21 July 2015

It's Been A Very Revealing Ten Seconds

Despite the fact that Rusty works Monday through Friday, and I make soap, make candles, garden, and spend a great deal of time coddling a terrier, we clearly have too much time on our hands. We spent more time worrying over plants and animals. It isn’t worrying in the general sense of the word. When Jill-The-Pill gently rubs her ear with a hind foot, Rusty asks, Jill, why are you worrying that ear? So when we say worrying, it could mean anything from genuine fret . . . to bothering . . . to, quite often, full-blown obsessing.

Things happen quickly here. Seconds matter. It’s difficult not to live in the moment. And Rusty and I find ourselves worrying (read: obsessing) over the flora and fauna. Perhaps fascinated is a better word than obsessing, but make no mistake . . . we’re rather caught up in all of the second-by-second changes.
One day a trip down the mountain reveals a tree that has burst forth with grapefruit-size balls of white fluff. Imagine the world’s largest dandelion. And so we think: we want one of those trees. Then by the time we return home, one of our own mountain trees also has burst forth with white fluff balls. Later in the day . . . all gone. So gone that we can’t even remember which tree was full of fluff.

Hummingbirds. We’re obsessed with ‘em. The other day one of our endangered chicle trees was swarming with hummingbirds. Swarming, I tell you . . . with the tiniest species of hummingbirds we’d ever seen. Then they departed. All gone. What made them swarm, and where did they go?

We always have butterflies - hundreds of ‘em. And I thought I saw Costa Rica’s prized blue butterfly the other day. Some mornings when we walk outside the front door, thousands of butterflies rise up from the parking field (soon to be a carport), all aflutter; and we’re surrounded by butterflies. Today, they’re gone. What is up with that?

We have a bacteria in our soil and on our Pringles shrubberies. Okay, they’re not really named Pringles, but it’s something very close to that. Anyway, it started with a few leaves that appeared burned. Could it have been the fertilizer I applied to the lawn? If so, why weren’t more shrubberies showing burned leaves?

Today I Googled the shrubbery symptoms. Fire blight. I’m convinced that we have fire blight. This diagnosis after I pruned the damaged stems . . . before I read the importance of sterilizing the snippers after each snip. Holy expletives! Fire blight. I declare, it’s the herpes of shrubbery diseases. It will always be present . . . in the soil, hibernating in nooks of leaves, in the air. There is no cure. So the pruned bushes that I pronounced disease-free this morning are now showing additional disease signs, as are their neighboring bush friends. 

This is going to keep me awake at night. No kidding. Think of lice, or bed bugs.  You don't have to personally experience these to know that one simply can't rest until they are dead, dead, dead . . . eliminated and ancient history. Yet with fire blight, which we are very personally experiencing, I'm fighting a losing battle. You can't kill this bacteria. It's not a simple issue caused by some neglect of the Pringles. It's endemic in the soil, air, and probably even on the Baby's Jill's fur.

But back to the change in a matter of seconds phenomenon. One morning we’ll go into town and it’s just an average day. Another trip down the mountain on the same day and we encounter the Fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea. That’s a great name, no? Virgin of the Sea. She’s really the Virgin del Carmen . . . patron of fishermen and sea-going people and ships.

In our Province of Guanacaste, each year on the Saturday closest to July 16 (at least here in Samara), the virgin is brought forth from the local church . . . perhaps she’s a home-body, like me, the remainder of the year. Anyway, when she does emerge she’s paraded through town toward the sea, where blessings are given and flowers and fireworks tossed into the ocean. Note the traditional Costa Rican ox cart. Only here is this such a special ox cart. Why, there's an entire village notable for the creation of these carts; and it boasts the world's biggest ox cart. One day, this I gotta see. 

Now admit it: flowers, fireworks, boats bedecked with wreaths, singing, and a robed priest with a megaphone . . . who's not gonna love that event?! The megaphone was especially exciting.

What's in store for the weekend? Well, Saturday is Annexation of Guanacaste Day . . . the national holiday commemorating the 1824 decision by the Province of Guanacaste to be part of Costa Rica, not Nicaragua. We’re anticipating a great party . . . though if we blink, we’ll miss it. Just think, had the vote gone the other way, we’d be applying for Nicaraguan residency. Lo que hay.