Iguanas in the Heat

I captured these two different Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas (my gallery link) dealing with the higher heat than normal this year. They seemed to almost be panting like a dog does in the heat. As with the rest of the world, Costa Rica has broken temperature records this year and all of us from the birds and iguanas to the people are looking forward to the start of the rainy season, which is normally in May! Our Dry Season (December-April) is considered Summer here and we are concluding our hottest summer yet! Global Warming is very real!

Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Is it a freak “Dry Season” once-off rain or a very early starting of the “Rainy Season” this year? We will see! The Jigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush (CR National Bird) has been singing his heart out recently and indigenous tradition is that they are the ones who “sing in the rain!”

It is generally said for the Central Valley (where I live) that Rainy Season is May-November and Dry Season December-April. My first few years here we did not see our first rain until mid to late April and not a lot until May. Last year the first rain was March 24 and this year now March 22, so is it starting early? Almost certainly not daily afternoon showers now (usually by May) but at least I do not need to water the garden for a few more days! 🙂

Always Trying to Capture Rain in a Photo!

And never very good at it! 🙂 The featured photo at top shows the dark cloud this afternoon shower came from and some of us hope it will be regular now (though very early)!

I’ve always preferred the rainy season because it is greener with fresher air and the wind quits blowing! And most of the time we get rain only for an hour or two in the afternoon. Lowland rainforests along both coasts get more rain than we do here and it can be year-around, especially South Pacific and South Caribbean. For more weather information, check out your favorite weather channel or these websites:

And to let you know that this first rain is a real rain, since it started I have loaded and processed the photos to web-size, prepared and written this blog post, all in an hour or a little more AND IT IS STILL RAINING – HARD! 🙂 Love it! The tropics! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

~Dolly Parton

Winter Solstice Tomorrow?

Costa Rica is technically in the northern hemisphere, though only about 13° above the equator, so I guess we could call it “Winter Solstice” like the rest of the northern hemisphere. But it actually ends what Costa Rica calls “Winter” or our “Rainy Season” (May-Nov) with already 2 or 3 weeks of no rain in Atenas now. So our “Summer” has begun which means no more rain until next May, with a few rare exceptions. And until March the wind blows more. (More on the wind in another post later.)

Since most northerners don’t like rain on their vacations, it also begins the high tourist season (in normal years) 🙂 with no rain and slightly warmer weather Dec-April (but only by a couple of degrees). For example, in Atenas the average temperature in Fahrenheit is the mid-70’s year-around (winter & summer). No one here has or needs heaters or air-conditioners except some coastal or beach houses/hotels that have air-conditioning because it is hotter and more humid along both coasts. One of several reasons I don’t live on the beach.

Now . . . Will tomorrow really be our shortest day and longest night? like Canada & the U.S.? Technically yes, but because or our proximity to the equator, our total daylight variance over a whole year (December to June solstices) is only 30 minutes difference, meaning that in most places all over Costa Rica it gets dark sometime between 5 & 6 PM every evening and the sun rises between 5 & 6 every morning, year-around. 🙂 Thus we hardly notice winter solstice here. Pura vida! 🙂 And oh yes, the featured photo is one of my sunrise photos from the Caribbean or Atlantic Coast at Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

~John Ruskin

¡Pura vida!

When? Rain stops? New airport?

The clear skies from my terrace on today, December 1 (feature photo above), hint at what the next 5 months could be like as the rainy season slows down and stops for no rain in the Central Valley Dec-Apr. But like weather everywhere, there are sometimes exceptions and as a gardener I happen to like rain!   🙂    Either way, I will adapt!

The above shot is a single shot on my cell phone.

Below is a composite shot on big camera yesterday with clouds.

Nov-30_Panorama1 copy

Plans for New Airport in Orotina, Costa Rica on Hold

This Article Title link is to an old newspaper article that still holds true today as the government here is not yet ready to spend billions of dollars on a new airport (25 minutes west of Atenas) which would be in a lower, flatter, larger valley of farm land for much greater expansion than the current international airport in Alajuela (45 minutes east of Atenas) which is basically land-locked with expensive developments, though closer to the capital of San Jose. The new one would be closer to the Pacific Coast beaches and resorts.

The debate will probably never end (seen in responses to above article) and it will never happen until both the president and the legislature make it a priority which they still have not done. I expect to die before it actually happens, if ever, and it really doesn’t matter that much to me. 45 minutes is close enough to a major airport!   🙂

New Airpor Artist's Renditiont
Artist rendering of new airport in Orotina.

And a “Profile” is on the CAPA Center for Aviation website.

Plus I’m happy with the new Domestic Terminal (my photo gallery) at the current airport, since my only flights now are short hops within Costa Rica on little local planes with Sansa Airlines. So if you’ve heard there will be a new San Jose Costa Rica International Airport, don’t expect it before 2030, if ever, unless you want to donate money to the government to build it and maybe get your name on it!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!



Roble de Sabana

Roble de Sabana
Tree across cow pasture from my house, seen from street.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Roble de Sabana
Zooming in through my trees
Atenas, Costa Rica

It is still dry season and trees that lose their leaves immediately burst out in flowers. This week it is the Roble de Sabana, which is a type of oak tree they say, but nothing like a north american oak!

Rainy season officially starts in May, so just a month away and I will be glad! I prefer the “green season.”