In my last post, I wrote about all of the flowers there are to be seen around Mèrida, while up north, "fall color" has as different meaning. I was able to get nice, saturated colors in my pictures, and flowers were looking especially fresh and lush, due to the fact that it has been gray and raining here for several days...not something that's a frequent occurrence in Yucatàn. Here, during the season which typically runs from June through about November, an afternoon rain following a hot day is usually the thing. This week's weather looks more like rainy Southeast Alaska than sunny Southeast Mexico.
This was the view from my kitchen yesterday afternoon:
Yesterday, we woke up to the news that a tropical depression which rapidly formed off the coast of Nicaragua had quickly become Hurricane Ida, and was predicted to graze the coast of Quintana Roo, affecting the coastal resort areas including Cancun, which is not far from here as hurricanes blow, about Monday. I recall a week or so ago having a conversation one cool day with an elder neighbor, a lifelong resident of the area, who confidently told me that once the cold fronts started coming through, as they began to some weeks ago, hurricanes are just about impossible. Well, Ida seems to have remained officially a hurricane long enough to do damage in Nicaragua, and then began to weaken, but not before I spent a few minutes running down a mental checklist of preparations I would have to quickly make should we be threatened with a real storm. Now it looks as if the storm will strengthen again as it heads over water, that we will get rain and wind this weekend, but probably not much worse than we have been experiencing. However, that could change.
The good news is that it is raining. The bad is that it came a bit late. We had a very, very dry summer rainy season here with terrible heat, and lots of crops failed. This burst of moist weather is good for us, but won't help the producers, particularly small farmers and campesinos in the countryside who lost corn, vegetables, and animals over the last few months.
People here are talking increasingly about the erratic weather as yet another signal from Mother Nature about global warming, and there are frequent articles in the local paper on the topic. Weird weather of a sort that the oldest and wisest folks have not seen in their lifetimes, serious coastal erosion and loss of habitat are things that I read about in the Alaska news; the identical topics are on the agenda here. It's about time we started taking these things more seriously. If you haven't seen Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, please watch it. If you have seen it and done nothing, please take the time to watch it again. It's available on YouTube.