(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.)
Monday, September 3
After several ho-hum sunsets in a row, last night’s was a stunner, perhaps the best I’ve witnessed from my perch atop the hill. But the best was yet to come.
Generally, clouds roll in around sunset and when there aren’t clouds, the moon has been at or near its full phase. For a brief time last night, before the gibbous waning moon rose, the skies cleared and the stars burst forth. Venus dominated the western sky while the southern sky was sizzling with stars. It lasted only about an hour before the rising moon put a damper on things. New moon is Sunday and I’m praying we get at least one clear evening around then.
I had a much-needed conversation with Lara yesterday. I miss her terribly. She assured me all is going well at home, and I assured her I’m not putting heads on stakes atop the hill while creating a demented jungle empire down here. As we talked, I sat on the deck of the Treehouse watching yellow fly-catchers snag bugs mid-flight in fits of acrobatics. They’re becoming one of my favorite birds here. Big personalities and total showoffs.
On the way up to the shack for evening vespers I managed to spook an agouti, who let out a strange series of guttural yet high-pitched grunts while bunny-hopping away from me. He stopped briefly and when I started talking to him (I talk to agouti frequently here) he panicked again, disappearing in a swirl of underbrush and distress sounds.
And finally, someone raided the rambutan (mamón china) tree, ravaging much of the ripe fruit and greatly diminishing what I had considered my own personal strategic reserve. The offender likely was avian. In response, I gorged myself on most of the remaining fruit rather than risk losing it in a second attack. I also surveyed the other fruit trees on the property. The pineapples are going great guns, and I pulled a beautiful lime off the lime tree. The soursop still have a way to go but they’re cool looking as hell …