Weather

Rainbirds or Screaming Banshees

I got back to Ajijic around 1:00 am Central time on Sunday morning. I had been traveling since 8:30 am Eastern time on Saturday – 18 hours. Opening the door to my stuffy apartment which had been closed up for two weeks, I threw open the sliding doors in the bedroom, pressed the switch to turn on the ceiling fan, stripped down to my underwear, and hit the bed.

An unfriendly sun greeted me way too early for my weary body. But the view from my bedroom window quickly changed my mood. I was home, and it was another peaceful day in paradise.

After going out for breakfast, I was doing some unpacking. Then it started…

It sounded like a screaming banshee (whatever that sounds like) interspersed with a click like someone rewinding gears. And, it didn’t stop. I decided to go out and have a look. There was nothing to see. The noise was coming from the trees. I thought it might be a whistling in the electric lines. By this time, with the screaming in my head, I thought I was going nuts. What had United Airlines done to me this time?

I couldn’t understand why the Mexicans were unconcerned, the dogs weren’t howling in pain, and the horses weren’t rearing up and throwing their riders.

You see, I’m just a dumb, ignorant Gringo. What do I know? This was the return of the chicharros, also known as rainbirds, a cicada that’s the harbinger of the rainy season.

Noisy little creature called a Rainbird

Noisy little creature called a Rainbird

It was a welcome sound to those who understand their return marks the end of the hot and dusty dry season, and the beginning of the cooler rainy season in about six weeks (as legend has it).

So as I write this post, they’re outside doing their thing. This might be a night for ear plugs.

Want to hear what I’m talking about? Check out the YouTube video above.

How I Survived the “Blizzard of 2015”

Watching the live streams of this historic storm in Boston, I realized that the TV stations are really stretched thin. With reporters deployed from Worcester to New Hampshire to  Cape Cod, they had no one to cover the far south. So, I decided to fill the void with comprehensive coverage from south of the border.

The sun came up today at 7:30 this morning. As you can see the plows were out all night, keeping the roads clear of snow. People must have gotten up early to clear off their roofs. Lo and behold, the pool didn’t freeze over.

Dawn 0127

Street’s plowed and no snow on the roofs

 

Pool 0127

Where’s the ice on the pool?

 

The local “weather station” had already jumped all over the storm coverage as you can see below. Take a look at those non-snow totals!!

X marks the spot. That's where I am.

X marks the spot. That’s where I am.

After breakfast, I decided to take a walk down to the Malecon to check the ice conditions on the lake.

Your intrepid reporter braving the blizzard

Your intrepid reporter braving the blizzard and checking the ice conditions on the lake.

Well kids, you can leave your ice skates at home. There will be no skating on Lake Chapala today. Leaving the lake I decided to walk up Calle Colon to the Carraterra to check the road conditions and traffic.

The plows must have been out last night

The plows must have been out last night

Street repairs at the plaza. No snow day off for these guys!

Street repairs at the plaza. No snow day off for these guys!

The plows did a good job keeping the traffic moving.

The plows did a good job keeping the traffic moving.

Just to make sure I had enough bread and eggs, I ventured up to the Tuesday market at La Huerta. I got there a little late, but they still had some stuff left. Oh no! Looks like they’re running out of bread.

Exhausted from all this reporting, I needed a break. So, I stopped for a cup of coffee at La Patisserie Francais just down the street. I couldn’t resist one of their buttery, flaky croissants.

Your reporter doing the heavy lifting to bring you the news.

Your reporter doing the heavy lifting to bring you the news.

I'm gonna miss this

I’m gonna miss this

This little pastry shop is a serious French bakery. It’s owned by a French couple – he does the baking and she runs the front of the house. Unfortunately, they’re closing doors on February 1, and moving back to Paris.

Napoleons at Patisserie Francais

Napoleons at Patisserie Francais

I never bought one of these babies. I guess I never will…and only $US2.70 each!!

Trudging through the elements, I finally arrived home and turned on the live stream from Boston.

Don't ya just love it!

Don’t ya just love it!

I’ve really been negligent about my snow shoveling. I haven’t picked up a snow shovel all day, and the snow keeps piling up. So, I decided to retire to a friend’s rooftop for a little wine and cheese and think about it before the sun goes down.

Wine and cheese time capping an exhausting day of reporting.

Wine and cheese time capping an exhausting day of reporting.

In good fun, I’m your intrepid reporter signing off from south of the border.