Arrived in Guatemala on Wednesday. So much the same. Things change slowly here. My niece Christina was in Haiti on business and my sister Patty was arriving home the next day. Uber to their house, meet up with Gaby the house cleaner to get the key. The puppies were happy to see us. Stepped into our old routine of an afternoon walk.

Samba, Rayo and Tango, Christina’s 3 puppies. Love going for long walks around town.

Found a lovely spot for birding and hiking, just 10 minutes from Stina’s., Finca El Pilar. Too bad we’d never found this place in our two previous visits. A lovely natural respite.Pics

The Roufus Saberwing. A rather large and pretty hummer seen at Finca El Pinar.

Part of a little shrine along the birding trail at the Finca.

Fun plants. A very lush cloud forest area, but full of cactus and succulents as well. Could love to take a piece of this home!

A big reason for this trip was to visit during Semana Santa (Easter). Antigua is known for making elaborate “carpets” of colored sawdust in preparation for each procession. I don’t yet fully understand the process but hope to more fully before we leave. These carpets are/will all over the streets. From the uninitiated, sort of like “pop up carpets”. Then, my understanding is a procession then, sadly, walks over them along their route. What a poor description for a very religious and Holy season for Catholics. I’ll work to provide a better understanding as the days go along.

Our first carpet. This was being made by a radio station. Seems everyone gets in the action. I believe this was part of a procession and vigil at El Calvario the church near us. The vigil as from something like 11 PM to 6 am so we did not join in…. This carpet was made with pine needles flowers and white seed heads.

First they laid down a layer of green sawdust. Then use stencils to fill in the design with different colors of sawdust. The whole thing is kept moist. Wind would not be a good thing for dry carpets.

The overall look of the carpets is spectacular! Some I believe are much more elaborate.

But first, Jim and I are escaping the Quetzaltenango (Xela) for a few days.

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