Give a kid a beach and you have endless entertainment...naturally.
Guess what?! Today is un-officially SUMMER!! Here in Panama, that is. Well, I guess it's officially Dec 21st but for the rest of us it's today; when the trade winds shift, the rains essentially stop, the sun is out all day and the water turns clear as the clear blue sky above. After months and months of the life-giving rains, the sun is out and you can almost hear the flowers opening.
The climate here in Panama is pretty impressive how she can be so dramatically different from the "green season" what is our winter to "sunny season" our summer. Everyone has their more or less favorite time of year but today is literally impossible to beat.
Oh, and it just so happens to work out perfectly for those of us living in the colder, snowy climates. Actually, if you think about it, everyone living in the mountains right now is loving the new snow fall and begging for more and we are all loving the long sunny jungle and turquoise water days here and excited for more. But, as the snow piles higher, the rains in the north continue, and the frozen streets of the east linger on, the beach calls louder and louder.
It's especially calling all kids. Give a kid a beach and they will never get bored. But what's particularly great about the beach in front of our Eco Resort is that it is literally alive and well. Thankfully, nobody is out there with a vehicle "cleaning" up the organic material that feeds all the animals, crushing the slithering sand dollars, the creeping crabs, or compressing the turtles nests so there is much to see and learn about.
For example, one of my favorite things to pick up and learn about are all the drift seeds. You know the ones you see and think oh, that would be a cool jewel and they are commonly used in jewelry and other forms of art. We like to use them in our badge program with Doris. You can learn more about that on our family page.
This one in particular you have likely seen many times before is what most of us call the Sea Bean or Ojo de Venado (eye of the deer) in spanish. This bean comes from a fuzzy pod that holds about 4 seeds and hangs from the Mucuna Vine that grows in the jungle canopy around trees and plants.
Walking through the jungle with an arborist one day, he told me a funny story about seed distribution. He said "Essentially all trees are like our parents just figuring out how to kick the kids out of the house. Some fly, some swim, some get eaten, and some just put up roots right next door.
You just learned this Sea Bean is a drifter carried away by water to find a new home somewhere far, far away. The vine it comes from supports the pollinators of the jungle via its flowers, provides a place for the morphology butterfly to deposit her eggs, the seeds are food for the agouti, and is also said to have medicinal properties. We use them for our kids programs because they are fun to paint and a cool souvenir for kids that work hard to learn about nature while staying with us.
Your Friends in Morrillo,
Cari and Ryan Mackey
Owners and Hosts
Morrillo Beach Eco Resort