Monday I returned to my dentist to see if the infection was gone so they can finish my root canal, stuffing it with something they get from a tropical tree. Unfortunately it still had infection though improved a lot and not painful, but I need more antibiotics and time. I wait 2 more weeks for it to be completed. Patience!
And when I arrived I witnessed this new sign (feature photo) taped to the front door that they now accept only emergencies, but they assured me that my infection is included in what the government accepts as “emergencies.” So I do get to go back in 2 weeks for what I hope is the last time! 🙂
Everything is different now with Coronavirus! The whole world is in a state of change!
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
And if the virus caused you to cancel your Costa Rica vacation, try this very short 1 minute “Virtual Vacation” video clip. ¡Pura vida!
I got usable photos of 19 species of birds from my little one-hour walk yesterday morning, 6-7 AM, in the neighborhood on Calle Nueva, the little country gravel/dirt road that separates Roca Verde neighborhood from the adjacent farmland. Nineteen is not bad and as good as some longer walks I take when at expensive birding lodges! 🙂 PLUS, if my identifications are correct, I got 3 new species, “lifers,” for me, though I may get corrected by an eBird expert reviewer after I post them on eBird. 🙂 The new ones are Giant Cowbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and a Yellow-green Vireo.
This road and my own street uphill above my house always yield a lot of birds early in the morning. And I have another neighborhood further away that I intend to try for even different birds, a place my birding friend Margaret found to be good.
Saturday AM Birds
Tropical Mockingbird Juvenile
“Every bird, every tree, every flower reminds me what a blessing and privilege it is just to be alive.”
― Marty Rubin
My review of The Adventurer’s Son got a “Like” from the author, Roman Dial. I finished the book and liked it much even if sad. A guess all of us who venture into the wilds realize the dangers but still go because of the great joys! I would have guessed that in Corcovado he most likely would have died from a deadly snake bite and would never have guessed from a tree falling in a storm – but such are the surprises in the wilderness and in life and death. And I’m glad it was not “foul play” from a bad human as some had thought throughout the story. It was an emotional read.
But that was only the case for an hour or so Sunday morning for my early breakfast around 6 AM. By 7:30 or 8:00 the wind was blowing like normal this time of year, It is windy mid-December to Mid-March or later and I’m guessing later this year because the wind has been stronger. Since the “Windy Season” overlaps the “Dry Season” it creates a recipe for brush or grass fires, especially later in the season like right now. We had our annual grass fires in Roca Verde a week or so ago, so not as much dry grass left to burn. (I water my grass!) And as usual, we were fortunate to have no house on fire. Our local Atenas Bomberos (Firemen) are super good at stopping the fires quickly.
And my four morning birds are just ones that are very common in my yard, but it was nice to see them in my Cecropia tree at breakfast for a change! Maybe I should eat earlier every morning since it is less windy early. 🙂 They were . . .
Those were the last words emailed to the parents of Cody Roman Dial as he entered the famous and notorious Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula of south-western Costa Rica on the Pacific coast near the Panama border, July 10, 2014.
I am currently about 85% through the Kindle version of this memoir of the loss of Roman Dial’s son Cody Roman Dial here in Costa Rica the same year I moved here, 2014. It all happened in one of the wildest jungles in Central America, the kind with dangers that attract young men like Cody! From snakes & jaguars to illegal gold miners.
The book is The Adventurer’s Son by Roman Dial, the young man’s father, and it starts slow as a childhood biography of Cody helping you to love the adventurous boy as if you were his parent too. Then later he adds as many details as he had of Cody’s solo adventure hike from Mexico City to South America through Central America as an invincible-feeling 27 year old with enormous experience in the wild since his young childhood, most with his parents or sometimes with just the father, who is a lifetime adventurer, explorer, scientists, college professor and part-time explorer for National Geographic. The young man sort of had a reason to feel invincible in the wild. On his trek he climbed the highest mountain in Mexico, used his Spanish language to relate to locals, did an impossible off-trail hike through the jungles of El Peten, Guatemala and boated through the dangerous La Mosquitia Swamp in Honduras before coming to Costa Rica. All of the above were already amazing feats!
Because Corcovado National Park is one of my favorite places in Costa Rica that I have visited 3 times now, I was naturally quite interested in the story and the book.
I will not try to summarize the book or write a full review right now (I’m still reading it), here I give links to public information on the book (the above title link is to the Amazon.com source of the book). Below are three reviews. Plus I have added the reports of the father’s search by our local online newspaper Tico Times and some other news media reports below that. Lastly I have added links to the photo galleries of my three visits to this wilderness national park that took Cody’s life.
There are many more stories online about the mysterious disappearance of Cody Roman Dial and and the ultimate conclusion that he was struck by a tree in a storm and killed in the wilderness of Corcovado National Park, hiking off trail which is against the park rules and hiking without an official guide which is also against the park rules. Sometimes rules are for your own good, but a real adventurer doesn’t always think so.
The book and the live news stories are heartbreaking for parents (I empathize because I’ve lost a child), but this story shows the infrequent yet possible dangers in the wilderness that any adventurer knows are possible. I would personally have thought a poisonous snake more likely there, but even the less likely falling tree is possible, especially in the many storms there.
I remember backpacking solo on Fiery Gizzard Trail in TN with fewer dangers but real dangers anyway. Then one day in 2012 on just a day hike there I stumbled and fell on a rocky mountainous trail and was serious hurt requiring stitches in my head. Maybe a life of adventure is always a gamble to some degree, but many real adventurers feel they must continue the gamble! But, like with so many things for me, I tend to be a moderate, wanting adventure but with more caution than many require, especially the young invencibles!
