Triquitraque Color

Back home from the latest trip and not all is without color! 🙂

My Triquitraque or Flame Vine is possibly at its peak of blooming now and will soon begin to become a green vine again, most commonly blooming here in just January & February, and possibly the brightest or most color of all my flowers . . .

¡Pura Vida!

For more flowers, my Flora & Forest Gallery.

🙂

Base Jump Highest Bridge?

You must be crazy, very young (or both?) or maybe a professional base jumper? It just so happens that the highest railroad bridge in Costa Rica is over the Rio Grande River right here in my adopted hometown of Atenas, Alajuela Province. But no trains have gone over it for many years and it is not considered safe and so difficult to get to, I don’t even have a photo of it. It would require me to illegally walk down a busy freeway and onto the freeway bridge over the river to get this old picture, which is from Tico Times online newspaper and very old since it shows a train going over the bridge! 🙂 Some people now walk over the RR Bridge but not me! 🙂

Read all about the crazy American who jumped off this bridge with a parachute and then got lost trying to find his way out of the canyon. Hmmmm. 🙂 In this Tico Times Article in English which includes a video of the guy jumping off which I also include in my continued post:

Continue reading “Base Jump Highest Bridge?”

First Morning, Great Backyard Bird Count

During breakfast this morning I got 7 species of birds from my terrace, but because I was eating, I photographed only one, just at the end of my time looking – The Yellow Warbler, both a migrant from the north and a resident sometimes, meaning I don’t know how to tell if this particular one is a migrant or a resident enjoying an insect for breakfast! 🙂

And the other 6 birds I saw were Great Kiskadee, Turkey Vulture, one of the Swallow species (unidentified), Tropical Kingbird, and Clay-colored Thrush or Yiqüirro.

I hope you are counting birds in your backyard this weekend and reporting to eBird!

¡Pura Vida!

Almost Harmattan in Costa Rica

A Dakar, Senegal Mosque Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean — Photographed while in The Gambia & Senegal, 1999-2002.

A few readers know or remember that I once live in The Gambia, West Africa for three years with many experiences recorded on this same website found by following my AFRICA Travel Page links or going directly to pages for The Gambia and Senegal. I made both of the above photos in Dakar, Senegal.

I got one of my first shocks the first month there when I told the guards that it looked like a rain storm was coming from the north, even though it was “The Dry Season.” They laughed at me and explained that the first month of dry season was called Harmattan and was when the sand and dust from the Sahara Desert blew south and west and that we would soon be covered in dust and sand, thus close your windows. I closed them and it did not help much with everything in the little apartment covered in dust or sand. Incidentally, some years that same Harmattan blows part of the Sahara Desert all the way across the Atlantic to Costa Rica. Really! 🙂

In Costa Rica it is not called “Harmattan,” but we have a similar experience any time from late December to mid-March when the wind blows almost constantly and everything is dusty. It is not as heavy as West Africa, but it is for a longer period of time with just dust, not desert sand (usually)! It is worse if one of the volcanoes is erupting and we get the gray to black volcano soot like I’ve had a few times from Volcán Turrialba. 🙂

Thus when another WordPress Blogger posted this Poem by Danusha Lameris, I saved it to share right now during our “mini-harmattan” or windy weather or dusty season, none of which are titles Costa Rica brags about for our “Dry Season” (most popular tourist time). And incidentally, this years winds seem to be stronger and at night much cooler than the previous 6 Dry Seasons for me here. Now North Americans wouldn’t consider the low 60’s Fahrenheit cold, but that’s a “two-blanket night” here! 🙂

Continue reading “Almost Harmattan in Costa Rica”

Why Triquitraque?

Triquitraque or Flame Vine

Triquitraque – One Spanish Name for this Flower

Also called in Spanish: Tango, chiltote, chorro de oro, and San Carlos.

In English, most commonly called the Flame Vine

Translation of Triquitraque = Clatter

As in the clatter of a train going down the track

As in a string of firecrackers popping

As in jumping jack

OR

The first definition of triquitraque in the dictionary of the real academy of the Spanish language is noise as of repeated and disordered blows. Another meaning of triquitraque in the dictionary is those same hits.

So why is this flower called Triquitraque?

