Around the first of January every year in Costa Rica the skylines, forest tops and trees in every direction seem to be ablaze in yellow. In my yard it is what we call “Yellow Bells” in English, while many others here and throughout the country are the Yellow Cortez Tree and in other places the Brazilian Fire Tree. These shots are from recent short morning walks through my neighborhood. CLICK image to see larger . . .
To maintain a vista from my terrace I have to top or prune off the top of both my Yellow Bells Tree and my Nance Tree about once a year.
I asked the gardener to write down the official name in Spanish which is “Arbole de vainillo” (Costa Rica only name – click for español description and other Spanish names by country). I just discovered that the Latin name Tecoma stans (click for English description) also has multiple English names listed in this order on Wikipedia: Yellow Trumpetbush, Yellow Bells (which I have been calling it because of the yellow bell-shaped flowers), Yellow Elder, and Ginger-Thomas. It is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of The Bahamas, both using different names!
Topped the Yellow Bell & Nance Trees to preserve my vista. 🙂
And is very popular all over Costa Rica as a garden tree bringing 2-4 months of yellow flowers every year. You can see more photos of my trees blooming in my photo gallery named: My Home Gardens.
“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”
Coming in October: A visit to Rincón de la Vieja National Park & Hacienda Guachipelin, a volcano park lodge, this one in the north of Guanacaste, above Liberia (a new area for me) and another hotel that promises a great birding experience. I continue to try new places while occasionally repeating favorites like a redo of Arenal Observatory (another volcano birding lodge) coming in November. In Costa Rica – the adventures never end!
Yes, it’s “Spring” here (la primavera) and almost the beginning of “Summer” (el verano) or Dry Season which starts in December. There are some trees and flowers that bloom this time of year while other bloom at the end of dry season and I can’t explain why because I don’t know. 🙂
I call these my “Yellow Bell Trees” because the flowers are bell-shaped, but that is not the name of them and I can’t seem to get an agreement here on what their English name is. I recently lost two of these trees, so less yellow this year in my garden, but it calls for a Haiku anyway:
My terrace view while eating breakfast and reading the Washington Post online!
Looking over Atenas toward Grecia.
It doesn’t show all the Yellow Bell Trees that surround the left end of my terrace. Nice!
Up close they are a very bright yellow trumpet-shaped flower
The Yellow Bells are blooming earlier than I expected or remember from last year and do hope they are still around when Reagan arrives in February. They started with a few blooms on the high tips of limbs that get the most sun and are now spreading all over. They do attract hummingbirds!
From my lunch table today at about 1:30 facing NW.
From the street today at 2:00 PM (bad time for photo)
An even worse image at 2:00 PM but you can see that my terrace is surrounded!
Bouquets on the terrace!
And color below my horizon views!
Plus they are already coloring the ground as blossoms drop!
A tree in my neighbor’s yard.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.~Luther Burbank
And I’ve added most of the new birds to my Costa Rica Birds photo gallery. It’s growing!
Dry season begins and these trees in my yard begin to bloom
and if like last year will continue through March or April.
I zoom in for the flowers because . . .
They are on the opposite side of trees from my terrace where the afternoon sun
shines, but maybe later they will bloom on this side too! Summer has begun!
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”– Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom
Busy days ahead!
Tonight I go to Su Espacio’s “Arts Festival” which is more of a dance recital. I’m the photographer.
Tomorrow, Thursday, I go to San Jose early to be fingerprinted for my residency application, which is no guarantee that I will get it soon, but at least it is in the process!
Friday I may have to help shop for any angel tree kids we have not received gifts for.
Saturday is the Angel Tree party in the morning and I get a rent car in the afternoon for my Sunday to Wednesday birding near Volcan Turrialba.
Then just a couple of more Spanish lessons for this year before I get a break from conjugations and verbs! I’m considering a trip to Nicaragua over Christmas but if I don’t do that, I will make the border visa run on December 30.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. ~Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte
A few lingering flowers still on one of the four Yellow Bells trees in my yard.
In this quintessential Tico town, everyone is friendly and strangers greet you on the sidewalk if you are a walker like me and I always want to greet them. One of the interesting things I learned early on here is that younger people like to shorten phrases as they talk fast and a lot.
The common greetings are of course:
Buenos Dias – up until noon Buenas Tardes – afternoon until dark Buenas Noches – after dark
But now the most common greeting is just “Buenos” and some make the afternoon and evening distinction by saying “Buenas” (the feminine adjective for the feminine words tarde & noche, “a” instead of “o”.) But of course most older people still use the full phrases above, though not all.
Always trying to act younger, I’m now in the habit of saying “Buenos” to most people I meet. Of course if I know them or come into a class or other specific relationship with someone, it is then all the “How are you?” greetings and small talk for a bit. Almost as much as West Africa, though not quite.
Buenas noches from Pura Vida Atenas, Costa Rica! -Charlie