A stunning experience in the yard....Check out these photos!


This was the first sighting we've had of a Toucan in the yard.  Once the downed tree was removed it opened up an area where Ulysses spotted the two birds and came to tell us.  Notice the piece of fruit in her/his beak.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"

A butterfly landed on this metal clip in the tile on the veranda.  (The clip is used to anchor the hooks on the pull-down shades).  Tom took these two photos.

Although not an ideal shot, Tom took this closeup of the beautiful coloration of this butterfly.
This morning's late start was a result of us both staying busy in the kitchen cleaning and cutting vegetables and some fruit for Tom.  He's gained weight eating fruit and peanuts while here and will return to a totally low carb diet a month before we depart for the cruise. 

With a 30-night cruise ahead of us and many tempting foods for Tom, starting out a little lighter is always good.  For me, it's no difference one way or another.  I eat the same foods at "home" as I do on a cruise. 
The Toucans were very high up in the tree making it difficult to get a clear shot with our camera.  Soon, we'll be purchasing a new camera for Antarctica and Africa, keep this less expensive model so we can both take photos simultaneously. 
With the "feria" (farmers market) closed yesterday due to the storms we purchased all of our groceries and produce at the market, enough to last at least a week.

The taxi driver picked us up at the villa and dropped us off at the "barberia' owned by a Columbian family which is a popular spot for haircuts for the roughly 1500 expats in Atenas.  He paid CRC 4,000 (USD $6.97) which included a 25% tip!  Photos will follow in tomorrow's post.  We're both thrilled with the results.
The workers arrived in the morning and continued to remove the downed tree as shown on the right in this photo.
We'd brought the golf umbrella with us anticipating more rain. Apparently, the storm has moved toward the US with Costa Rica no longer under "red alert."  But, its still the rainy season and it can be sunny with a clear sky one moment and be raining in buckets 10 minutes later. 

Today at 10:30 am, the sky is totally blue and clear with hardly a white fluffy billow on the horizon.  Hopefully, we'll be able to do our 30-minute dose of Vitamin D and also swim in the pool once we're done with this post.  There have only been one or two afternoons since we arrived on August 1st that it hasn't rained in the afternoon, generally by 1:00 pm. 

It took most of the day to remove the tree and debris.
After his haircut, we walked to the central park in Atenas when we'd heard that colorful birds may be seen in tall trees at certain times.  With camera in hand, we walked through the park only seeing a few blackbirds pecking on the lawn.  We assumed the birds may still have been undercover due to the recent inclement weather.

From the park, we walked to the "farmacia," (the pharmacy) to see if they may carry any of the few prescriptions I'll be running out of, prior to departing Costa Rica.  (Lesson learned...I hadn't checked before we arrived to discover it's against the law in Costa Rica to receive any shipped prescription drugs.  This hasn't been an issue in other countries where we've lived and purchased necessary prescriptions online).

Several workers came to remove the fallen tree as a result of Hurricane Nate that hit Costa Rica while it was a tropical depression.
The pharmacist said she'd check and see if she could get the correct dosage (very low) for the medication I'm most concerned about.  It wasn't looking good.  While there, I purchased more Omeprazole (it's working!) to ensure I have enough on hand for the upcoming cruise.  Running out of necessary meds on a cruise isn't a good idea when cruise ships have a very limited pharmacy.

From the farmacia we headed to Coopeatenas to grocery shop.  Tom waited in the cafe while I took my time searching for the items on the app on my phone.  In no time at all, he spotted me approaching the register and gently moved me out of the way so he could load the many items on the counter for checkout.
The workers were high in the trees clearing the debris.
A security guard called a taxi for us for the short ride back to the villa (at a cost of CRC 2,000, USD $3.49 which included a 25% tip. Once back at the villa, the driveway was blocked with the tree removal guy's truck and equipment and Ulysses insisted on helping us carry the bags into the house.

Shortly after we put everything away, Ulysses came to the door in a tizzy, waving his arms and rapidly speaking in Spanish.  I will admit, I'm quickly learning Spanish much to my surprise.  I certainly can't speak fluently in this short time but when someone is speaking to us I can pick up enough keywords to grasp the intent of the content. 

Tom was watching the tree removal while carrying bags for the market.
Tom is learning a few words here and there but often mispronounces them while I practically roll on the floor in laughter.  He's a good sport and laughs right along with me.

Ulysses was trying to tell us there was a pair of Toucans in the trees behind the spot where the tree had since been removed.  Tom ran out with the camera taking the first few photos while I excitedly took the rest.  The thrill of it all was enhanced by the fact that one of the birds had a piece of fruit in his beak as shown in the above photos. 

A water storage tank and shed are behind the fallen tree.
For hours, we were reeling with the excitement of seeing the birds.  Today, Tom continues to head to the driveway every hour or so to see if they'd back.  We may never see them again during our remaining time in Costa Rica.  But, having seen and photographed them once was fulfilling. 

May you have a sunny and fulfilling day!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 7 2016:
This was a first sighting for us, a local taking a "bath" on the beach by tossing the sand all over his body.  An unusual practice which may be utilized by many without access to a shower or running water.  He later "rinsed off" in the ocean.  Click here for more details.

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