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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mango Manna from Heaven

Well, it’s time to travel again. We’re off to the USA tomorrow morning for visits with my mother in Texas, Layne’s sister and family in Oregon, his son and family from Washington State and my son and grandson from California. We may even make it down to our place in Pilot Hill to check out our house, see what needs painting or repair and get “stuff” from the barn. It promises to be a fun-filled but busy six weeks or so.

Juan Santamaria Airport
We’ll head out early in the morning to catch the 7:00 a.m. bus to Juan Santamaria Airport, a 40-minute ride that will cost us about $1.50 each. Our 9:30 a.m. flight on American Airlines will deliver us into San Angelo, Texas, at 5:40 p.m., a good schedule but pricey tickets. Travel to the States is no longer the bargain it was only a year ago, but family calls so we find a way to make the trip.

Of course, it’s hard to think of leaving Costa Rica, even though we are heading into the rainy season, or as Casey Bahr, another Costa Rican blogger calls it, “The Emerald Season.” Having now gone through two dry seasons here, we can definitely appreciate the "green" season a little more as instead of dry patches, the grasses are now abundant, the flowers are blooming, the trees have filled out with shiny leaves. Everything is… well, vibrant green again.

Mangos ripe for the picking
And boy, are the fruits coming into season. Everywhere we walk, it seems, we pass under mango trees, branches literally drooping with ripe fruit. We hurry to get out from under them for fear a mango may take that moment to fall, and a grapefruit-sized mango hitting you on the head would not be good! Piles of ripened mangos and other fruits unfamiliar to us litter the ground, free for the taking. Wild cilantro grows like a weed and tall yucca plants produce edible underground roots. Our neighbor’s orchard is flush with limons (lemons), limes and mandarinas (mandarin-like oranges). Coconut palms are heavy with their crop. It is our considered opinion that no one should ever starve to death in Costa Rica. Just grab some produce off a tree!

Flowers grow year-round here but they seem of even richer color now with purple bougainvillea, crimson and yellow helaconia, red hibiscus, glorious buds of pink and orange and the lovely yellow flowers that line our driveway all in blossom.

The dump truck gets a tug from the backhoe!
When we return in early July, it will be interesting to see what changes have been made in our local surroundings as some major bulldozing and grading work has been happening on the slope below our front patio. Our landlords have put in a switchback road leading to a bridge across the creek and up the other hillside where their property continues. Our landlady Odie wants a little gazebo or picnic area up there so this landscaping is the first step toward that goal. It is a rather steep slope so watching the big backhoe do its work then the heavy truck with its load of gravel tear up and down the hill has been a little heart-stopping now and then. Let’s just say these heavy equipment workers drive about like Ticos on the roads! At one point, the truck tried to back up the newly graveled slope but when the tires started slipping and churning up the gravel, the backhoe operator had to fasten a chain on to the truck and haul it back up the hill.

I just hope all the noise and human activity doesn’t scare away the monkeys from visiting now and then. Recently, this little guy showed up in a tree in our backyard, apparently all alone, perhaps a young male that’s been shoved out of the troop by some jealous macho monkey. Such is life in the jungle!


  1. Safe travels. Perhaps we will meetup at SJO on your return and my move! Love the pictures and my mouth was watering at your description of the fruits.

  2. Kat, thanks for the plug for my re-naming of the green season, lol! Have a good trip. Haven't been back to Oregon now for going on 3 years.

    The "mangos" you described are actually mangas. Mangos are the apricot sized green ones, also delicious, but the pit/flesh ratio is higher.

    Pura vida,


  3. LOVELY PHOTOS, Kat. I'm in the States now, too. Can't wait to get back to the tropics!

    And to Casey Bahr: I'm from Montana, not so far from Oregon. I used to love to take my kids to the coast to camp on the beach every summer.(Now I live on a much warmer beach:) Until last week, I had not been back to Montana for two years and it was a mixed experience for me. I miss the beautiful Rocky Mountains but don't like the continuing development that makes it look like everwhere else USA.