Widening our bridge

One of the things that drives perfectionist Americans crazy about Costa Rica is the multitude of one-lane bridges all over the country even in the cities! Look no further than right outside the main gate to Roca Verde Housing Development! Our entrance gate is on Avenida 8, better known by the little bario (neighborhood) there as Calle Boquerón. Just outside our gate going towards central Atenas you cross the little rainy season stream that goes by the cow pasture in front of my house. And of course on a one-lane bridge! Don’t know why or who influenced it, but the city of Atenas is widening that little bridge.

The concrete tubing for water flow has already been extended and fill dirt and rocks added around it and as I photographed Monday they were pouring concrete for maybe a base to something or a wall? These two school kids out of school for Coronavirus will probably soon be joining the city construction team as they sit here and learn how easy it is to build a bridge over a concrete pipe.   🙂

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Walking from town, the bridge is just before Roca Verde gate on the right.  Note also on the right the pedestrian sidewalk & bridge built by volunteers a few years ago.

 

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School’s out and these two boys are learning how a bridge is built here over a big pipe!

 

“If Rome had been built in a day we would have used the same contractor.”

¡Pura Vida!

Sports Park Roofs

I have been reporting on the very slow progress the city of Atenas is making on the renovation of our Central Park, but have not mentioned they are working a little faster on an improvement of two areas of the Sports Park in front of Escuela Central (the elementary school). They are installing roofs over the child-sized football (soccer) field AND over the adult-sized basketball court. I guess these shields from both sun and rain will help both sports to be used more by both school and the community at large.

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The child-sized football field is getting posts for its roof!
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The beams that will hold up the roof over football field.
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In the opposite corner of park behind graffiti-clad skateboard ramp is basketball court.
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The super-structure is up for roof over basketball court.

 

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”    -Mike Singletary

¡Pura Vida!

Dental Emergencies Only

Monday I returned to my dentist to see if the infection was gone so they can finish my root canal, stuffing it with something they get from a tropical tree. Unfortunately it still had infection though improved a lot and not painful, but I need more antibiotics and time. I wait 2 more weeks for it to be completed. Patience!

And when I arrived I witnessed this new sign (feature photo) taped to the front door that they now accept only emergencies, but they assured me that my infection is included in what the government accepts as “emergencies.” So I do get to go back in 2 weeks for what I hope is the last time!   🙂

Everything is different now with Coronavirus! The whole world is in a state of change!

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

~Confucius

¡Pura Vida!

 

And if the virus caused you to cancel your Costa Rica vacation, try this very short 1 minute “Virtual Vacation”  video clip. ¡Pura vida!

Butterflies

These two common butterflies were photographed in my garden last Friday – not brilliant but always interesting as all wildlife! See more of my butterfly photos in my Butterflies Gallery.

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.     

~Jeffrey Glassberg

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Green Orchid Bee

The Green Orchid Bee or Euglossa dilemma (Wikipedia) is a Central American Bee found only here naturally (and occasionally in my garden) though recently introduced into South Florida (an invasive species there). I like them for their iridiscente green color added to my garden from time to time. I do have a Bees Gallery for more photos of this and other bees here. Just one of the thousands of interesting insects in Costa Rica that I enjoy watching!   🙂   See also my Butterflies and More Insects Galleries for more bugs!

Green Orchid Bee

In my garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Saturday’s BIRDS!

I got usable photos of 19 species of birds from my little one-hour walk yesterday morning, 6-7 AM, in the neighborhood on Calle Nueva, the little country gravel/dirt road that separates Roca Verde neighborhood from the adjacent farmland. Nineteen is not bad and as good as some longer walks I take when at expensive birding lodges!  🙂   PLUS, if my identifications are correct, I got 3 new species, “lifers,” for me, though I may get corrected by an eBird expert reviewer after I post them on eBird.   🙂   The new ones are Giant Cowbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and a Yellow-green Vireo.

This road and my own street uphill above my house always yield a lot of birds early in the morning. And I have another neighborhood further away that I intend to try for even different birds, a place my birding friend Margaret found to be good.

Saturday AM Birds

 

 

“Every bird, every tree, every flower reminds me what a blessing and privilege it is just to be alive.”
― Marty Rubin

¡Pura Vida!

Taking the kids for a walk?

Well . . .  that is sort of what it looked like this morning on my return home from birding on Calle Nueva (our nearby country lane). Birding was great but I still don’t have all the wild bird photos processed, so here’s the domesticated ones I saw!   🙂

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There were more kids than this but in spite of Mom’s efforts, they were scattered afar!

 

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And their strutting father.

Chicken Joke

¡Pura Vida!

“New” Chairs

Okay . . . not really new, but like new to me as my 5 year old rockers on the terrace had become faded by the sun to nearly white in color and the old cushions were dirty, ugly and too small. I threw the old cushions away and hired one of my very skilled gardeners to sand (even in the little grooves of the carvings) and re-varnish the two chairs on his own time (he had earlier painted 3 of my flower pots much to my satisfaction). I am very pleased with his work on these two matching chairs and their “new” look now.  🙂

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Sometimes when you are “quarantined at home” the little things make a big difference!   🙂   Social distancing from my house in tropical Costa Rica . . .

I enjoy the small things.

