Fungi, Bugs, Etc.

We may be dealing with a pandemic but when you look at the nature around you, it’s just carrying on as usual. It rains, the plants grow, the birds sing, the lizards enjoy the sun, and toads hang out under the lights at night hoping for bugs – and there are plenty of bugs.

I’ve felt much more normal since I’ve been able to get out on my bike, get some exercise, and feel less isolated from the world, even if it’s the small world in my own area. It also feels good to share some random photos of things that have nothing to do with the virus.

We have been seeing these lizards occasionally. I think they are Jesus lizards but small (Jesus lizards because they can walk/run on water – which they do. I’ve seen it at the river)

I have this cool plant that makes stinky flowers. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapelia_gigantea) It attracts flies for pollination instead of bees. One night it had attracted this pretty little moth. It was actually more white but the light at night gave everything a yellow glow.

I saw these amazing fungi when I was biking down the road. I think they are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydnellum_geogenium a type of “tooth fungus”! There is a big dead tree root in the area which I imagine was a good place for them to grow. When I went by 3 days later they had turned totally brown so I’m glad I saw them when they were at their best.

I stopped at another place where I’d picked up some late season mangos. I didn’t find any usable fruit, but I sure found a grasshopper convention! We have grasshoppers of all sizes and colors but I think these are the coolest, biggest, and most colorful.

These are a couple photos from my yard. The perfect little white toadstool was growing on some roots where a shrub used to be. The white fan looking fungi were in our guanabana (soursop) tree. I think it’s a type of oyster mushroom, very good to eat but since I’m not sure, I’m not eating it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleurotus

Last, but definitely not least – we’ve had a lot of rain and cloudy weather lately. Yesterday though, it was clear enough to see our volcano peeking above the clouds. I never get tired of the beauty around us, the mountains in the distance, and this beautiful volcano. Word is that it’s still active but it hasn’t done anything for 400+ years. They keep a close eye on it but think it will continue to be quiet for the foreseeable future, thank goodness.

I used to take a lot of bug pictures, but I’m more familiar with most of them now (and busier with other things). I still find them beautiful and keep telling myself I need to take my good camera around the yard. One of these days….

Meanwhile, we hope to get another music video out next weekend. We’re trying some midi drums (rather than the drum machine), and we’re working on recording directly from the mixing board, rather than recording the room sound. And, we have a different list of songs, some of them new to us. We’re used to playing gigs live so this video business is different, but we’re definitely not bored in quarantine with all these new things to learn.

The world seems crazy out there, and worse every week. I hope eventually it leads to some positive changes but right now, it’s so unsettling. I hope you all are safe and doing all right. Please take care of yourselves and each other!

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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11 Responses to Fungi, Bugs, Etc.

  1. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

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  2. John says:

    Thank you. Still following you after all these years.

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  3. Richard says:

    Things seem to be much more active on the other end of Panam√° from you.

    Perhaps you may have heard that the advancement to phase, “block,” two has exposed many more citizens to COVID-19 than MINSA anticipated; provinces Panam√° and Panam√° Oeste the most exposed because they have the preponderance of phase, “block,” two opportunities.

    Accordingly, tomorrow marks the return of the original quarantine measures for those two provinces, only.

    Still, given the huge flare up of COVID-19 cases at the Minera (National Mine), originally, I anticipate that subgroup in Cocl√© provincia should also be returning to quarantine soon as they were part of phase, “block,” two.

    Incidentally, my wife’s teenage sister, kidnapped by the Ng√§be-Bugl√© for sex trade profit in early January was finally found by the Policia Nacional and just returned to home today after negotiating with the tribal Chief.

    Unlike Indians in the States where they are relegated to reservations with little voice but to complain to the bossy federal government, Indian Chiefs of Panam√° hold sovereign rule in their provinces to generate huge profits as they see fit, especially electricity and water utilities for common Panamanians (and expatriates) and the bulk of the nation’s tourism to international travelers.

    Most importantly, Indian Chiefs of Panamá, like the Ngäbe-Buglé, have complete control of the actions of the Policia Nacional of Panamá within its borders; negotiations for kidnapped Panamanians (or other inattentive expatriates) intended for profit or black magic ritual can be difficult.

