New seasons always bring new surprises – I knew that it would be wet here in Monteverde at this time of the year. As I said in the blog yesterday, it has been really wet – although that is very recent, as in the day arrived. The rains came late and they were getting desperate for water here. Hard to believe for a rainforest but true. However, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen much more rain than sun… and I think I’ll be heading to the beach soon. It’s all panchos, hats, umbrellas and rubber boots. I sure wish I had Lori Yates’ flashy red flowered rubber cowboy boots…man, they’d be styling here!
The big surprise for me though was the delicate gossamer beauty of a termite’s wings. For most, termites is only a real big problem. Such as at Wolf’s house. In the chapter of Walking with Wolf, All Trails Lead to Home, you will read about Wolf and his termite problem in his house…well, basically waiting for them to bring the house down before he gets around to fixing it. So now his son Antonio is building them a new apartment (a barn penthouse I call it) over top of the barn. Once it is finished and Wolf and Lucky move there, they may fix up the house they have been living in for 40 years or they may just let the termites finish with it. In many places the wood is paper thin, cleaned out internally by the little pesks. What looks like wood planks and posts are now hollow paper beams. So there is a push on to finish the new living quarters before the walls literally come tumbling down.
In the meantime, as the rains begin, the termites come out and fly about and mate and lose their wings and die and….well, I don’t know what all…but I can tell you that last night as a bit of sun broke through the clouds at sunset, the sky filled with clouds of winged termites. Lucky systematically emptied her beautiful blue, green and gold glass bottle collection out of her windows and vacuumed up the termites that were resting on the ledges. I walked into my room, which has a skylight, and saw all these delicate floating petals – termite wings, tiny translucent feathers floating down from the ceiling. They were landing all over my clothes and I actually found the whole effect quite magical…but then, this isn’t my house that is hosting the hungry little critters. I doubt many people here find them delightful, but I’m trying to think up an art project that could use their shimmering beauty as a detail. Termite wings, who knew?