Live & Retire in Mexico

Not the Computer Variety

by Dobie

Lorena's Note: Dobie and Sergio are homesteading in a former coconut plantation on Mexico's Pacific Coast. From their latest update:

Just watching the last shades of red, pink, purple, yellow -- that tropical blend, through the palm trees. Out the back door there's lightning and thunder and drizzle. Wow -- now it looks like there's a fire up in one of the palm trees - the color is so intense.

Finally finished fencing -- after putting up about a mile worth of barbed wire and 400 meters of goat fencing. Started the well several weeks ago, a bit late, but if I didn't do it now, I'd have to wait another year for the dry season again. Had it witched. They're down about 6 meters and have hit some small veins of water, but nothing big yet. They just got to the sand.

I start at one end of the land gathering up the fallen palapa leaves from the coconut palms, piling it up and burning it. By the time I get to the other end of the land, it's time to start again. Keeps me busy and out of trouble!

The rainy season -- refreshingly cool -- feels nice. The town basically turns into one big puddle pretty quickly.

Woke up with a start this morning to lightning, thunder and fierce rain, at about 5 AM, hopped in the car and drove over to cover the well -- with an assortment of poles, boards, bricks and a tarp. All around the well was slick and muddy, and all I'm thinking is - don't fall in the well -- but it's hard to see as the mounds of dirt are blocking the car's headlights and my flashlight dangling by its cord from my mouth is only helping marginally. I get it covered as best as I can. By the time I get home -- having to get in and out of the car several times to open and close the gates -- I'm thoroughly soaked and muddy. A quick shower and back to bed.

But really what I wanted to write about are the bugs -- quite the variety. So far all fairly friendly. I pretty much have my living space bug-free (shoved some old towels under the door), but there are some interesting beetles that fall from the ceiling and land on their backs with their feet wiggling around in the air. Eventually they flip themselves over and toddle off. They can fly too. One night this huge black thing appeared and started flying around the light, making buzzing noises like a bee; it looked like it could kill me. Suddenly it fell to the floor, on it's back, and I could see that it was a type of beetle. A huge mother...

Today Santos (the woman who lives here) called my attention to this rather large clump of hairy worms (about a square foot) clinging to each other and the base of a tree right outside my kitchen door. She proceeded to tell me how the worms would come in and hide in my clothes and all the hairs sting, and they're really awful and I should put out something to kill them. They looked awful. Hmmm. What do the Buddhists do about these sorts of things? I used the old pot of boiling water. I'd shrivel up and die if someone poured a huge tankful of boiling water on me. Easy solution.

Then there are the fireflies, with their neon green eyes. Sometimes they come in, as I go in and out a lot cause the fridge and bathroom and pila (water tank) are outside. When I turn the lights out I see these phosphorescent pairs of green lights, blinking on and off, moving around the room. Other worldly.

Not exactly insects, but there are lots of big grey/brown toads around too. Sometimes I'll see three or four all huddle together, kind of on top of each other. They're as still as statues. Also lots of iguanas, mostly black, they like to sit on top of the brick wall, in the full sun. And of course the small beautifully colored lizards -- some with blue tails, others with yellow, black and white spotted bodies, still others bright green.

I don't have any bird books, and know very little about birds, but there sure are lots of them around. Black with yellow tail, black with yellow head, canaries, birds of every color and song. Yesterday I saw 2 ducks, that have a nest in one of the palm trees. They were black ducks with long red necks! Sometimes in the afternoon I just stop and listen to the birds singing.

Back to the bugs, of course crickets and other critters that make a similar sound back home, but here they are much louder, or there are more of them making the noise. It's rare that a mosquito gets in. I notice there are a variety of skeeters too. The big ones pack the most punch. The little ones often fly around, but don't land right away, like they're not in attack mode.

All of the trees have what look like potato bugs crawling up them, as if in a race, but when you look closely, you see that they're just shells, clinging to the trees, who knows where the bugs have moved on to? I'm sure there are more creatures that I'm just not remembering right now. I guess with more rain, more will surface, looking for a warm, dry spot. That's it for now on this the longest day of the year when the sun is furthest north.


Women In Mexico
The Best Of Mexico
Live & Retire in Mexico
©1972-2000 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens
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