September 15th was Independence in Costa Rica and it just so happens that it also was my birthday This was the second birthday I have had here in my new home and it got me thinking about all the things that we will be celebrating for the second time now that we have celebrated our one year anniversary of the move. Tom’s birthday is coming up next and then all the holidays. We also are once again watching the fall migration of all the birds from North America and it is wonderful. We have birds all year long but the fall and spring migrations are just spectacular! Our garden is also just going crazy with new blooms and plants all over. Again – it is like this most of the year but right now is particularly abundant.
Anyway, on Independence Day we went to the parade that they have every year in downtown Puerto Viejo and it was fun. Since the town is only a few streets long, the kids in the parade marched with their instruments up and down the streets for a couple of hours holding flags and dancing. There were not floats or anything – just the music and the kids and it was great!! At the school in town the students had made T-Shirts for the event and they were hanging from the rafters of the school – pretty amazing work!
Around the yard:
The darling little sloth that I showed just the other day was killed when she touched the transformer on the electrical wires she was crossing to get to a tree. That is just one of the many perilous things that the sloths have to contend with here. The other major ones are dogs and cars. At any rate, I will miss seeing her in our yard………..
September and early October are by far the best months to snorkel on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We try to go whenever we can and are getting better and better at taking pictures of the fish and the reef. Here are a few from yesterday……………..
This fish is camouflaged by the sand but you can see it in the lower left hand corner of the picture.
Same fish but barley there. It is in the center of the picture – note the two eyes.
Here it is barely perceptible. It is in the lower center of the picture but very hard to see.
Pretty blue fish – these are all over in varying sizes.
Yellow striped fish
A squid – the water was a bit cloudy here but I watched about six of these just meandering about the area. The photo doesn’t do it justice – they were a mixture of fluorescent colors. Very cool!!
A tiny yellow fish – I haven’t seen much bigger than this.
It’s been awhile since I posted – time just seems to pass by so quickly each day and before I know it, I am climbing into bed. There have been several momentous events in the last couple of weeks. The first was a huge windstorm that hit on Thursday. I don’t know what the velocity of the wind was but I do know it was scary!! Tom was in Limon getting the yearly car inspection done so I was here alone with the dogs. Kaya and Sofi were as scared as I was but Wiley just hung out and slept. It is really amazing to see the huge trees swaying in the wind. It didn’t last too long – maybe 45 minutes or so, but when it was over, there were trees and branches down all over the area. Only one tree came down in our yard and it was one we didn’t much like so no harm done
I also am SO excited about a new hobby I have developed!! I made chocolate the other day from the cacao pods in our yard! I didn’t follow the normal instruction which require fermenting the seeds for several days before roasting the seed but it still was really good! It is very time consuming since I have no equipment or tools but well worth it. It is a very dark chocolate so just a taste satisfies that chocolate craving. I am excited to figure out how to get even more and better results.
On Friday we had our first visit from army ants. We had been told that they come around every so often and that the best thing to do is pack up and go to the beach for a couple of hours while they troop through your house and flush out and kill bugs like cockroaches and spiders and scorpions. We decided to stay to see what they did and it was fascinating! They started at our bodega and flushed out one scorpion who wasn’t long for this world and then they headed to the house. They systemically moved around the entire outside of the house walls as well as on the ground around the house. Anything they found, they ate. They did flush out one other scorpion who was evidently living around a window but that is all we saw. Pretty amazing!!
Our neighbors Ron and Don arrived in mid August and it has been nice to have them back. Ron headed back to Portland last Monday but Don will be here until September 14th. We had a farewell lunch for Ron at Banana Azul before they left with the four of us and Kathleen and Rick from down the road. It was great fun! We are looking forward to the time when they are here more permanently
Finally – we have been seeing some wonderful wildlife lately around the yard. Here are just a few:
Chestnut and Fiery Billed Toucans
Young sloth eating a cacao pod
Same sloth smiling
Giant Helicopter Dames Fly 7” wingspan and 5” body – biggest in the world!
Same one with closed wings
Red dragon fly
Our little Sofi is getting big!!!