It is the last week of March, the height of summer. By this time every year I am very tired of summer. It’s hot, windy, and very dry. It rained a month ago while we were away but otherwise, since late December, we have only seen a couple sprinkles. It seems like most days we are without water for part of the day which isn’t a huge deal, but it’s inconvenient. Thankfully though, they still haven’t fixed our electric meter so the extra AC isn’t costing us more. And, thankfully, it seems like there have been few problems with brush fires this summer, and least in this area.
But, for all my complaining there are good things, like new flowers and fruits that you don’t see at other times of the year. I have some random photos of these and other things I found in my camera.
This one isn’t a Panama flower, but I did get it here are La Feria. It’s a carrion plant flower, or Stapelia Gigantea, a native of Southeast Africa. The flower has a mild (thank goodness) smell of rotting meat, but it did a good job of attracting flies and ants. The third photo is of heliconia roots. We had some heliconias just appear in the yard and though they are pretty, they sprouted in places we would rather use for something else. I sure was surprised at the extent of the root systems though! This is only one of many we dug out.
One evening we had a gorgeous sunset. We are in a lower part of the neighborhood, not high enough to see the setting sun but sometimes we see some beautiful colors in the sky anyway.
OK, some flowers, as promised!
We went to Pricesmart yesterday. We got there earlier than usual, and I had forgotten about the rules that say you can’t buy alcohol before 11AM,so I had some time to kill. I wandered over to Chiriqui Mall to see how the construction was coming along. I noticed sertracen was packed and people were waiting outside to get in. This is where you get your drivers licenses. To the right is a bank, and to the right of that the immigration office. Both of these were fairly quiet. If you are looking for these offices, stand in front of the movie theater and they are right across the parking lot.
Since we are checking construction sites, here are a couple more.
I’ve been trying to get back to biking more. I do enjoy seeing what is going on around town and exchanging greetings with everyone. It’s just getting started… it’s hot, it’s too windy, I’m not feeling energetic today… I can make lots of excuses. But once I get out there I always enjoy myself.
In our neighborhood there are a couple mariñon (cashew) trees starting to fruit. I never thought about how cashews grow until I discovered them here. Each nut grows individually at the bottom of a fruit. The fruit very delicate so it doesn’t transport well at all. People here use it to make a fruit drink, and sometimes chop it up and cook it with some cinnamon and sweetener. For me it has an odd almost musky taste and smell, but it’s not unpleasant. The nuts have a toxic substance so they must be heated to neutralize it. Traditionally people roast them over a wood fire until they are pretty black and burned looking, and then crack the shell to get the nut inside. Roasted this way they have a wonderful smoked flavor and I like them better than cashews from the supermarket. It’s no wonder they are expensive though. One tree doesn’t produce that many nuts and they are a lot of work.
The last photo is one of those yellow flowering trees. I’ve seen others with many more flowers that look much more spectacular, but this is our neighborhood tree and we love it just the same.