I wish someone would tell me! Maybe the scattered bright flowers along a vine reminds someone of a string of firecrackers exploding? Or a visual clatter? Please comment if you know! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica Returns to In-person School

Today, February 8, 2021, is the first time students will be in the physical school buildings in almost a year, having closed last March because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Primary School – Los Angeles

Some schools will offer the option of a “hybrid plan” mixing in-person with online school, fewer days in-person. And the many students who have no internet access for online school will be prioritized for in-person classes and parents who are not comfortable with in-person school for their kids can continue online schooling.

Those in the physical school buildings must wear masks and desks will be 1.8 meters apart, with hand-washing and other precautions in place. Read more details in the English-language Tico Times article. Or readers here in Costa Rica can get questions answered on the Spanish language Education Ministry’s Coronavirus Website.

High School – Colegio Liceo

All photos are my older file photos from earlier years. The feature photo as header of page is of Escuela Central, the largest and main primary school, K-6. The kids in costumes are at Los Angeles Primary School and the teens at bottom are at Colegio Liceo, the university-prep public high school.

This past school year will have a major impact on several generations of students around the world with so many poorer students unable to participate in online education. Much work and prayer needs to go into helping these students around the world to “catch up” or fit in with the more affluent. And Costa Rica will do it well, always being a leader in education.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

– Nelson Mandela

¡Pura Vida!

Loving All Trees!

Tree in parking lot of Super La Coope, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Yes! I even love this tree in my supermarket parking lot which adds beauty and oxygen to my simple life here in Atenas! 🙂

“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”

― Munia Khan

OneTreePlanted.org

¡Pura Vida!

Tree by the Pasture

Yeah! I know, it seems that I like every tree! And maybe I do, but this one by the cow pasture in front of my house is special I think because of its shape. Though that one little tree to its left sort of takes away from the shape 🙂 it’s still a neat tree!

The Featured Photo above is the broad look from the cow pasture with that tiny sliver of roof on the far left edge of photo being my house on the hill. The tree is the one in center of above photo to the left of the 3 big houses. And below is a closer view.

Big Green Tree by the Pasture.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

― Kahlil Gebran

¡Pura Vida!

My TREES GALLERY has all kinds! 🙂

FOUR MORE RECENT ACCOLADES FOR COSTA RICA

Described in the Live in Costa Rica Blog or here’s my quick summary:

  1. The #1 best country to retire in according to International Living Magazine (Again!)
  2. The #1 best country to visit or vacation in according to National Geographic for 2021.
  3. The highest inoculation rate against Covid -19 virus in Latin America with goal of every adult in the country!
  4. “Rumor” is that Costa Rica may host the 2022 Miss Universe Contest. A new convention center in San Jose makes things like this more likely, though final decision not made yet.

FOR ME? It is the Best Place to Experience NATURE!

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

I Registered for a Coronavirus Vaccine Today!

On my round of errands this morning, one stop was at the public clinic to sign up for my Coronavirus Vaccine as one of an expected. 3.7 million to be vaccinated in Costa Rica this year, basically the whole population. It has begun all over the country as a free vaccination provided by the government with millions of doses already in country. As an older adult I should be called in before younger people and within the month the technician told me. I just wait for the phone call, in Spanish, and hope they speak slow enough for me to understand! 🙂

Though millions of doses are already here, more have been ordered says this Tico Times article: Costa Rica to purchase coronavirus vaccines for 648,000 more people

I also saw my female private practice GP doctor this week and already my hurting knee is much better and less swollen. Medical services here are really good! Both public and private and cheap or free!

¡Pura Vida!

A Little Jewel

On one of my walks on the nearby “Country Lane,” I found this simple little tree covered in yellow blooms, like many Costa Rica trees now, and liked it!

The Feature Photo is the broad view of the landscape with the little solo tree, while below I include a closer view from another angle, all from behind a fence, and I never cross fences! 🙂

Country Lane Yellow Tree

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”

~Isaac Newton

¡Pura Vida!

Tonight or tomorrow I will begin reporting on the Cloud Forests of San Gerardo de Dota in Savegre Hotel. It is a lot different from my Central Valley coffee farming town of Atenas! 🙂