Sunday, April 5, 2009

Photo Album

Got 'Home' Mar 25, what a treat! THANKS AM for Decompression Piloting
Finally compiled some 100 images from Picasa and updated them! Here they are.
Click the 1st image for a listing....
Also be sure to click "Past Postings" at LEFT
to see Feb, Mar, April words & pics.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No need for an alarm clock; Roaring howler-monkeys overhead make the right racket to Wake the Dead. While videoing, they dropped fruit and leaves on me and tried bomb pooping.
They are a LONG way up in the skinniest branches as a natural defense.

The sound track was recorded at dawn when they make most noise, and the video was later when they were easy to film, but quieter

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Various Video

Mini tidal bore video from a jungle river out to sea..
a tiny version of what falsely gives its name to a Tidal Wave.

Sheer Hell getting this Uploaded from Here as the Internet is so erratic and this is 12MB....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Puerto Viejo Outing

The weather Broke Tuesday, At last! It has been dry, clear, calm and even cool of an evening since. First clear skies since I got here.

tonight I went swimming at sunset and finally saw Orion directly overhead.
Never body surfed by starlight before-
long, straight glassy waves.
Water has been clearing and the ferry (a 'ponga' fishing boat with bucket seats)
to Punta Mona, tropical organic farm near the Panamanian border, has restarted.
Too rough recently. May ferry or hike in- 2hrs, and no road.

Hell with attempts to get pictures synced to this Blog. Later!.
Learned some of the native Carrib (black Costa Rican) language today, a patois called "megatalku" (Make I Talk You)
when 11 year old Carmen visited from across the road as Chamba & I lazed in out hammocks under the moonlight sorting out the Problems of the World (Many!), she explained it quite well for a kid, it sounds a lot like Jamaican without the Reggae overtones. Some Spanish words like "Mixcla" (Mexcla) for "Mixed-up" etc. as applied to her own language. a fun visit from a kid.

Spent time in Puerto Viejo with Deb and Edger earlier today, visiting the BriBri Mission:

About 10,000 aboriginal BriBri peoples live, largely unaffected by the outside world until relatively recently, in this province whose capital bears there name but well inland though extremely inaccessible dense jungle. crisscrossed with rivers.

In 1984 there was the consensus that Cost Rica had NO native populations left. Rapid (rabid?) property and other development and tourist expansion has made this patently untrue. Costa Rican revenue is noticeably switching from agricultural.

This is not their lucky day, and may never have been anyway. I took no pictures, but they look a lot like Amazonian natives. Not unhappy, just well, a bit dazed I guess.

They have little in the way of a written language and are still afflicted with primitive diseases like leprosy and their clan members engage in what we call sexual abuse and incest, as well as infanticide and more. life-expectancy and mortality are not known for sure as no records of our kind were kept until recently.
They appear not to live long enough to succumb to Western diseases of age like cancers and heart disease, creating the false impression of a healthy lifestyle...

No race is incapable of mean-spiritidness, criminality by our standards or unenlightened behaviors- these are for their own situation.
It has always been so I feel, and is not the effect of 'outside' interference.

Our shameful ways also seem paired to our Western lifestyle. A great deal of discussion ensued, much of it totally demolishing what little Noble Savage ideal I still had.

If you want to argue with me, please read the link first.
Actually, don't argue with me as my brain starting working again recently and I am right AND on Vacation.

Flora/Fauna Blog!

There's a record variety and number so here's what so far I have spotted
with little effort (Vacation after all)

*Charanga: a large delicate rat-like rodent with beautiful reddish tipped brown
fur and toothpick back legs that squats like a squirrel to eat with small front paws,
and runs like a rat the size of a cat.
It eats the fruit and veg scraps out the side door.

*Bright yellow tree frog with skinny sucker pads on the end of
long wiry knuckled 'fingers' to attach itself to the shaded underside of leaves.
Has a very racy yellow striped sports car decal look, but very slow.

