Show Me Them Boobies!


Did I get your attention? I love Blue-Footed Boobies! A bumpy hour boat ride off the coast of Puerto López, Ecuador ushered us to the isolated Isla de Plata, known as the poor man’s Galápagos or Silver Island because of the large deposits of guano that stain its dark cliffs. Some say that the uninhabited island derived its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake.

Indeed, there is treasure to be discovered here, but not in the way you would presume.  Take a walk with me . Let’s see if we can spot some Blue-Footed Boobies…my favorite comical birds.

A sea turtle greets us. I think he’s saying, “Welcome to Isla de la Plata.”
IMG_3156 Wait! Don’t leave yet. Boobies ahead.

Chasing Butterflies


“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

From a very early age, butterflies and moths have been my totems. I have always been enchanted by their graceful movements and their vibrant colors. Although they symbolize different things to different cultures, universally, they represent change and transformation.

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Keep chasing the butterflies.Read on.

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the First Day of Christmas


For The Weekly Photo Challenge: This week, we want to see photos that focus on one thing. Here is my interpretation of  “On the First Day of Christmas” Nicaraguan style. Instead of “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree: “On the first day of Christmas Nicaragua gave to me….

One hummer humming

                                                       One hummer a humming

One cormorant a flying

                                                     One cormorant a flying

One champion cock a fighting

                                                 One champion cock a fighting

One parrot a mimicking

                                              One parrot a mimicking

One pink chick a preening

                                                    One pink chick a preening

One heron a fishing

                                                        One heron a fishing

One owl a dizzy

                                                             One owl a dizzy

One hurracha a robbing

                                                           One Urraca a robbing

One black bird a injured

                                                       One black bird a injured

One nest a tweeting

                                                            One nest a tweeting

And a chicken in every Christmas pot

                                             And a chicken in every Christmas pot

Happy holidays to everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected


“Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.”
― Ron Hall

We are in the states for Ron’s mother’s celebration of life. The day of Jane’s celebration of life, we were greeted with unexpected surprises throughout the day. Most people want to be circled by safety…we prefer the unexpected.

                                                 Using an outhouse.
IMG_0176                           A headless scarecrow?
IMG_0180                                                   Snow???? Brrrrrr.
IMG_0041                              A little bird landed on Ron’s fingers.
IMG_0165                                      We found a secret tunnel at the museum where Jane’s
                                                    celebration of life was held.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: A Look Inside Our Finca


“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?” – S. Parkes Cadman

IMG_2462“There are no [hummingbirds] in last year’s nest.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

hummingbird nest                   “To every cow its calf; to every book its copy.”~ Irish Proverb
IMG_6033Princesa delivers Napolean…with a little help from her friendly vet.

 

“The so-called miracle of birth is nature getting her own way.”~ Camille Paglia

 

IMG_6066“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in[side] the heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

My interpretation of what’s inside for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside.  Inside our finca on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV


“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.”
― Brooks Atkinson

Can you tell the top from the bottom of the tree?
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My sweet Princesa drooling over mangoes. princesa copyMy awesome son and his fiancé taking the photo.
Cory and Tina copy

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways


I enjoy taking a late afternoon stroll along our beach near the sweet sea of Lake Cocibolca. Cormorants chatter among themselves, while searching for the prime spot and the best snack before bedtime.

Timeout for Art: This Little Piggy Went to Market


“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

A good friend of mine in Nicaragua is a pig farmer. Her two sows recently had two litters of 19 piglets in all. When the piglets are six to eight weeks old, she sells them. She invited me to visit her two farrows of piglets the other day. Scrambling on top of one another, bouncing, jumping, playing, napping…I enjoyed every second watching piglet antics.

This quote seemed very appropriate because there are two giant mama pigs, who take turns nursing the 19 piglets. The piglets sidle up, snuggle close, and I think they just want to be sure of each other.

IMG_3135During this video, there was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Nicaragua. There was plenty of rockin’ and rollin’ going on, but the sweet little piglets didn’t seem to mind one bit. And if you are rooting for the runt (who walks away unable to find a teat), don’t worry. He sidled up with the other mama pig a few minutes later…just to be sure.

The Plowman


Living a simple life of hard labor, our neighbor reminds me of the Plowman in the Canterbury Tales. He weaves his way through the fields, calling to his oxen, “Chele, Ya! Chele.” ( Chele is a nickname for white skin. “White, Go! White.”) The plowman was the most recognized symbol of the poor in the medieval world and was associated with great virtue. Nicaragua has many plowmen of great virtue. Lacking high-tech farm equipment such as tractors, these hard-working men travel from field to field with their oxen teams helping their friends and neighbors prepare for the planting season.

Ploughing family farms promptly at the beginning of the rainy season is critical to ensuring household food security and farm livelihoods.
IMG_2876Once the field is furrowed, a worker places sugar cane reeds in the furrows.
IMG_2878They haul the cane on their backs.
IMG_2869Then, sharp machetes chop the cane into small pieces and it is covered with dirt.
IMG_2868The plowman takes excellent care of his oxen. One tractor costs as much as 30 pairs of oxen that can do the work of three tractors. Animal traction is less expensive, more environment friendly, and more flexible than tractors.
IMG_2885The oxen take a rest. On average, a bovine needs 20-30 pounds of forage a day. These oxen are strong and healthy.
IMG_2874Dry season feeding is survival management for the cattle. It is estimated that cattle lose 50% of the weight gained during the rainy season.  Our neighbor understands the importance of growing cane for the dry season. The cane tops are cut and stored once they are mature and used to feed the cattle during the long, six months of the dry season.
IMG_2872It’s a busy morning in the field. The dogs roll and run through the field. The sharp machetes slice through the cane, and the virtuous plowman furrows the fertile earth for a blessed harvest during the dry season.
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Timeout for Art: Death Supports New Life


It’s Timeout for Art from Zebra Designs and Destinations. Every Thursday, we submit our drawings and Lisa tenderly and lovingly supports us in our attempts at pencil sketches and shading.

My goal this week was to improve my shading and highlight the lighter boundaries with a darker background. Every week, I feel like I am improving. But, I still like the feeling I get when sketching, more than the sketch itself. It is a tiny Zen moment in my daily life because there is no past, no future…only the now. My perceptions are keener, and my life is richer when I sketch. Thank you for this, Lisa. You are a great inspiration to me.

This week, I walked the beach and found the skull of the Gar that Julio hit over the head with two rocks. Growing out of its eyeball socket was the sprout of a Jacote tree.

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” ~Edgar Allan Poe

 

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