Iguanas & Lizards at Sarapiquí

Green Iguana (male in mating orange)
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Emerald Basilisk (“Jesus Christ Lizard”)
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Gray Lichen Anole
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Unknown – Possibly a type of Skink or Ameiva (there are many)
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

See also my photo gallery of Reptiles      And I still have insects and other animals to share! 🙂

What Global Warming is Doing to Costa Rica This Year is an interesting article about the radical weather we have been having. We had our first hurricane in 300 years, more eruptions of one volcano, and heavier winds and rains than normal. You guys in the states need to convince your new idiot president-elect that global warming is real! It affects everyone! 

A Scorpion in the Sink & A Lizard on the Wall

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:”

BUGS
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.  
LIZARDS
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. 

BIRDS
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!
NOISE
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. 
SMELLS
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