Pouring Green

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In Costa Rica, during the green season, everything around you will be infused with green. The landscape is verdant and aromatic. It is the proverbial tropical paradise.
This opulence comes at a price. Most vegetation, or flora, as we retired biologists like to call it, thrives best under wet conditions. Our Green Season is so lush because ‘green’ is a euphemism for ‘rain’ – green just sounds so much more pleasant. Presently, our rainy season here in Costa Rica is working itself up to its October peak performance. The weather is practicing, one might say, for its imminent torrential whitewater crescendo. Last year, the October rains were mind-boggling. Sometimes they would manifest only as a gentle mist, a drizzle, then switching to unrelenting downpours. All in all, it did not cease to rain for a full ten days. Our house has a metal roof, which, during a hard deluge, becomes a gigantic steel drum, played by a demented minstrel from hell. Let’s hope, this will be a softer year in regard to torrents of hammering rain!
But even when it rains, it’s still warm. In Northern Germany, where I grew up, rain isn’t just water. It isn’t giggly fun, like we have here, dodging puddles in our flip-flops. There, it means cold, unpleasant, bone-chilling moisture, penetrating every fiber of your being. In Costa Rica it’s just noisy wetness – it’ll be over soon enough. We still have about a balmy 80ºF/26ºC every day, we still have our tropical paradise.
I’m deliberately not mentioning any of the tough problems associated with our rainy season, for example, landslides. Every region, every country has their own specific concerns dealing with natural forces that are nearly impossible to channel, let alone control. Instead, I want to show you a brief glimpse into a green season day on our mountain perch.
Daylight comes early. Around 05hrs30, we begin to make out the soft undulations of layered mountain ridges across the Central Valley.
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Within the next hour, the countryside takes on definition and color.
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Looking over to our nearest neighbors toward the Southwest, we can almost smell the Pacific Ocean just beyond the next mountain ridge, or possibly the next one after that.
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Two hours later, around 10 AM, the first billowy clouds begin to fill the side valleys and canyons. This build-up of soft, puffy clouds can lead to overcast skies or big, fat threatening thunderclouds, depending on the general atmospheric conditions both on the Pacific and the Caribbean side of the country.
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Rain showers
Thunder
Noise
Clatter
Lightning
Terror!
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All is possible,
Passing quickly
Repeat. Repeat.
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Fog rolls in and out and around, softly, gently. Filling valleys, enveloping hills, and us. Sometimes you can see wisps of milky gossamer drift through the window screens into the room. Interludes of sound-dampening fog are replaced by violent bursts of heavy rain in concert with ear-shattering thunderclaps. A cacophony of ‘Green’, which usually clears toward nightfall, so that we can enjoy the lights of Santiago de Puriscal, sitting on the terrace with a glass of Malbec.
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