Wow! Safari luck as we wind down our time in Costa Rica...Six days and counting...

Colorful entrance to an art store in Atenas.
"Sightings on the Veranda in Costa Rica"
Once again, Tom's been able to capture another fabulous bird from the veranda while I was busy indoors making dinner.  This Yellow-tailed Oriole, although at quite a distance was a treasure to behold.  More photos will photo with his mate! 
Each afternoon, after we're done in the pool usually around 3:00 pm, Tom takes his computer to the veranda to listen to his favorite podcasts while I'll busy myself indoors, preparing dinner, downloading shows on Graboid, working on photos for future posts or returning email messages.

Eating only one meal a day, by 5:00 pm we're ready for dinner and we both get into a full-on mode to get everything to the dining room table, hot and ready for an enjoyable meal.

A cafe along the boulevard.
Yesterday, after spending time in the cool water of the pool which hadn't heated up by its solar power during the overcast day, we turned on the jacuzzi to let it warm.  The air was cool and windy and the thought of the warmth of the jacuzzi was rather appealing.

Stepping into the warm water of the hot tub was delightful.  We stayed for over an hour, chatting endlessly as usual.  We hadn't used the jacuzzi much (this was only the second time) since we arrived over three and a half months ago, in an attempt to keep the costs down for the owners. 

Bev and Sam had kindly given us a good rental rate for our extended stay. As always, in all vacation homes, we've been mindful of our use of the utilities, turning off lights, fans and appliances when not in use.

Side entrance to Catholic Church in Atenas, Iglesia Catolica Atenas, located in the center of town.
These two-hour afternoon "breaks" from each other are by no means "needed" to be away from each other.  But, somehow we've just gravitated toward this time apart to engage in activities that may not appeal to one another.

While I'm bustling indoors, Tom has the camera close at hand during these periods and has been fortunate to capture a number of outstanding bird photos, especially over these past several weeks.

Cafe and bake shop.
Perhaps its the time of day or weather conditions that bring more birds to the grounds than other times of the day.  It's been the rainy season in the Alajuela Valley over the past months.  Each day, we see more birds shortly before the deluge begins each afternoon. 

Yesterday was no exception when Tom called out to me to also take photos of stunning birds resting in the various trees on the grounds, sometimes in flocks or in pairs and with many singles on their own.

We squeal with delight when we see less common varieties, often colorful and bespeaking one's perception of wildlife in Costa Rica.  Over the past five years we've become more and more interested in birds as shown in our many posts. 

Our final walk through Central Park in Atenas.
We're certainly not birding experts and at times, we struggle to identify certain species when we can't readily find information online.  Thanks to the assistance of many of our regular readers, we often receive an identification 24-hours after we've uploaded a post after mentioning we're seeking the identity.

Recently, our most avid participants in providing information has been our friends Louise in Kauai, Hawaii where we spent four months in 2015 and here in Atenas in our neighborhood, Charlie, who'd also quite a bird enthusiast.  Thanks to both of you!

Each week we've had the taxi driver drop us off at this location so we can walk through the town on our way to the Supermercado Coopeatenas, the grocery store where we've shopped during this past many months.
Throughout the world, we've been able to ask our readers for assistance.  Invariably, we receive a response after which we edit the specific post to reflect the name of the bird as opposed to my inquiry in the caption.  Thanks to all of our worldwide readers for your assistance.

Now, as we contemplate our upcoming stay in Africa in less than three months, we do so with added enthusiasm.  While we were there for almost a year in 2013 to 2014, we were so busy observing and photographing large and small creatures, we failed to spend much time on birds.

This trip to Africa will be different with our enhanced interest in birds.  For us, when no "big game" is handy for observation, birds are an equally fascinating alternative.  We commend avid bird watchers for their patience in getting the perfect shot.

Popular pizza shop, Pizza Olivera, often attended by expats.
With the planned purchase of a new longer-range camera in the near future, prior to the Antarctica cruise, we look forward to enhanced shots of birds and other creatures we find in the wild.

There will no shortage of photos for the "Sightings on the Veranda in Costa Rica" we're wrapping up at the end of our remaining six nights in Atenas.  Soon, we'll be posting our "favorite photos" of Costa Rica and next Tuesday, we'll share our final expenses on our last post before heading to Florida for the South America cruise.

Have a blissful day.

Photo from one year ago today, November 16, 2016:
One year ago our friends Michelle and Carlo, whom we'd met on a prior Australian cruise, picked us up at the port in Perth while we were on another Australian cruise.  We had a fabulous day.  Michelle and I shopped while Tom went with Carlo to his office nearby. This is CJ (for Carlo Junior), the family's Char Pei who took a liking to Tom.  For more photos, please click here.


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