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 . . .”

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

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!

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!

Green

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.

~Pedro Calderon de la Barca

 

Featured Photo: Zoomed in on surrounding hills, Atenas.

“Rainy Season” = “Green Season”

My Galleries:  Flora & Forest  or  Vistas

¡Pura Vida!

Chirping

“El gorjeo” or “tweeting” or “chirping” is what many of the birds are doing every morning now and earlier than usual, before sunrise! But none of the birds are singing as much as the Clay-colored Thrush or Yigüirro it is called here (feature photo), the National Bird of Costa Rica. Yigüirros have started their pre-rain singing earlier this year, which is usually in April. This chirping is why it is the National Bird with tradition saying they are calling in the May rains or the “green season” as it is called by many here. Hopefully this earlier singing means the rains will come earlier! Listen to a recording of song   🙂   And soon the wind stops blowing which is almost constantly now. I AM READY FOR GREEN SEASON!    🙂

In one sense it is a little like “Spring” in the north, but maybe a backwards spring as we move from hot-dry-windy to daily rains, cooler temps, greenness & more flowers. It is a tropical paradise that most tourists miss because they want to avoid rain.   🙂    But most of us who live here prefer it to the “dry season.”

“Don’t let the rainy season deter your visions of outdoor adventures! This is Costa Rica’s most beautiful time of the year, when every landscape explodes in vibrant colors, with blooming flowers and blossoming fruit trees, not to mention cooler temperatures.”     ~costarica.com

 

¡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!

 

 

Rain in Paradise

I think I forgot that they are on the Caribbean Slope – east of continental divide  (their rivers flow into the Atlantic) meaning November is maybe the rainiest month!   🙂   As soon as the plane got out of Central Valley over the mountains it was raining and hasn’t stopped since. But I love the rainy season in general and have had some great experiences in the rain, like at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, so I scheduled all my birding hikes and will do the best I can even if under an umbrella!   🙂   Funny thing is I tried to book this trip for Christmas week and they were already full nearly a year ago. I’m thinking about booking for Christmas 2121.   🙂

The best photos in this post (I think) are the “Plane Shots.” Enjoy and expect some wet reports this week!

Plane Shots

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Corner Room

Click image to enlarge.

 

Two Birds

Click image to enlarge.

 

¡Pura Vida!

Clouds & Rain

May is the beginning of “Rainy Season” in the Central Valley of Costa Rica including Atenas and this year there has been more rain and clouds than I remember having my previous four Mays and most agree, while the real “oldtimers” say this is just the old normal for the first month of rainy season. So . . . whatever! Things are fresh and green all over Costa Rica right now and it is my favorite time of year and though locals call it “Winter,” most also prefer this time of year too. And less gringos too!  🙂  Just a shower every afternoon and some early mornings or at night which I like for sleeping!   🙂

The top photo is a panorama of 4 shots with my 600mm telephoto lens and below is the less-focused snap of Atenas Central on my cell phone, both from my terrace at breakfast this morning.

20190527_064259-A-WEB

AccuWeather Forecast for Atenas – centigrade temps of course!  🙂

Weather Channel 10-day Forecast for Atenas  – both fairly accurate

 

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

¡Pura Vida!