Friday, April 18, 2014
Friday April 18, 2014: Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy with Sprinkles
Much needed rain has arrived, with clouds and some sun in between. Still lots of sun.
This week Semana Santa begins - Easter Holy week. This is the biggest holiday of the year in Costa Rica! Just about everything closes from Thursday through Sunday and everybody goes to the beach. As you can see in the photos below, Black Beach (the beach by my Hidden Jungle Beach House) has changed from an almost isolated beach to a beach full of holiday family fun. People camp in cars, trucks, tents and hammocks all along the beach. And town (Puerto Viejo) is unbelievably crowded. But I don't mind the crowds and I enjoy watching the families having fun on the beach. It only happens once a year and most of these people work six days a week. They deserve a break. And it is gratifying to know that you don't have to be rich to vacation beach front in Costa Rica. The camping and parking are completely unregulated and free.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
For months we have been lacking in rainfall. Wells were drying up and people worried. In the past week the rain has returned - at first only at night with sun in the morning. Rain began creeping into the daytime, but we've still had some sun as well. Everyone is happy now, but my front yard, shown in this photo, has turned into a muddy mess (not shown). It is also a construction zone. This is the "before" picture. I'll show you "after" when it is after.
I haven't posted for a few weeks. The photo above is the reason why.
Monday, March 31, 2014
The past week has been pretty much the same as before: mostly sunny with a few clouds here and there and some rain at night. Today is a beautiful day - but that is not news either. It is always beautiful here, even when they tear up the road to put water pipes in.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Evenings have been cool with some rain, lately. Yesterday was cool and cloudy all day. And today is back to normal sunshine.
We've had some lovely sunsets lately - yes on the east side of Costa Rica you can still see a nice sunset. As you can see, our dog at Hidden Jungle Beach House, enjoys it too. We have two dogs and we recently acquired a new kitten.
This is Ginji. Look how pretty she is!
She loves our guests and they love her, too.
One from Finland took this picture and gave it to me.
If you love nature, most likely you love animals, too.
Come visit us here at Hidden Jungle Beach House and meet the animal family.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Monday March10, 2014: Sunny with a Nice Breeze and Not Too Hot
Photo Above - How I Look
Photo Below - How I Feel!
Happy, Happy, Happy!I don't usually post personal stuff here but today I just can't help it. Life just keeps getting better. I was already happy with my life but then there was more!
A few days ago I bought my place - the place I live is now mine! Everything is going so well and so fun. There is finally a place in town to dance Salsa, which I love and have missed dearly. A new place opened called Hot Rocks. It is a fantastic place for music and fun. They're going to have Salsa on Sunday nights with a live band.
And I got an iPhone, which may be no big deal to you but it is to me. And soon I will have something I have been waiting for for over 2 years - good high speed internet in my guest house. I tell you I am going to start having delusions of grandeur. I am beginning to believe that I can have anything I want! I am so so happy and appreciative of every little thing in life. My life here in Costa Rica truly is paradise.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Every day we've had sun, but in the evenings the rain has been a welcome refreshment.
I love living in the jungle! Our closest neighbors are sloths, often seen in the trees just outside our windows. Stunning Blue Morpho butterflies and colorful hummingbirds flit by as you sit on the patio. The mornings are chirpy and bright with a million melodic bird songs. Afternoons are quiet and peaceful under the cool of the jungle canopy. And the evenings are exotic with the heady fragrance of jasmine, white ginger and ylang ylang and the curious calls of our nocturnal animal friends. This is truly the place to refresh the mind, nurture the soul and release the stress of everyday living.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Sunday March 2, 2014: Sunny Bright and Clear All Day
It is springtime in the tropics and here at Hidden Jungle Beach House we are living in a sloth wonderland! I had not seen the sloths very often throughout the winter, but I knew they were nearby. They live in the treetops all around my house. For the past few weeks my guests and I see them every day, climbing and moving around, eating the tasty leaves at the tippy tops of the Guarumo (Cecropia) trees, carrying babies.
We see them going up the trees...
and hanging around.
There is the pretty blond Two Towed sloth...
and the variegated brown and white Three Towed Sloth.
See the big belly? A few weeks ago this Three Towed Sloth was pregnant.
Now I see her every day with her baby.
Look closely and you'll see how the baby holds on.
