Is It Really 2023?

Well the holidays came and went and here it is 2023. This is like some futuristic year that I couldn’t have imagined as a kid. Anyway all the Christmas stuff is packed away and we are ready to see what this new year has to offer. Not like we had a lot of Christmas stuff to put away, we just couldn’t get into the spirit of the holidays. Kelley did manage to make some cookies and treats that we took around to some of our friends. Plus we had a few lights around the house, but that was about it for our Christmas doings. It might have had something to do with all the rain we’ve been having, but hopefully that is over and we can start this year on a dry note. Well so much for that last statement that I wrote a couple of weeks ago as we are still getting daily rain showers.

Kelley’s Christmas cookies. The chocolate ones are made with cacao from the garden.

One benefit of all these rains is that the mushrooms like it. Recently out by our front gate there was a small tree down and it was full of oyster mushrooms. Kelley brought a section of the tree back into the yard where we could keep an eye on them. At this point there are only two types of mushrooms around here that we will eat, and that’s only because someone told us they are good. Oyster mushrooms which are very good to sauté with a steak and wood ear mushrooms which Kelley puts in hot & sour soup. I know there are a bunch more we could be eating, but until someone actually points them out and tells us they are good we will not be taking any chances.

Oyster mushrooms starting to grow on a log.

One of the projects we got done around here is building more trellises for our dragon fruit. We just expanded the trellises last year, but at the rate their growing we had to do it again. The dragon fruit cactus grows really fast down here, in fact all the cuttings we are planting are from the original couple pieces Ruben brought us a few years ago. Since we are moving the original plants, there was enough cutting leftover to also put down on our other property. Come summer time we should have a decent amount of dragon fruit to eat, even if the animals do eat half of them.

The new section of trellis had to go over the top of the pineapples. By the time the new dragon fruit starts to produce those pineapple plants will be long gone.

Now that the rains are lightening up, we are getting a few sunny days and there are a lot more animals roaming around. We’ve been seeing agouties, possums, kinkajous, coatimundis and a lot of squirrels. The squirrels are a lot of fun to watch as they never slow down. I watched this young squirrel run around and climb a tall tree at least ten times before he jumped off to another tree. Maybe he’s been eating some of the coffee we have growing.

A small squirrel on a palm tree next to the porch looking at the Christmas lights.

There is a possum that climbs down the palm tree just three feet out our window every night as we are watching TV. When we see the plants moving on the tree there he is and we can get a good view from inside the house. Usually the kinkajous around us only seem to come out after the sun sets, but lately we have seen them just before the sun goes down. This one here was out over the guest house the other day and Kelley was able to get a few pictures of him.

Kinkajou eating the berries in the tree above the guest house.

We are also starting to see a wide variety of birds again. A lot of the smaller birds are migratory and we only see them this time of year. Not all of them are big colorful tropical looking birds, but they are still fun little birds to watch running around looking for food.

There have been a few red tanagers around lately.

On the other hand we are seeing more parrots, parakeets, toucans, aracaris, motmots and other bigger colorful birds around the property. The toucans we are hearing and seeing just about every day now. These three pictures of toucans were all taken on different days.

The picture is taken from our front porch.
Here’s one coming at you.
This toucan was eating the nuts in the tree above the guest house.

Almost every late afternoon I’ll have an apple or some other piece of fruit for a snack. When I’m done I’ll throw the apple core or whatever off the porch into the bush. Recently there has been a Motmot waiting for me to throw something. As soon as the piece of fruit hits the ground there he is within seconds to grab it. Even in the morning if Kelley cleans a pineapple and throws the core out, there he is to grab it. I’ve seen him sitting on the porch railing and I can actually get pretty close to him before he flies away. Motmots are such beautiful birds, especially when you can get up close to them.

A Motmot just a few feet off the porch. They really are neon blue.

Our little meat venture seems to be getting bigger and bigger. We are getting orders from people we don’t even know and a lot of our friends have standing orders on certain products as they become available. As the year ended we had sold out of everything we had made. So we decided to take a break for a couple of weeks before we started in on it again. Since we had some time we decided to make something that would be just for us. So the first week of January we made up a bunch of beef snack sticks. We had no plans of selling these, but they turned out really good. So we will get some other people’s opinions and see if this is something they would be interested in. Snack sticks like these are almost impossible to find down here. So if we can get a good price point on these, they might become something else we offer.

The next batch of beef snack sticks will be spicy.

The ground is still very wet and muddy, even though the sun has been peeking out occasionally. The temps are ranging from the mid 60°s at night to the mid 80°s during the day, which is just about perfect in my opinion. Anyway, with those conditions, we have been having some pretty good fog in the mornings. It usually only lasts for a half hour or so before it clears up. It’s still a little eerie looking, especially when you can’t see very far and you hear something moving around in the bush.

At first, I just thought my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. But no, it really was fog.

Darren was just here a few weeks ago and now he’s back again. This time he brought his sister and her husband and a couple of their friends. He got to spend some good quality time in his own home and show it off to his family. He’s getting some paintings on the walls and other personal touches that make it a home. They spent a few days up here seeing the sights before heading out to San Pedro for a little beach time. One night I fired up the pizza oven for a pizza and beer night. As I was stoking the oven with wood the smoke drifted out through the trees where the sun was shining through. It looked pretty cool with the blueish beams of lights shining on the smoke.

Beams of sunlight through the smoke and the trees.

Overall the holidays were pretty quiet and uneventful around here. We did manage to get a few projects done and sneak in a little relaxation. This next year is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year. Some of our fruit trees are finally at that stage where they’re going to produce, our meat business is keeping us really busy, we have friends scheduled and others talking about coming down this year, plus we have already reserved a few weekends over on the coast just for us. We’d love to see you down here this year, so put some time aside and give us a call, and we’ll have the guest house ready for you.

Here’s hoping everyone has a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year!


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