Living with Bugs!

For anyone considering retirement or otherwise living in Costa Rica, be forewarned that you must learn to live with the 300,000+ species of insects here on this land bridge between North and South America (with insects from both continents!). The featured image at top is of two “Jewel Bugs” or “Metallic Shield Bugs” I photographed in Corcovado National Park. Below photo I made this morning of a “Leafcutter Ant” on my terrace carrying a flower petal (bougainvillea) instead of a piece of leaf, which is common.

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Leafcutter Ant on my Terrace this morning.

Many of the insects that pester me seem to come in waves; like just before rainy season the little long-winged fliers that dropped or left their long beige wings all over my bathroom, or the first two weeks of rain was the invasion of houseflies (which Deep Woods OFF doesn’t seem to affect!), and right now there are hundreds of tiny little black & green beetles on the walls, around the lights and all over me! I even got one going down my ear the other night – ugh! They don’t bite, but a bother! Too small to photograph.

My biggest deterrent to the many kinds of bugs are the Geckos that live in literally every room of my house and I think eat most types of insects. From my first day here I have tried to photograph the larger insects (some are just too tiny) and you can see my collection in the gallery named INSECTS CR under OTHER WILDLIFE in the main gallery. There are more than 100 species of insects in my gallery and especially interesting or unusual are those in the sub-gallery Other Insects, like the above Jewel Bugs, many of which I have not been able to identify. And all of which serve a purpose in the cycles of life. Of course the most popular sub-gallery is Butterfly & Moth (81+ Species).

A Break From Blogging

For regular readers, I assume you have noticed several days without a post. Sometimes I just doesn’t feel like writing and/or in this case got focused on my old photos again as I am slowly adding them to my galleries, particularly the Pre-Costa Rica TRAVEL  galleries. It is a slow and labor-intensive process that eventually I will complete. I uploaded all of my international trips first and now working on USA trips from the most recent going back. Then comes the most, Tennessee travels. And most of these are after my retirement began at the end of 2002. I have been blessed to have seen so much of the world and get to know so many cool people!

20190604_111253[1]-A-WEBSunday afternoon I was a part of the Board of Directors meeting for the local children’s home, Hogar de Vida. The rest of the board seemed surprised and appreciative that I am the first person to include the children’s home in my will. But I am not a very good board member because I am not fluent in Spanish, in which all business is carried on!  🙂

Living Slow

Otherwise I am “Living Slow” as my sloth T-shirt says!

 

A fast approach tends to be a superficial one, but when you slow down you begin to engage more deeply with whatever it is you’re doing. You’re also forced to confront what’s happening inside you – which is one of the reasons why I think we find it so hard to slow down. Speed becomes a form of denial. It’s a way of running away from those more deeper, tangled problems. Instead of focusing on questions like who am I, and what is my role here, it all becomes a superficial to-do list.

— Carl Honoré

How to start a slow living lifestyle.

¡Pura Vida!

 

Bajo del Tigre Reserve

Bajo del Tigre Reserve is the smallest of the nature reserves within Monteverde even though it is a part of the largest total Nature Reserve in Costa Rica called Children’s Eternal Rainforest or better known here by its Spanish name Bosque Eterno de los Niños. The better part around Monteverde is outside of town in the forests where you must stay in cabins to see many birds or other wildlife. And the very best area of the bigger reserve for birds is east of here near Arenal which I hope to visit sometime. 

Here’s my better photos of wildlife seen in about 2.5 hours on the Bajo del Tigre Trail. The close-up of a Three-wattled Bellbird was when he came down near us (me & my private guide) feeding or looking for fruit to eat. Wild avocados are ripe right now.  🙂

Bajo del Tigre Wildlife

“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

¡Pura Vida!

Reduce Pollution!

Some youth in the city of Alajuela left a sidewalk chalk message for pedestrians the other day: something like “Be aware of the city and REDUCE pollution!”

¡Pura Vida!

Independence Day Parade – Audience

Sometimes the people watching the parade are the most interesting thing seen! 🙂 The family portrait above tells a story, I think! And of course the children are always the most photogenic! This slideshow is my last on this year’s Independence Day Parade. See if you can find the 4 people with eyes glued to their device screens (2 are above). Cell phones dominate people around the world!  🙂

And next year I’m adding a new parade by going to the Caribe during Carnival! I’ll photograph the smaller one in Puerto Viejo and not the big one in Limon where I’ve heard it can be dangerous. I don’t want to lose my cameras again! (I was at the Puntarenas Carnival Parade my first year here when my camera bag was snatched from a sidewalk cafe.) But anyway, more parades coming!

¡Larga vida a Costa Rica!

Slideshow: Independence Day Parade Atenas – Audience

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

 

All holidays can be good times.    ~John Clayton

Independence Day Parade – Flags

It is the one patriotic parade of the year so of course it has to have lots of flags! From the primary school through high schools are flags here and  though no good pix, there were some with adults representing the Fire Department and Red Cross. Here’s a few of the students with flags in a short slideshow:

Slideshow: Independence Day Parade Atenas – Flags

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

 

Independence Day Parade – Children

The children were the main part of the parade this year with respect to the teens. They are taught that this is a historical event and thus most are dressed in historical clothing for the parade. And of course kids are cute and make good photos, so enjoy the slide show of kids in the parade and later will be a post of the audience which includes a lot more kids.

Slideshow: Independence Day Parade – Children

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

Independence Day Parade – Bands

“Quince de septiembre” (fifteenth of September) is the more common name kind of like “4th of July” is probably used more in the states than “Independence Day.”

There is a nation-wide strike going on in Costa Rica, so it affected some aspects of the parade this year with nothing from the university in parade but all the local and neighboring schools were happy to make it almost a nino parade, which is fine! Today’s post is just some of the bands with other aspects of parade in the next few days. Note that here bands are all dominated by both drums and boys, though more difficult instruments are more likely played by girls. Another day I will show dancing which is almost all girls and so it goes as cultures, femininity and masculinity struggle everywhere, especially in schools.     🙂

Slideshow: School Bands in Atenas Independence Day Parade

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

Primary School Band Practice

I’m guessing that only 6th & 7th Graders are in the band and maybe 5th Graders. And it must count as PE or Physical Education because those green & blue uniforms are their PE uniforms, while the two boys in white shirts and black pants are in their school or classroom uniform.

It is almost all drums in all the bands here, this one with cymbals and some kind of scrappy rhythm instrument on the back row. I’m guessing again that is because of lack of money for instruments and music teachers or a priorities thing. The high school bands usually have a few girls playing xylophone with some bigger cities adding brass and reed instruments, but not many.

The group above is practicing in the city sports park across the street from the Primary School, Escuela Central. And I suspect they are getting ready for the September 15 Independence Day Parade and subsequently the December Christmas Parade. I admire the few girls who play drums which the boys tend to dominate here (and maybe everywhere).

Life in a small farming town in Costa Rica!    ¡Pura Vida!

See also my PEOPLE & FIESTAS Photo Gallery for the bands marching in the parades.

Childhood Sweets

This trailer in front of the public primary school sells snacks to young children and it appears here to mothers too!     🙂

And I remember having sweets available for sale near my elementary school way back in the dark ages. A world-wide tradition?

All I really need is love, but a little candy now and then doesn’t hurt!

~Charles Schulz

Lunch with Mother

Around noon every day you see some of the elementary school children eating their lunch with their mothers in the park across the street from the school. Some grade levels only go a half day, morning or afternoon, meaning they eat lunch before or after school. But all ages of children are very close to their mothers making lunch with Mom very natural. Almuerzo con la madre.