Traveller’s palm

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There are two of these enormous palm trees in front of our balcony. The new leaves sprout from the middle and the old leaves on the ends slowly wither and eventually fall down. As the weight of the leaves lowers the sturdy stems, the hollow part of the stem faces up and is filled with water when it rains. Hence the name – traveller’s palm – a thirsty traveller can get a drink, though I don’t think I would risk the brackish water unless I was desperate! However, the birds love it. I have seen a pair of sweet little bulbuls dive in for a bath and then sit on the sturdy edge for a good shake. Our resident squirrels use the horizontal stems as a convenient pathway from one tree to another. They scurry along the palm’s leaves and stems and then take a flying leap into the tall tree beside it. We’ve never managed to get a photo of these lightning-fast furry creatures but often watch them with great delight. It is also a treat to watch the rain splattering off the palms (we’ve become Kiwis who love rain!) and  during one storm we took these photos.

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