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Strange Things

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We’ve been here almost ten years so you would think the newness has worn off. But it seems like there is always something I’ve never seen before.

What is this? We found a total of four of these hard little balls covered with twigs sticking out of them. They are a little bigger than a pencil eraser. Joel knocked one off the gate and said he found a little yellow worm inside. I’m going to leave the others alone to see what happens.

Then recently, we found this critter crawling up the laundry room wall

It looks a lot like something I saw a few years back, and one of my readers identified it as a bagworm. https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/2014/12/08/strange-creatures/ Is it related to the other strange things? Could it be laying eggs? It carries around its house made of pieces of leaves, so maybe?

I haven’t bothered you all with bug pictures nearly as much as I did in the past, but I have a couple more to share. This is just a pretty little moth that landed on my table one night,

We chased this rather large spider out of the kitchen last night. That’s a water bottle with it for scale. We have so many and such a large variety of spiders, but this one is bigger than what we usually see.

I’ve heard of dung beetles in Africa but never expected anything like that here. We were walking one day and I noticed something rolling around in the street. It was this beetle rolling a ball of what was probably dog poop. It was fairly fast but had no sense of direction. One of the neighbors said oh yes, they have seen them before too.

Then, on a totally unrelated subject, a couple food pictures. The vegetables are $17 worth that we got from the produce guy who visits us every week. You probably recognize everything but the chayote, the green thing between the carrots and potatoes. It’s a mild squash that can be eaten raw or cooked, and is very yummy.

The other picture is chickens that were delivered this morning. We didn’t have any chicken so we bought a bit from Pricesmart (our version of Costco). We won’t do that again. Then we tried the supermarket down the street (El Rey) and that was much better, but dinner tonight? No comparison! These chickens are raised by a neighbor in his yard, and are so fresh that they were running around this morning. They are SO delicious! For $2/pound we get healthy, excellent chicken and we support our neighbor’s business, a win all around. Sure, the supermarket is less money but these are so much better.

Tonight we had one of our favorites, coconut chicken. Legs and thighs are my favorite for this. Put the chicken in a baking dish, pour over some coconut oil (the good stuff with smell and flavor). Sprinkle on seasonings of your choice (I usually use Italian and Morton’s Natures Seasons). If you want to get them going faster microwave for 6-7 minutes at this point. Sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan cheese on top and put in the oven at medium heat. Check every half hour or so, and cover with foil if the top is getting too browned. They should be ready in 1 1/2 – 2 hours, when the meat is falling off the bones.

Yes, those are some chubby chickens, about 7 pounds each. They come cleaned with the feet, necks and organs inside. I have cleaned chickens (what a mess, feathers everywhere!) I appreciate it every time they come over with these delicious, ready to cook chickens.

Other than that, just life here. There were protests blocking the street and bringing the country to a halt, but that’s in the past and life is back to normal. They lowered the price of medicines but haven’t worked out how to cover the costs with the pharmacies, so the pharmacies were closed for a while. I think now they are open again but without discounts until this issue is worked out.

We’ve had a lot of rain, more than I think is expected this time of year. Everything is growing like crazy which means more yard cleanup, which is hard to get to when it’s raining. But, I get out there when I can. One thing here, people are way less fussy about yards which is nice. Of course they like nice looking yards and most have lots of pretty flowers and food producing plants. But, if you have weeds or things are getting overgrown, nobody really cares. There is no HOA to fuss at you. Their main concern is that overgrown areas may have snakes. We have perennial peanut in our yard, a pretty ground cover that needs minimal maintenance. The locals think snakes like it and are concerned, but we see very few snakes and I’ve never seen one hiding in the peanut.

So, that’s the news of the moment, what little there is. It’s after 5 PM now and it’s been raining for about a hour. If you don’t have to go anywhere it’s very nice. It’s cooler and I’m sitting on the terrace watching it rain and listening to the birds.

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