What next?

Where does the time go? Already more than a month into 2014 and I have yet to do a blog entry!  Funny how much less time I voluntarily spend online when we can play outdoors throughout the whole winter.  At least, that is my excuse for now. 😉

Here is a photo update… [Note:  I started this post back in mid-January, and didn’t actually complete and post it until now, Feb 16.  So these photos are already “old”.]

Oh and we had a…er, little problem with ants for a few days…Don’t worry, they are all gone now.  Army ants live here in the jungle (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is one of the most biodiverse regions in the WORLD) and they occasionally move through an area (they don’t mind if you’ve put a house there).  Normally, this a good thing because they serve as a detail-oriented cleaning crew that eats up everything you don’t want around: that is, dead bugs and even LIVE SCORPIONS.  They are NOT interested in human food, in fact, we saw them walk right around it without touching the stuff.  So most folks give advice such as: Grab your essentials and go out for cocktails (or raisins and hummus with crackers, for Mia).

On the first day they arrived to part of our property, some of our guests came down to let us know they were headed into the area.  These particular guests were super laid back and hip to the jungle scene, and the property is big enough that we could give the ants space, so we all carefully positioned ourselves and watched them, which was alternating-ly fascinating and horrifying.  The ants quickly spooked out THREE scorpions and killed and ate them (yeah, we have pics of that) and they ate some other things. Eventually, we went into town for dinner (& cocktails, of course)…upon our return, the ants were gone.

A local said, “Oh, ants? That means rain is coming.”  And we all thought, huh?  And then it started raining.  And it rained for 10 days straight!  Seriously.  That is totally unheard of around here.  Folks are calling it “clima loca” or crazy climate.  Anyway, the rain provided some interesting times but the worst is that those pesky ants stayed around for almost the entire 10 days.

So they came back the next day, and during the first few days, it wasn’t bad.  They only showed up at night, kept to a few well defined highways, and then were gone by morning. Then they started coming in droves and stayed for almost 48 hours straight.  We tried a few non-toxic remedies and some provided a temporary diversion but in the end, Luis, one of the local employees “nuked them” with some nasty synthetic chemical.  I have since heard about several other non-toxic remedies, including chinese ant chalk that I hear are quite effective but we didn’t have a chance to try those. Maybe next time…

Now, back to the rain:  Any rain during the dry season is unusual but 10 days of rain is extraordinary.  Our guests were of course disappointed not to have continual sunshine during their vacation but they made the best of it.

Even with all these little surprises, we’re having fun and enjoying this magical place. Hope your 2014 is off to a great start, too!

About Stephanie

I am a mother and a wife, lady scientist, gardener, fabulous cook, foodie, world traveler, and aspiring polymath. I like to ignore stereotypes, challenge the status quo and encourage independent thought.
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