Merry Christmas from Costa Rica!

P1030385It’s a beautiful day and figured I’d get a photo with the wild poinsettia’s that I noticed growing here about a month ago!  The butterflies were enjoying them as well.  I’d never seen them growing in the wild, only in pots during Christmas, then left to dry out and die by the time New Year’s came around.  I always tried to save them, but it was a hard fought battle.  They simply weren’t meant to be in pots in dry, hot offices with no sun.  So it’s nice to see them flourishing here.

Bet you've never seen one with a butterfly on it!
Bet you’ve never seen one with a butterfly on it!

The other day, I got a present from Mother Nature when a yellow-throated Euphonia flew into the house and I was able to catch it and spend a little time with him.  Sure was a beauty!  Small too…only a little larger than a hummingbird.  He had beautiful dark blue feathers and the contrasting yellow really made him stand out. Of course, I had to sniff it and sure enough, he smelled good too!  I’m beginning to think all birds must smell good!?  They all seem to have a similar scent.  He turned out to be ok and flew off fairly quickly.  So that was a nice gift!

P1030362 yellow-throated Euphonia

Well, Merry Christmas to all and thank you for sticking with me through everything, commenting on posts and for giving me encouragement.  It means more than any tangible gift ever could!!

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The Next Move

P1010514

Sorry for the radio silence there, had a friend visit from the States and we trekked back to my little town near the beach then up to Arenal for some hiking, hot springs and waterfalls!  I’ll post some pictures after the latest update.

In preparation for not being able to find a house sitting job, I decided to look for a Serpentarium in Panama I could volunteer for, since reptiles are my ‘true love’.  The one I found was in a town called El Valle de Anton which resides within a crater of an extinct volcano.  I didn’t hear back from the guy, but decided to look around at housing options and was lucky enough to email just the right person, who passed me on to another person and then BINGO!!

This ‘other person’ was starting a butterfly farm on his land (a couple from the U.S.) and had already been building it in preparation for a January opening.  Everything just sort of fell in place after that.  I will be able to live on the property and volunteer doing many different things, but first and foremost, raising butterflies!  How cool is THAT?!  I’m really looking forward to the experience.  He will also have a cafe which is another thing I wanted to do…bake, cook and make fruity drinks.  I’ll just be helping on the side with that, as well as giving tours, I assume.  Maybe if I have time I can do some paintings of some butterflies and sell those to help with his income.

I wanted to mention the strange occurrence of the names of the towns I’ve been living in…it goes like this:

1. San Antonio, Tx

2. Cocles, Costa Rica

3. Tronadora, Costa Rica

4. San Antonio, Costa Rica

5. Province of El Cocle, Panama

Of course none of these had been planned, just odd how I end up living in the same names of places somehow.

With my house sit being up here in early January, I’ll be in Panama the second week to hit the ground running!  It’ll be a great experience and exactly the type of thing I had in mind before ever leaving the States.  So look forward to some interesting posts in 2014 along with a new country to explore and experience!

Here are some photos from the trip last week with captions

Family of coati's near Arenal park
Family of coati’s near Arenal park
As close as you can get to Arenal volcano
As close as you can get to Arenal volcano
This was a river you could get into for FREE with hot water running through it
This was a river you could get into for FREE with hot water running through it
The huge waterfall at La Fortuna
The huge waterfall at La Fortuna
Nice beach dog in Puerto Viejo with beautiful eyes
Nice beach dog in Puerto Viejo with beautiful eyes
The old barge in Puerto Viejo
The old barge in Puerto Viejo
My favorite beach in Cocles/Playa Chiquita
My favorite beach in Cocles/Playa Chiquita
Sweet dog who loved to have sticks and coconuts thrown. She started burying this one
Sweet dog who loved to have sticks and coconuts thrown. She started burying this one
Cute crab on Punta Uva beach
Cute crab on Punta Uva beach
Sloth next to the pulperia in Playa Chiquita (wild)
Sloth next to the pulperia in Playa Chiquita (wild)
A gate down the street from my house in San Antonio de Turrialba
A gate down the street from my house in San Antonio de Turrialba
Me next to my favorite tree
Me next to my favorite tree
Steam rising from the Turrialba volcano
Steam rising from the Turrialba volcano