*GIANT "Mech Warrior" cartoonish spiders with erector-set legs.
an inch long in webs feet across. Could passably
be mistaken for Martian Fighting Machines for Well's 'War of the Worlds"

*Coconut crabs: Live in silty ground holes and can climb coconut palm trees.
One vicious backhoe like mega claw can chop through to their food
paired with a skinny second claw, these asymmetric Charles Atlas crustaceans
detect movement at hundreds of meters and 'plop' into their muddy burrows
out of site as I sneak up.

*Boa Constrictor: there is a three foot one living in the tin roof.
Gorgeous patterning and dare I say it? 'Design'. Not poisonous?
Hisses, loudly as I investigate. Does not attempt to bite broom.
Possibly Safe.

*Howler monkeys. Written about in previous blogs. Hard to see close-up
as these 3-4' or so simians stay in the highest trees and make a disproportionate
and slightly incongruous intermittent roaring, howling
territorial sound, usually in chorus.
Known to argue with the occasional nearby roar
of a diesel truck or bus, these social animals are usually
facing off against neighboring troupes.

* Sloth: I have NOT knowingly seen this decaffeinated beast in the wild,
as movement usually gives away live thing's presence, so, NO Luck yet.

Occasionally domesticated by eccentric Costa Ricans, an extraordinarily odd pet-
Hangs around the neck like a docile rough-furred purse or backpack,
affectionate in a rather dogged, molasses-like
pot-head cautious way, interrupted by LONG periods of
rock-like deathly stillness with beady almost
pupilless eyes wide open and small mouth apart as if it's about to utter
something, which it seldom does.
Actual sound is like a small drain. emptying.
Almost makes you jump.
Meditatively unnerving is Mr, Sloth
(or is it a Mrs? No one knows this for sure either?)

it even defecates r-e-a-l-l-y- s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y- .. if at all..
No one ever seems to have seen one actually eat anything, so how?
..or actually DO anything at all, other than, well, be a sloth.
Death certificates must be hard to come by as hen's teeth for these little beasts.
Teenagers, take note: Possibly a Divine Beast. Very mysterious.

* Parakeets: (Pericos) BIG noise, very extroverted. Similar species I think to those
free at Telegraph Hill. I know why San Franciscans released them into the wild. One word. NOISY!

*Leaf Cutter Ants: I could watch their miracle march parades of carefully
snipped vegetation puzzle pieces back to their nests for hours.
worth a blog in themselves. Everything you hear about them is true,
even the lies!
Check Wikipedia, you can see it all. Marvellous.

Fruit/Veg: Have seen or tried:

*Soursop/ZirZap: Green squashy pine cone looking thing
with a nice, tactile mushy white sour pulp interior and black bullet head seeds? Hmm.

*Papaya: YOu know this one, but it has to be fresh or it's bitter.

*Noni: Extract Sold as a health drink in U.S.: Black spotted Fruit smells,
looks and tastes unappetising, needs lots of sugar. Only practical usage: Muktilevel Marketing Scams

*Guava: (Gunabana?) like a tiny sweet pomegranite/tomato/apple hybrid with a distinctive pinkish interior and
delicios sweet pure fruit flavor, gravely seeds with no pith.
I used to eat it from tins as a kid in the U.K. so I LOVE this stuff fresh; the Color of CHildhood to me!

*Passionfruit: (Maracuya?) Only drank this in 'batidas' (milkshakes). Yum! a Regular.
Never knowingly seen it in nature, so not sure what it actually looks like..

* Melon, Banana, Apples as elsewhere, but several extra species of banana grow here, prolifically, as do
staggeringly vast clumps of bamboo, which of course- you can't eat.

*Cacao: in 1984 when I came through here the area was full of plantations to make 'cocoa' for Chocolate of course.
This funky tree's orange coloured melon like pods spring from its BARK but a few years ago a fungus devastated the ctop.
So it's around- But inedible and a sad black mess of diseased fruits mean none left at all, soon.