    Question: Is there a reason, after 6 years of posting quality feedback to your website (sometimes with lots of links) my posts are suddenly “moderated”? Or, is this a “thing” you are doing to everyone?

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    • Yes, I’ve heard there is a lot more going on in the Panama City side of the country. I think that has always been the case but it seems worse at the moment. Doesn’t it take a couple weeks for cases of the virus to show up? Who knows if the changes in block 2 are to blame or if it started earlier. Either way I’m glad we aren’t locked down so tightly again.
      Good news about your wife’s sister! I imagine she has been pretty traumatized by it all though? How good that she’s back
      I don’t know why your posts were moderated. That’s an automatic function of WordPress. New people who haven’t posted before and people it doesn’t recognize, perhaps because they aren’t signed in, those are the only ones moderated so they have to wait until I approve them. Your post here went right through, as it should.

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      • Richard says:

        Thank you for your understanding that my wife’s teenage sister will have PTSD sequela.

        What is compounding the matter is the fact that this is a criminal offence against a minor, which includes all those rape evaluations while the details of the arrest(s) of the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca perpetrators remains clouded in mystery between the Policia Nacional and the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca Chief who has some say in the discipline of the matter.

        However, the fact that a minor was abducted and forced across more than 3 provincial boundaries, excluding Ngäbe-Buglé property gives the Policia Nacional some leeway.

        Allegedly, the Comarca are claiming they dispatched a fellow minor, albeit older, to perform the kidnapping but word from the younger sister is that he pretended to be a minor using falsified cédula documentation.

        The key is that inattentive children and expatriates are always being targeted for capture, sometimes even from their own homes.

        Bocas Del Toro and Cocl√© have recorded abductions of retired couples from their rural, “nest egg” homes in the past couple years and most have resorted to neighborhood watches linked to local Policia Nacional with great success.

        Now to address the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Panam√° and Panam√° Oeste provincias and resulting return to the original quarantine measures limited to those areas.

        A knee-jerk diagnosis cannot be attributed simply to R number or infection rate, which has been accepted to be 14 days, but my research readings show it can reach 21 days in certain conditions.

        BBC News – The R number
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52507751

        So, to limit the blame of again quarantining those two provinces based on Panam√° expanding to phase, “block” two one week ago is shortsighted.

        Recall most of the businesses that opened under phase, “block” one were in these same provinces and that began over 3 weeks ago…plenty of time to increase the R number in that area.

        Instead, one needs to think more broadly as to why MINSA needed to restart the original quarantine.

        It’s ICU beds.

        At present, there are only 4 open ICU beds in the entire double province region.

        But wait?!

        What happened to the IMF bond money Panam√° received at the urgent request of our El Presidente to rapid-build the COVID-19 ONLY hospital near Albrook Terminal?

        That was approved rapidly by the World Bank because Panam√° is a superb credit risk (see my previous World Bank link).

        Well, early in the COVID-19 pandemic Panamanians worked feverishly to build the basic shell of the hospital so it looks like a hospital on the outside for IMF (International Monetary Fund) photo ops.

        Inside, there’s no equipment… and definitely no patients.

        The Panamanians are now asking El Presidente what he’s been doing with the money to finish and open the COVID-19 ONLY hospital while violating everyone’s Panam√°-constitutional rights against forced quarantine (so no one, including the news, could oversee his actions), even in provinces where COVID-19 has remained essentially nonexistent (the interior; excluding Chiriqui, Darien, Panam√°, Panam√° Oeste, Col√≥n, Veraguas).

        El Presidente has no answer for the missing money,

        Or why the COVID-19 ONLY hospital was not made available to the Panamanians of the provinces of Panam√° and Panam√° Oeste.

        THAT is why provincias Panam√° and Panam√° Oeste have been forced back into quarantine.

        I just feel sorry for the taxi drivers because they have ALSO been forced to follow the male-female quarantine rules based on even/odd license plates;

        So, when the men were being mistreated and given bad opinions in the Internet, each of the taxi drivers with “male” plates were being discriminated.

        A disease is always more than just blood on the wound.

