In mid to late December the rainy season ends and summer starts. This is the dry and sometimes windy season. The last three days have been very windy indeed! It seems the winds have been stronger and have lasted longer than what I remember from other summers. I can only imagine what it is like higher up in the mountains where it tends to be much windier than down here closer to sea level.
So, it is windy and there are leaves and debris everywhere, and biking home is especially challenging against the head wind. But, there have also been some more unusual occurrences in the last couple days.
The oropendolas have made some nests in a tree in our neighborhood park. The other day I noticed that one of them was missing, one was swinging free, and the third was hung up on an neighboring branch (no worries, it had righted itself today). I can only imagine being in those nests as they swing wildly in the strong winds!
We went back later to see if we could find the fallen oropendola nest, and sure enough it was in the grass beside the road. Here Joel is holding it so you can get a sense of how very big it is. It’s interesting that these birds build these long nests with the entrance up near the top, and climb down into them to lay their eggs and care for their young. Thankfully there were no eggs or babies in this nest! The nests are fairly new so maybe they hadn’t gotten to that part yet.
Then, there was an even bigger surprise. I came home to find our big guaba tree had fallen down, partly into our yard and partly into the street.
The tree had gotten very big and I was going to have it trimmed as soon as the fruit was ready. Then we could all enjoy all the fruit that is too high up to reach.
The tree was full of fruit! Unfortunately it was no where near ready. When mature these very large, hard seed pods are full of seeds with a sweet, delicious, fluffy fruit around them. The whole neighborhood was looking forward to enjoying all this fruit.
We spent the afternoon sawing and cutting and hauling pieces to the woods behind the house. As the yard was cleared I could see that my pretty coconut tree and the plantains were damaged but should recover. I might have lost a yuca or a pineapple plant, but both are easily replaced.
This part of the side fence is going to need some repair. Everyone seems to believe the tree is too damaged and will not come up from the roots.
In any tree, there has to be at least one new and interesting bug. This one finally sat still on my camera case long enough for me to snap a decent photo.
The next day Rubin comes to the rescue. He’s not very big but he is amazingly strong.
Rubin is a master of the machete and quickly made short work of clearing the road. (Thankfully we are the last house on our side of the street, and the neighbor across the street was away so we weren’t keeping him from getting in and out).
It was amazing how much Rubin got done in a short amount of time. When I came home from my morning ride, this is what I found! If you look closely you can see some green leaves on the tree stump. These are actually a baby tree growing next to the stump so maybe all is not lost after all. If this one grows, in a few years we will have another tree.
The yard looks quite different and has much less shade, but now we have a view of the woods beyond.
I have written about the oropendolas in the past HERE. This post has some photos of the birds making nests in this very same spot. Fortunately these didn’t fall down until many months later (and unfortunately landed in the street and were destroyed by the cars). Here also is a video of one of them doing his interesting and unique display.
The guaba, also knows as the Inga or ice cream fruit, is an interesting tree. It is a nitrogen fixing tree and there are about 300 species of them, found mainly in the Amazon rain forest. Some have pods as much as a meter long! Here is another article with some good pictures of the fruit that is familiar to us here.