Good lord, I have suddenly realized why I needed a vacation so bad! The fun never stops at The Havens.
I no sooner got home than I started back into the massage world. Of course, I had plenty of canny clients who booked massages for the days following my return, in order to stave off the withdrawal symptoms they were experiencing due to my absence. Apparently, spring has arrived as well.
These are just the best of the myriad crocuses that are gracing the lawn right now. There are snowdrops too, as well as hellebore blooming.
And the baby witch hazel tree decided that two years old was old enough to bloom.
While I was gone the beef got butchered and brought home, so Jim was fully occupied making stock. Then, we decided it would be a good idea to render the tallow so we could have our home made suet to feed the birds.
When we got it all rendered and skimmed and it cooled to the hard waxy consistency tallow has at room temperature, I suddenly thought of my ancestresses making tallow candles for the winter. I resisted the urge to become embroiled in a candle making project and folded the masses of laundry that accumulated during the week instead.
I did take the time to make supplementary food for the bees that live in the flicker box. Turns out they survived the long cold spell in January.
They were very happy to have the sugar water, and I got right down amidst them and got some great shots. They were so mellow, being all full and satiated, that they just buzzed quietly around me as I photographed them.
Night before last we had interrupted sleep as some super cells fueled by the 70 degree afternoon charged through. There were tornadoes in them thar clouds, but none touched down in our area. Still, the sirens woke us up and we felt it prudent to wait the storms out in the shelter. We sat there, watched the rain and hail, surrounded by garlic, carboys of wine and cases of empty beer bottles.
But I have not forgotten that I had a vacation!
We went to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, near Quepos, and spent a couple of days in the area. In addition to a tour of the park, we also went to an organic vanilla plantation, Villa Vanilla, and took their tour and tasting. Both excursions were well worth the price of admission.
Manuel Antonio is a park where virgin rainforest grows right down to the beach. The area escaped the tender attentions of Chiquita Banana Corporation largely because the terrain was too rough to be easy for them to bulldoze it for their plantations.
The offshore rocks and islands are part of the preserve, they are bird sanctuaries.
Yes, we got in the water, and yes, it was warm and delicious. I even found a few shells to bring home and add to my collection. We had to be careful, though, this area was a big surfing spot and there were lots of people giving lessons. You needed to be aware of those novices out there with their boards. The lifeguards were very strict about swimmers mixing with the surfers. Also, there were some pretty stiff rip currents too. Still, I enjoyed some wave hopping.
Not there, of course!
We took a tour through the park with a licensed guide. Because of him, we saw a whole lot more wildlife than we ever would have on our own. The guide was actually amazed at how much we got to see on our little walk in the woods, stressing that often he is reduced to talking about botany, geology and ecology for lack of fauna to look at.
We saw several different tree frogs napping through the heat of the day. These nocturnal animals are very sensitive to the flash from cameras, which apparently can actually burn them and kill them. So all my shots of these guys were done flash free. In the dim jungle light, it was a challenge to get a good shot. Still, it reminds me of the wonder of standing three feet away from a slumbering frog.
Masked tree frog
Hour glass tree frog
Red eyed tree frog
That guy is quite different when he is awake. He goes from that green lump on the leaf to this:
We saw both a two toed and a three toed sloth.
A capuchin monkey was foraging nearby. We could see the branches move, but it kept out of sight mostly, except for one brief peek at us.
There were a couple of howler monkeys in the area too; one sleeping, one showing off.
There were birds too. A fiery billed aricari put in an appearance.
And a yellow crowned lesser night heron posed for a while.
We also saw two different kinds of bats sleeping, no good pictures of them I’m afraid.
But the basilisk lizard was cool.
Despite all the dire warnings telling us to bring bug spray, this was the only bug I saw. There simply weren’t any mosquitos to speak of, and I was not troubled by gnats, flies or any thing else. Guess it is all those birds and tree frogs. Anyway, this damsel fly greeted us at the park entrance.
And at the end, an artistic reflection shot to wind up the wonderful day we had in the park.
Next post we shall visit Villa Vanilla, and an orchid farm.