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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Army Ants!

I was sitting outside this morning, absorbed in something on the computer, when a couple of large ants strolled by on the screen. Lance came outside at that moment and noticed there were swarms of them on the patio.

We unplugged the computer, grabbed it and ran inside. We shut both doors to the outside. The windows are screened so - hopefully - they cannot get in the house that way.

There is nothing you can do about army ants when they decide to make a call. If they get in the house, just go away for a couple of hours. They will do a thorough job of cleaning your house of other insects, crumbs on the floor, etc., and then they leave. Our invasion lasted about an hour or so.

Our ants today were marching in a fairly wide swath up our road and some were diverting left into our laneway to see what they could find. The darn things bite. One bonus of their visit was the appearance of quite a few birds and I think they were eating the ants. We had several blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina) - a new bird for me, assuming I identified it correctly.

Scruffy, our neighbor's dog, chose this time to come and visit us. We could see him shaking his feet so he must have walked right through the path of the ants. We quickly brought him indoors and cleaned his feet off, stomping on ants as they fell off him. I said to Lance, "It was never this exciting in Canada".

Here is a short video I made of the invasion:



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Atenas Painters Association, Costa Rica - First Art Show

The Atenas Painters Association's first art show was a resounding success from all accounts. We are a group of, presently, seven painters living in Atenas and surrounding area. Each of us has different styles of painting - abstract, realism, etc., and we offer high quality work. We are hoping to add Tico artists to our group in the near future.

Our show was held at Hotel Colinas del Sol in Atenas, which was a perfect venue, with plenty of parking and an excellent restaurant and bar.

Friday night, August 29, 2014, was a private wine and cheese opening reception. Saturday and Sunday, August 30 and 31, we were open to the public. Turnout on all days was excellent and sales were made.

Considering this was our first ever show, we think it went very well and we will definitely be holding more shows.

Many thanks to Gordon Balter for organizing us, Sharon Balter for welcoming guests at the door, Al Alexander and Pete Snyder for making the panels, easels and hanging the lights and Colinas del Sol and staff for all their assistance. Thank you to all who attended our show and made it such a success. Special thanks to Claudia and Barry for the lovely bouquet of flowers they brought me.

Sold! My work, "In Tandem/En Tándem" acrylic on canvas, 34" x 42"
Al Alexander's art
Jocelyn Farquhar's art on the left and Harriet Sheppard's work on the right.
Pete Snyder's art
Sheila Nelson's art, on the right
Sheila Nelson's art on the left.
My display
On the left, artist Julie Jones, and my work to the right of Julie's.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Atenas' New Feria (Farmers' Market)

On August 28, 2014, Atenas' new feria opened, also known as Feria del Agricultor. The Friday farmers' market has relocated from the town of Atenas to the radial road that connects Atenas to highway 27.

Only time will tell if this new location will work out. We can no longer do our weekly farmers' market shopping right in Atenas. Now, the only way to get to the new market is by driving or taking the free feria bus from Atenas which runs back and forth every hour. I worry that the Atenas Costa Ricans have lost their market right in the heart of their town - the market that they have been shopping at for years and years - the market that they could walk to every Friday and buy their week's worth of fruit, vegetables, chicken, eggs, flowers, herbs, and also visit with friends and neighbors.

On the plus side, the new feria has a permanent roof over it and it is wide and spacious. There are two sodas and we had lunch there today - good food, good prices. We bought cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, water apples, mamóns and sausages.

Here are photos of some things we bought today. Everything is grown locally.


Water Apples
Mamón, aka lychee, rambutan
The new feria
Fresh cut flowers.