Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Good ... no... an Exceptional Day

Hola!  We didn't do anything really exceptional today, except just by chance I was on Facebook this morning and so was my son.  Then...  later I got an e-mail from my daughter.  When we're out of the country (USA) we turn our phone off and rely totally on the internet for communication...  So...  when I hear from family I am thrilled.  Okay, it's not quite the same as actually seeing them, but it makes my day a lot happier...

We did have a good day...  yesterday's thunderstorms moved away from us around bedtime last night.  People here are saying the rainy season is coming in a few weeks early this year.  Other than seeing (or getting bit by) a few more bugs, that hasn't bothered us at all.  So far we've been lucky enough to plan our excursions on non-rainy days.

Okay... before I start posting photos, I just want to warn daughter Michelle that there are snakes in the near future....  it's a dead one, but if you feel squeamish just skip this blog.

A couple of nights ago I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed and saw something moving behind the toilet...  hmmm...  looks like a snake to me...  Hey Bill...  bring me that big knife that's in the kitchen.  He did...  and I did...

I don't mind sharing the bathroom...  but NOT with a snake!  Now, I know there's some rhyme about black, yellow and red...  and I know that coral snakes are here (in fact, there are over 135 species of snakes here in Costa Rica, of which 16 species are poisonous).  I had already Googled this, but one of my followers was kind enough to let me know this fact...  (ignorance is NOT bliss, in this case)

Yep... I fished him out...  and murdered the critter.  Now...  anyone who knows me knows that I actually like snakes... despite having been bitten by a copperhead many years ago and getting horribly ill.

But...  NOT in my house...  

Okay..  now... look at him again..

A different perspective.....
We all know just how big a tube of toothpaste is...  (hey, it looks like we might run out before we leave here....)   
I just thought that even if this guy was poisonous, he couldn't get his jaws around my little toe to do much damage.  
But I didn't take any chances...  me and the butcher knife took care of that.
I believe he is/was a false coral snake (non-poisonous), but will admit I turn the light on if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Okay... enough of that...  (Michelle, if you're still with me, it's okay to look now)

Our neighbors next door are from Toronto.  They have lived in Costa Rica for over 25 years, so they've made lots of friends here.  They invited us to a coffee get-together with another ex-pat...  and today they took us to her house...
From L to R...  Bill, Debra, Richard ?, Barbara and Richard H. Debra's father is visiting her.. he spends 6 months each year in India working with non-caste kids who otherwise wouldn't have an opportunity to get an education.  Debra has lived here nearly 25 years and has raised her 3 daughters here.  She has a bakery and catering business.  Barbara & Richard moved here in 199?...  had a business in Jaco before selling it and moving to Cuidad Colon.  

They have been kind enough to befriend us (they live next door) and give us all kinds of information as well as take us along to some of their favorite places.

The drive up to Debra's is through coffee plantations...
This area is close to the University of Peace...  through an area called Rodeo....  

The grounds of the University are landscaped beautifully and that is a popular spot for bird-watchers.  This palm tree is loaded with hanging nests of the Montezuma Oropendola. 
Kind of reminds me of a Baltimore orioles nest, but look at how many of them have been built in this tree!

I enjoy my afternoon glass of wine... 
I have always scoffed at Bill for drinking "box" wine, but after that
Mediterranean cruise last year where we found box wine easier to carry back to the ship, I was sold on it...
On the left is a Chilean wine...  the right is from Argentina.  These are both white wines, but you can buy reds, roses, merlots...  whatever you want.  They sure are easier to carry home in a backpack...  and really do taste quite good.

Well, the next picture is for our friend Chris..
Chris had a great blog (Living and Boondocking in Mexico) but no longer keeps it active (Hey Chris...  I MISS you!).  Anyway, Chris works out all the time.  Just to let you know that there's a really nice gym just down the street from us if you ever decides to come this way.

Now...  more "nature" pictures...
We get critters in our house... and not all of them are snakes and such...
Since we don't have a screen door, the flying insects visit us in the evening hours...
 Side View... Wings closed...
Wings open...
This guys wings are transparent!  
Isn't he gorgeous?
Apparently he came in last night and hung out in the big window.  After I got his picture I did capture him and take him outside.

Another critter we saw...  outside...  just above one of the doors...
What is he?  I don't know...
Entomology was one of my favorite classes (way back then)...  
but it didn't prepare me for insects that live in 
Costa Rica.

As you can tell, life here is quite interesting...  
Something new happening every day.
Right now, it's about 3:15pm...  I think the afternoon showers are about to begin... 

I have a couple of questions...  does anyone know how to put that "tilde" over words like manana or nino?  
Is there a way to change the resolution when I'm using Picasa?  (My pictures are at 180...  I want to change to 72 when I use them in my blog)

I'm still in the learning stages of blogging, so can use all the help I can get!

Guess it's time to check on my pot of black beans...  maybe think about a pot of rice to go along with them...
Typical Costa Rican food...
for all 3 meals!

That's All For Today...


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I am absolutely enjoying keeping up with your blog. The pictures are awesome! All except for the snakes....which I did scroll quickly by so I wouldn't miss anything! Glad you both are having a good time. Love you both!

  2. To answer your question first alt 0227. Go here to get all kinds of special keyboard characters. I had to laugh at the snake story - such a big scary critter. I would have done the same thing. I am so glad you are there sharing all your adventures with us. I can look at the pictures and not have to have the "total" experience!! Nice that you have some helpful neighbors.

  3. Me no like-um snakes..but me like-um wine...Thanks for your kind comments today..

  4. Beans and rice three times a day? I hope they eat some of the other lovely produce with that!

  5. That's one teeny-tiny snake, almost newly hatched size. Considering snakes lay several eggs, you might want to keep your eye peeled for snakey siblings.

  6. Actually, I think that WAS the poisonous kind.

    "When red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow." I bet the snake didn't believe that the death wouldn't be applying to it. o_O The rest goes "when red touches black, you're okay, Jack."

    -Barb the French Bean

  7. I'm glad you put him next to the tube of toothpaste because he looked much bigger in the first picture. I was thinking that was pretty impressive of you to go all Indiana Jones on that "giant" snake.

  8. Great to know there is a place to workout nearby! Looks like you guys have settled in quite well. Keep having fun and stay away from those snakes. Hi Bill.

  9. You're braver than me. I would have been out of that bathroom so quick and not gone back in until I saw the remains like you left him!

  10. Glad we made your day, Mom! We love you!!
    The snake incident reminded me of a camping trip we took in the Adirondacks years ago, and a garter snake had snuck into the hull of the canoe while it was upside down onshore overnight, and while Megan and her friend were fishing... in the MIDDLE of the lake... the snake woke up, dropped out of its hiding place, and started slithering all over the bottom of the canoe!!
    Heather's boyfriend Mike DeMico (remember him?) speed-paddled over to their canoe, jumped in, and several bangs with the canoe paddle later, the snake was history. Not bad for a city kid who was trembling all night while the loons called out! :-)
    Stay safe out there! Love to you and Bill!

  11. Wonderful read and beautiful pictures! wow

  12. I think you're using Windows, right? If so, see if you have a character map from which you can select and copy/paste the character you want ... you can find it as follows: Programs » Accessories » System Tools » Character Map.

    I don't care how small a snake is, it's still a snake. I don't care if it is harmless, it's still a snake. Seeing the common water snake at Abrams Falls last Tuesday was not my favorite experience at the Smokies.