And yes! I will continue to go to Corcovado National Park (see photos of my 3 visits linked below), but always I go with a guide on an official trail, as tame as that may seem to you Cody’s out there! 🙂 I am basically a risk-adverse adventurer! And yes, that is compromising the very meaning of “adventure,” but I’m an old man who is still alive and still having fun! 🙂
My Comparatively Tame Corcovado Adventures
2018-March-13-17–Danta Corcovado — At Los Patos Entrance on above map.
I possibly have more photos of this species of bird from my yard than from any other location, though I have seen them all over Costa Rica. It is a large chicken-sized bird that usually moves in flocks, but this one was solo at breakfast this morning in my Guarumo or Cecropia Tree (Wikipedia article).
When together as a flock they chatter a lot and thus the fun nickname here of “Chachalacas” for a group of people chattering or all talking at the same time. 🙂
There are two types in Costa Rica, this Gray-headed Chachalaca (link to Neotropical Birds site) found only in Central America from Honduras to the beginnings of Columbia, and the rarer Plain Chachalaca found here only in parts of Guanacaste (our Northwest Province) which I am yet to see or photograph.
On the Neotropical Birds site be sure to listen to their calls which is what wakes me some mornings! 🙂 And for more of my photos of this bird, both in my yard and other Costa Rica locations, see my photo gallery Gray-headed Chachalaca. Another one of my tropical friends here! 🙂
A chattering Good Morning from Atenas, Costa Rica!
At breakfast this morning I just zoomed out a little further for some additional trees that are blooming now. Sorry I didn’t do it earlier when there where some bright orange trees and yellow trees, but I think I’ve shown them before and they are somewhere in my gallery called Flora & Forest Costa Rica, if you want more! 🙂
“They blossomed, they did not talk about blossoming.”
― Dejan Stojanovic
In an earlier post I introduced you to the little 5 km country lane behind our Roca Verde development and along the stream by that cow pasture in front of my house. It is called Calle Nueva which would be simply “New Street” in English and the 2018 blog post was titled Finishing the country road walk today . . . Then later I added a photo gallery: Walking Calle Nueva Atenas 2018. Same photos!
Yesterday I walked part of the road more slowly than I did with young man Jason Quesada back then. It was with another older person who is a birder from Canada! Totally different! We saw more than 15 species of birds just behind where I live and here are a few photos of some of them! Even got one lifer on this walk of about 2 hours, the Black-crowned Tityra, both male & female! CLICK A PHOTO TO ENLARGE.
And apologies for several washed out pictures with white sky. That was because I was not paying attention to details and accidentally turned the dial to “Manual” without setting the manual settings and wasn’t looking at the images on screen! Ugh! Sloppy old man!
Birds on Calle Nueva
Olive Sparrow (almost like Stripe-headed)
Rose-breasted Becard Female
Black-crowned Tityra Male
Black-crowned Tityra Female
Rose-breasted Becard Male
Interesting Flowers on Walk
Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong.
Both yesterday and today I went out around my house looking for birds about 6:20 to 6:40 AM, before breakfast. Both mornings I found birds with gray heads and yellow fronts! Yesterday (before going to Bosque Municipal) I got distant shots of the above Gray-crowned Yellowthroat (link is to Cornell’s “Neo-Tropical Birds”) seen in the cow pasture across the street from my house, my first of this species here, though I got better photos at Curi-Cancha Reserve, Monteverde last year, also in a meadow. Check ’em out!
A more common or more frequently seen-by-me-bird is this common flycatcher which has gray & yellow coloring like the above but is much larger. To learn more about him from Cornell’s “Neo-Tropical Birds,” click this name link, Gray-capped Flycatcheror go see my Gray-capped Flycatcher Photo Gallery (better photos than this). There are around 50 different species of birds here labeled some kind of “Flycatcher,” so a lot of variety! And yes, they do eat flies and other insects! 🙂
“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”
Central Park is not the only park in Atenas! We have a sports park in front of the elementary school, a public soccer field separately down the street and a public swimming pool! I have shown much of the sports park and mentioned the others, but the most important one for me is one I had never entered until today – Bosque Municipal Atenas – Atenas Municipal Forest.
My friend from British Columbia wanted to go and I always have, so we went together to our “nature park” or forest for birds this morning. It is five miles west on Ruta 3 at Vista Linda or the edge of Barrio Jesus, on the right-hand side of the highway with multiple signs and two entrances. The main entrance is near the second sign or further up the mountain at the big community soccer field across the highway from Vista Linda Restaurant & Bar. Just walk around to the other side of the soccer field. Our first taxi driver knew nothing about it but was glad for the $13 one-way taxi drive! 🙂 The taxi that picked us up was very familiar with it, meaning that some people are into nature and others are not! 🙂
Well, we went for birds, especially the Long-tailed Manakin that definitely lives there and we heard their songs many times (toledo, toledo, toledo) but never was close enough to one for a photo. In fact the above Keel-billed Toucan is the only decent bird photo I got with efforts at some tiny birds and a blurry Woodcreeper. Maybe next time! 🙂 BUT, we saw lots of butterflies and below are 5 species I got shots of, some are new species for me.
5 Butterfly Species
I did not get shots of the two highway signs – sorry!