It will stay with mom for it's first year...
and then go on it's own: climbing and eating, moving high in the canopy, curled up like a ball in the very top branches while the trees swing wildly in a storm. To me, these sweet natured animals exemplify the best of contentment and equanimity engendered by life in the jungle.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Friday February 28, 2014: Cool and Cloudy in the Morning, Sunny in the Afternoon
Birds! You cannot live in the jungle without being part of their world. Their songs, calls and cackles are constant, melodic and often humorous. I especially enjoy the Wood Rail. A ground bird who lives in flocks and sounds a bit like a chicken. These shy and pretty little birds run off quickly, so they are hard to see. But they are very easy to hear, at least twice a day - usually morning and late afternoon. It starts with a cluck and a gaggle, then the rest of the flock joins in with hoots and hollers, caws and guffaws and all manner of other bird and non bird sounds. They go on like this, chirping and jabbering with elevating momentum, for five minutes or so. And then it stops. One’s first reaction is, “What was that! Where’s the fire???” Its as wild and chaotic as a fox in the hen house. But no, nothing happened. This is just what they do. They cause a ruckus twice a day and then calm down.
I’m no “bird watcher” yet living here at Hidden Jungle Beach House, each day I’m beguiled by pretty little hummingbirds and intrigued by nesting Oropendolas. Tom, my current guest from Belgium, is enjoying the birds as well. He kindly allowed me to use his photos of a Squirrel Cuckoo, taken just a few minutes ago. What a sweet beautiful bird!
When wanting to identify a local bird I often ask my birdwatcher friend, Jana. She lives nearby and has photographed and identified almost every bird around. Recently I was looking over her web page and could not help but be amused by the odd and sometimes goofy bird names. Who named these birds? It must be the one who discovered them, right?
“Look, Horace, there is a little blue bird, creeping slowly backwards on the blackberry branch! What kind is it?”
“Well, obviously, Myrtle, it is a Slow Blue Backwards Blackberry Branch Creeper!”
Here in Costa Rica’s Caribbean we have a plethora of “interesting” birds with names that convey their character. Look on Jana’s web page Birds In and Around Our House, for their names and you’ll learn what I have gleaned below. It is fascinating…
The birds think so, too. There are a number of fascinated birds. We have one who is absolutely fascinated by ants. Another is an immaculate eater. There are quite a few creeping birds. And I wonder… does the Bananaquit “quit" bananas?
We have birds that wear belts, cowls, masks, caps or collars. The Woodnymph wears a violet crown. Some have gross beaks, beaks like boats, strong bills and smooth bills or tails like gold pendulums. They may be considered shining, slaty, snowy, tawny, mealy, rufous and are often variable.
Our charming “amigos con plumas” are always quite busy. They catch flies and gnats, they peck wood, puff and shrike ants. In fact they are fascinated with shriking ants. They warble, they laugh. They creep in the woods. They creep in honey. They can be hermits or social, tyrants or fairies.
Some are great and greater, small and lesser, even pee wee and often common. But one thing is true of them all, they provide great entertainment and an invaluable contribution to a happy jungle life wrapped in the arms of mother nature. I love the birds!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Here you see Costa Rica's gorgeous south Caribbean coast. A recent guest at Hidden Jungle Beach House took this picture when he flew from Bocas del Toro, Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo, where we live at Hidden Jungle Beach House, is not far from the Panama border. Often visitors like to take the short jaunt from here to visit the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Headed for home in the USA, this traveler decided that rather than go back to the airport in San Jose by ground, on an all day bus trip, he would take a flight right from Bocas. Looks like fun!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Springtime is sloth time! Spring comes early in the Caribbean. As you can see, the trees are flowering and the sloths are coming out. I had not seen so many sloths in one place in quite a while. Now there are three right outside my window!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
I have not posted for a few days but the weather has been about the same until now - sunny and warm. The waves are getting bigger each day and the surfers are enjoying it. A little rain has come mostly at night but we woke to rain this morning lasting until around 9:00 a.m.
An Artist in the House: This is Yan-Sol. He is an artist from Quebec who recently stayed at Hidden Jungle Beach House for a month. He's made his room into a little art studio. Yan is a great guy, a great guest and he's working on an interesting project. His plan is to travel the world for 3 years, through different 22 countries. And in each country he will do a painting which reflects the place. He'll be working with the schools in Quebec, posting his progress on a website, interacting with the students. And the kids will be doing their own paintings along with him. When the project is complete he will go back home and put all his paintings in a grand exposition.
Yan's visit to Hidden Jungle Beach House was a test run for the project. It went well. Here he is working on his first painting, which centers around a little Costa Rican girl. Out of the curls in her hair come a wave with a surfer, from that jumps a frolicking tree frog, the forest of her hair is home for a toucan, and there is much more to come. There will be monkeys, a sloth, an island and well... whatever comes into Yan's creative imagination.You can see more of his work here: Yan-Sol Artiste Pientre.