        And glorious COVID-19 numbers from Panam√° are there for more than one reason.

        Oh, yes. Thank you. The moderation issue appears to resolved.

        It appeared unceremoniously when I quoted directly from CIA statistics that most (over 85%) Panamanians are of the Catholic faith, which gave them stamina to endure COVID-19 hardship; I was then advised this website is an atheist’s site… and the moderation suddenly began.

        Just an unfortunate coincidence of WordPress.

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        • It’s no surprise your sister-in-law has after effects after an experience like that, and at her young age too. Hopefully now that she is home she can start the long process of healing.

          As for the virus and quarantine, I understand that available hospital and ICU beds is critical and some say the best measure of how things are going. Many are discussing the whole situation on social media and other outlets, both for and against how things are being handled but I figure, whatever our opinion, our reality is what the authorities ask us to do. I’m not in a position to try and influence any decisions.

          Who advised you this is an athiest site? Strange… I’m well aware of the importance of religion to the people I know and the culture in general and I’m happy for the benefits it provides. I wouldn’t moderate anyone over religion opinions unless they were being a real a** about it, which thankfully hasn’t happened here.

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          • Richard says:

            Thank you, again, for your support of my wife’s teenage sister who is now struggling with PTSD (it’s a lifelong condition) as well as the trauma of the police and forensic interrogations in preparation for court proceedings against the several Ng√§be-Bugl√© Comarca operatives.

            In fact, the trauma and ongoing responsibilities have been and continue to be systemic on the entire family.

            So, again, thank you.

            The COVID-19 issue in Panam√° is a mess thanks to profiteering at the top.

            We must not sugarcoat it by advertising to potential expats that Panam√° is somehow markedly better off than most other struggling countries by statistics alone.

            It is a matter of grammar that may have caused misinterpretation of my final statements, but they were correct.

            Please refer to the earlier post, “Sunday, Nobody Goes Out,” when there was a post reply to my CIA-based statistics on Panamanian stability through Catholicism, April 6th, authored by the site webmaster, “As for the Catholic aspect, as an athiest, I.”

            Grammatical use of “atheist’s website” might have been better rephrased as a “website operated by one who has posted on April 6th that they espouse atheism.”

            Unfortunately, I touched a nerve that was not intended.

            Still, at no time have I espoused any religion, including atheism, on your website.

            I quoted a CIA-based statistic (the CIA statistic site has been previously posted).

            Once again, thank you for supporting my wife’s sister and our family during this time of great trial caused by the opportunistic Ng√§be-Bugl√© Comarca Indians.

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            • The site webmaster, the one who posted – that’s me. It’s my blog. I write everything posted here. Yes, I am a Buddhist athiest. I’m sure I have said that at some point(s), and that I’m not part of the religion here yet I have been welcomed, respected, and accepted without reservations which is a big deal to me. That’s more than I can say for my home country when I have been made to feel like an outsider and without value more times than I can count.

              Touched a nerve? mine? no… yours? Why? You can espouse any religion you choose and share your thoughts and beliefs anytime. I’m always interested understanding others and learning how they came to follow their particular paths. It’s not the purpose of this blog but something that significant in someone’s feelings and thoughts is bound to come up now and then.

              But, we sure have digressed from fungi and bugs! ūüėā I have nothing to add about the pandemic. I can only try and minimize risk for myself and those I encounter. I have heard that many victims of sex crimes don’t come forward because the investigation and prosecution is almost worse than the crime itself. I’m sorry to hear that may be the case here also but hopefully they are treating her with kindness and respect.

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              • Richard says:

                I am so happy to hear your nerves were not touched as that was not the intention.

                War hardens nerves, and successfully adapting to living in Panam√° erases what’s left.

                I see no way my wife’s sister could have hidden her kidnapping abuse from the Policia Nacional and the forensic team.

                They have been turning over stones interrogating every possible contact in 6 provinces for half year.

                Many people, whole families, have been literally pulled out from their homes for this interrogation process.

                Panam√° doesn’t treat the kidnapping of minors like the States because this is a Civil Law nation based on the French who first started the Panam√° Canal and established the legal system.

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