Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Some Days Are Gold....

The day started out very well....  any day we have running water at 5:45 - enough hot water... enough pressure....  for a shower to start the day is good.

So the day started well.  I usually send my blog that I wrote the evening before first thing...  then check my e-mail.  Then I take a cup of coffee...  yes... from coffee beans grown here in the mountains of Costa Rica...  out the front door and sit either on the step or that wooden chair that got left out there from previous tenants.  

And I look at the hills across the valley...  and check out whatever birds are wheeling around just as the sun rises over the hills in the east.

The swallows are out in force...  there are several species of swallows here, and while the barn swallows are here, the ones I see the most don't have that long "swallow tail".  They are too quick for me to catch even when I change the shutter speed on my camera.  I'll wait until they line up on that utility line and try for a sharper photo later.

Soon a long-tailed bird swoops down, and into the tree to my right. 
 Ahhhh...  the Turquoise-browed Motmot is back...
He's a gorgeous creature.  I wish he weren't so deep into the tree branches.  You can see his lovely colors, and look below the branches he's on...  the tips of his tail feathers are visible.  
Seems funny to have that long bare shaft between the top of his tail and the "puffs" at the end.
A better view of his colors, but not of his tail.
He sat for a long time before moving on.

Yesterday I finally had some action at my hummingbird feeder.
I bought the feeder on January 8 and put it out as soon as I got it home.  It has a moat at the top to deter ants and I have to remember to add water to it a couple or 3 times a day.  I've changed the sugar-water solution several times as it's quite hot during the day and the heat will spoil the nectar.  I was beginning to think that I should just give up...  but...  yesterday a hummer came to it several times.

I was never able to get a photo...  today, I got this...
Not at the feeder, but on a limb above...
A Cinnamon Hummingbird
I had been catching glimpses of the reddish tail and thought we had a Rufus-tail, but seeing the underside of him today changed that thought....
Now that he's found the feeder, I hope to get some better photos later.

The trees to my right are still flowering some...  yellow flowers...  I still don't know the species...  but the Orioles love it up there.  This time, it wasn't the Baltimore Orioles, nor the Orchard, nor even the Bullock's...  Today I was treated with...
The Streak-backed Oriole
I know his streaked back, isn't very clear here, but I looked real close as he (and his companion) flitted around among the tree top.

Bill & headed into town...  we hadn't even gotten off our hill when we spotted...
Some kind of lizard...
If we continue to spend winters in Costa Rica, I can see where I need to invest in some field guides.  Not just the reptiles, but the trees, the wildflowers..... so much is so interesting and I'd like to know more about it all.

We headed towards the beach...  No fish being sold today...  but several boats were taking on supplies to haul out to the fishing boats.  We watched them for quite a while...  then headed over towards the Rickety Bridge...

Again, I don't know the species of trees, but the Orange-fronted parakeets love to hang out in the tree tops, snap off those flowers, nibble on something...  then the petals will fall to the ground.
They hang out in flocks...  they are noisy and chatter among themselves as they feed.
The flowers on the trees along the beach are almost all gone...  guess we'll find out what's next on the parakeets menu soon.

Along the beach a creek flows into the sea.  That's where the Rickety Bridge is.  A couple of weeks ago someone dredged the creek bed with a back hoe and changed the course of the creek.  The creek has a mind of it's own...  today it's meandering along the way it wants to... the way it did before.

I saw the herons again today...  the Tricolored, the Green, and the Great Egret...  
But I got a special treat today...
Just a few feet apart, the Great Egret and the smaller Green Heron were each doing their own fishing.
There are plenty of minnows and other fishes in this creek...  enough for everyone.  But I loved being able to capture both in the same photo!

There's a big "up-scale" shopping area that we often pass by...  
We sometimes see this big iguana...  today he was out on the lawn.  I love seeing him...  one day he was crawling across the "high-class" entry fountain.  Hope he finds plenty of insects or whatever he eats as his pay for being a tourist attraction.

Bill and I continued on through town...  did our errands and walked home.  We still had running water when we got home...

Some days are pure gold!
Even if they are a bit cock-eyed!

That's All For Today!


  1. Really, really enjoy having running water, just kind of makes your day.

  2. As you walk along the beach I hear the fishermen saying, "Here come the Americans, again. You know, the senora with the camera!"

  3. Our 4H leader had a foreign exhange student from Japan who was awed by the beauty of our farm-strewn Wisconsin. I always think of that when I travel, it's always interesting when it's not what you're used to. The locals probably see all those birds as background "noise" (like I do with cows and Canada geese) and pay them little mind. I enjoyed your little tour today!

  4. It's so much fun to see all the different birds you're seeing. They're so bright and colorful. That Iguana would have probably given me heart failure though!

  5. Hot water for a morning shower does make the day go better, Sharon, glad it was on for you. Enjoyed the bird post and going along on yiur morning walk. Boy, that tired me out, so time to rest.

  6. Wow...what a treat you gave us today! Awesome bird photos Sharon! Such a wonderful variety...

  7. Wonderful pictures. I feel like I was right there with you!
    I'm glad that, today, you had water. Now you can finally get all that soap out of your hair.

  8. The birds you get to see in the morning sure beats out the hoards of grackles I'm dealing with out my window. :)

  9. What a beautiful day. I love your pictures. The iguana would be my kind of tourist attraction,

  10. I liked reading about your entire day and looking at the pictures but the visual of your morning was very relaxing ... I want to do that..

    "Then I take a cup of coffee...  yes... from coffee beans grown here in the mountains of Costa Rica...  out the front door and sit either on the step or that wooden chair that got left out there from previous tenants.  

    And I look at the hills across the valley...  and check out whatever birds are wheeling around just as the sun rises over the hills in the east."


  11. It sounds like a good day indeed. Well described!

  12. Wonderful pictures. I love seeing the birds.

    My grandson's pet iguana was an herbivore that would eat grass clippings; maybe the big one you see is paying his way by mowing the lawn.

  13. Fantastic pictures and narrative. It is not easy to get birds to pose for the camera.

  14. It must be pretty cool to see our summer birds down in Costa Rica plus a few more.

  15. Even though it has been years since we left Central America, I still feel a sense of gratitude when HOT water streams out of the shower...and it's water that is safe to drink! I also appreciate that we have regular mail service and the power rarely fails. I haven't lost that appreciation for the little things that make life easier.