Just Some Ramblings

Well, it’s my day off and wouldn’t you know it….it’s raining and hasn’t stopped.  I planned on going into town to get a lot done.  The sky is actually starting to lighten up a bit but still raining.  You just never know around here.  So I figured I’d post about some things that have no place in particular and wanted to include these things in here somehow.  So please forgive the ramblings.

I found this guy one night in my doorway to my room.  Very pretty, lookin’ just like a dying leaf.  I think he eventually crawled up on my door and I said goodnight and shut it.  Nature sure is amazing.

Leafy dude almost got stepped on
Leafy dude almost got stepped on

Then the other day, I caught the little hummingbird preening on a branch.  It was so darn cute, I just had to take a picture.  He preened as fast as he flew, so only a couple actually came out.

Preening hummingbird


Then yesterday I caught the tiny toucan (no idea what it is, actually) eating the berries off of my tree.  I saw a whole dead tree full of these guys down the street the other day.  They have these gigantic heads and big beaks but stubby little bodies.  They’re like bobbleheads.  Amazing they don’t just topple over.  So this shows him grabbing the berry (which are pretty good but are mostly seed…packed with vitamin C), then gulping it down and finally posing for the picture.

IMG_8706 IMG_8709

Tiny toucan (???)
Tiny toucan (???)

I splurged and bought a coke at work the other day because we get them at cost (500 colones which is $1 instead of 750 at the store and these were larger cans than the plastic bottles).  I wondered what that lid on it was all about.  Come to find that it is self-sealing!  How cool is that!?  You just twist it to open it and then you can close it off.  It just occurred to me that it may be to keep the flying insects out.  I was wondering why they’d make them like this.  I can’t attest to it keeping it fizzy over a day because I downed the whole thing with my rum when I got home.  I did keep the can though, figured it might be useful in the future to keep SOMETHING in.  I’m realizing why people keep everything here.  I’m too cheap to buy plastic wrap and realized this morning that my eggs are wrapped in it and I got real happy.  I can use that in the future to cover a bowl instead of using tupperware…which I also didn’t want to buy more of.  Go ahead, call me cheap…but things are way too expensive so I find alternatives where I can.

Awesome invention
Awesome invention

Aaahhh and here’s what I do at the beach when I’m not fighting the waves.  Amazing how I’ve clocked no more than about an hour in the water since I’ve been here.  Weird, huh?  Anyway, my sand iguanas keep me busy…I had to build a fort around this one because I make them fairly close to the water where the sand is still wet (I always forget to bring a bottle w/ me for water) and I wasn’t sure when it was going to get demolished.  People that walk by always get a smile and usually compliment me on my work.  I haven’t seen anyone else build anything in the sand.  I should start to get more creative though…I haven’t quite figured out how sand really works yet and how to keep it solid.  The head usually ends up falling off first.  I’m still trying to get better at building these so they look more realistic.  I spend about half an hour on it then feel toasty hot and go back home.


Latest sand iguana
Latest sand iguana

Just caught this guy digging in my yard:

You have a dirty nose, kiddo!!

IMG_8714 IMG_8722


Ha!  And these dudes come into my yard almost every night at dusk.  I’ve seen as many as 5.  I call them duck duck goose.  I have no idea what they are, but they are skittish and beautiful.  Crazy looking red crack eyes goin’ on there too.


Duck duck goose
Duck duck goose
Sleepy Stanley
Sleepy Stanley

And here we have Stanley again, tongue sticking out.  Too cute to not include.

I noticed we have a new creature at the center…this mongo Elephant beetle.   My wallet is over there in the right corner to give scale.  These guys FLY…it may have been what I saw squished in the road one day and almost tripped over.  Yikes.  You can see an example of one here which I got from entomologymanchester.files.wordpress.com.  Scaaaaaaarrrry!

Mega beetle!
Mega beetle!

Finally, while I was sloth sitting something caught my eye and it was a little basalisk lizard running by.  He actually sat in the grass for a good long time before some people scared him off.  Cute dude.  Was head bobbing me (which actually means he was trying to focus in and moved his head around).  They’re neat to look at…very prehistoric looking.

Jesus Christ lizard (basalisk)
Jesus Christ lizard (basalisk)

Speaking of the center, I’ve been asked to talk about the volunteers there…who they are, where they’re from, how old they are.  From what I can gather, Spain and Switzerland must suck because most people around here seem to be from there (also living in town).  There are only two of us from the U.S. right now, the rest are from Spain, Holland, Germany, Canada or the U.K.  Of course there are local Costa Ricans there as well.  But I swear, I’ve met more Swiss here…three of my immediate neighbors are Swiss.  The taxi guy I use is Swiss and I’ve heard of many others as well.  The age of the volunteers varies.  There is a big group of 20 somethings at the moment from Holland.  I’m in the upper age bracket (cough, cough) with Poo being 48.  It’s hard for me to gauge anybody’s age unless they’re fresh faced, no fat, good skin types.  I’m the only one there with gray hair which I just realized.  And here I thought I was in decent shape but my body is killing me.  Maybe that’s normal for now and I should take some time to do some stretching.  I’ve kept you long enough!!


3 thoughts on “Just Some Ramblings

  1. Camille Armantrout April 18, 2013 / 12:17 pm

    Waste not, want not! I love your sand iguanas! The long legged bird is definitely a Grey-necked Wood Rail and I want to say the little toucan is a Collared Aracari except that they are 16 inches long. Much love, Cookie

  2. Kay McAnally April 18, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    Hi Steph, The comment button isn’t working on the blog. What fantastic information – I love your writing, Steph! I send these blogs on to friends – they are all interested in knowing about the sloths and toucans and even sand lizards (gorgeous sculpture!)- but not many are keen on thinking about living with the bugs! You know, I have an artist friend who has subsidized her income very well by making sculptures of horny toads! She put them on necklaces and everything. What about liquid silver iguanas as well as sand iquanas?

  3. Alex De La Garza April 18, 2013 / 5:29 pm

    I’ve seen the people doing sand sculptures and they use spray bottles to keep them together. Cool idea.

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