Accomplished another task...Plus, sightseeing in Costa Rica..

Tom shot this good photo of a leopard high above the ground on a perch.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
Early last evening, before the most powerful rain storm since our arrival in Atenas, this fire was burning on a hill.  We took this photo from the veranda.  Only moments later thunder and lightening filled the sky and pouring rain put the fire out in a matter of minutes.  Our pool was almost over flowing from the rain.
When the shipped package from our mailing service became lost in the mail while we were in Tasmania, one of the main reasons we were worried was the fact that Maillinkplus.com, as requested, had placed our paper mail and tax documents into the shipped box along with many other important items.
Ducks and lots of turtles.
When we didn't receive the package in time to do our 2016 taxes (it was later found and shipped to us in Sydney), our new accountant in Nevada filed an extension for us.  Our prior accountant had decided to quit the business that eventually led us to Donnie Castleman who proved to be fast, efficient and reasonably priced in getting our return completed. 

With the extension, we had until October 15, 2017, to file the return.  But, with a plan to put anything weighing heavily on our minds behind us, I got to work over this past week and sent Donnie everything he needed to complete the process.
We've seen these "flowers" in many botanical gardens throughout the world.  Thanks to friend Louise in Kauai Hawaii, she's identified this as Pine Cone Ginger.  Thanks, Louise!
This morning at 5:00 am, I received an email from Donnie that he'd completed the return and all we needed to do was print the signature page, sign it, scan it and send it back to him.  By 6:00 am, we'd reviewed everything, completed the few tasks, saved the documents to our external hard drive and cloud, and paid his bill via PayPal.  Whew!  That's a big relief.

Now, the only big items to accomplish between now and the next few months is extending our visas for Costa Rica by 23 days and Tom waiving Part B Medicare when the documents arrive in the snail mail in Nevada before his 65th birthday on December 23rd. 

As in my case, Part B does Tom no good outside the US which results in the necessity of us having International Health Insurance.  Neither of us has made a health insurance claim of any type in almost five years.  We'll write more on these two topics as it transpires. 
There are six varieties of Toucans in Costa Rica.
Also, by November, we'll need to select our clothing for the Antarctica cruise and have a physical exam by a local doctor certifying we are fit to travel to this remote location.  Neither of these items causes us any concern and we'll be diligent in getting them done on time.  

In the interim, we can begin to relax a little and check out some sightseeing venues here in Costa Rica.  We're not going to go crazy and go out every day.  Although we do plan to do something special at least once a week while spending plenty of time exploring on a variety of road trips.
We've yet to see a Toucan in the wild but surely over these next many months, we expect to.
Many have the perception that Costa Rica is run rampant by wild animals, birds, and colorful frogs. This is not necessarily the case when staying in a vacation home, resort or hotel.  No doubt, there are plenty of colorful birds flying about but we've yet to see a colorful frog.

Many tourist activities include hikes through the rainforests where one may be more inclined to encounter unusual wild animals.  Right now, as I continue to recover from this outrageous gastrointestinal thing, I'm not feeling like hiking in a rainforest.
I gushed over these baby rabbits as they crawled out of a hole in the ground.
Instead, yesterday we embarked on a two-hour hilly walk at what is called Zoo Ave located not too far from Atenas.  As many of our readers know, we aren't big fans of zoos.  We prefer to see native fawn and flora in a natural setting, not behind bars. 

However, when a facility advertises itself as a rehabilitation center we're more inclined to check it out.  As it turned out Zoo Ave (ave means "bird" in Spanish), located in La Garita, Costa Rica was well worth the trip, especially when we observed signs that depicted they'd rescued over 1000 animals in the past year.
White and black bunnies hanging out together.
It doesn't appear that Zoo Ave has its own website so we've included tourist's comments from TripAdvisor here.  With positive reviews of 4.5 of out 5, it appears others have enjoyed this facility with its intent to return rescued wildlife back to the wild when they are sufficiently healed and able to do so. 

Of course, some native animal can't ever be returned to the wild when they've become dependent on human supplied food sources, making them incapable of foraging on their own.  This is particularly sad but a necessary reality of rescue facilities.
We had the opportunity for numerous Iguana sightings at the facility including some not in cages with one walking across the path we walked.
The hard part for me was being unable to take good photos of delightful creatures who were ensconced in cages.  Although none of the animals were housed in small or inadequate cages they had plenty of room to wander, fly and navigate. 

Taking photos through chain link fences is impossible for an amateur photographer like me.  So I apologize for any of our less-than-clear photos we'll be posting over the next several days.  But, we did enjoy ourselves and we easily managed 10,000 steps on my FitBit, a goal I try to reach as often as possible.
This bird is huge, about half the size of an Ostrich.
It's funny how during our two-hour walk through the facility, I kept thinking of Africa and how practically face-to-face encounters with wildlife has become so important for both of us.  And yet, we're still drawn to the opportunity to see what each country has to offer in the way of its native wildlife and we often seek rescue facilities when we're unable to spot them any other way.

Actually, even in South Africa, we visited a few rescue facilities finding them dedicated and interesting in their commitment to returning as many animals as possible to their natural environment. 
Any suggestions on what this bird may be?
Now as I look back, I could kick myself for ever going to a facility that "trains" its inhabitants to perform for humans.  We'll never visit such a facility again if we can help it.  Over the years, we've become more educated and informed about wildlife which has had a tremendous impact on our views.,

After last night's massive rain storm today is damp and humid.  We plan to stay put, continuing to work on small tasks and perhaps relax and enjoy ourselves a little now that some bigger tasks are behind us. 
A green Parrot, comparable to the one that had flown into the glass on our veranda and survived.
May you have a pleasant day!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2016:
Many residential streets are narrow with room for only one car to pass without a bit of maneuvering.  The previous night there was a bombing at a nearby location.  At this point, we had nine days remaining until departure and we were anxious to be on our way.  For more details, please click here.

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