What a thrill! We had a Blue Morpho butterfly flutter through our backyard yesterday afternoon. What a gorgeous creature it is with its iridescent azul upper wings. A friend said that the butterflies are returning in force now that springtime is here and the rainy season is mostly over. That’s good news for us as we love watching the amazing variety of mariposas here in Costa Rica. Of course, the visiting Blue Morpho was gone so fast I had no time for a photo so I’ll just “borrow” one from the Internet.
There was no problem identifying the fellow as we recently visited the Butterfly Farm in La Guácimo when our friend Marcy was here and learned all about the Blue Morpho as well as many other types of butterflies and moths. Although there are numerous such facilities in Costa Rica, this particular location not only breeds and cares for butterflies, from caterpillar to chrysalis through their magical transformation into beautiful winged fliers, but they also export the embryonic form, the chrysalis, all over the world to botanical gardens, other butterfly farms and nature centers. It was extremely educational and quite a treat to have the lovely creatures light on our clothes or arms.
Another wonderful feature of our new neighborhood are the incredible sweet flower smells that arise in the late afternoon and evening. I have located the source of the odors, in the white flower boles of tall plants nearby but a Google search failed to turn up the name of this tree. Every evening lately at about five o’clock, the air is filled with a rose-and-jasmine fragrance that just takes your breath away it’s so sweet. I’m led to believe that the smell attracts nighttime pollinators, such as bats and moths.
We seem to be blessed with some of the best of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna here in Santa Eulalia, including a young raptor we spotted in a tree on our latest walk. Then there was the three-foot long iguana I spied waddling along across the street today as we waited on the bus with some of our neighbors. I pointed him out to the others but no one was concerned. Just part of the local color. Welcome to Costa Rica. Ho-hum.
December marks the one-year anniversary of my trip back to California last year to put my dear horse and good friend Mojave down. After a very intense and poignant dream about him a few days ago, I have appreciated even more some of the horses that live nearby, such as this little yearling colt. He lives alone, it appears, in a large pasture down the road from us, and when we approached his enclosure he trotted eagerly over to say hello. I think he’s a bit lonely as he was most appreciative of my brief affections and followed us along the fence line when we turned to go.
|Coffee plant Christmas tree - click on to enlarge|
Much of Santa Eulalia is agricultural with acres of edibles nearing maturity. The coffee plants seem primed for the Christmas season, ripe red berries suspended like so many ornaments. Papaya trees are heavy with fruit and the feathery flowers of the sugarcane dance in the wind. Peanuts are laid out on canvas tarps to dry in the sun and our own naranja (orange), mandarina and limon trees are filled with fruits.
|Field of Papaya|
|Preparing peanuts for market|
Add to that the many friends we have made here and you can understand our contentment. And if we needed anything more to please the senses, we got it on Thursday at new amigos Francis and Brian’s jam session. With Francis on keyboard and singing, local musician Barry on saxophone and young Daniel on guitar, Layne and I added our vocals on several songs as we all whiled the afternoon away.
Tomorrow we’ll visit them again for a huge neighborhood party they are hosting to celebrate the sale of their southern Indiana property. We’ve found a good spot here in Santa Eulalia! Pura Vida!