Friday, July 15, 2011


We are in the throes of the rainy season.  It has been raining off and on for the past twenty-four hours - perhaps longer because I didn't start keeping track until it was clearly an extraordinarily rainy day.

I, and the other gringos who are not accustomed to the rain yet, venture out in the early mornings before the rain usually sets in.  We take care of our errands, perhaps stopping for a cup of coffee and a visit with friends, then head back home when it starts to rain, anytime from late morning to mid-afternoon. On the way home we pass Panamanians walking in the road, enduring the rain with or without umbrellas, as part of the life they have always known.

This is the usual pattern, but this rainy season may not be usual.

As the planet gets deeper into climate change and the average temperature of the oceans relentlessly increases, the increased energy creates more evaporation and more moisture in the atmosphere.  Hence more rain.

We must get used to it. It will get worse.  The Intertropical Convergence will kick in earlier and longer.

And so today we are sitting under a "Monsoon Trof", as the meteorologists call it:

That pesky Monsoon Trof (Trough)

That Low Pressure cell centered over Costa Rica produces a counter-clockwise rotation of the string of rainstorms caused by the Intertropical Convergence, where the air currents in the Northern and Southern hemispheres collide:

End result:  Rain, rain, and more rain.

Isn't it nice to know that all those years of watching The Weather Channel have not been in vain.

And so here we are, getting used to this amazing rain.

The rain that makes this luxuriant growth possible.  The rain that feeds the plants, which feed the insects, which feed the birds, which feed the plants.  And so it goes.  On, and on, and on.

Speaking of insects, here is an interesting Long-Horned Beetle that has been seeking shelter under my front eave for the past day.  It has hardly moved, except to rearrange its legs.  Its body is about two inches long:

In the "old days" I would have just killed it without thinking twice.  Now I just let it be, and check on it from time to time.

Why should it not deserve to live any less than I?  It has its place in nature, feeding on rotten vegetation and helping to complete the cycle of life. (Update:  It was gone by the next day.)

An extraordinary rain, an extraordinary insect, for these extraordinary days.

May these extraordinary days touch you as well, wherever you are and whatever your surroundings, and may they help you appreciate the sweetness of life.


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