Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cyclones in Panama?? La Nina is Visiting Me!

I'm learning more about weather patterns in Panama each new day of the "Green" season. If memory serves me right, I was told by Susan (realtor-friend who sold me this condo) that it rarely rains here. Her exact words were something like, "The worst month is October, and then it only rains at night". And the huge billboards advertising Las Olas Resort throughout Panama say "Want Sunshine? Come to Las Olas Resort at Playa La Barqueta!" So what's with the continual rain that threatens to send me back to Alaska (at least for the green season)? The rain and more time indoors with my computer have given me some weather enlightenment. The average yearly precipation for Panama is just over 3 meters (that's 118 inches!!). I just moved here from Fairbanks where it was a desert with only 12" of precipitation/year (yes, a cold desert). In Boquete, it's more like 163". And of course in Bocas del Toro, we're talking over 200". It normally is very dry on the Pacific side (where I am), but like Juan said yesterday, "It's La Nina!" When I returned from my expedition to David yesterday (to buy a 40" Sony TV so I can watch Animal Planet and my Planet Earth DVD's), I found Cyclone warnings on my computer! Of course the tropical cyclone is suppose to hit further north & west than my little condo, but still!

In spite of the threatening weather, I am still having a lovely time here. I enjoyed a 1.5 hour morning bird walk this morning & only had to open my umbrella once (for a very short period). I saw Yellow-headed caracaras, Wood storks, Parrots, Social flycatchers, some kind of a brown hawk (Savanna Hawk?). The water in the mangrove system behind my condo is VERY HIGH. I wonder if the Spectacled caiman (which I normally see) have gone elsewhere?

The good news with all this rain is that I have ordered Rosetta Stone's 3 levels of Spanish lessons. They were expensive, but came highly recommended. I learn intuitively, so this should be the ticket. With any luck, I'll be pretty fluent by Christmas!

Stay tuned! I'll let you know if I blow away! In case you've read this far & wonder about the photo.. it's a male howler monkey in a nearby tree calling for his harem.

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