Friday, September 7, 2012

Is it a dog? . . . Is it a frog? ...NO . . . It's a Bird!

Waking to the sounds of birds singing is not unusual when you live at the beach in Costa Rica with the rainforest only minutes away.  Sometimes the singing is so loud you would think that they are right there in the room with you, which is not far from true when you live open air with the windows always open and they are perched in the palm trees in your yard.

But on this morning the sound was a little different.  It was actually called to my attention by our dog Bimbo who began to bark ferociously on the edge of the bed and demand to be put down.  You see she is but a little Maltipoo, part Maltese, part Poodle weighing only 10 lbs but is of the mind that she is 10 feet tall and rules the world and everything that crosses her path.

I lowered her to the floor so she could continue her pursuit and went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and go see what the fuss was all about.  As I opened the slider to the back terrace I thought that I heard the sound of a growling dog and proceeded with caution as I looked around to see where the sound was coming from.  After a moment I decided it sounded more like a giant bull frog with its long and steady croaking sound but I had never heard one that sounded that loud.  It was long, loud and deep and in the early morning dawn had an eeriness about it that gave me goose bumps.  Still looking around to find the culprit before I turned Bimbo loose to viciously attack, my eye followed the sound upward to see the most amazing bird perched gracefully on top of the wall that runs along the back of our yard.  It was one of those "Whoa" moments where you gasp a little and do a double take to grasp what you are seeing. 

Now when I talk about the birds singing and hanging out in our backyard I am referring to the little guys that you expect to normally be there in a backyard jungle paradise...  Not a huge long legged creature that growls like a dog and croaks like a frog!  As I watched him in all his glory he stretched his neck up to the sky like he was doing his morning yoga session to prepare for the day while slowly moving from side to side and as he did this he again let out the long, deep throaty sound that made me jump back and close the door to prevent Bimbo from going closer for fear that he might just enjoy her for his morning breakfast!  . . . and of course to get my camera!

And so you have it.....   another beginning to just another day of Pura Vida in the rainforest jungle of paradise amongst the birds!

So....can anyone name this bird?

I have looked through several pics to try to find what it is but can't seem to find one that compares to it.  It is really tall . . . about 2 - 3 feet when stretched out.  I am sure it is a sea bird of some sort and thinking maybe a species of the heron ...but his legs look too short.  

Too bad he did not turn around and pose for me with a front view.  Maybe he will come back tomorrow and I will be ready with my video to capture his eerie growl!

Interesting how my dalliance with my camera has led me to learn more about our feathered friends.  Even those that croak and growl instead of singing a nice melody!


Visit my website to view more fauna of Costa Rica!
deb's dalliance / fauna

Special thanks to my friend Marianna for letting me know that this amazing bird 
is a Bare Throated Tiger Heron!   
See the video below to hear it Croak....  I mean sing!
After learning more about this morning visitor my thoughts were 
confirmed that this unusual noise it makes is a mating call! 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ratatouille ~ Inspiration to Pursue Your Passions

Sometimes when you least expect it life can be interrupted by those creatures that God put on this earth to make us scream like crazy people and take flight to higher ground. 

Yes, the proverbial RAT has crossed my path!  No I did not say Black Cat.....   I clearly said RAT.  It was one of those fleeting moments where you catch a flash of motion from the corner of your eye and you convince yourself it was nothing and continue with what you were so intently doing.  In my case... sitting at my desk on the computer.  Now I cannot remember if I was reading an email or posting to a Facebook friend while my more serious chore of uploading photos to my website was running in the background. 

Lucky that I felt the need to step away for a moment to stretch and retrieve an icy beverage because as I returned to sit back down there he was bigger than life in all his scurrying glory rushing under my desk right where my feet were previously resting!!! 

REACTION:     L O U D   S C R E E C H I N G   S C R E A M !!!  

 . . . as I of course ran and jumped on the sofa yelling...    "It's a RAT!"  

This is not my typical reaction to most things that happen in my life but then again . . . I am after all a sometimes helpless female that admittedly needs and depends on the male gender for protection and saving me from the scary things in life. 

After being joined on the sofa by Bimbo (my dog) who was terrified by this horrific scene unfolding before her very eyes we confidently watched as our Knight in Shining Armour entered the room where the Rat, whom I will call Remy in the name of inspiration for a passion, was hiding.  We listened through the closed door to much banging and slamming and fearful hearts not knowing who would emerge victorious from behind the door . . . . the Rat or the Knight!

Thank goodness the stars were still in our favor on this night of attack and our proud Knight emerged with a broken broom and one dead rat!  (RIP Remy may you now find your calling n Rat heaven)  Thank you Proud Knight!

And so we move on with the inspirations from a Rat . . .or a Ratatouille . . .

We pay attention when a Black Cat crosses our path, and there are many sayings about the proverbial Rat....  Drenched Rat, Rat Fink, Rat Race, Pack Rat, Rat Trap, Rat Hole . . .  but today I will take my own inspiration from Revy, a rat that dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat.   My message will be about the proverbial rat on the wheel who is busy running through life daily but goes nowhere in particular and is not really accomplishing the things that are truly important to his own personal goals.   The things that give him joy.

It is true that we are all procrastinators and we are taught that our daily required chores must always come first so we tend to put off the things that we are passionate about and that bring us joy and fulfillment.   But why?  Life is short. . . let's get off of that wheel that is taking us nowhere and do those things that make us feel good!

What would you be doing if you got off the  rat race wheel that takes away all of your time and becomes the excuse for procrastination to pursue your dreams?

For me it will be to return to my love of creativity!  The passion to enjoy my artistic side with the art of photography, drawing, pastels and painting.  My love of the brush and to dabble in paint!

I am trading in my "Rat Race" wheel for the Color Wheel and I will unleash my joys of creativity!  

Isn't it amazing what a rat can do to inspire you?  
Thank you Ratatouille!