Wind!

This is summer in Panama and the trade winds are blowing, and blowing, and blowing! This is the third very windy day in a row. Up in the mountains the winds are even stronger, and some areas have also been getting rain. Trees have been blown down everywhere taking power lines down with them. Late yesterday there were people in the mountains still waiting for their power to be restored. Thankfully we were only out for a few hours on Monday.

I don’t mind the wind too much but it sure makes biking more challenging. I can sail down the road with little effort but coming home into that head wind is a different story. Monday I was in my lowest mountain climbing gears and still fighting. Yesterday was better but still a workout. Today I’m sitting on the terrace listening to the wind roar, and the racket as leaves and sticks hit the metal roof. The house has a drop ceiling and I wondered why they glued the panels to the framework. Then I realized that in the windy season, anything that isn’t glued is lifted right out of the framework.

The banana leaves are already quite shredded

The banana leaves are already quite shredded

The days have been beautiful though, blue sunny skies with wonderful, interesting clouds, and we aren’t far enough into summer for plants to be turning brown. Trees and plants are starting to bud, flower, and fruit and I know there will be more coming.

Voldan Baru erupts

The clouds yesterday made it look like Volcan Baru was erupting

It isn’t always rainbows and unicorns in Panama. Though, if you are in the mountains in the mist and rain, there’s probably a lot of rainbows. People who don’t like the wind though are definitely not happy at the moment. I’ll take this any day over ice, snow, and cold. These summer nights also tend to be a bit cooler, and the full moon and stars are gorgeous in the clear night sky.

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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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12 Responses to Wind!

  1. yes, strong winds make a mess of the lovely banana leaves! i remember working from life once, of a study of bananas with the hurracas/birds feeding… the leaves were whipping so much that it was exhausting to try to keep my eye on what i was painting….

    the winds do, however, make the heat feel not so hot!

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    • Last summer I had it explained to me why the veggie market wasn’t selling tamales on Saturdays any more – there were no leaves that weren’t shredded in the wind.
      I should try painting from life sometime. It sounds hard enough without dealing with the wind too.
      Yes it is cooler, and when the sun goes down the evenings are wonderful.

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      • Wow! I never thought about winds affecting the tamale market!! My friends here in the cloud forest will find that interesting….

        Yes, the wind also dried out my contact lenses, so my eyes get very tired working outside on windy days.. oh, but one can see so much more when working from life. Start with an easy subject, like the base of a lovely tree or the strangler roots – they don’t have to be exact, just the essence….

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        • You can make tamales in tin foil but to sell, I’ve only seen the real deal in plantain and behau (sp?) leaves.
          Hmmm, I will take your suggestion and give it a try. I need something to get me going again. Thank you. There is an orange tree in our yard with interesting white patches on the trunk, and an orchid growing on it. I’ll go give it a look tomorrow.

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  2. Sunni Morris says:

    Kris,

    We get very gusty winds here in the desert too and things that aren’t tied down blow away. It was breezy here today but not the kind of wind that blows things sideways. It was our first sunny day in over a week and actually made it to 62. It seemed like spring. I wish it was but we’re going back down in the 40’s with rain again starting tomorrow.

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  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    See the windtv link and notice that not only are the winds strong, once they top the mountains they gain speed going downhill into David. The winds higher up are going the opposite direction adding in a strong wind shear component.
    We are feeling the same wind speeds up here, clear, bright sunshine. We had all the windows open but closed some as the breeze was taking the artwork off the walls. Maybe we will skip winter this year and go right to spring? Suits me fine.

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    • jim and nena says:

      PS, it is not just the wind currents, Panama was the key to changing ocean currents as well.
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=4073
      Panama is not just a nice place to live, it made a lot of other places livable.

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      • jim and nena says:

        We don’t normally get Alto Boquete kind of wind but I have seen log chains used as wind socks on occasion. Summertime we have constant breezes from the south, hot. The polar express in winter is strong, but short in duration. The usual condition is westerly breeze.

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    • I didn’t realize you also got a lot of wind in Texas. I thought it was fairly calm here this morning so I set out for a longer ride on my bike. It sure didn’t last though and I had a heck of a workout getting back home! I’d forgotten about windytv. When you click on wind gusts my goodness! We look like one of the calmer places in the area, and no wonder the people in the mountains are complaining. It looks like most of Nicaragua is being blown to pieces. I have a friend on Ometepe Island and she says the ferries can’t run when it’s really windy so people have been stuck on the island for days.
      Thanks for the link about the ocean currents. I’d read a bit about that in the past, very interesting. Panama is an important country in many ways.

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