These Berries are Ripe . . .

. . . and so am I, almost! I’m redder or pinker now on my face from the radiation 🙂 and also ripe at the point of being almost finished. Today, Tuesday, I lack only 2 more radiation treatments, meaning I’m finished by noon Thursday! Yay! Starting Thursday afternoon I’m home to stay for at least 5 weeks before I have a trip planned. And hoping I have some taste and swallowing ability back by then (the lodge food is said to be excellent!), though my doc says to not count on the taste totally returning that soon. She says it can take up to 6 months for some people to have it totally but gain it little by little, week by week. Since my radiation was only on the left side of my mouth, maybe I will get it back sooner. Hoping! 🙂

The red berries are on the big tree at the hotel that had been yellow berries for weeks but now red, ripe and ready for the birds and other creatures! The blue or black berries below are in a yard I walk by everyday to and from the clinic and Walter, my driver, says they are sweet and if people can pick them before the birds and animals, they add them to dishes for sweetness or just eat as berries.

Continue reading “These Berries are Ripe . . .”

More Raintrees

Looking out of my living room front window during a hard rain today (so glad rainy season is here!), the big tree is a Strangler Fig Tree with an unknown smaller one beside it plus a strangled one and then on this side is the tall, skinny Ylang-ylang Tree still growing up through the canopy of the larger trees. And all much wetter than the photo shows! 🙂 See also my May 11 “Rain Trees” post for a different look at wet trees! 🙂

My Front Window View in the Rain with the street a temporary river! 🙂

Plus I’m “A Marked Man” for Radiation

Continue reading “More Raintrees”

Hoping Rainy Season Started Early!

Of course it was right after I watered my gardens that the big downburst of rain came and just kept raining like one of those good rainy season afternoon showers. Yeah, we were hoping the same with our March 22 rain but it was not this big of a thundershower and didn’t have the Pacific Ocean storms we’re having now. I checked the Accuweather long-range forecast and, if accurate, we are beginning rainy season early (most typically it starts in May). It is also called “The Green Season” and is my favorite time of year!

Except for rain pounding down on the driveway, I haven’t been able to photograph rain around my house so it shows up very well in the pix, but here’s two from past trips that show up a little better. That one from Selva Verde (feature photo at top online) shows rain pouring off the roof of my cabin by the river, while my house here in Atenas has gutters all the way around, thus never having that same effect.

I Feel Most At Peace When It Is Raining For It Reminds Me That The Sky Is Alive.

– Taylor Ashley

¡Pura Vida!

Rain!

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

Bicolored Antbird – Another “Lifer”

For most people it would be a horrible day with almost constant rain, but my all morning birding hike with breakfast break was good for me including this one “Lifer” or first-time seen bird.

I still don’t have a count of how many birds I photographed in the terrible light, but I will report on that tomorrow. Nestor says he saw or heard 82 species and I’m sure I didn’t see half that number, but will tell tomorrow. The selfie here is me with Nestor, my guide.

This Bicolored Antbird is my first to see or photograph and my second Lifer on this trip. Learn more about him at the eBird Description. CLICK below images to enlarge:

See all my birds in my CR Birds Gallery.


“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

¡Pura Vida!

“The Robin” of Costa Rica

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush (eBird link) in English (at one time called “Clay-colored Robin”) is one of the most common birds in Costa Rica, found everywhere, and is also the National Bird, not because of his/her beauty or color (we have so many more colorful), but because he/she sings so beautifully in late April and early May before the rainy season begins. Tradition is that the Yigüirro sings in the rain every year and thus is loved by farmers and gardeners alike and became the national bird.

This weak photo is of a juvenile or young adult made on that cloudy overcast day. They vary in color from this rich dark brown to a lighter brown with a lighter colored breast, sort of creamy white and more rarely a touch of yellow, but always that same beak! I’m calling it “The Robin of Costa Rica” BECAUSE it is as common here as the American Robin (my gallery) was during my days in the States. 🙂

The top link is to an eBird article on them or you can see many better photos in my Clay-colored Thrush – Yigüirro Gallery. Happy birding! 🙂

 “Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

— Nature historian David Attenborough

Why plant trees?

¡Pura Vida!

The Overcast Between Rains

This photo was made yesterday morning when for awhile the Hurricane Iota rains had stopped but the skies still overcast. The last hurricane (Eta) gave us 4 days of non-stop rain, so at least this one has given us a break in the rain, even if overcast! 🙂 And I even got to walk to town without opening my umbrella! 🙂 Tomorrow I will show these same hills in the sunshine from last Sunday’s walk.

Post Script: As of this morning, still very little rain compared to the identical sized hurricane on the same path, thus we are not getting as much rain from Iota as we did Eta. No two the same! 🙂

“Gray and overcast from my earthly perspective, but it’s sunny above these storm clouds. Grace lets us see life from God’s point of view.” ~Mark Hart

¡Pura Vida!

Wet

Rain, wet
Tropical green
Sunshine

And hopefully the last day of round-the-clock rain as Eta moves on toward Florida. At breakfast on the terrace this morning, the rain had stopped but all was wet and I tried to capture a little sense of the wetness. After breakfast the sun started peaking out and you can see a little of it reflecting off the wetness in the pix. It is the first sun in many days and a pleasant relief! Maybe today will be a more normal “rainy season” day with rain only in the afternoon or early evening. Then before we know it, December will be here with the rain stopped for months and soon after we will be wishing for the rainy season to start again! 🙂 Fickle humans! 🙂 While the cycles of life continue in a now very green Costa Rica! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂

Featured photo is a rain wet Princess Flower in my garden by Charlie and Haiku Poem is also by Charlie. Slide show is of the wetness observed on my terrace this morning at breakfast, just one more beautiful aspect of nature!

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.     

~Bob Marley

¡Pura Vida!

Effects of Eta Rain on Costa Rica

HURRICANE ETA

For 4 days and nights it has been raining almost constantly in my Central Valley town of Atenas, while some lowland areas that typically flood or have landslides are being effected much more than we and our just wetness.

For example, see this related Tico Times article: Indirect effects of Eta lead to at least 500 evacuated in Costa Rica   (my feature photo by Tico Times from this article)

Most of us in Costa Rica are fine with no landfall of Hurricane Eta here, it has made landfall in Nicaragua and Honduras and I understand will just scrape Guatemala and Mexico as it heads for Western Florida and Alabama.

And the rain just makes us greener and more beautiful for when you tourists come here in the next few months!  🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Night Hike in Rain

It was raining every night at El Silencio Lodge, so waiting would not have helped! 🙂 But I enjoy night hikes that are provided in most Costa Rica wilderness lodges and you do see thing not normally seen in the day time. We saw less on this one because of the rain and that also made photography with only a cell phone not super good, but here’s 6 shots that are samples of even more we would have seen if not raining. Daniel was my guide on this hike and he included two miradors (vistas) which were interesting at night and sorry I did not try to photograph the views, though again the rain made it more difficult with less moonlight and no stars. CLICK image to enlarge . . .

“Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world.” ~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

You might also like my Amphibians Gallery, most of which were photographed on Night Hikes all over Costa Rica! 🙂

Or see THIS TRIP GALLERY: 2020 El Silencio Lodge & Reserve.