Friday, April 18, 2008
Cicadas, Peacocks, and Frogs with Bad Timing
We're at the apex of the dry season. The weather is warm bordering on hot, bright and sunny every day. The birds are singing, our resident iguana is growing huge, and Laura and Salma have been making frequent trips to the swimming pool at Aparthotel El Valle, which charges $2 per person for a dip in a pool heated by natural hot springs. Salma wears a flotation device and is gradually becoming more comfortable swimming on her own, with her Mama a feet away watching.
The cicadas have started up and you can hear them all day long. A cicada's call starts out with a sputter like an engine trying to start, then winds up into a long, loud air-raid siren. If you didn't know what it was you'd think it was a machine of some kind.
Summer is mosquito season and the geckos are going to town. They're all over the house, laughing at us with their distinctive call. We've hung a mosquito net over Salma's bed and we make sure to draw it closed every night. I sleep in long sleeved pajamas as protection, with the ceiling fan running on low. No need for AC up here in El Valle, except on the hottest afternoons.
The peacocks at Los Aramos seem to have spring fever. We hear their calls at all hours of the day and night.
We had a few brief rainstorms last week and it seems to have fooled the frogs. Many came out of hibernation and can be seen hopping all around the neighborhood by the hundreds. Unfortunately for them the early rain was a nasty April fool's joke, not to be repeated. The ditches and streams are dry and I'm afraid this crop of frogs will die out. Laura already removed one from our driveway, picked to the bones by black ants.
The termites have shown a few signs of an impending population explosion. We'll see.
Laura is now teaching English two days a week at the public school. It's turning out to be quite an experience for her. You can read about it on her blog, http://www.CasaSalaam.com