The Healing of Nature

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

~Hippocrates

I missed getting photos of the beautiful Squirrel Cuckoo, Brown Jay, Chachalacas I saw, and the Toucan my neighbor saw in my tree, but here’s 3 snaps from this morning that bring me back to my reason for retiring in Costa Rica – NATURE! 🙂

Rufous-naped Wren
Nance Tree blooms rapidly fading.
Variegated Squirrel

Come to the woods for here is rest.

– John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

And my radiotherapy MRI & CT Scan have been postponed to later in the week. Dr. Bonilla called and said she felt I needed to rest after the eye surgery. 🙂 Amazing sensitivity!

Remembering 6+ Years in Costa Rica

A lot of American, Canadian and European retirees choose to spend their last years in the beautiful land of nature called Costa Rica. And I am amazed at how many of them get a house somewhere and just sit on the porch, leaving only for the many necessary functions including immigration paperwork, shopping, medical services, a few for church, etc. While some take an occasional trip to see other parts of Costa Rica, there seem to be only a very small number like me who have a passion for seeing every “nook and cranny” of this beautiful natural paradise. And wow! What most of these gringos are missing! 🙂

For more than two years of the past 6, I traveled to a different park, reserve, or nature lodge every month. Last year I decided to slow it down to one place every two months, then got even that slowed down with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While this year was scheduled for a trip every two months before the villain Cancer came into my life. Meaning only God knows how many more places I will get to visit or revisit as I have been going back to favorite places more lately. Either way I get to be immersed in nature, my passion!

One wall of my living room is covered with photos of birds I’ve photographed here and another wall behind my dining table has photos of me on adventures around the world from Africa to Tennessee with a metal print of my social media logo, meme, or “gravatar!” 🙂 And below that gravatar is a map of the many places I’ve visited in Costa Rica. I just updated that map including my anticipated trip to Bosque del Cabo on Osa Peninsula this July for my 81st birthday, the only “new” place this year. The rest of the year I have 2 or maybe 3 scheduled repeat visits to favorite places, assuming I will be able to travel: Caribe Puerto Viejo and South Pacific Uvita for sure with Tambor Bay a maybe.

Since I’m not sure how much more traveling I will get to do here in my final years paradise, I decided to share the updated map that is on the wall mentioned above. Here:

Places I’ve visited in Costa Rica over 6 years in no particular order.

And just for fun, here’s the Google map that shows where Google has tracked me going all over Costa Rica with the number of times. Of course the solid red blotch is the Central Valley where I live and they’ve tracked me moving around near home a lot! 🙂

Where Google has “tracked me.” This map is more than a year old. And I have no explanation for the dot out in the Pacific Ocean. A Google error I assume. I have not been that far away from land! 🙂

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”

~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

Got My Vaccination Appointment!

They have been calling people for Covid Vaccination Appointments by age, starting with the many people here in their 100’s down through the 90’s and 80’s until they just got to me at age 80 for an April 1 appointment! Yaaaaaay! BUT . . . will it make a difference that I’m about to start radiation? I don’t know! But I will find out tomorrow when I discuss everything with the logistics person at Radioterapia Siglo XI. I hope there is no conflict, but with my second shot due during my radiation treatment, I’m wondering if they will conflict. If so, we will do whatever is necessary and get it when we can. Just another little bump in the road! 🙂

I know that people much younger than me in the states have already gotten both shots and they are just getting to my first shot here. Why? Because rich countries like the U.S. can get anything that money buys quicker! You are approaching 200 million people vaccinated in the U.S. and little Costa Rica just passed 300 thousand. I just read that another 300 thousand doses have arrived this week so we will slowly catch up with a very efficient system that had healthcare and other first responders first, then everyone else by age, oldest first. We all get it from our local public health clinic, with all shots provided by the government.