Used to be able to break them open and eat the sweet white pith from around the actual bitterish
brown cocoa seeds.
tasted FAINTLY of cocoa, often blended into a nice cold milk 'batida' drinks.
No such Luck this trip.

* Pineapple: Costa Rica exports more of this than Hawaii and I still do not care much for it : ). so, Good Riddance.

* Coconut: Why Bother?
Giant brownish husks require hair raising acrobatics to recover from on high,
bombing risks to anyone below from their five+ pound plummet earthward and finally
powerfully lethal machete strokes to clear open
and lots more effort to free the actual so called food
It then requires vast
efforts to consume in jaw-wrenching contortions resulting in T.M.J,
all for a weasly, cheatingly paltry swallow of wood-chip like near-tasteless pulp.

Effort and risk Required exceeds calorific intake. Give Up;
Even Rhubabrb or celery is food!

* Pibi: a drink! Useful relative of coconuts. Lower tress, smaller, safer, softer, and nothing to chew!
containing nothign but about a cup full each of
sappy clear water totally unlike coconut milk that is refreshing and faintly bitter/sweetish
COntents Under PRessure: No matter which direction you whack em with machete or poke em with knife,
you gonna get it in the face: "Pssss!!" before you get your thirst quenched.
bit like a ring-pull fruit. Fun. Use empties as grenades: Dogs Will Chase.

* Zapote: Sadly, my past absolute favorite tropical fruit of the Chewing Gum Tree (Chicle)
I have not seen yet. Or was that from SOutheast ASia?
the pecular and satisfying fruit looks a little like a smooth brown elongated
kiwi fruit but bursts with melt in your mouth sugar and sweetness and a single
glassy black seed with a white stripe on it lives within.

A trace of the 'chicle' gum that formerly went into natural chewing gum sometiems remains
in your mouth if you eat enough of them, as I used to.
NO it does NOT give the 'runs'but rather, generates awesome bog-clogging 'debris-logs'.
All Roughage, Folks!

The gum is more normally bled from the bark and has little actual flavor of its own.
Top marks whatever dreamed up this odd maveric food source.

*Yoghurt. Not a Fruity, Pauly! My Blog, Me no Care.
Made at Monteverde Cloud Forest by Quakers, none of your
low fat why-bother stuff...- this is delicious full cream made from utterly happy moo cows living in tropical clearings in the cloud forest ..
If marketers can say things like this, co can I. Instincts tell me:
Happy Ruminants Gladly Gave Their Baby Food for the Bacteria and Me.
I drown my fruit salads in this thixotropic goo. Go Cows! Go Bacteria! Yeaaaa!

*Coffee: Fruit or veg? Dunno. Don't even Care.
Dynamite. Best drink in the World from even the cheapest places. Caffeine!
the only thing between me and Total Torpor (See the "Sloth" above)
Grows at high elevations, often around volcanoes due to soils,
which may assign this beverage its quaked,
troublesome reputation. Not seen growing at the coast where I am.

Bushes have prissy, tidy shiny Privet-hedge like
orderly trimmed look and numerous greenish berries turning to red with
individual pairs of beans within as I recall (1984).

Beans look pale to tanned and taste very bitter and
'veggy' until dried, & etc.
Whoever first thought of doing what they do to these attractive but inedible looking bushes to make beverage? Nice one, Thank You! One of life's real pleasures.

It's still not raining.
Odd, to notice something not-happening.
This was fun writing this, I hope you enjoyed it.
Factual corrections (!) and comments are invited.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wildlife & Environment

Various Wildlife: This is Pablo and Avia's parakeet Rosie who is not caged and flies in and out of the surrounding area at will, screeching "Hola!!!" (Hello!!!)

Power/Telephone/Telephone/Internet/Washing-line hybrid. Edgar & Deb (Freinds from Petaluma) reported a massive explosion of one such conglomeration of cables last weekend- One ten second long July 04 exhbit and a lesser detonation later on in the middle of a torrential downpour. Sorry I missed that

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