That’s what this Spectacled Owl and Spider Monkey seemed to be doing on my solo hike on the Manikin Trail this morning! And I consider myself fortunate to have gotten this shot of an elusive owl! Monkeys are everywhere, but not the owls. I probably would not have seen him except that when I walked under his tree, he flew to another tree about 30 meters away and I then had him in focus! 🙂 In contrast, the monkey swung around right above me as if trying to get my attention! 🙂
Some links and some shots of the trail both of these guys were on . . .
This morning I hiked up on the Titi Trail to try and find the Great Tinamou eggs another guest had photographed yesterday. FYI, the male Tinamou sits on the eggs, and when I got close he fluttered his wings loudly and flew towards me then up into a nearby tree, scaring me to death. 🙂 I suspect he was trying to scare me away from the nest, but rather he just showed me where it was. 🙂
They are about turkey-sized birds (fewer feathers) and semi-flightless. The nest was only about 6 feet off the trail at the base of a Traveling Palm. The sad thing was that there were only 3 eggs for me to photograph today and yesterday my fellow-traveler had photographed 5 in the same spot. Some animal probably had 2 Tinamou eggs for breakfast this morning. I did not get a photo of the adult that scared me, but I have some poor photos of one I made in the near-dark at Maquenque Lodge earlier in my Great Tinamou Gallery. To which I will add these two photos.
Friday morning I did my birding hike with guide Carlos and after breakfast he offered to take me to the King Louie Waterfall which said could take me all day hiking, so off we went on a golf cart by the roads, not the trails! When we got there the only marked trail is to get in the creek and hike over slippery rocks up hill to the waterfall. But, he said, someone made a land trail along the side of the mountain that would be easier! Not! Someone took a pick and chiseled out a very narrow path that was all crumbling rock or sand. With every step, part of the trail would slide down the side of the mountain and almost me several times. We finally gave up before we go all the way to the 100 foot waterfall. So goes life sometimes! 🙂
This morning was to be my last “organized hike,” called the Primary Forest, led by scientist Phillip who did last night’s night hike, scheduled for 8-11. At 8 one of the employees came out and apologized that Phillip called in sick and that the hike was canceled for today. “No problem,” I said, “I wanted to go down the Pacific Trail and low tide is this morning, just right!” The guy in charge asked me to wait a minute. He made a call and then said he would be right back. He came with one of the gardeners with a name that sounded like Aniavey, and said, “Now you can practice your Spanish!” 🙂 The Nicaraguan was wearing a sheathed machete. The guy in charge said, “I simply cannot let you go down that trail alone, especially all the way to the waterfall! After you go down the very steep trail, it’s another mile hike including up another hill. I did not get incensed and thanked him for his concern, still not knowing what I was in for. And thinking I didn’t really need help. 🙂
Wow! It was a steep trail with 500 steps carved into the side of the mountain and in moments my knees and legs were killing me. About halfway down or a little more, my knees gave way and I crumpled to the ground. My helper came to my rescue, helping me up and I sat on one of the steps. He took his machete out, going into the forest to cut a little sapling for a brand new hiking stick and I was soon ready to go, just slowly. But I had already decided I would go only to the beach and not all the way to the waterfall, which relieved Aniavey. And by the way, the return trip back up the hill, all 500 steps, was much easier on my knees and legs, just slowing my breathing! 🙂 On the hike we saw 3 kind of monkeys: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider Monkeys!
Here’ s 4 shots and I don’t know why I didn’t photograph the trail or steps?
This is sort of “the signature bird” of this area and there’s lots of them here! In the past I’ve photographed them from here on the Osa all the way up the Pacific Coast to Tambor Bay. See my past photos in myScarlet Macaw Gallery. And I’ll get a flying photo before I leave here, just not made it yet.
Only sharing 2 photos today because the day suddenly got crammed-packed full and I haven’t processed all the photos yet! 🙂 I started before breakfast with a birding tour with Juan Carlos and then after breakfast he offered to take me to the highest waterfall around here instead of an all day hike for me and it almost turned out treacherous, but I’ll tell about that in another post. Then Phillip, who leads the sunset-night hike told me he had only 2 going tonight if I wanted to go tonight instead on my scheduled Monday, and I said yes for a full day. But the rest of the week will now be more peaceful! 🙂 And I’ll catch you up on the rest of this day later!
I got here in time to dump my stuff in my cabin before a delicious lunch that I was able to eat all of! Yay! 🙂 It’s overcast with some scattered showers but I explored the trails a little and scheduled 4 activities this week with the rest of time exploring on my own! And the 4? Well, boring old-man activities compared to some available here: Morning & Afternoon Birding hikes in 2 totally different locations, a sunset/night hike looking for night creatures, and a morning Primary Rainforest 3-hour conservation hike. The rest of the week is photographing a lot, resting, and finally eating real food for a week! My radiation taste is not totally gone, but greatly improved and I’m eating just about everything now! 🙂
I’ve seen a Crested Caracara (on the road here), and here: lots of Scarlet Macaws, lots of little birds not identified and a family of Spider Monkeys, all by my thatched roof cabin. And I’m looking forward to happy hour snacks before a great dinner. There are about 25 tourists in this lodge (from all over the world including children), which is not bad with Covid still raging around the globe! And it is a 45 minute drive (fording streams) from the primitive landing strip in Puerto Jiménez to the lodge or if you must, an 8-hour+ drive from the San Jose Airport.
This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.
“The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”
~T. D. Jakes
Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .
My newest photo book is my cheapest ($8.83), smallest ( 6×9 in, 15×23 cm) and shortest (30 pages) as an introduction to why I retired in Costa Rica with 47 photos demonstrating my nature photography here. It’s not exactly a portfolio because of the cheaper paper, but . . . it actually is a cheaper version of a portfolio 🙂 and it also describes the 5 ways I experience nature and share it. As with all my books there is a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages in the bookstore at:
This will become my “give-away” book to guides, lodges and others here in Costa Rica, since some of my other books are too expensive to keep giving them away as I have been. But I’m still not in the photo-selling or book-selling business. I’m retired! 🙂 I make my photos to share with others online and the books become ways to do that physically on occasions. Prints and wall art are available in my gallery with no profit for me, just a good service of (and profit for) my gallery host. 🙂
And while you’re in my bookstore, check out some of my other photo books! They have free previews too!
One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?