The most frequently heard song in my garden in April is always the melodic song of the Clay-colored Thrush, called Yigüirro in Costa Rican Spanish. Local tradition is that he is singing in the rainy season, begging God for rain and thus he usually goes near the top of trees to sing and why my photos seldom show him singing. It sounds like he is trying really hard to do a good job and loud! As locals say, “singing his heart out!” You can hear one recording on eBird, click the “Listen” Button.
But they do come down to the lower limbs occasionally for my photos, 🙂 with these two shots from two different days. Usually we have a light start of rain the middle of April scattered over several days with the “real” rain beginning in earnest in May when we can have a shower or more every afternoon through November.
This year we had the unusual experience of 4 days of showers in March! Climate change! I live in the “Central Valley” which would not be considered a “rainforest” like both coasts and their corresponding “slopes” where it rains year around and occasionally all day. I like visiting the rainforests but the Central Valley is better for daily living. 🙂
. . . it is the greenest time of the year during our “Rainy Season,” May-November in the Central Valley of Costa Rica or most of the middle of the country with rain every afternoon for 2 to 4 hours. While the Rainforests along both coasts have rain year around and are always very green and likewise the Cloud Forests high in the mountains. By the middle of December the rain will taper off to nada where I live and we will see no more rain until next May (and I have to water the garden). Though I will travel some to places where it does rain! 🙂
I believe this is probably the wettest rainy season in Atenas since I came 8 years ago and you can tell it by how green everything is and the strange places things like moss and ferns grow. Three photos . . .
Well, just one of many vistas from the hill above my house, but one of my favorite, the hilltop farm of the local farmers’ university here in Atenas, usually covered in cows. 🙂
And that’s the last photo to share from my “Walk up the Hill!” 🙂 Just 4 more days before I go to a Pacific Coast resort south of here for Christmas where I will do daily “same day” reports on that part of my paradise! 🙂 Happy Holidays!
. . . 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.
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.
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! 🙂
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
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.”
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!