Little Bugs

I should be writing about the Panama Canal. They have been working for years on the expansion project, building new locks, deepening and widening the route, and getting ready for the huge Panamax ships. Sunday June 26th was the opening with foreign dignitaries, celebrations all over the country, and much excitement. A Chinese ship won the lottery to be the first ship though and made the trip without incident.

It was a huge project with delays, cost overruns, concerns about the concrete, size of the locks, etc. But, it is done now and I hope everything operates successfully for many years to come. If any of you want to know more about the project or the festivities last weekend, a google search will bring up a lot of information. It’s quite a big deal and will affect shipping and commerce world wide. Panama has every right to be proud!

I, on the other hand, have been enjoying my little world in our little corner of Panama. I spend a lot of my time at my table on the terrace, and at night the light attracts a variety of bugs. Occasionally there is a large moth or other interesting critter. The June bugs have been frequent lately. I also see a lot of tiny bugs that I can hardly make out until I see what my camera and macro lens have captured.

It seems like everyone is getting sick lately. Almost everyone I know has had a cold, or two, or more. Joel and I are almost never sick but both of us are recovering from our second bout of colds in as many months. The H1N1 virus is making the news here. People are hospitalized and some have died, and the health minister is urging everyone to get vaccinated. I know the flu is a problem every year but I don’t remember hearing about it nearly as much as we have this year. Then, there is the Zika virus. I haven’t heard of cases in our area but I know the health mister has had people going door to door to educate people on mosquito control and inspect yards for standing water. I don’t keep up with the news so I’m not a reliable source for anything, but even I have been hearing about all this.

Other than that, my neighbors are adding on a bathroom and bedroom since the daughter and grandson are now living in the house, along with mom and the son in a 2 bedroom. There is a lot of banging and sawing going on but they seems to be making fast progress. Band practice is currently going on in our living room as wel. My neighbor who doesn’t like noise probably isn’t too happy, though she swears she enjoys the music.

I have been woken up more than usual by birds chirping early in the morning. They sound like wrens but when I come outside I never see them. Today I realized it sounded like they were coming from inside the house. After some investigating I caught a wren coming in through a small hole under the roof on the back side of the house. Apparently they are nesting in the attic. Mom probably gets up every morning to feed the babies, who get all excited and wake me up. When they leave the nest we’ll plug up the hole and encourage them to raise the next brood elsewhere.

Life goes on in Panama!

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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16 Responses to Little Bugs

  1. Mel Spera says:

    Kris – Keep up the good work…seeing your blog in my inbox puts a smile on my face. It’s always interesting even when you think it’s mundane. As far As Zika virus, Delaware has had two cases. One was a Panamanian woman who was pregnant and hoped to have a healthy child here and the other was a gentleman who was on holiday down there. Mother and gentleman are both fine now. I’m not sure if she will return to Panama with the child. I, too, but generally don’t pay much attention to the news.


    • Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy the blog.
      I think Brazil has had the most trouble with Zika but it has spread to this area. I have heard Florida and the SE parts of the US are also very concerned. From what I understand it’s a mild illness but can have devastating on an unborn baby.
      Thanks for the comment.


  2. Sunni Morris says:

    How fun to have baby birds to watch – if you ever see them. Plugging up the hole is good after they’ve left the nest.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I smiled a lot reading your post too, Kris. Again, you made me feel like I was there. I continue to picture me in a small Panama spot too someday. Hopefully this November!


    • That will be the height of the rainy season. You can sit out in the evening watching it rain, waiting to see what interesting bugs come visit your spot. Unlike anywhere I’ve lived in the US, you aren’t driven indoors by mosquitoes in the evenings which I really appreciate.


  4. Jim VanZwol says:

    Love your blog!!!


  5. Birds in the Attic are better than Bats in the Belfry!


  6. jim and nena says:

    I read the title and the first line and thought, “the bugs in the canal expansion project were not little bugs”! Then I read the next few lines and figured out what was going on. I’m a little slow like that most days. The first ship passage was completed but 20 something folks on a yacht were hurt when the new tugboat rammed them. Oh, well.
    Panama has a wide variety of critters, bugs included. I suppose like in real estate, location is everything. Mountains, two oceans, jungles, drylands, and 52 million gallons of fresh water dumped into the sea with each ship passage provides a lot of habitat. Just like a Chinese wedding reception, something for everyone! jim


    • No, the bugs in the canal are potentially quite big. How sad that a tugboat had an accident. I heard they are hard to manage and the captains aren’t happy with them.
      Yes, there is a lot of habitat here, and no winters to freeze the bugs. I heard there are more kinds here than in the entire North America.


  7. Enjoyed reading this Kris (as I do all your posts). Sorry to hear about the H1N1 flu though, and the Zika virus, making their way in Panama. I’d thought Zika was confined to the Darien Gap region mostly – looks like it’s making its way north sadly.
    But back to your other bugs, and birds – lovely!


    • In my circle of people there have been mostly colds, but I know H1N1 is here in Chiriqui. I haven’t heard of Zika here, thankfully, but the whole country is doing what they can to see it doesn’t become a problem anywhere.
      Glad you like my bugs and birds 😀


  8. Trekking Through Texas says:

    The first bug makes me think of a ballerina. Very cool!


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