I am currently in California (more on this to come!) but I had a few photos from before I left so I’m using my free time to catch up.
There is a lemon tree just outside of our neighborhood and it makes huge, delicious lemons. The fruit is just starting to ripen so on my way home I often stop by to look for fruit on the ground.
The fruit is huge, but it tastes like the lemons we are used to in the USA and makes great lemonade. The peel can also be eaten and doesn’t have the bitter taste of most lemon peels. The tree, however, is full of large, sharp thorns on branches that reach to the ground, so one must use caution when touching it. I have a pair of clippers on my bike because sometimes fruit falls under the tree and I have to clear a spot to get my arm through to reach it, and I’d rather not get all scratched up in the process.
Joel and I were both out one day and he shook the tree to see if any of the ripe looking fruit above would fall. The only thing he got though was a wasp sting! The other day we were both there again, and I found the tiny nest hidden in the leaves. I haven’t seen one before with this interesting reddish color.
It’s just a little nest of very little wasps that normally aren’t a bother, but if you disturb them one or two is likely to come out and ask you to move away (ouch). Thankfully though they don’t come out in a crowd like can happen with some bees and wasps.
We were also looking in the center of the tree and saw this very interesting sight.
These look like wasps, but not of any sort I have ever seen before. I can’t tell if this is a nest or just a ball of insects all clinging to each other. The white things are their bodies, and the rest of the wasp is brown. Joel was clipping right below them to remove enough thorns to get to a couple fruits under the tree and the wasps made no attempt to come after either of us. I just noticed them because they were flying around from the disturbance, but they quickly settled down into their ball again when we backed off.
This is what the fruit looks like. I put a couple normal size bananas next to them for size reference. The are big! When I first saw them I thought they might be grapefruit. When I get back to Panama the tree should be in full production. We also have a couple loaded limon trees in our own backyard that are almost ready, so there will be no shortage of lemonade in the coming months.