It’s the rainy season in Nicaragua. After the all day rain yesterday, I walked around our property to see how the people, plants, and insects reacted. Did you know that…?
Butterflies dart into protective vegetation and scramble beneath leaves when dark skies, strong winds, and the first raindrops signal an imminent storm. Can you imagine weighing about 500 milligrams with a massive 70 milligram raindrop pelting you? It would be like trying to dodge a water balloon with twice the mass of a bowling ball.
During the long dry season in Nicaragua, the cattle have very little to eat. But, after the rains start, the farmers plant a grass like sugarcane for their cattle to eat. I imagine the cows are salivating thinking of the nutritious grass growing in Rudy’s fields behind our house.
Pitaya or Dragon fruit begins flowering in June or July in the tropics, after the rainy season starts. The Pitaya flowers are only open for one night starting at 10 pm. We missed the flowering of this Pitaya fruit, but we have many more fruits getting ready to flower.
Dragon fruit is normally pollinated by moths that are active at night, but we are going to try to pollinate the flowers by using a small paintbrush to transfer pollen from the stamens to the stigmas inside the flowers.
The Nicaraguan fishermen know that right after a rain is a great time to cast their nets. The runoff carries insects, frogs, and other small prey, bringing the fish closer to the surface.
If it is a heavy rain, the lake will rise and the fish will make a strong move toward the banks.
There is a science of puddles. When I taught elementary school, we would go outside before a storm to predict the location of puddles. After the storm, we would map the puddles and collect data. What signs of life, plant and animal, can be found in a puddle? I inspect the puddle for mosquito larvae. No mosquito larvae in this puddle. Whew!
After the rain, the laucha chugs on the calm waters toward Moyogalpa. However, during a storm, the lake can become rough, the waves high, and the laucha can be tossed around like a toy boat. If you sit inside the launcha during heavy rains, you are sure to get soaked.
The sunsets are more dramatic after a storm. There’s often a slanting band of clouds on the back side of the departing weather system, and that can act as a sort of projection screen for the low-sun colors, better than a horizontal band would. The slant means it captures more of the orange and red light, and if the cloud is thin enough, it will reflect those colors down to you. Also, storms wash a lot of the big particles out of the air. I have hundreds of photos of our spectacular sunsets after the rain.