Waiting for the Rain In Chapala

We’ve gotten a little taste over the last ten days. Several pretty big thunderstorms came in during the overnight and dumped some serious rain.

Of course, I didn’t hear it. Slept right through. Then going off to walk along the malecon, the large puddles were a dead giveaway.

Should start to be a regular event for the next couple of months, on into September.

The lake has lost volume.

In the Fall of last year, after the rainy season, the pier you see in the picture above was partially underwater. There was barely shoreline visible. But with lots of fires to fight, plus a considerable percentage of the Guadalajara water supply comes from Lake Chapala, the water level drops precipitously into the summer.

We all welcome the rainy season.

One of the themes we’re developed in this blog is that it’s the little things that make the big differences.

And another one locked into place last week.

For the past few months, workers have been laboring on the Jesus the fisherman’s pier.  They’re almost done and one of the finishing touches is a new Chapala sign to complement the original sign at the El Centro area of the malecon.

Here’s the progression of the new sign:

Chapalans have a high regard for their city and we would say, rightly so.

 

 

 

 

Hot Fun in the Chapala Summertime

It’s been quite a week here.

Oh, nothing big, nothing earth-shattering has happened.

Life goes on. La vida calma, here in Chapala.

So, what has happened?

The hummingbirds are back!

When we set up in our new home in Chapala back in December of 2017, one of the first things we noticed was the delightful presence of hummingbirds in our backyard. A half-dozen or so. Along with a number of other bigger birds and we’ve got a menagerie back there.

Yet, the hummingbirds seem to be the center of it all.

We put up a feeder. Every week or so we’d need to refill it. We got to see hummingbirds out our floor-to-ceiling back windows and they were fed. Yet, then last year about this time, suddenly there were a lot more hummingbirds back there. Rather than once a week refilling the feeder, it was once a day, or more!

And the same has happened this year.

Typically, we’d see one hummingbird, maybe two, at the feeder at a time. Now, we find a full circle of them there. Sometimes as many as six at a time.

Sometimes while we were making the sugar water that goes in the feeder, we’d wash the feeder and leave it on our outside table.

And we’d have surprise guests at the table!

As we’ve mentioned in the past, hardly a week goes by without some sort of festival or celebration. This week was not different. Over the weekend the Chapala malecon hosted a small yet appealing and charming art festival.

And a boon for me! My favorite salsa lady was in attendance so I got to restock my supply here. Easy-peasy.

This is life here in Chapala.

Yes, there was more music this week. At the train station, the Thursday night piano recitals continued with a magnificent rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #17 along with some other pieces by Mozart and Debussy.

Alas, the jazz concert scheduled for Friday night was cancelled. However, this week we have another recital and a premium guitar concert Friday night.

Summer is just wonderful here (as is Fall, Winter and Spring)!

Until next week, be well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harpfest in Chapala

I’d heard about Harpfest for several months. Hints of it; allusions to it. Nothing specific, just that it was coming.

I don’t know about you, but Harpfest conjured up images of angels sitting on clouds, or, at the very least, musicians in well-dressed black garb playing lovely big stringed instruments.

Well, no. This is Mexico and music, like many things, happens in its own way here. And a delightful way it is.

Harpfest happened last Wednesday, starting at 1PM and ending, well, I don’t know when. I had to leave for another commitment late in the afternoon. The site was the Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo, otherwise lovingly known as the old train station.

While I was there though, I was treated to a wide array of music. Mostly bands, some with what appeared to be harps; others not.

Some of the harps do resemble what many gringos have been exposed to in the U.S. and Canada. However, the body of the instrument here is often hollow, so it resonates, like a guitar. Other harps here resemble steel guitars and are played with the instrument lying flat and is plucked from above. Here is a brief intro to the history of harps in Latin American and in Mexico.

There was a big crowd for this event. As big as any I have seen in Chapala. And interestingly enough, mostly locals with a smattering of gringos. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the procession of acts across the stage. No one’s spirits were dampened by the surprise rain in the mid-afternoon. Everyone crowded together under the tent and the music went one.

Below I offer a few videos of some of the music. I apologize for the quality of the video. It’s just from my phone. One of these days, I’ll upgrade. For now, I hope you enjoy them and maybe, just maybe, they inspire you to visit.

This was the seventh annual Harpfest. So mark your calendars for next year!

 

Hot Hot Hot in Chapala

Yup, it’s the “hot” season here in Chapala. The temp has been known to nip to 90F on occasion this time of year.

Everything sorta slows down a little. One gains an appreciation of a siesta.

Mostly, though the season is notable because it’s dry. We’ve noted the forest fires burning around both Chapala and Guadalajara.

The landscape is scattered with brown in and among  the perennially green plants here in the high desert.

The lake is at its low point of the year (so far).

Everyone is waiting for the rainy season to bring some cool rain.

Friday morning I took my usual walk along the malecon, soaking in the ambiance and the vibe of the summer lake. Then, there in front of me, a new sight.

Now there are sometimes tents alongside the malecon. Yet this was the first time I’d seen the malecon blocked by tents. Hmmmmmmm, what’s going on?

Turns out, a festival!

An environmental festival, promoting the health of the lake and the health of the community.

There were a few displays on on the ecology of the lake as well as the plant life of the area. Mostly though, the festival featured two things: food and artisans!

The festival ran Friday through the weekend and all three days it was hopping. A good time seemed to be had by all.

And today, Monday, the malecon was back to normal. Barely a trace of the festival.

We came, we had a good time, we left. Life goes on.

How wonderful!