Hi There, I’m Laura and this was me when I ventured out on one of a “life’s first journeys” . I moved to South America and here I’m in a part of the Amazon rainforest region where,one of the Jivaroan tribes were notorious for their headshrinking rituals. There was lots of gold, stone artifacts and ceramic from the Inca Empire throughout the Amazonia , which just added to the adventure , when I found an artifact from that era!

I found stone axe heads and ceramic while walking through the rivers. I used the stone artifacts around the kitchen, to crush garlic and spices, or used the larger artifacts as doorstops, for years before I found out what I was using! I often wondered , how the natives made such perfect holes in the stones…

Other natives tribes used blowguns when hunting and the poison that was used to put on their darts was from a certain frog. The native were very innovative with their headdresses or crowns that distinguished their position amongst their community, was made from bird feathers and insects, that had metallic, glossy iridescent colors, that really made it an attractive adornment.  My favorites were from the Jewel Beetle !

When I first went in the jungle , while walking through an open area a large jewel beetle landed before me , I was so excited to see something so beautiful!  That really spurred me on as to the aventure of living in the tropics brought! I would buy the jewelry the natives made out of these Jewel Beetles and wear them with my outfits!

I collected the necklaces of different regions of the Amazonia  that had the Jewel Beetle and other beads from the jungle, that were woven from a twine the natives made from a plant fibre. I had the opportunity to acquire as many as I could! These pieces were used as gifts, on the Humanitarian Aid Projects or whenever I could share them  with friends while travelling! I would stuff a Rum box full of them , when travelled!

The shigras and the Hammocks that different Amazonian native tribes made, was a twine woven from a natural fibre  like this , which I admired how  the twine was  produced and all the labor that is put into the preparation just to  weave the hammocks or shigras. The shigras & hammocks I used  in everyday use, sure were handy , while living in different regions!

I have a great interest in Medicinal plants and Herbs ,which being under Amazon rainforest canopy, there was an abundance, so I tried and lived off a lot of medicinal plants and roots over the years ! I used  a sap from a tree “Sangre de Drago” to brush my teeth, or as a wound-healing agent, while working on Construction Projects.


I lived in a village, where you’d see two men with a pole on their shoulders, and they would be carrying a giant 300-400 pound catfish with it’s tail dragging on the ground, it was taller than they were! That same fisherman told me how he would loose spears in the river while struggling to capture water boas , needlessly, the boa would win and take the harpoon with it!

When I had arrived to the coastal region, I was intrigued by the fire flies at dusk. The oceans waves at night would light up with a beautiful aqua green color, floating on the crest or just in the ocean, if you reached in you could see it light up under water around the hands. On the beach ,if you stomped or jumped around ,you would see your feet light up all around. It was so bright it was as if fire and sparks would be all around your feet! So, of course that sure generated a lot of fun!The Phytoplankton is what caused this extraordinary phenomenon! That’s why I have a few categories of products that stir emotions and make it exciting to put together whatever materials are needed to create the effect you want.

With solar products or from water fountains, or just looking for something to relax in then the Hammock Category would be just right for you! Look in further, check out our Garden Accents. There are all sorts of lighting products on the website to order, Check it out!

There were highly potent venous snakes in the ocean , after an evenings swim I ‘d see all these snakes washed up on the shore the next morning! If I went swimming in the river , often people would warn of water boas, black crocodiles, electric eels ,sting rays and piranhas.

This was ONE of my backyards transformed into a palm garden! I felt impelled to create whatever oasis possible because of the environment I was surrounded by. It was very rustic, primitive and crude which of course, having backyards like this one, made it more enjoyable for me, while I carried on Humanitarian Aid Work!…

When I arrived from the jungle, which was over a 23 hour road trip to get here (another firepit tale…), the patio was in a very primitive over grown state with weeds, riddled with garbage, there were lots of wasps nests (which very experienced persons came and helped rid them ),The wasp’s sting was real nasty sting! Guess what was done to reduce swelling?…read on…

Different pests …and other crawling creatures, and their Stridulation would keep you awake all night if you didn’t have ear plugs! These giant lobster crickets just loved to eat certain fabrics which many a times I’d find huge holes in garments when I was hanging the laundry out in the backyard! What stench when their cycle was over ! With time, were rid from the backyard! In the jungle, there were , the hairiest spiders I had ever seen ! A big tarantula was let loose to hunt cockroaches in my kitchen and in this part of the Amazon Rainforest .

In this region tarantulas had lots of nests camouflaged in the trees! For so long I had been crossing a fence and always using a certain part of the fence for support until one day, big hairy legs were out in the open! Once when I realized how the spiders camouflaged themselves, Since their venom was know to kill small prey , I was more careful where I was putting my hand or climbing over fences while doing Humanitarian Aid Work. So when I moved to the coastal regions, other spiders were welcome in my kitchen , too.

