A World of Life in One Country/Costa Rica

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Imagine a land of bio diversity, a relatively small country that has an enormous variety of wildlife due to its neotropical climate and varying habitats. This peaceful, ecologically responsible land is home to more than 500,000 species, respresenting nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. It is one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in  the world. Of these species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.

The fact that, along with Panama Costa Rica formed a bridge between North and South America around three to five million years ago allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two continents to mix.

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From the magic of washed up trees on a beach in Domincal, Nature’s gallery of artistic perfection-random and beautiful-to the most minute eco system warriors that might go unnoticed if not for my viewing life through the zoom lens of a Nikon camera-my constant companion when we lived there.

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Flag Footed bug loves feeding on passion flower vines
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Leaf cutter ants, one of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants and can carry 20 times their body weight.

We discovered hundreds of leaf cutter ants right next to the beach, which extends from the jungle that borders the volcanic mountains of Costa Rica. Just look at the bio diversity in that last sentence!

 

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From the rich colors of dozens of birds we saw every day..

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To my friends, the iguanas and lizards that graced our doorstep with their presence daily, waiting for a few bread crumbs and a chance to be immortalized on digital memory!

Every day was filled with such diversity, often without leaving my front porch. I loved hanging out with the fun, freaky, fantastic family of nature in the land of Pura Vida.

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Nature is constant. So must we nurture it, accept its presence and necessity in our lives and embrace all that the world has to offer.  We were blessed to have known even a brief adventure in this paradise.

Stay tuned….

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Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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It’s sad to think it has been nearly four years now since we made the move back from Costa Rica. Since that time we have planned and been unable to revisit our second home on two separate occasions, both due to natural disasters.

In the past few days I have been going through photo files and reminiscing about our very special experiences there. I loved the photography opportunities almost as much as the people and all the unique places we were able to visit.

As I explore more files I will share more of our time there since many of my new friends here didn’t know me back in 2012 when I first began this blog as a way to share our lives in the beautiful country of Pura Vida!

Once upon a time in Costa Rica, we visited a spice farm named Villa Vanilla Spice Farm. As it happens, this tour was one of the first we took on our original journey to Costa Rica, long before we made the move. Once we lived there I had the opportunity to revisit the farm with my best friend when she came to visit us.

The farm grows orchids, which include the vanilla plant, which is actually an orchid. They also grow various bromiliads, cacao trees, carambola (star fruit), peppercorn plants and ceylon cinnamon trees.  Ceylon Cinnamon    is known as true cinnamon and is the variety you need for real cinnamon  health benefits for blood pressure and blood sugar control. The best part of the tour is learning how the owners and workers grow, harvest and prepare these natural plants for consumption. Tasting was fun too. Near the end of the tour, there is a treehouse with a magnificent view where the tour ends with chocoalate and cinnamon specialty coffees, vanilla cookies and a very special mandarin lime cheesecake. Heaven!

Take a walk with me and I’ll share a few photos with you.

 

And at the end, with the heat finally taking hold, we climb to the patio of the “treehouse” for a cool breeze, tasty treats and a breathtaking view. If you make it to the  Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, this tour is one of the traditional ones but well worth the time and sweating.

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I could sit there all day……and you can when you live there. 😉💕

 

 

Speechless/#SoCS

It is with my apologies to Linda Hill and her #SoCS prompt that today’s post is not as fun filled as I normally try to create.. I try to always post things that lift others up or give them a smile.

Sadly, at this particular time, when I hear the word reservation my heart and head are heavy. Since hearing the news about Anthony Bourdain, the word only conjures up memories of watching his great food show Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations with my husband and dreaming of visitng all those wonderful places and having similar experiences as Anthony. He will be missed by so many. That also reminds me of the recent suicide of Kate Spade and not so recently of Robin Williams. All will be missed. So many people lose hope and in a single moment of deepest despair make that decision to abandon the life they were born to live. It breaks my heart for them and for those who love them.

The word reservation also conjures images of the atrocities suffered by the indigenous peoples of this and other countries for decades, a fact that many people still are unaware of or simply don’t care to look at. The issue of our government separating parents from infants has not been confined to illegals over the course of its history. There are still Native Americans seeking their natural families after being taken from them as small children and forced to live in foster homes. These are not myths or justifiable procedures. They are heartbreaking stories of growing up with a sense of lost identity and disconnection.

I have no reservation in speaking from my heart about these things. Life is beautiful in so many ways. I try to always glean the best from every situation and share the perfect moments that I find; however, we must also look at those things which are tragically present in this world and that we can affect with our prayers, with our voices and our votes, and above all else-with our love.

May Peace reign over the dis-ease that is insidiously infecting God’s perfect creation.

1 Peter 3:9-11

9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

I rarely quote scripture these days; but since many use it as a weapon, I feel it is necessary to bring to light the words of the Christ who is being used to commit many atrocoties against his message. I also do not equate ‘evil’ to the traditional interpretation. In my heart evil is fear. When man fears he wishes to destroy. My mother and father taught me as a child that “There is no fear in perfect love.” It makes perfect sense to me, yet it can be a mighty mountain to climb in this life.

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Every living thing has a purpose
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Nature cares not for pride or possession
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We have a responsibilty to care for the planet

Even our thoughts have power, so we must use these thoughts and our words wisely, lovingly and without reservation.

Happy #Free48 everyone.

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Moments/#SoCS

Life is merely a string of now moments, some larger than life….

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Like me, living in Costa Rica…ever!
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Having a Real live toucan sitting on my shoulder
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Being able to enjoy this ridiculously decadent burger at a new venue
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A refreshing drink after a long week

 

While others are magnificently subtle, creeping over you like the brilliance of a sunset and pulling you into their perfection…

 

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Watching the busy-ness of Nature like a voyeur
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Scratching an itch…we all have needs
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The fragrance a blossom that only comes once in the dark of night
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Baking birthday cakes for friends..and having a piece!
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Making a simple meal of plantains
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My feet in the cool waters of a river
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Freezing a mood for all of posterity.

 

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One of my all time favorite moments-the completely unexpected! 🙊😂

Moments make a life. We need to remember that all moments which are savored are holy moments and try to savor every one for whatever it is bringing into our consciousness at the time.

Happy #Free48. That’s 2,880 moments…172,800 seconds’ worth of opportunity..waste not, want not.

This post brought to you via Linda Hill and her #SoCS prompt “start your post with a noun. “

 

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Let Go…

Of my mango!

 

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Once upon a time in Costa Rica…

I was fortunate to spend the better part of an hour taking photos and sharing the shade with this beautiful fellow on a hot, humid day in Quepos, Costa Rica. These iguanas are common there and can pop up anywhere at any time, and every time was a treasure to me.

 

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“Be sure to capture the essence of my beard, Camera Lady.”

This post was brought to you by my faithful Nikon, our Pura Vida life while in Costa Rica, and the presence of some of Nature’s most magnificent inhabitants.

Happy #Free48!