is, or because it’s harder for them to get a look-in when the big pigs are around.
This year, there have been as many as nine pigs in the yard at one time, but this younger pig was out by itself. As there were quite a few mangos on the ground, it was being quite choosy as to which ones to eat. Hard ones will be shunned, unless that’s all there is. This mango was just right, and the pig was tucking in until something disturbed it and it ran off, but not without its prize.
Mostly the pigs are a source of entertainment and don’t bother me. The exception is when they roam past the bedroom window in the middle of the night and get into arguments, grunting and squealing. They also have a very ripe smell, which drifts in through the open window. Fortunately, they’re easy to disperse. I just do my large, angry dog impersonation, consisting of a few loud barks, and they disappear like they’ve been shot out of a cannon.
This week’s posts are in response to the WordPress photo challenge on the theme of ‘transient.’
This little scene could be considered transient on three counts. First is the fact that this is a mango that has fallen from the tree. In the life cycle of a mango, it’s a very short interval between ripening on the tree and rotting on the ground. Second, this mango has clearly been chewed over by one of the transient wild pigs that pass through from time to time, more so during mango season. And third, these fruit flies won’t be around long either, having a lifespan in the region of 30 days.
This fruit fly, also called the vinegar fly, is probably Zaprionus ghesquierei, an invasive species known to have reached Hawaii. Zaprionus indianus also looks like this, but hasn’t been seen in Hawaii yet, as far as I know.
It’s mango season again. While the tree in the yard isn’t quite as bountiful as last year, it’s still dropping mangoes often enough to make me cringe when I walk under its canopy. I try to pick up the fruit on a daily basis, but don’t always succeed. Not that it remains on the ground long.
Fallen mangoes are a draw to numerous birds, which can be seen pecking away most times I look out of the window. And, of course, the wild pigs love them. They usually visit overnight and all I see of their visit is a littering of chewed mango pits.
This pig was an early morning visitor, but still around well after sunrise. When I saw it, I got my camera, eased out of the back door, and started snapping. I never know how creatures will react to my presence. Some, such as grey francolins, scurry off as soon as they think something’s going on. This pig, on the other hand, didn’t seem too bothered, snuffling her way across the yard in my direction until she looked me in the eye and decided enough was enough, scooting through the hedge into the neighbor’s yard.
Notice, in the second photo, the mango lipstick on the pig.
There’s a sizeable wild pig population on the Big Island and they can be both problematic and dangerous. A while back, a local woman was attacked by a boar in her garden. She got seriously gored as well as having her leg broken.
This one was puttering around the yard in the early morning, snacking on fallen mangoes. It took him a while to notice me, but when he did, he took off at speed.
The numbers around here have dropped since hunters began making regular visits and when I do hear the pigs moving about, they’re being a good deal more cautious than they used to be.
I posted here about the progression of our mango tree from flowers to fruit. Here’s what happens when the trade winds pick up after a couple of calm days. The lawn was empty a couple of hours before this photo, and this is just one segment of the windfall, probably about a third of what fell in that time frame.
Something had already eaten the mango in the front. It could have been a wild pig, but was more likely birds getting to the fruit while it’s still on the tree.
In February this mango tree was in full bloom (top). Those blooms have become the bevy of fruit below. When the wind blows the thud of falling mangoes is a constant sound. I tend to duck my head into my shoulders walking under the tree.
It’s a twice a day routine to pick up the fallen fruit, or the wild pigs will make short work of them.