Saturday, August 15, 2015

July and Aug Walking, 2015 -- Flowers and Quechua

A little behind in posting, so we are combining last month and some of this one, to get caught up and share with  you.
A couple videos at the end.

It is winter here in the Andes, but some flowers are blooming at our altitude of about 8300 ft.

Even the citrus trees on the porch are blooming and producing fruit!  Who would have thought they would do that in this cold.  We know our fellow Master Gardeners like to see the flowers, so here they are.

A favorite horse in Paute.

Changing river views, depending upon the weather.  The volume and intensity depends on the rains (or not).

School is out for a couple months.  Here is a cute place for children to keep busy.

One of our favorite burger joints has moved to a bigger location, open soon.

Construction still busy and men at work modernizing city wiring.


The Quechua language is spoken by several million folks in the Andes.  The Incas adopted it as their language, but it is older than that and still spoken today.  Here is some music from Peru. 
This is what Quechua sounds like!

Here is an amazing video on building a bridge, the Inca way.  Thanks, Ruth!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Walking -- Baby Hummingbirds!

June is a month of cold and mostly overcast and rains as we go into our winter months.
Not much sun, just a glimmer of hope some days.  Mostly grey and cold.

We often say that wintering over in the Andes is highly overrated, especially if you need some sun every now and then.  Very cold, icy, windy and grey.  Maybe next year we will winter over on the beach somewhere!  The cold can just eat into you and make you crabby and sometimes sick.

This month we celebrated Corpus Christi with all the displays of candy and there were some protests, too.

Also in June, there are still flowers blooming and the birds are making babies!

We noticed our second nest in one of the lemon trees on the porch.  It was the same type as the one we had seen earlier (that nest is now long gone...we think maybe the birds recycle the materials?)

One day we saw the Mom bird sitting on the new nest...a hummer!  Of course, we had to see the nest contents while the Mom was out and about...twins!  Little, tiny black furry beings, busy growing and staying warm together.  Each day we checked, being careful and quiet so we didnt worry Mom (who was mostly out during the day.)  Babies continued to thrive and grow, so we knew Mom was taking good care of them..

(We were so taken with the babies that we took many pics through the 3 weeks.  We are posting just a sample. Note the tiny beaks.  The black stuff around the edge of the nest is moved there by the Mom.
 It´s bird droppings. )

After about 3 weeks and more colorful feathers, the babies stood up on the edge of the nest and tried out their wings!  Watching from afar, we could see Mom chirping to encourage them! Babies reminded us of little toddlers, a little unsure of their balance as they take those first few steps. We felt so proud and happy to have witnessed these little miracles!

The next day, babies were gone, probably so done with the nest and eager to fly away on the wind.

A couple days later, Mom was showing the babies the flowers on the porch.  She then parked them in one of the bottle brush trees.  How sweet was that!


Our porch is becoming a wonderful birdie haven.  We put out a little food and water and they found us, up 6 floors.   Hummers, yellows, blacks, sparrows and more.  Some bring their babies, too.

One Mom sparrow only has 1 working leg.  She drags her tail and one wing to keep her balance.  One day we noticed she was feeding a fluttering baby, with her bad leg tucked up. A gust of wind sent her tumbling, poor thing.  She was also having a hard time drinking from the water bowl.  We put a flat saucer out for her water to make it easier for her to drink.  Now, the saucer has become the water of choice for all the birds.  We like to say we now have a universal design, disabled friendly birdie haven!

We really are enjoying our birdie friends!  Endless entertainment that just makes us smile.
We are also grateful for our alpaca sweaters and gloves and hats and blankets as we go into our winter in the Andes.

PS ...  blue skies today!  Hope!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Walking -- Part 2, Pachacuti

(All of the pictures here were taken at the Central Bank Inca gardens in Cuenca.

Huayna Capac, Pachacuti's grandson, lived here, in the 2nd largest Incan City, after Cusco, Peru.)

This month  taught us more about "Pachacuti".  This word is not only the name of a great Inca, but now also can define an event that changes your entire life.  For the Incas, their Pachacuti was the arrival of the Spaniards.

A personal Pachacuti could be related to a marriage, divorce, birth, death, or another major life-altering event. A Pachacuti could be a massive, life-changing natural disaster, like a huge earthquake or tsunami.  It's as serious as a heart attack or 'the C word' (cancer) or as simple as the final word, 'good-bye'.

You can read more about the man, Patchacuti ('Earth Shaker') here.  He gets credit for expanding the Inca Empire, big-time.