~Michael Buble

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

See also the photo galleries of my house:

P.S.   I’m writing posts 2 or 3 days ahead now, but decided last night to add this postscript note that I hope to get up at 5:30 this morning and go walking for birds again on Calle Nueva, so look for that birds post in 2 or 3 days! A friend walked it yesterday morning and saw a parrot and a trogon. Hope I’m as lucky!   🙂    I am so blessed! Retired in Costa Rica!

Good COVID19 Quarantine Activities

Limited People Contact Now

Though we have fewer cases of the Coronavirus here in Costa Rica, our government has done a better job than many countries of educating people and keeping the number of cases low and thus as an “older person” I am staying in my house now (as recommended) except for these limited people contacts:

  1.  Supermarket – And I finally wised up to going when they are not crowded, like early morning.
  2.  Pharmacy
  3. Bank to pay 2 monthly bills and get cash at ATM  (avoid Monday, Friday, & 1st)
  4. Maid comes once a week and we keep our distance
  5. Neighbor delivered Carrot Cake to several of us live-alone singles 🙂

And what keeps me from having “cabin fever” or boredom staying at home all the time? Well, that is easy to answer! I keep doing what I’ve always done since I retired in Costa Rica (minus the travel now):

What I Do Without Other People

(1) Birding that I can still do early mornings right here in my own neighborhood or even walk to other parts of Atenas away from the crowds solo as I prefer anyway.

(2) Blogging started becoming a regular thing for me back in 2014 before I even moved here as I focused then on the decision-making of such a move and now it is my replacement of many failed attempts at journaling, plus I actually have regular followers now and enjoy helping others who are considering retiring in Costa Rica, plus it is still a report to family and friends back in the states who want to keep up. Its a fun and creative outlet!   🙂

(3) Life History Recording (very slowly in the background) as it becomes much of the undated portion of my blog/website, the way WordPress blogs/websites have been organized from the beginning  (dated blog & undated “static” pages). And  in some ways a part of this history is my . . .

(4) Photo Gallery which was originally going to be pages of this WordPress website, but because of the future potential problem of using too much memory and slowing down access, and me not liking their gallery templates that well, I chose to use a photo gallery specialist at a separate address with a link from my site menu where I can put the full-size photo files (WP wants me to “web-size” photos). Though it is only a click away from my website/blog Home Page, it is actually located on a different server where I have a plan with unlimited space, thus putting all of my important photos, both historical and current on it. And I’m still working on the historical part!   🙂   Hey! I have thousands of photos made just since 2000 and still picking through them for the best to put in the gallery. And oh yes, I chose SmugMug.com as the best looking and easiest to use of the many options today! (Having tried Flickr & Pbase.)  And from my gallery you can even order prints or wall art of any of my photos!   🙂    

(5)  Spanish Lessons Online now! No people contact there!  🙂

(6) The heaviest people contact I’ve had in the past was in almost monthly trips to lodges all over Costa Rica. I postponed two trips, one next week to San Gerardo de Dota and my May trip to San Isidro del General, which had included going on public bus (not healthy now). After that I’ve planned a July birthday trip to Manquenque Lodge in a tree house room as I turn 80 and things will have to get pretty bad for me to miss that!   🙂   I’m using my personal driver to get there and its in “the middle of nowhere” jungles where there should not be any virus. But I wait and see!    🙂

I find plenty to do while quarantined at home in my Atenas Roca Verde rent house.

 

“At this point, it is believed many of the world has come in contact with the virus. And for that reason, we all have to experience social distancing and self-quarantine at various levels.”

¡Pura Vida!

FLASH NEWS!

RAIN  —  RAIN  —  a real rain with a lot of water yesterday afternoon, not the little sprinkle we had on the 24th. This is good news! The gardens and trees will love it and maybe the rainy season is starting early this year – we will see. But at least I don’t have to water for a few days now!   🙂

I still find it hard to show rain in a photo, so I won’t share my effort. But this is a big deal because there has been no rain since early December and we sometimes have to wait until May! I am not living in a rainforest, even though nearby. The Central Valley is in between the cool/wet cloud forests and the hot/wet/humid rainforests, thus our claim of “the best weather in the world” needing no a/c or heat ever here! But we do have rainy and dry seasons and it is still considered “tropical.”    🙂

 

Chirping

“El gorjeo” or “tweeting” or “chirping” is what many of the birds are doing every morning now and earlier than usual, before sunrise! But none of the birds are singing as much as the Clay-colored Thrush or Yigüirro it is called here (feature photo), the National Bird of Costa Rica. Yigüirros have started their pre-rain singing earlier this year, which is usually in April. This chirping is why it is the National Bird with tradition saying they are calling in the May rains or the “green season” as it is called by many here. Hopefully this earlier singing means the rains will come earlier! Listen to a recording of song   🙂   And soon the wind stops blowing which is almost constantly now. I AM READY FOR GREEN SEASON!    🙂

In one sense it is a little like “Spring” in the north, but maybe a backwards spring as we move from hot-dry-windy to daily rains, cooler temps, greenness & more flowers. It is a tropical paradise that most tourists miss because they want to avoid rain.   🙂    But most of us who live here prefer it to the “dry season.”

“Don’t let the rainy season deter your visions of outdoor adventures! This is Costa Rica’s most beautiful time of the year, when every landscape explodes in vibrant colors, with blooming flowers and blossoming fruit trees, not to mention cooler temperatures.”     ~costarica.com

 

¡Pura Vida!