Puerto Viejo Barge
October and November seem to be the best months for wildlife to come and visit us in and around the yard. The fall bird migration from North America begins in early October and so we see lots of birds that are only here for a short time.
Bronze tailed Plumeteer
The trees all around us are full of berries and yummy things to eat so even the birds that are here all year around tend to hang out more nearby.
Black Striped Woodcreeper
Although it is my understanding that sloths mate and have babies all year long, we tend to see babies in our trees in the fall. This fall we had three different babies with their moms hanging out for two to three weeks each. The latest mother seemed very young and her baby was constantly clinging to whatever it could grab to stay on board. I really enjoyed sitting on the deck and watching these two for the time they were here.
Mom and Baby Climbing
Hang on baby!!
We also had a cherenga (agouti) visit for a while every evening.
We had a fruit tree that was dropping fruit and this cherenga loved it!! Once or twice it brought its little cherengas with it but more often left them in the lot on the other side of the fence. Which was good because when I could not get Sofi and Kaya in the house in time, they would go out and give chase. Needless to say the cherengas were in and out quickly.
On Friday we noticed a green female iguana sitting high up in one of the cacao trees next to our yard. On close inspection, it is clear that she is pregnant.
Iguanas lay their eggs about 45 days after conception and it looks to me like she must be getting close to that. She sat there all day just looking around and occasionally climbing down a bit to eat some leaves. Here’s hoping for a new batch of healthy baby iguanas 🙂
We headed down to The Point for their annual Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and it was once again a great time! About sixty people showed up -North Americans and Ticos alike – and we all visited and caught up on each others lives. There was music and some singing and at the end of the evening a fire dancer performed. Another U.S. holiday celebrated in grand style here in Puerto Viejo………
A few photos from around the yard……..
While sitting in my comfy recliner – yes – we broke down and got a couple of comfortable chairs finally- trying to decide what to write on this New Year’s Day, I felt something on my upper arm. I turned to look and saw a BIG scorpion crawling off of my shoulder and onto my arm. It calmly moved from my arm to the top of the chair and I hopped up and ran like crazy to get away. I have never seen a scorpion and it was terrifying!! I know that they can’t kill you and that the pain is bad but not intolerable, but seeing one up close and personal is scary! Tom was still in bed and I didn’t want to wake him so I ran to get a broom to try to sweep it out of the room. However, when I got back it had hidden somewhere so I have no clue where it is. Needless to say I am NOT sitting in my comfy chair until it is found and gone. (The picture above is not the one in my house since I was not able to get my camera in time, but is one exactly like it…..) I will try to concentrate on things like this beautiful butterfly that decided to hang out on our window screen instead.
The scorpion was kind of the topper to a couple of weeks of excitement here in Puerto Viejo. The weekend before last was the celebration of the Second Annual Chocolate Festival. The town was swarming with people – I think it is safe to say that it was a success. There was an amazing array of chocolate things – beer, tea, and facial masks as well as the normal yummy eating kind. We did not go to the opening night gathering but definitely will next year – from all reports it was a blast!
The town has really exploded with people coming for vacation. Ticos from San Jose have begun to discover Puerto Viejo and so are coming to enjoy the sun and the time on the beach when they are on holiday. We have always had lots of vacationers from other countries but this holiday season there are definitely many more. It is very difficult to drive through town and would be nervous about bicycling as well – too many people and not enough road I am glad for the business owners – it has been a bit of a dry spell the last few months. The seas are rough but that hasn’t stopped either the pelicans or the people from enjoying themselves.
On Christmas Even we went to The Point for a little while to listen to and sing carols. It was fun to see everybody and hang out for a bit. Christmas day we went to a potluck at our friends’ botanical garden again. This was the fourth year we attended the pot luck and it was once again a fun time. Such a variety of people show up and we always meet someone new and catch up with old friends as well.
We stayed in last night but got to hear the fireworks at midnight from around the town. It was deafening for about half an hour. Fireworks are illegal here but clearly the law is not enforced as there are fireworks going off for weeks before Christmas. They should end after today.
Tonight we are going to our neighbor’s who arrived from Portland for their three month stint again. They spend three months here and three months in Portland and we are always sorry to see them leave and delighted to have them back. It takes about two weeks to catch up on all the news
So now I am just sitting and reflecting on the last couple of years and looking forward to the new one. It really is hard for me to believe that this is the fourth New Year’s Day we have celebrated here. Truly this is home ……….
The holiday season here in Puerto Viejo was definitely fun filled. A few days before Christmas, a group of people and businesses decided to host the first ever World’s Biggest Rondon and Multicultural Festival. About 2:00 in the afternoon people started gathering in the park in the center of the town. The Rondon cooks started much earlier putting together the stew/soup that this part of the country is known for. Rondon comes from the words “run down” meaning you throw together whatever you have in your kitchen and see how it comes out. It has evolved to having a set of standard ingredients to start with – coconut, coconut milk (lots!), plantains, fish, shrimp – and then other ingredients are added that the cook feels might be good.
The day was especially fun for the kids – they were all over the place! A clown presided over the festivities for the younger crowd, topping off the events with the breaking of several pinatas followed by the wild dash for the candy. There were also sack races and a jungle gym brought in especially for the occasion. It really was a wonderful day.
On Christmas Eve, we entertained a small sloth that had found it’s way into our cacao trees that are all over our yard. Sloths can only eat certain types of leaves and the cacao is not one of those. It finally made it’s way to the hibiscus bushes that surround our yard (they can’t eat those either) and climbed through those bushes to the trees that have the leaves it can eat in the area behind our house. I worry too much about these little guys – they always seem to figure it out
On Christmas Day we went to our neighborhood bar – The Point – and had a traditional Christmas dinner for brunch and then headed on over to the Botanical Garden to help set up for the afternoon Christmas potluck they have every year for the people who live in Playa Negra. People started coming around 2:00 and stayed until dark. We met some new people who live nearby and chatted with several we already knew. All in all a very nice way to spend Christmas day.
New Year’s Eve was a really fun time. We headed down to The Point and had dinner. About 7:30 we all headed down to the beach in front of the bar and Toby set off some fireworks. I stood right under them and watched as they exploded overhead – it was the most amazing feeling! When that was done, we headed back home to check on the dogs and then met everyone at a little pizza place just a couple of minutes from our house. We chatted, ate pizza, drank some beer and just had a terrific time. We did not ring in the new year officially at midnight as we were home tucked in bed but we did hear the fireworks that went off all over the area.
The weather for those two weeks was just gorgeous. Last year at this time, it was rainy and overcast every day except for Christmas day but this year could not have been more beautiful. I am so glad to be here………….