How many of us growing up thought the Toucan was a Kellogg’s bird? Froot Loops anyway?? Costa Rica has six different types of Toucans, this one being the Chestnut-Mandibled version. In real life they are highly energetic and dramatic in appearance, however much less over-the-top than Toucan Sam. The picture above is taken not long before sunset. My own observation being loud squawkers, rarely sitting still, and some not too bright.
The Toucan pictured below is standing on the hotel room balcony. He/she is repeatedly flying into the sliding glass door of the hotel guest’s room where food was left on the table. Can’t blame for wanting free food, but ouch! How many times does it take bumping your beak before stopping?
Bucket list bird! Getting a good image of a bird in flight is arguably the hardest form of taking pictures… their moving fast!!! Off to Costa Rica we went recently for vacation and I had two types of birds to find (also was looking for monkeys in the wild and here too we did not disappoint): the Scarlet Macaw shown here and a Toucan which will be in the next post.
Macaws – also known as Scarlet Macaws and Lapas locally – are native to Costa Rica living in the tropical low land forests along the Pacific Coast. Its estimated 1,500 of the birds call this country home.
The one here has a mate (they mate for life which is roughly 60 years). I heard the pair flying into the area from their noisy unique call, and was able to walk the half kilometer to the tree they landed in. Very lucky to be shooting rapid sequences when this Scarlet Macaw took off towards me.
The second photo below is the pair leaving the area.
Kind of speaks for itself. This is less about the image and more about the work that went into preparing this detailed light show. Look at the depth in this picture… how many animals of all sizes from front to back, scattered amongst grass and trees. And the color combinations! How many animals do you see? And which ones? Shout out to the engineers who put this together.
Let’s start with the first answer… no, this is not me! I tried surfing once many years ago in Costa Rica and can accurately say its not my sport. For some reason I can hurdle myself down black diamond runs on skis or across the most gnarly mountain bike terrain, however ask me to stand on a surfboard and its instant face plant.
We are here at Ho’okipa Beach Park on the North side of Maui where the good surfers come out for some fun. I say good, as there is another area on the way to Lahaina where the beginners get going, and at the other extreme there is ‘Jaws’ at Peahi further up the road to Hana from Ho’okipa where the world’s most experienced surfers compete. This dude is one of 30 or so surfers out on this day.
Iconic for Canadians and many people globally, I really like how a community has grown right around Toronto’s CN Tower. Without counting I’d guess 50 to 60 apartment buildings in the area. These two are the closest, framing the tower so perfectly on this cold December evening. The picture is taken from Canoe Field on the West side, a turf soccer pitch easily identifiable by a larger than life red canoe next to it.
Who is ready for spring? This was not the harshest of winters to live through however it did feel like the longest due to the pandemic. We are hardy people and have gotten through it – yay! The Oxford English Dictionary says a pastime is “a diversion or recreation which serves to pass the time agreeably; an activity done for pleasure rather than work…”. That kind of sums up the scene here. Grab a hot chocolate, sit in the sun, and watch the ice melt.
Who wouldn’t love a dinner setting like this right about now? Most of us are craving a nice meal out with friends and no masks. Happy to have this photo to remind us of what is not too far off once again. Wish I could say this was our dinner spot back in 2018, but alas, we walked past this wonderful table for 6 as we made our way to another location. No complaining allowed… it was warm, the food good, and we were having fun as a family.
This COVID thing is changing the pictures I’m getting. There are less trips out and about or abroad and more images from the home, immediate community or lake front. Being home so much has also allowed the family to appreciate the smaller things that were previously overlooked. And there is more time to go back over earlier pictures and remember certain things or special celebrations. So while there is snow outside now (brrrr!), I can share this earlier picture taken at twilight looking across the lake and remember how hot that evening was and how silent the air was.
This hawk is very impressive to be around. Starting with it’s awareness, it knows where I am all the time and tracks my movement continuously. To a certain degree it finds me curiously entertaining and I would say definitely not a threat. It visits each year for roughly 3 weeks bridging end July and beginning August. Sometimes its by itself (like this year) while others years there are two of them… adult and juvenile. Here its perched high atop a 75ft dead Birch watching me with the camera.