There were mosquitoes , ants, and very toxic insects , like the rove beetle that I worked around while on Humanitarian Aid Projects. Boy you sure didn’t want these little creatures on you or in your laundry or in your backyard! One time I saw a rove beetle at eye level on my clothes line moving its abdomen up and down, while it was tight rope walking all along the sheet! Like I said I saw lots of them , and cases of people who had “whiplash” from when they let out their venom on you. This beetle is highly toxic , more than cobra venom!

In the jungle, the Dynastes Hercules and rhinoceros beetles were common. Talk about strong beetles! I had the two species in the house and boy ,did they ever go into battle!

Bats! I have never seen an albino bat like the one I saw one night, when I was in the jungle! It had a wing span of at least 2 ft. When I tickled it’s belly , it started to pee! The only species that looked similar is this one , that I saw in the Pastaza region, was in this National Geographic .The first thing I was warned about when I moved to the coast  , were the Vampire bats .

I was used of living among and adapted to whatever diurnal or nocturnal crawling or flying creature ; for instance, the most scariest flying grasshoppers often would trying to clutch on to you ! Watch out!

So, when I was doing Humanitarian Aid Work ; I travelled to different projects which were in diverse regions. The Jungle, Mountains & Costal . Lots of fire pit & fire bowl tales to tell…) between the jungle creatures and costal, mountains , I got to , know what each little creature did ,helped me to know how to co-habit in their environment!

Also when I first started out in jungle I was in area where there were a lot of Coral snakes! One morning after a nights rain, the road I was walking on had the snakes on both sides of the road. I just kept walking straight through!

So something like the ant’s sting like the bullet ant! Or what fatazo could do made me be aware since I travelled a lot on Humanitarian Aid Projects regularly and I was familiar with for how long would a certain reaction would last or to heal …, giant cockroaches and normal sized cockroaches, and rats!

So to make it better over time , I made wandering paths and I cultivated passion fruit, papayas, noni, badea,plantains and grapes were cultivated in different parts of the yard.

So, I gradually turned this backyard space into a little haven where Lupe (my Amazon parrot) would be protected from: the vultures, opossums, squirrels, roosters that were used for cockfights, other dogs, reptiles, cats and the neighbor’s kids throwing rocks at her…! When I would go in my backyard , I’d use the time to write or draw my Amazon Parrot, the garden palms, or just sit by ay fire pit long into the evening, watching the glow of the coals.


My favorite part of the day in the backyard was when dusk was coming on and The yellow hues would accent all the green tones in the garden, enhancing the beauty of everything , including the sunsets that went with the nightly sounds. Some mountain people I went on horses where I lived in one part of the amazonia and guess what insects chirp did adding to it’s beauty Lupe and I bonded during those times. I built Lupita the grass hut to protect her from the heavy torrential downpours of the rain and the blistering sun where she would have shade and could just goof around!

I used whatever materials that were on hand for the structure of the bird house and Lupe’s thatched roof was from one of the palms I planted. I got the palm at about 10 inches high and it grew to o towering at least to the second floor of the apartment!

Here in the picture in my backyard, the palm is still growing & it grew so high that it could to be seen from that city’s bridge! I told you I knew a trick to the growth success of my garden, of how abundantly everything grew. I’ll have make a fire and tell you how sometime of what was done and how it was acquired!

So now with online shopping people have facility to order and install whatever items they want to make their own oasis, whereas I got: my machete out & used my own palms, asked the neighbour across street for bamboo stocks.

LUPE’S BIRDHOUSE: Material #1!

I went to the river to collect driftwood for Lupe’s perches and worked with whatever else I had on hand to build that bird house! To checkout plans click here!

I also washed clothes by hand in the rivers, collected water from the rain down pours or whatever other water source could be found for over 11 years ,so when a butterflies like these flopped by it sure made my day!


King was a protector dog, and was good at keeping things out of the yard, so we didn’t need a cat. In fact he was such a good hunter he killed over 260 rats and mice while we lived in this backyard! He developed a hatred for rats, opossums, and squirrels when we first moved in.

The rats were very aggressive ,just as King was and after several rats biting him on the nose and hanging off his lips, he soon became was very skilled at cracking the rats heads and killing them. The victory over killing a huge rat would be: to be thrown in the street for everything passing to run over it, so with the opossum. Same fate! If you want to know how the story went ,that would be another fire pit invite to sit around and share adventures and have a good laugh! To get a start read on here….

So if you want to get an intake on what it would be like living in an rat invested environment . Read on here under the title THE WILD RATS ! With Lupe the parrot 5 years senior of King , they were fighting for territorial rights, the things that would happen….Lots of firepit stories!!! Read on more….!


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