Magnificent Macaws

This very area is one of the best places to see Lapas Rojas, Scarlet Macaws; the largest of all parrots.
The first sunlight (around 6 am) this morning hit this pair of Macaws perched outside their nest (a hole high up in a dead tree trunk).
It's a symphony of colours when they launch into flight.
Later on, while we had breakfast on the porch, this pair did a fly-by.
After a rather quiet late morning we got an unexpected visit by the MC bikers.
They stopped by for a quick lunch on their way from the south en route westwards to Nicoya Peninsula.
Today's cuties are definitely these pink bananas (about 5 cm long).

Will be beach combing and swimming right after sunset. Hope to meet a crab-eating raccoon.



For the time being, home is now here.
Playa Mantas at low tide yesterday morning when we took a morning hike before the heat became almost unbearable. We're still adjusting to the high humidity and the high temperatures.
From mid morning until mid afternoon, we're perched on the porch letting the wildlife fly by. These hours double as an extended siesta. 
As retirees, we are entitled to take it easy whenever we feel like it and fill up with healthy fruits such as granadillas (orange colour) and guanabana (the white stuff that looks like a decomposing fish).
We have a lively household 24/7. Around the clock ants work tirelessly up and down the walls, back and forth on the floor. There are two ant species indoors: a 10mm long kind and then some tiny ones; the latter like to venture into the laptop through the various slots and openings, but so far they haven't created problems. Luckily we also have a handful of house geckos both in- and outdoors and they are busy keeping our insect population down to a reasonable level.
I've started exploring in the general area and encounter many new species every day.
This Cuban Cigar plant was unknown to me until this afternoon.
This evening I hiked in the jungle with a local guide to see snakes and nocturnal species.
Unfortunately, we didn't come across any reptiles, but we did see spooky stuff ...
... like this Tailless Whipscorpion.

- o 0 o -

The three MC explorers report that all is well. Today's challenge was apparently rapelling through some waterfalls. – Sounds wet and wild.


Costa del Thingos

Yesterday, we drove from San José and arrived around noon
at Punta Leona, ca. 15 km north of Jaco.
Our house is the one on the left. We have a magnificent view over and an easy access to the Pacific Ocean.
The warm water was soon tested – and approved.
Life on the porch is addictive and is hard to overdo.
I've begun botanizing, but it's quite a job to learn the multitude of plants that are new to me.
Butterflies are not any easier to identify. However, this one is the very big and wellknown Blue Morpho.
Tonight we will go to a local restaurant and enjoy a well-deserved Xmas dinner. – Tomorrow, the youngster will take off on motorcycles to tour CR for a week.


G-Day etc.

Thursday December 22 was G-Day.
G for GER and G for Graduation.
It turned out to be a long but very happy day for all of us.
Following some social behaviour and introductions about the pilot training we were watching the aircraft perform.
Both the jet rainer T-38 ...
... and the prop trainer T-6.
Before the formal graduation event, GER needed some banana fuel.
GER was one of 23 graduating pilots; 20 Americans, 2 Canadians,
and 1 Dane.
His older brother MOL had the honour of giving him the official wings during the ceremony.
Following the wings, six trophies were given to the best pilot.
David became the pilot ace of the year, because he was awarded five of the six trophies.
Pretty cool !!
We were all VERY proud !!
After some serious partying we flew towards Costa Rica the next morning
– and that's where we are now.

Stay tuned.



We've been in the land of the red people: okla humma,
as the Choctaw tribe used to call the inhabitants of this region.
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is in the SW of Oklahoma,
and it was a real pleasure to be in the tranquil wilderness amid withered plants,
Opuntia cacti,
cute prairie dogs,
and honkers flying south.
We went to the summit of Mount Scott
with stunning views over the crepuscular landscape.
We celebrated ourselves and the end of another fine day by dining Italian style in "Olive Garden", while the sunset was painting the sky.



While waiting for G-Day to come we've seen whatever we could see and have gone wherever we could go.
We've been shopping in the absolutely overwhelmingly huge Walmart.
We've had sushi at the Samurai of Tokyo.
Mumse has had her excitement flying a T-38 in the simulator.
GER has introduced us to the aircraft where he earned his wings.
Everyone wears a hat, barrett, beanie, cap or other headware and salutes up-rank. But this exact spot is a "No hat / No salute area", a sanctuary where all are equal.
We stay in this spacious house. The car is the famous "Danskerbil" whose interior stays in place thanks to several rolls of gaffa-tape.
Christmas is approaching rapidly, and last night I was so happy to encounter Jiminy Cricket on the kitchen floor. He would've entertained us all night with his high-pitched voice, had he not jumped into the waste bin and disappeared.


Bitterly cold

It never got above freezing for the past 36 hours, and the northwind keeps sweeping down the open spaces and wide streets. No time for the summer clothes that we have brought!
Friday night, GER + MOL went to join a Norwegian pilot party;
– and here they are heading out of the door.
Saturday night was another party night; this time a pre-grad celebration for GER.
Today, after having recovered, we checked out some of the art in town. I bet, Claude Monet had never thought of painting water lilies on his local horses :-)
The Kemp Center for the Arts had a wonderful collection of paintings etc etc made by local artists.
Even a cage-free chicken having the blues was on display.
Heading "home" from downtown on a chilly Sunday afternoon.