Guatemala fall colors

Lake Atitlan’s Fall Colors

While my friends in the northern U.S. are posting photos of the beautiful changing colors of fall, I’m watching our own changing colors with delight.

Coffee fruit turning red
Coffee fruit turning red

We’re almost to November, my favorite month at Lake Atitlan. The rainy season has ended, the hillsides are green, and everywhere flowers are beginning to bloom. The hills are dotted with yellow and purple and white. The coffee beans on the bushes that surround us are beginning to turn bright red, signaling the harvest season that typically begins in December.

During our long walks on the roads between Lake Villa Guatemala and the village of Cerro de Oro, or between Panajachel and Santa Catarina Palopo, my camera won’t stay in my pocket. I’ve seen these views, these flowers, and these trees untold times before. Yet every day, they enchant me once again.

Adding to the magic are dozens of butterflies, who evade my camera. On yesterday’s walk, a tiny black butterfly with blue-green stripes on its wings followed us along the road into Cerro de Oro. It danced around us, landing just long enough to tease me into thinking I could take its photo, then danced ahead. It circled around a larger orange butterfly, making me dizzy with the colors and vibrance.

Yellow flowers dot the hillsides
Yellow flowers dot the hillsides

This week the patches of yellow on the hillsides became more vivid from a distance, visible from the kayak as I paddled my way toward San Pedro volcano. Closer to shore, purple flowers spill down the hillside toward the lake. They mix with the ever-present red and orange and lavander of the bougainvillea to soften the palette of the shoreline.

Yes, I missed the fall colors of Vermont this year. I’m just as happy with the fall colors of Guatemala.



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