Thursday, May 21, 2020

What day is it? Where am I?

Cooped up at home it is easy to forget what day it is. Something that is the norm for cruisers has made its way to land life. But added to that, as a cruisers we often have to ask- "What country am I in?" On more than one occasion I have opened my eyes in the morning only to realize I don't know exactly where I am. Now we are here in Panama, a country with many interesting areas, the Panama Canal, the San Blas Islands, and a variety of interesting landscapes to explore. Sitting in the marina now for two months we are not allowed to explore any of it. How do we know we are in Panama? Here we are in a marina surrounded by English speakers, we walk the nearby golf course seeing generic scenery. It could be the ninth hole in any tropical country.
We have had to look hard to try to find things that are unique to where we are, and in a way that has been a plus. I am reminded of the time when we took our then pre-teen son, Rivers, to yet another art museum, he was less than thrilled and would much rather have been outside rolling down the hill. I made up a game for him. I handed him a map of the museum and a pencil. The instructions were as follows: count the number of naked bodies you find in each room and write the number on the map. The winning room is the one with the greatest number of nudes. This was a win- win situation. Rivers had fun looking for naked people and I had fun because he was examining the art so closely and pointing out to me things that I would have otherwise missed.

Walking the golf course reminded me of this game because we began to search out flora and fauna that we might not have observed had the scenery been more interesting. These are some of the things we have found.

There were several ponds along the course. We came to recognize the different animals that inhabited each pond.

Anhinga or "snake birds" known for their long snake-like neck were on one pond, turtles in another. Unfortunately my pictures of the birds all came out rather blurry! It is much easier to photograph plants, they have less of a tendency to run away. So, in keeping with the idea of looking closer I present the following images:

Ladybug on the Bougainvillea

A jumping spider that quickly hid on the other side of the leaves.

The sounds we hear are amazing. I hope the following link works for you

This is a recording of the cicadas. At times the sound was deafening. Listening to a TED talk on sounds I learned that certain frogs croak in waves similar to the sounds we were hearing from the cicadas. All together and loud, and then fading out before returning with another round of noise. Apparently this is a defense mechanism. When predators are presented with such a wall of sound they cannot pick out the individuals to munch on.

These are the critters who are making so much noise.

Not sure what this one is, but it has very striking markings.

And the blossoms on the Flamboyant trees in all their glory:

While it has been fun searching for the small things and those things that give us clues as to where we are, we wish to move on, there are so many other places to explore.

Here was a big clue that we are in Panama!

Looking for that glimmer of hope in the future.

By the way, for those of you that are interested, the clear winner in the art museum search was the room with the Greek art, in particular one sarcophagus with hundreds of bodies carved into it!

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