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.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Twinkle.

The night of Purisima in Nicaragua, there were a few twinkling lights, but the lights weren’t working in the star at the top of the Christmas tree. Instead, I waited until the moon was just right to light up the star.

IMG_5568By the way, if you are trying to get your pingback to work, try dropping the s from https:// in the pingback link. Thanks to Ambitious Drifter. :-)

A Natural Christmas in Nicaragua


“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

 

There are a few traditions that I cherish on Christmas, but not many. We haven’t decorated a real Christmas tree for over a decade. My old Christmas decorations are sitting on someone else’s mantel, hanging on someone else’s tree, or given to Goodwill long ago.

In Nicaragua, our lives are very simple during the holidays. I still have icicle lights hanging on my front porch, but they hang year-round. Instead, I find Christmas colors and surprises in my natural surroundings.

Our hot peppers become festive lights, swaying in the tropical breeze.
IMG_5651I know it’s corny – but I love ‘Jingle Bells!’ ~ Dolly Parton

That Dolly! I agree with her, but instead, our Jingle bells are on a long, pendulous banana stalk with dusky purple bracts.

IMG_5668“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
― Roy L. Smith

My favorite mango tree gifts us with small flowers in December. In January and February, we will be picking delicious Rosa Mangoes.
IMG_5670“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” Rachel Cohn

Yet, Christmas in the tropics delights us with soft tussles of feathery snow-like grass.
IMG_5658Christmas comes in many forms and colors. I’ll still make my Christmas cookies to share with all my neighbors and friends. I’ll still sing Jingle Bells. And most importantly, I’ll remember that Christmas doesn’t come from a store.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, But Not Forgotten


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Gone, But Not Forgotten.

Sometimes, I forget that there is an active volcano in our backyard. Today, Concepcion is covered with clouds…gone, but not forgotten.

IMG_5512A spectacular sunset over Lake Cocibolca…gone, but not forgotten.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Come Together Right Now


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Converge. The Nicaraguan people have converged or assembled for many things recently. Using some of John Lennon’s lyrics for “Come Together”,this is a visual story of the ways in which the Nicaraguans converge.

                     Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
                     He got joo-joo eyeball he one holy roller
                    
Nicaraguans converge at the cemetery to celebrate the life of my neighbor, Don Jose.
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Travel Theme: Life is like a Box of Crayons


“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8 color boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64 color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64 color box, though I’ve got a few missing. It’s okay though, because I’ve got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8 color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation. So when I meet someone who’s an 8 color type…I’m like, hey girl, Magenta! and she’s like, oh, you mean purple! and she goes off on her purple thing, and I’m like, no I want Magenta!”
― John Mayer

I love this quote. :-) Ailsa’s travel theme this week is colorful. So, I’m digging through the 64 color box for my most colorful travel photos.

Lourdita and Julio waiting for the party to begin in Nicaragua.
Lourdita and Julio

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular


The Weekly Photo challenge is Angular. Angular can mean acting or moving awkwardly.
It certainly applies to our active volcano, Concepcion, when she was inundated with 15 inches of rain overnight on October 8, 2014. In her wake, she left villages destroyed and huge angular cuts in her once smooth body.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement


The Weekly Photo Challenge is achievement.

We are preparing for the 4th Annual Fuego y Agua Survival Run on Ometepe Island. Every February, we follow the runners up and down both volcanoes and through jungles. It is a grueling race and most do not finish. However, for those who do survive and finish the race, it is an incredible achievement.

Last February’s course for the Survival Run.
survival run course map copyThroughout the course, the runners have to complete many obstacles to receive 4 metals.
I did not failJohnson, our local runner, is hard to beat. He won the Survivor Run two years in a row.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Minimalist. I do a lot of volunteer projects on Ometepe Island, and I find that the simple pleasures we share are the most meaningful.

I was working on setting up the new elementary school library the other day. Edwin was helping me and he proudly displayed his missing two front teeth.

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Travel Theme: Numbers


“[When asked why are numbers beautiful?]

“It’s like asking why is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don’t see why, someone can’t tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren’t beautiful, nothing is.”
― Paul Erdős

Weighing fruits in a market in Mexico
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I’m counting on you to continue! More numbers ahead.