Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Red-headed lizard

in animals, Nepal wildlife


There’s been a proliferation of ever-larger lizards in the area around home lately, and I finally was able to get a decent picture of this fascinating red-headed fellow hanging out in the night queen bush I planted just outside the perimeter railing several years ago.





Happy New Year 2017!

in animals, birds, birds of the Kathmandu Valley, Laz the dog, pets

This morning when I opened my front door, the first thing I saw was a large, white-breasted kingfisher sitting high atop a tree just a short distance from the house. While it’s not an uncommon bird to see in Nepal, I can’t recall having ever seen one at this time of year before, so it was a lovely new year surprise, and especially nice to have it be the first thing I saw when I stepped outside on the first day of the new year. It stayed up there for quite a while, too, even returning after flying off for a bit, so perhaps I’ll see it again. A small thing, but it made me very happy.


It was rather a grey morning, so it didn’t photograph well, but I wanted to share it anyway. And to make up for that picture quality, I also give you Laz: enjoying a Christmas bone and not enjoying a Christmas hat, respectively. 🙂




Leopard on the loose

in animals, daily life

Check out this article with amazing photographs of a leopard that wandered into a residential area in Kathmandu this morning.

Thankfully no one was hurt and the leopard was also safely tranquilized by personnel from the city zoo. It’s pretty amazing, though!




A Happy Dog

in animals, Laz the dog

Some pictures of Laz to make you smile. I don’t know what her history was before she adopted me, but she lights up my life in so many ways. Endlessly cheerful and loyal, she loves a belly rub and curried food, and barks when strangers are near, to make me feel safe. Thanks, Laz!




Winter sunshine

in animals, cats, wintertime

These days it’s getting pretty chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings, or when it’s overcast. But when the sun makes an appearance, everyone makes the most of it. Here are Boots and Laz enjoing a “sun-bath” as it is known here. These two sure know how to relax right.



Only in Nepal

in animals, daily life, Nepal

Reading the daily paper here has the potential for so much amusement. I can’t think that you’d find something like this on the front page anywhere else…


The Himalayan Times, Thursday, 12 February 2015

Some random cat advice…

in animals, cats, daily life

This is likely even more far-fetched than what Seth Godin had in mind in my favorite of his articles, “Delight the Weird.” Which if you haven’t read, you should. Now.

I cannot imagine there are than many people who are living in third-world countries where surgery for spaying cats is rather less than high-tech, and are searching for this solution. However, if you, like me, have just taken your fourth female cat in for this operation, and have had to try numerous options to keep her from licking open the thick, black stitches, then this might be useful to you.

As an aside, before you ask, cat-size cones cannot be found and the only ones available, when you can even find them, are made for dogs and so large they require securing with copious amounts of sticky tape to stay on for even a short spell. Even if you manage to secure it, they are so huge they cause your kitty to nearly break her neck every time she tries to move, which she does (move, not break her neck). After one terrifying experience, I abandoned them for good.

My vets–competent, kindly, amazing–suggest a complicated system of wrapping with towels and safety pins. She gets out of that one in two minutes flat.

An elastic wrap, of the sort you might use to wrap a sprained ankle, helped temporarily. Then she found a way to get that off, too. And to nearly destroy it.

The current answer, from my rag-bag: a sock, old but still with a bit of stretch. Snip off the toe part to create a snood. Slip over the head and front legs of your now angry cat. Gently ease over the wound and stitches. If you’ve chosen the right size for your cat, it will hold everything in place while being difficult for her to remove.

It’s not foolproof, but it helps!

Below, Boots modeling this new design.


Kathmandu cats

in animals, cats, daily life

This afternoon I was on my bed with my laptop propped up on my legs, when I noticed the room, raucous only moments before, had gone silent.  I moved the computer and this is what I saw down by my feet. Am I crazy? You betcha. But also, so very, very lucky.




Running for mo:mo

in animals, Food, Lazarus

This evening I went for a run, something which I used to do regularly but have not done for a long time. It’s been winter, of course; I was sick, yes; Kathmandu’s ongoing road expansion is not conducive to running at the moment, also true; but it’s been more than that, too. And I needed to get out there again.

Running after such a long time was exhausting, embarrassing, satisfying. I was surprised at what I could still do.

I’d been wanting to go for mo:mo, and so, partly as motivation I ran north towards the hills before doubling back, past my house, to find the mo:mo I had in mind.

Mo:mo of course, being the wonderful dumplings that can be found everywhere here. Originally thought to have come from Tibet or China, they have over the years been adopted, adapted and improved; they are now Kathmandu’s quintessential fast food: delicious, widely varied, and inexpensive.

The place I went to tonight is around the corner from my old flat, not too far from where I live now. Originally an alcohol wholesaler, they had, after a while, put out a plastic table and chairs for the customers that preferred to drink their purchases on the spot. Eventually, the enterprising family produced a snack to sell to go with the drinks. That snack was, of course, mo:mo.

Here's what I ate this evening!

Here’s what I ate this evening!

Unlike restaurants, many local eateries provide only one variety of mo:mo, as this place does–unusually, here it’s pork. Buff or chicken or vegetable are much more common.

The pork in these dumplings is mixed with chopped onions, garlic, and ginger, and as the onion to meat ratio is unusually high, the resulting mo:mo is exceptionally light. The dough is also very thin, and the achar, or sauce, is uncooked, which also adds to the simplicity of it and makes it much less heavy than some other mo:mo. The achar is simply tomatoes, green chili and fresh danya–also known as coriander or cilantro–smashed up, raw, in a flat mortar and pestle. It’s spicy, fresh and delicious.

After many years and multiple attempts, I still suck at making mo:mo, but I want to come back sometime when the power is on to watch the woman who makes them at work, and, maybe, learn something.

So as not to seem greedy, I had a plate there with my beer, and ordered a plate to go. A dog came and sat quietly, at a polite distance, but even in the darkening twilight I could see his puppy-dog eyes, absolutely living up to clichĂ©, so of course I had to share a few mo:mo with him, though I did it carefully so the wonderful mo:mo maker wouldn’t think I didn’t love her food. Of course that meant I broke into the second serving, but I made sure to save some for my own dog, Lazarus. She loves these.
Walking back, there was  a lovely moon shining, with the effect known as ‘earthshine’ (yes, I did have to look that up to learn the correct name) where the thin crescent moon is bright, but the rest of the moon is still dimly and fully visible. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t do it justice, but never mind that, seeing it made me happy.

a Leonarda Da Vinci sketch of the Earthshine effect

a Leonarda Da Vinci sketch of the Earthshine effect

When I got home, Lazarus and I sat outside in the dark, sharing the remaining mo:mo, waiting for the lights to come on.

Lazarus enjoying a bone on Christmas Day

Lazarus enjoying a bone on Christmas Day