National Geographic Joins Tik Tok with First Post a Costa Rica Video

That’s according to this article in Tico Times Online. “National Geographic launches TikTok with video of Costa Rica” To view, click on the second video in this article. The first video is a Tico Times promo video. 🙂 You’ll know the difference! 🙂

National Geographic photo of Green Macaw, Manzanillo, Costa Rica — Yes, I have a similar photo from the same place, just not as good as Nat Geo’s! 🙂

You can be sure that Nat Geo knows where to find nature and adventure! 🙂 And of course Costa Rica is the best place in the world! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Wind-blown Kiskadee

Earlier yesterday, before the rain came, I was sitting on the windy terrace hoping a brave bird might come out. A couple of doves flew by, but this Great Kiskadee was the only one brave enough to land in my Guarumo Tree (Cecropia) with a pretty strong wind bringing that rain cloud we got later. Notice how the feathers are affected by the wind. Not a normal pose, but an interesting commentary on the windy day we had yesterday before the afternoon rain.

Read more about the Great Kiskadee on eBird. He is one of the most common birds here and his song or call sounds like his name, “Kiss – ka – deeeeeeee.” He is found almost everywhere in Central and South America, with only a few strays making it into the Southwestern U.S.

Biopsy Report in Tomorrow’s Post

It is intentional that I have been very honest and factual about my new adventure with cancer while living retired in Costa Rica. And I will continue to be. This afternoon at a 2 PM appointment with my surgeon in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica I will receive the biopsy report and his “plan of attack” including possible radiation treatments.

He doesn’t know that some of you have been praying for it to be benign or not a cancer and we might receive that surprise blessing this afternoon, but if it is like all the others he has removed similar to mine, then we will do whatever is necessary and still give God the praise anyway! 🙂 He’s going to see me through this!

I’m wearing an eye patch all the time now because it hurts to have an eye open that can’t blink or close. We will be discussing possible solutions to that also this afternoon and the left side of my mouth. But they are secondary to dealing with cancer.

And because several blog-followers are considering retirement in Costa Rica like I did, I am going to share the costs of this major surgery and what my other options could have been and discuss 3 or more options for radiation, whether needed or not.

¡Hasta mañana!

¡Pura Vida!

Blue on Blue

Yes, it is a Blue-gray Tanager (e-Bird link), but my first impression of the photo was “Blue on Blue” with him against the blue sky, while sitting in my Cecropia or Guarumo Tree, then flying away in that feature photo at top. A common bird in Central America and northern South America.

Blue-gray Tanager, Atenas, Costa Rica

See also my Blue-gray Tanager Photo Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Watching Wildlife

Something I’ve always enjoyed is catching a bird with live food like this Anhinga with a fish at Caño Negro Reserva on that river in the feature photo at top.

Anhinga fishing in Caño Negro Reserva, Costa Rica

If all goes according to the doctor’s plans I am today at home still recuperating from surgery and hope to give more “live updates” in the next 2 or 3 days. Thanks for putting up with a week of “pre-scheduled” blog posts! I hope to be current again by the end of this week.

The Trip Gallery for the above two Photos:

December-2020 Arenal & Caño Negro

¡Pura Vida!

“It All Came Together!”

That is what I said about this particular pix when the way the Montezuma Oropendola perched in relation to the tree limb with both in focus is not always the way my bird photo come together! 🙂 But this one did!

And since this is the morning of my serious 6-hour surgery to remove a cancer from the left side of my head, I am praying that this surgery too “will all come together” for a successful removal of all cancer! Thanks for your prayers! No updated posts on my health for probably 3 days or more! 🙂 But here is where I will post it first!

¡Pura Vida!

This photo was made on my last December Trip to Arenal Observatory.

4 Emeralds of the Rainforest

By name and by color, the rainforest sparkles with these emeralds . . .

Emerald Tanager

Photographed by Charlie at Arenal Observatory Lodge, my only time to see one.

Emerald Basilisk

Photographed by Charlie at Tortuguero National Park. Called “Jesus Christ Lizard” as it walks on water.

My Gallery of Emerald Basilisks (lots of good shots!)

Emerald Toucanet

Photographed by Charlie at Cinchona Soda & Mirador.

My Gallery of Emerald Toucanets. (lots of good shots!)

Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird

Photographed by Charlie in his garden back in 2015, the only one ever seen (assuming correct ID).

EMERALD

Signifying nature and new beginnings,

Emerald stands for renewal and health,

its powerful attributes help to ground us,

refreshing and regenerating our minds.

from the internet

¡Pura Vida!