I'll be posting more about the fascinating people who come to my place. There is such a variety from all over the world. Each one has a story. Many are doing good work and have admirable intentions in helping to make the world a better place. What a joy to meet these people!
Monday, February 17, 2014
On January 27th of this year I showed you a pregnant sloth. I said I expected to see her with her baby soon. Well here she is with her little one, on the big tree behind the house.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
For the past few days it has been the same - sunny and warm. Today we have some nice breezes and the hot sun is filtered by clouds.
In the photo I watch as one of my guests at Hidden Jungle Beach House takes his first surf lesson.
The beach near our house is the perfect place to learn surfing. The waves are small, safe and they seem to break very nicely by the barge that sits on our Black Beach. Here at Hidden Jungle Beach House we have the perfect board for learning and I rent it out cheap. So if you've ever wanted to try surfing, here is your chance!
You can see how beautiful and clear the water was in the photo below. So nice!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Sunday February 9, 2014: Morning Clouds, Sunny Afternoon
I have not posted for a few days. Friday we had clouds and some rain, with chilly breezes. Saturday it was cloudy all day. And today the sun has returned.
The photo above is for all my friends who ascribe to Natural Horsemanship. This is about as natural as it gets - bareback with no bridle, only a rope crossed over the nose. These boys were born on horseback!
Thursday, February 6, 2014
This is my 2 year old sweet boy, Santo. He won't go in the water unless the waves are really low. I was surprised when he swam out to meet me. As you can see the water was clear. The waves were calm.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
For the past few days we have had a mix of sun and clouds. Each day has provided some nice bright beach time, yet the clouds have cooled things off. Above is my little flower garden. The red plants are bromiliads.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Saturday February 1, 2014: Cloudy in the Morning, Sunny in the Afternoon
This beautiful boat was sailing in the waters outside Puerto Limon, which is an international shipping port an hour from here. The sailing ship, Sorlandet, is a floating college from Canada. It is in docked Puerto Limon. One of it's teachers is staying at my Hidden Jungle Beach House for a few days of shore leave.
What an interesting way to make a living, as a teacher on a sailboat. Mathew feels he has a dream job. He teaches astronomy, math and chemistry to college students who are primarily there to learn to sail. They stop in ports all over the world. It sounds like an amazing, life changing way to get an education. Their website, Classafloat.com says: Imagine your school is a majestic tall ship sailing to twenty ports on four continents. Yes, Imagine!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Tuesday January 28, 2014: Sunny
Yesterday I showed you a Three Toed Sloth on the big tree in back of the house. Here is the beautiful Two Toed Sloth. They have pretty long blond hair (just like me, je je je...). This one is in the trees above the park. So sweet of him to come by. I made this park next to my house just for the purpose of viewing the animals right in the jungle. He is in the trees above the swing in the picture below.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I've missed a few days reporting here but the weather has been the same - Sunny, sunny, sunny!
The sloths have been showing up again lately. Oh, they are always around at Hidden Jungle Beach House but we don't always see them. This one is a female Three Toed Sloth and it looks like she is pregnant. Soon we may see her carrying her baby.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I went to Puerto Limon today to do some shopping. I took this pretty picture on the way home.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Photo above: Pets in the park at Hidden Jungle Beach HouseOur two dogs and a kitten are much loved pets, loved and cared for by me and enjoyed by most all our guests. But they also have jobs to do. Santo and Sativa are our guard dogs. They do a great job of alerting me when someone is entering the property. And they scare away the bad guys. Coco's job is to keep the house free of pests (the critter kind).
Santo (left) is half German Shepherd and half Belgian Shepherd. His name means "saint" and he fits his name. He is very sweet and absolutely nothing bothers him. He is my big baby - at age 2, he is still just a big puppy. He'll do anything for a stick. He loves to chase them on the beach but he is afraid of the waves, so he won't go far into the water.
Sativa (middle) is the one who fetches the sticks from the water. She is part German Shepherd and part everything else. She loves to swim, but even more so, she is the alpha dog and she loves to be first. She's always the first to get the stick, then she drops it for Santo to pick up. They make a great team.
Our new kitten, Coco (far right) is full of spit and vinegar but also very sweet and affectionate. Her job is to keep our kitchen free of pests and rodents and she is already learning her task. One of my guests called her a serial killer, as she frequently pounces on the poor little salamanders who have unsuspectingly entered the kitchen. I like those salamanders. But I cannot train killing with discretion. At least I know she is a good hunter and will keep out the possums and kinkajous when they come to call.
Nature lovers who stay at my place, enjoy the domestic animals as well as the wild ones.