May 21, 2013

Finally! The rains are back...

Never thought I'd wish for rain in Boquete, but there's been a severe water shortage this year and Panama City has entered energy crisis mode on a few occasions.  Businesses and schools closed down, shop hours were shortened, and air conditioning was rationed in the warmer areas.   This week holds the promise of heavy electrical and rain storms, according to the national weather and news.    Took advantage of the overcast skies and cooler weather to work in the garden, transplanting numerous rose bushes and plotting areas for new fruit and vegetable plants.   

Hoping things don't pan out as they did back in November 2008 when the Caldera river flooded and wiped out two bridges plus several business establishments and a few homes.   That year, people keep reminding me,  summer was unseasonably dry like now, and then winter came back with a sudden vengeance around August or so.   At least, with the new boulder reinforcements along the river banks in town, the bridges and businesses are probably safe.   

We need the rain at this time and so I welcome it.    Here's a photo of my latest blooming orchid,  enjoying the customary dampness of Boquete.   I never grow tired of looking at them.  

May 4, 2013

Friday Night Fun at Amigos

Stopped in at Amigos to enjoy some live music with a few friends.  Was pleasantly surprised by the Adam Reach Band, which was really cooking this evening.  They were slotted to play from 7 pm until 10 pm, but   continued to entertain us until a quarter to midnight.  Another surprise was an impromptu performance by a visiting recording artist from Canada,  Jacelyn Holmes, who sang a few of her own songs accompanied by the Panamanian band members [who had never previously heard them].  Ms. Holmes has quite the stage presence and as the night wore on, the musicians really clicked.  They were playing more  for themselves than the audience, and the result was absolutely delightful.  

I've made a few attempts to upload a cell phone video of the jam session, but it just isn't working.  So I've added the link below, which will take you to a site where you can hear a sampling of  those songs which  Ms. Holmes sang for us.

It was a truly enjoyable evening---the kind you tell your friends about, and one of those that happen often in Boquete.  But as is also the case, it was an improvisational one that can't be pre-arranged for out of town guests, or recaptured for those that missed it....

May 2, 2013

Boquete Flowers

Boquete's high altitude and cooler climate discourage the growth of many tropical flowers found in Panama's lowlands and in warmer-climated Costa Rica.  It's been a trial and error process learning which flowers will flourish in my yard and which ones won't make it.  Orchids, of course, thrive in Boquete.  Any reasonably prudent gardener can achieve success with them here.  Roses and anthuriums also do fairly well.  So do lillies.   But the flower most characteristic of Boquete, in my humble opinion, is the hibiscus.  Put any old stick or cutting of a hibiscus in the ground here, and it will reward you quickly with sturdy bushes and a myriad of delicate blossoms.  One can see the wide variety of colors, textures, and petal formations for this genus on any short walk through Boquete neighborhoods.  Below are a few photos I shot recently while working in the yard or running around town.