Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow


The Weekly Photo Challenge is: Yellow

Yesterday, I was sweeping my porch and swept up a beautiful yellow male Io moth. At first, I thought it was dead, but when threatened he flipped his forewings forward exposing the large eyespots on his hind wings.

Most people in Nicaragua are afraid of gusanos, or caterpillars. I had no idea why, until I researched the venomous sting of the Io moth caterpillar. Virtually the entire bodies of larvae are protected by venomous spines. When spines penetrate the skin, the tips break off and release the venom.
IMG_1397His eyespots have white highlights resembling reflections of vertebrate eyes.

IMG_5737He rested and permitted me to take his photo.
IMG_5744The adult Io moths are strictly nocturnal. They remain motionless during the daytime and mimic the yellow or brown leaves that are common here.
IMG_5750I set him on a blue bottle for a contrast. He didn’t make a fuss, and remained motionless for his photos.
IMG_5755That evening, when I checked on him, he had flown away…probably searching for a mate. The females always emit a pheromone to call the males from approximately 9:30 pm to midnight.

The life cycle of an adult Io moth is short-lived. The adults do not eat, and when the mating process is complete, they drop lifelessly to the forest floor.

The Nicaraguan Piggy Bank


Have you ever wondered why the pig is associated with saving money? Some say the origin of the piggy bank was derived from the type of clay 15th century European potters used, called Pygg Clay. In the early 20th century, potters began to shape the clay in the form of pigs and people would save their loose coins in the pygg jars.

However, in Nicaragua, the piggy bank is literally a piglet. They call their pigs, the Bancos de Chanchitos, which means piggy banks. The Nicaraguans buy the piglets when they are 8 weeks old for about 800 cordobas ($30). Then, when they are 9 months old, they are ready to butcher for Christmas nacatamales and chicharrón, a dish generally made of fried pork rinds.

Earlier this year, we bought Marina one of Theresa’s piglets. The piglet is now 9 months old and ready to be butchered for nacatamales and chicharrón for the Christmas feast.
Raising piglets for Christmas dinner is a long tradition in Nicaragua.

The process starts with an hembra (female) in heat. Chela, Theresa’s huge hembra, is ready for Barracho the Boar.

IMG_0787 Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue with the Circle of Life


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Dialogue.

The nourishing rains have finally begun in Nicaragua, which reminds me that life is a full circle sustaining and feeding us all.

We
all have a place in the circle of life. Always remember who you are.

IMG_4018IMG_4029

Mama Said There’d be Days Like This


“Love is a piano dropped from a fourth story window, and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” ~Ani Defraco

 

Two geckos were mating in our bedroom door jamb. Unbeknownst to us…we shut the door! Wrong place! Wrong Time!
IMG_4010

Oh,there’s a lot more ahead!

Show Me Them Boobies!


Did I get your attention? I love Blue-Footed Boobies! A bumpy hour boat ride off the coast of Puerto López, Ecuador ushered us to the isolated Isla de Plata, known as the poor man’s Galápagos or Silver Island because of the large deposits of guano that stain its dark cliffs. Some say that the uninhabited island derived its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake.

Indeed, there is treasure to be discovered here, but not in the way you would presume.  Take a walk with me . Let’s see if we can spot some Blue-Footed Boobies…my favorite comical birds.

A sea turtle greets us. I think he’s saying, “Welcome to Isla de la Plata.”
IMG_3156 Wait! Don’t leave yet. Boobies ahead.

Chasing Butterflies


“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

From a very early age, butterflies and moths have been my totems. I have always been enchanted by their graceful movements and their vibrant colors. Although they symbolize different things to different cultures, universally, they represent change and transformation.

IMG_1901

Keep chasing the butterflies.Read on.

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the First Day of Christmas


For The Weekly Photo Challenge: This week, we want to see photos that focus on one thing. Here is my interpretation of  “On the First Day of Christmas” Nicaraguan style. Instead of “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree: “On the first day of Christmas Nicaragua gave to me….

One hummer humming

                                                       One hummer a humming

One cormorant a flying

                                                     One cormorant a flying

One champion cock a fighting

                                                 One champion cock a fighting

One parrot a mimicking

                                              One parrot a mimicking

One pink chick a preening

                                                    One pink chick a preening

One heron a fishing

                                                        One heron a fishing

One owl a dizzy

                                                             One owl a dizzy

One hurracha a robbing

                                                           One Urraca a robbing

One black bird a injured

                                                       One black bird a injured

One nest a tweeting

                                                            One nest a tweeting

And a chicken in every Christmas pot

                                             And a chicken in every Christmas pot

Happy holidays to everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected


“Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.”
― Ron Hall

We are in the states for Ron’s mother’s celebration of life. The day of Jane’s celebration of life, we were greeted with unexpected surprises throughout the day. Most people want to be circled by safety…we prefer the unexpected.

                                                 Using an outhouse.
IMG_0176                           A headless scarecrow?
IMG_0180                                                   Snow???? Brrrrrr.
IMG_0041                              A little bird landed on Ron’s fingers.
IMG_0165                                      We found a secret tunnel at the museum where Jane’s
                                                    celebration of life was held.
IMG_0114

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Look Inside Our Finca


“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?” – S. Parkes Cadman

IMG_2462“There are no [hummingbirds] in last year’s nest.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

hummingbird nest                   “To every cow its calf; to every book its copy.”~ Irish Proverb
IMG_6033Princesa delivers Napolean…with a little help from her friendly vet.

 

“The so-called miracle of birth is nature getting her own way.”~ Camille Paglia

 

IMG_6066“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in[side] the heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

My interpretation of what’s inside for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside.  Inside our finca on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV


“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.”
― Brooks Atkinson

Can you tell the top from the bottom of the tree?
IMG_2943

My sweet Princesa drooling over mangoes. princesa copyMy awesome son and his fiancé taking the photo.
Cory and Tina copy