Today we saw our first surf competition! It was incredible how many people came out to Rincón! The roads were backed up and we had to walk quite a ways to Domes Beach where it was being held. And we could see why! The day was absolutely gorgeous and it was fun to watch the sport that put Rincón on the map. There were a lot of very talented surfers and for many visitors it was a good reason for a huge beach party complete with coolers containing your drink of choice, plenty of people watching and listening to music.
We continue to get a lot of work done in the yard. We have cleared close to 2 acres of overgrown weed trees and vines. It is intensely physical work and seems endless, but we are definitely making a dent and digging out from the tangled rat’s nest that results from 10-20 years of neglecting a property in the tropics. We are planning to leave a good portion of the other two acres fairly raw and use it as a jungle sanctuary hiking trail (or paintball area maybe?).
We call this Hawk Lane as the birds swoop through and it continues to open up
Britton has built the base of the chicken coop and the chickens are doing well. We’ve had a couple of fires to help us clear and some friends and neighbors have helped us and enjoyed the mesmerizing beauty of a fire with us. They called the dinners that are cooked directly on the fire “hobo dinners” which is a cute name. I think it would be fun to have a traditional Puerto Rican pig roast (lechón) some time too!
Campfire with friends
But in addition to all the work that goes on at the farm, we have also been having some fun off the compound.
We recently went to the Grand Opening of our friends’ business: Rincón Beer Co. in downtown Rincón and had a great time drinking their artisanal beer and listening to a local band called Mijo de la Palma.
I have also recently started going to yoga at the beach platform at the balneario with some friends. It is so peaceful and beautiful to stretch into a pose and look out over the water as the waves lap at the sand and the pelicans and white clouds float across a bright blue sky. We are going to try a Zumba class right near there soon as well. Meanwhile, Britton has been swimming in the sea.
Ohmmmm and Namaste
Additionally we have been meeting new friends and trying out new restaurants. The other night we had a rooftop dinner with friends and watched a gorgeous sunset. Good friends, food and fun in a great place. Esta es la vida buena. This is the good life.
When the chicks have a problem they will let you know. They start to chirp and squeak. Sometimes this means they need water, or food. Sometimes it also means they are playing football with a nail, yeah they do that… Run from one side of the chicken tractor to the other with the nail or bugs while being chased by the rest of the flock.
The other day we heard them squawking and Cassie looked out the door to see what they might be up to. She says “Uht oh BK, some of the chicks are loose!”. They had apparently snuck out thru the bottom of the chicken tractor that was laying on some uneven surface. We had made one and then a larger “chicken tractor” because they had quickly outgrown the bathtub and a chicken tractor never has to be cleaned…only moved. Anyhow, we were able to catch 2 of the 3 fairly easy but there was a small leghorn that simply didn’t want to be caught and she is, as we found out, much faster than we are. Plus she can slip thru a chain link fence with ease and taunt us.
We spent quite a bit of time chasing her before we came to the realization that it just wasn’t going to work. She has some talents we simply don’t. Speed.
I had just about given up when I decided that we are humans and should be able to outsmart a baby chicken. Right?! So I devised a ‘cartoon trap’.
I put some bait under a box and held the box up with a stick attached to a string. We tried food as bait, no dice. We tried water, nope. It came to our attention that the only thing she wanted was to be with the flock but she couldn’t find a way back in. So I made a small cage out of wire and put another chick inside it so she could not escape.
It worked perfectly! In about 2 minutes she had walked over to see the other chick and was under the box. Trapped!
Britton and I were talking the other day about seasons and how here in Puerto Rico most people just refer to the seasons as the dry season (or high season for tourists) which is the winter and the wet season (or low season) which is summer. But there does seem to be some sort of spring going on right now. I watch the weed seeds emerging and many of the trees are in bloom and setting out new growth.
I would say we planted our test gardens at the right time as they have really taken off. The light spectrum/photoperiod seems to be different here and things seem to flower earlier than they did in the long days of Colorado summers. Still, I think our gardens will produce a good amount of food.
And we have made a lot of progress in the clearing of the acreage below. It’s hard work clearing out overgrown land that has been taken over by trees and vines for the last 20 years. We finally have some room to move around a bit more. We will soon be planting more fruit trees just in time for the rainy weather to keep them hydrated so that we won’t have to water them by hand anymore.