After a morning researching medicinal plants for a friend and client, Global Creek, it was time for a break. Just in time as the kitchen was filling up with army ants on the march and the dogs were getting excited.
A lot of insect activity this morning. Sandro cut lots of madera negra leaves to scatter below the house. Madera Negra has many uses (a common English name is rat killer tree), the leaves deter fleas and smell great, somewhat like alfalfa hay. We periodically scatter them below the house to give the dogs a break from scratching. We use madera negra all over the farm as a living support for black pepper, vanilla and beans: it's leguminous so a nitrogen fixer, provides shade and has edible pink flowers.
We took a walk along the ridge then cut down and followed a creek downstream until our way was blocked by fallen trees. More insects, we were chased by a couple of those big orange-eyed biting flies but managed to shake them off in the salak. Coming back along the trail we passed the huge leaf cutter ant nest, beautifully decorated with fallen yellow flowers from an overhead tree. I got stung by some flying creature picking chaya for lunch just before coming up the hill to the house. Got home to find the army ants had completed their inspection and left.