huge rubythroat push - 2017-09-28
nutriberry frenzy - 2017-09-26
people are going to be called upon to choose where they stand, i feel it coming very soon - 2017-09-23
as the world ends, I collect all the hummingbirds to this yard... - 2017-09-20
this guy, though, you know how they are all red and flashy until you get the camera out and then they turn their jewels black so you can't photo them? - 2017-09-17
Read my new book, The 10 Best Things You Can Do For Your Bird at Amazon or at many other fine distributors like Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and more.
By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.
A bibliography of my published books and stories.
Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars. |
|A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!!
The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates
on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit
the official fan site, Passages in the Void..
|My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.|
|HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including
a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.
some random things to know when traveling to panama
2003-06-18 - 10:04 p.m.
© 2003 by Roger Williams, all rights reserved
Panama is a hot, humid nation near the equator, so it does not have
long summer days. The locals may call the rainy season "winter,"
and, at this time, intense drenching rains can occur. The humidity is
on a par with southern Louisiana -- hot and sticky, demanding frequent
dips in the pool or shower. Unlike the dry heat of the western United
States, Panama's June weather doesn't put you at risk of getting overheated,
know you are hot and sweaty, and you will be sure to consume lots of
Time Zone: The time is the same as Eastern Standard Time, or
Central Daylight Time, hence there is no jet lag for visitors from
Louisiana or other central time zone locations in our summer.
Languages: Spanish is the official language of Panama, but many people
speak at least a little English. People are extremely friendly and
are willing to work with you, even if you don't
You don't need to take any special medicines to visit Panama City or
the Canal zone area. You will probably want to bring insect repellent,
but they don't even come close to getting the numbers of mosquitoes
in June that we get in good birding areas at this time right here
You can drink the water right out of the tap, use ice cubes made
from tap water, and eat salads and fresh fruits and vegetables without
concern. The hotels are happy to sell bottled water to the paranoid, but
don't bother unless you really prefer the taste of your favorite bottled
water, because we drank tap water and ate salads and raw fruit like crazy,
and we were just fine. There were no episodes of "traveler's trots." I am
not a doctor, and I'm not responsible if you follow my advice and acquire
some rare disease, but I honestly don't think you will.
You don't need to change your money, since Panama in its wisdom "prints"
its currency, the balboa, by the simple act of stating that dollars circulating
in Panama are balboas. Since it is physically the same as the U.S. dollar, it
is of course of the same value. Nice and easy. Panama does mint its own
coins, and you may wish to keep a few that you get in change as a souvenir
of your trip.
We brought a bunch of fives and ones to use as tips. Some restaurants and
bars automatically add a 10 percent service charge for the tip. Others
don't. So read your bill, so you will know whether you need to add more
for the tip. Our travel agency suggested that we tip tour guides $4 per person
for each half day tour. We just
rounded this suggestion up to $5 per person because it seemed more convenient. We tipped
$20 for the three hour tour of Pipeline Road as we were the only two people
on the tour, and the guide went above and beyond the call of duty with his
Crime: Panama City and Gamboa appear to be extremely
low crime areas. Even the cab drivers were honest, and street hustlers appeared
to be nonexistent. Now, I realize that the United States is one of the most
violent nations in the world -- in the 1980s, New Orleans used to boast
that you were more likely to die of violence in New Orleans than in Beirut -- so it
might not mean much to say you are more likely to encounter crime in any U.S. city
than in Panama City. However, while I would never advise anyone to abandon their common sense,
I have to say that we felt extremely safe wandering around the city
pretty much at random.
Birds: You will need a copy of A Guide to the Birds of
Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras by
Robert S. Ridgely and John A. Gwynne, Jr. As Panama has around
1,000 species of birds, this guide weighs a freakin' ton.
If and when I return, I'm going to see if there is an
edition with just the color plates, suitable for carrying around as I
bird. If not, I plan to photocopy the color plates and have them
bound for convenient carrying, so I can leave this huge book in the hotel room
for checking at my leisure.
Birding can be an overwhelming experience because of the number of species.
I would recommend reviewing at least a few common species before your
trip, so that you will spend less time flipping through the guide and more
time observing birds. At a bare minimum, try memorizing the field marks
of the following:
- Ruddy Ground Dove
- Orange-Chinned Parakeet -- a small, common, noisy bird often called
Brotogeris by pet owners. You will recognize it quickly by its
- Red-Lored Amazon -- after you learn to recognize the "shivering" effect
of the Amazon's wings beating in flight, you will be able to recognize the
Amazona genus from a great distance. Pinning any given bird down to a species is more difficult, as Yellow-Crowned "Panama" Amazons also occur; however, all birds that I was able to check turned out to be the much more common Red Loreds.
- Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird -- an extremely common and combative species. It makes
a rather noisy rattle in flight, which might be caused by the wing feathers rather
than its song.
- Red-Crowned Woodpecker
- Cocoa or Buff-Throated Woodcreeper
- You will save yourself endless page flipping and cussing and fussing if
you can commit to memory all of the "large tyrant flycatchers"
on Plate 23 -- especially Tropical Kingbird; Panama, Gray-Capped, Rusty-Margined and
Social Flycatcher; and both Kiskadees. You'll see Streaked Flycatcher too but
it's easier to identify.
Black-Headed and Common Tody-Flycatcher
- Clay-Colored Robin is plain but frequently encountered -- check for the
Robin/Thrushlike silhouette and movements
- Know your Crimson-Backed Tanager, Palm Tanager, Blue-Gray
Tanager, and Plain-Colored Tanager, as you encounter these species
over and over
- Variable and Yellow-Bellied Seedeater -- at least know the males
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All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2002-2017 by Elaine Radford