More than a week ago I cellphone-snapped a shot of this funny-looking flying bug in a drop of water on my bathroom counter. He was gone the next morning, either flown away or eaten by one of my many geckos.
Retirement in Costa Rica does include living with bugs and this year’s “pre-rainy season” seems to have included more than usual for me, especially flying insects around the lights at night. I sometimes just never turn on the light in my bedroom at night to avoid being bothered by flying insects when in bed. 🙂
We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics. ~Bill Vaughan
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.
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 CRunder 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 TRAVELgalleries. 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!
Sunday 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! 🙂
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.
See this article about an Italian Landscape Photographer here with 10 of his photos. Some of his landscapes I haven’t seen yet. And my equipment is not as good. But I will end up having most of these photos in time except for the time lapse at Poas. Not my thing. Also note that beneath that first beach photo is a web address to his website with a 360 degree image of that same beach which is really cool!
My March trip was partly to get this photo, but a closed trail stopped me. I will go back and make my own photo one of these days! Rio Celeste Waterfall Tenorio National Park, Costa Rica
And for some of my “amateur” landscapes, see my Vistasgallery or my Waterfalls gallery.
LOCAL REPORT: The rain is bringing in some new bugs and while typing I just watched one of my geckos eat one. They are little with long wings, chase the light, and pester me! Life in the jungle! 🙂
Dobsonfly at La Casa CATUCA, The Atenas Chamber of Commerce (sort of) in a historic old house that includes arts, crafts, Tico food, and tourist assistance. My picture framer has a shop in here and the Tico food is great! I recommend it! You never know where a cool bug will show up! So have cell phone camera ready!
Four-lined Ameiva or Four-lined Whiptail found only in Costa Rica and our two neighbor countries of Panama & Nicaragua Okay, this one’s on the floor, but I tend to notice them more on the walls They crawl in under closed door, so no keeping them out!
Yeah, I told a lot of people I was going to live in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Thus some envisioned me in the pith helmet fighting off wild creatures and vines overtaking my house. Then I start showing photos of my apartment and its great views and four months later photos of one of the nicest houses I have lived in anywhere. One friend in Nashville wrote, “It doesn’t look like you are roughing it!” And for me who loved camping for years, I am not! But let me tell you of a few things that some of you might consider “roughing it:”
As I type I’m watching a strange one crawl up the wall next to my desk. Each morning one of the first things I do is sweep out the bugs from my house. Even with screens they manage to get in and most die during the night. It’s the lights that attract them and even though I eat most meals outside on my balcony, I try to avoid eating out after dark when the lights attract hordes of insects. This was especially true last month with the “May Bugs” (called June Bugs in the states). They were everywhere. No night lights! If you don’t want to attract bugs! And yes, I get bug bites regularly, not knowing what bit me. I use Cortisone cream or Caladryl Lotion to treat the itch.
The scorpion at the kitchen sink was a little scary, but my can of spray Raid ended him quickly. No photo! The rain is sending in more millipedes which is aggravating to me. And now the houseflies seem to be increasing. But it is all the other flying things that I have brushed off several times while typing this that keep me busy shushing. I even had a beautiful dragonfly in the house the other day who wouldn’t shush out. He was on the floor dead the next morning. I had a photo of him, but lost it. During the day I leave the front door and sliding glass doors open and just live and let live! It is coexisting with bugs when you live in any tropical country! Bugs were different in the apartments. I wrote once about a Praying Mantis and a Walking Leaf Katydid and the aggravating Millipedes.
The lizards in garden are bigger than what come in the house – at least so far! 🙂
They are good things you want because they eat bugs and especially mosquitoes when they come.
They don’t bother me and in fact I’m glad to have them! It is just not like living in Tennessee! It is more like living in The Gambia, but easier!
SNAKES They are here, but I have not encountered one in either house yet! One of my neighbors here and one at the apartment have seen them close to their door. Hope not because both my doors are open all day long when I’m here.
I’ve had two birds inside, both to leave fairly soon. The last one was a hummingbird of all things! Plus many on my deck or balcony. But you know that I love the birds!
The happiest people in the world are not quiet about it! Ticos have fun and often with loud music or loud bands. I hear fewer here than in the apartments, but some. I don’t have the highway truck noise here that we had at apartments and the roosters seem further away. BUT, dogs barking are just as bad here with some lady living in Roca Verde with an animal rescue house full of dogs. Ugh! Then the people who don’t know how to manage their burglar alarms and we regularly hear them going off (like the boy who cried “wolf” too many times!). And oh yeah, the high school is on this side of town, so there is the noise of ball games, concerts and maybe parties or dances on weekends. But overall, it is quieter in the house than the apartments. My only traffic is the local residents and people working for them.
Walking through town with all the flowers is often a sweet-smelling thing, but I wrote earlier about the misuse of “greywater” and possibly other sewage that some Ticos pour into the street gutters and town streams along with garbage piled on some streets that is not pleasant. So no place is perfect! Infrastructure is part of the problem here, but in a gated community, it is really more like living in the states with no smells, good services and infrastructure. And by the way, Roca Verde is not all American expats! There are many Ticos living here and as many, if not more, European and Canadian expats as Americans. It is very international and Spanish the most spoken language!
INFRASTRUCTURE This is what really bugs some Americans because we are a developing country with roads, sidewalks, utilities, and other services not quite up to par with 21st Century United States (Like “Smells” above). As I have said before, some things about living here remind me of growing up in El Dorado, Arkansas in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. And there is something pleasant about the simplicity of a small town (el pueblo). Glad I chose both Costa Rica and Atenas!
And I have never yet considered myself “roughing it!” I love it here! Living here is like traveling and my favorite travel quote is by Mark Twain in his 1872 book titled, of all things, Roughing It. From my personal website travel page:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It