The ‘house’ in the ‘woods’

Beautiful weather the last few days, but I’m on dog-walking hiatus because he managed to slice open his foot on one of the multiple garbage dumps where we walk with Syd’s five dogs.

So this photo is from a few days ago.

Shack in open area, Canelones Uruguay

According to Syd, someone spent a winter in this structure. It was intact when first I saw it.

Other trash sites include old furniture, TVs, and just about anything else you can imagine, including many things that could have been put in trash receptacles nearby.

trash pile locations, Villa Argentina norte, Uruguay

Blue dots represent trash locations; Syd probably knows more. Light blue area is generally littered. And yes, there is a pile of broken TVs and other appliances just meters from the streets that have trash receptacles, and no, not all the trash predates the receptacles.

You may recall the dog we found and the mess its owner couldn’t be bothered to clean up.

An Uruguayan friend in nearby Parque del Plata told me that he and his wife spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up the corner lot opposite them, where neighbors left their trash, when the trash containers arrived. (OBTW there was trash pickup before the containers.) Shortly after, he watched a man in his 50s walk past the trash container to dump his trash in the open lot. When confronted, the guy said, this is the way I’ve done it all my life. He was eventually trained out of that habit. It took about a year.


Exquisitely dreary

Exquisitely dreary Uruguay weather – Santa Rosa without the wind from Doug on Vimeo.

From sunny t-shirt weather the last couple days to this: perfect ruination of the weekend for which two of our neighbors ventured out from Montevideo. Sometimes pouring rain, sometimes just rain. The wind has been subdued compared to prior years (2012 perhaps the worst so far).

SPOILER: this video is just three minutes of driving. Nothing actually happens. Which is actually exactly how days like this feel. (Though I did get my Kindle library organized — aren’t you excited?)

The fish place

Fish for sale in Uruguay

There is:
Corvina (drum)
Lenguado (flounder)
Merluza (hake)
Cazon (school shark)
Angelito (angel shark)
Tambera (type of corvina, I think)
Camaron (shrimp — way too much work and tiny OBTW)
Mariscos (shellfish, seafood: not sure what they mean by this)
Lisa (mullet)

We buy only the first two. The others tend to range from weird to nasty.

A summer day in winter

It appears we’re in the veranilla — couple days of “little summer” before it gets cold again. Walked the dog in a t-shirt. Had I gone to the beach, I might have worn shorts and walked barefoot. Recall that this is the equivalent of the end of February in the northern hemisphere. Should be this way tomorrow as well.

Then the forecast for the weekend is the Tormenta de Santa Rosa, which means wind — lots of wind. And rain. And Dutch pirates not attacking Lima. But that’s another story.

First frost and new growth


I took this on Thursday morning. It went away quickly. Not as heavy frost as four years ago. I was thinking it too early in the year to have frost, so interesting to revisit that.


This afternoon, walking a slightly different route than normal, I spotted a pine tree starting over — lots of trees were lost to fire several years ago. You have to wonder how much of the existing root system feeds this. Or did it sprout from seed in the rotting trunk? I’ll have to look more closely.

Uruguay Natural (ANCAP)

NACAP's daily air pollution over Montevideo

Someone who stayed in Montevideo several years ago asked me about the horrific black cloud he saw every day over the city. I knew nothing of it, but learned it’s the product of the ANCAP refinery in the city. ANCAP is the scandal-ridden national oil company which, despite its monopoly on petroleum, alcohol, and Portland cement, and which, in response to crude oil prices dropping 60%, lowered prices at the pump by almost 3%, manages to “lose” money.

Ah yes, in the most progressive, least corrupt country in Latin America!



Where there’s smoke

I watered the yard today for the first time in a little while. I was surprised how dry everything was. I gave it all a good soaking.

Alas, the same can’t be said for the wooded areas east of here….

Smoke from forest fires east of Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay



Insane weather


It was still that temperature approaching 5:00 when I walked the dog. As soon as we hit the beach, the temperature plummeted in moments. 87.8°F to 71.6°F.


We had the Veranillo (little summer) of San Juan earlier, and expect the Tormenta de Santa Rita around in late August / early September. Typically brief warm spells result in moisture condensing on every surface. We have none right now, and we have had almost 10cm / ~4″ of rain in the last five days.




Autumn in the air

Atumn in the air, Atlántida, Uruguay

Layers, knit cap, shoes on for the beach. First time in a while. It felt like autumn earlier this year (March).

Also in the end of March last year. And end of March three years ago.

I’m not complaining that it’s been warm this year. Not at all. We had our first fire couple nights ago on behalf of Tex‘s sister from Honduras, here to take care of his affairs. I was barefoot, in a short sleeve shirt. I guess you get spoiled, living in the topics.