Once again, it's lilikoi season. I finally found the end of my main lilikoi picking site on one side. 300 feet from the road, with a hill involved. And of course, as it's wild lilikoi, it's overgrown. This year the season didn't start slowly but pretty much with a bang. The second week into it my legs don't hurt anymore - this is the first time I got sore legs picking lilikoi. If it starts out with 2-3 bags a week for a month it's easy to get used to. If you get 6 bags in the second week it's different, especially as I also got 17 years older since I started picking. It isn't a real big lot yet, not like in this post (that was 13 bags in 3 days), but I also finally got my pruners back into the truck to cut through some of the weed vines (pilau maile), and relearned why it is a good idea to take more than one bag even if you don't have a bag carrier. You really don't want to carry lilikoi down the hill and then carry them back up. Really. You also don't want to lug a heavy bag through underbrush if you can help it.
Of course, yesterday it would have seriously backfired if I had done that on my last trip down the hill. I was way back in the brush when it sounded like rain coming, slowly getting louder, and it was rain coming. I got myself and the lilikoi back up the hill and into the truck and by the time I was inside the truck it was a downpour. If I had had more than one bag I would still have been down there when it was pouring. I got most of the lilikoi out for the time being - but that's as of yesterday, and tomorrow I'm of course going back to work. It's a good thing that the first big drop (and the bigger one of the two, if there is a second one) happens while the days are still relatively long here. I still have an hour or two of daylight after work now, and hour if I get out late. And if I'm lucky, on a grocery shopping day I get home before 8 and it isn't raining when I get there.
Today I did some catching up on yard work, little as it was, counted enough Swarovski crystals to restock my trays, finally finished putting the next batch of mgambo seeds into clothes pins for drilling (I drill them by 100s), finished washing one batch of gardenia taitensis seeds (tiare, or Tahitian Gardenia) and got some new ones (the latter one is a good thing as most of the current batch is sold - wholesale).
Is there time for lampworking? No, not really. I'm glad I'm caught up on batch annealing so that if I have some time and energy left over I can make some beads, stick them into the fiber blanket and anneal them later. I hate small batch batch annealing with my current setup because the mandrel that I use as a mandrel rest is sloped in the kiln when I batch anneal (I've been lucky with that this far though and not gotten beads stuck together or even gotten marks). Of course, the weather that causes the lilikoi to get ripe and drop also implies more wind than I can deal with for lampworking. So, while I miss lighting the torch, the weather wasn't really good for it anyway.
But also, if anybody in or around Hilo reads this far: if you know of any place where I can pick lilikoi, and you are the owner or know the owner of the land and allow me to pick the lilikoi there (it keeps both the pigs and the rats down or out), please let me know. The closer to Hilo town you are the more likely I'm going to pick you up on it. I used to pick lilikoi from Kalapana to Ookala, but these days I rarely leave town to pick. Gas got too expensive, and as I'm by myself these days I can't pick as much as even with a 5 year old as a helper (the former 5 year old is about to turn 22 and lives in Oregon, and the last time she was home in the summer she helped pick lilikoi :) ).
And now I'm going to count some more Swarovski crystals.