Friday, 30 March 2012

Sunrise to sunset

Greetings from the Serengeti in Africa, whoops, I mean Costa Rica.
Yes, I have more in this series to show you of my wonderful stay by the ocean.

With the Pacific to my back I look to the east at sunrise.


The morning light casts its opalescent net onto the sea.


It is an exquisite time of colour.There is a sense that anything is possible.

And then, as the light lifts, the waves swell and come surging into shore.


Back at our casita (little house) the flowers and foliage play peek-a-boo with the pool.
The torpid heat finally caused me to lose my inhibitions and I went swimming for the first time in over 20 years... because I HAD to.  And the big surprise was that I liked it!

Afternoons were so hot that I tried to move as little as possible.  I began to explore a more intuitive kind of drawing and was surprised to see these old world women evolve,  so obviously the unconscious result of my having just finished reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "Love in the Time of Cholera", an epic tale set in Colombia, spanning almost a century.  It's similar landscape and ethnicities set a distinct overlay to my time in Spanish-speaking Costa Rica that made my experience of it that much richer. 

As often as we went to meet the sunrise- around 5:50 a.m.,
we came back to the same beach to watch the sun set- around 5:50 in the evening.
Sometimes we had to run because it sank so quickly.

The timelessness of a great sunset.  I never tire of it.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

February 23 in Costa Rica

It has been a record-breaking week for warm weather in what is supposed to be late winter.  Today the robins and the junkos and sparrows hopped through the winterworn grasses looking for goodies, and even a tree frog called; so odd as the temperatures are over 20 Celsius degrees higher than seasonal. 

Here are a few more favourite shots to share of my magical time in Costa Rica; magical because it's all a dream now since I've been home for 2 weeks and 2 days.

Here is a "blue heron" though not the blue heron of home here in Muskoka.  This fellow is busy fishing in low tide among the mangroves of the Tamarindo estuary.

And then he flies away.  I  blew up this fragment of the original shot and remember now how I compensated for the one second delay on my camera by panning the flight of the bird,  just to keep it in the frame, hence the blurry background.

Another blurry blown-up fragment of my original shot, typically touristy with its tiny subject.
I've included it because I'm fascinated by the ethereal transparency of this egret's huge wings, something like the clouds that I can't get enough of.

Iguanas everywhere in the summer heat of dry season.   This shy girl ironically made her home in the hydro electric meter housed in cement that stood at eye level.  I inched closer and closer for a better shot, but she was having none of it and glided away as if on a blanket of air.

I will have a drawing to show you next time as well as another installment of my favourite holiday shots.  A Happy Vernal Equinox to us all.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

sea creatures and a not-so-gentleman caller

Two weeks ago this morning I was flying out of Costa Rica after a holiday of dreams. Thank goodness for photographs to remind me of the delicious moments.

The tiny crabs that skittered sideways away from me as I walked the Pacific beach of Playa Grande in the northwest province of Guanacaste.


I became quite enraptured with them, their little eyestalks assessing every move I made.


And here is a little hermit crab in his adopted shell of a home, casting his herculean shadow.


On this same morning, early in our trip, we encountered hundreds of small jellyfish washed ashore, surrounded by the squiggly paths of blobby, milky white sea creatures that live in shells.  When my friend Connie accidentally stepped on a jellyfish, she felt its sting all day.  That kept me from going barefoot until I realized that this event never happened again in our 2 week stay.


Two wee jellyfish that found themselves a puddle at low tide
 in which to survive until the sea reclaimed them.

That evening after dinner a handsome stranger, only 5 inches long,  flew in with such gusto that he landed behind our outdoor refrigerator.   Attracted no doubt by the social atmosphere, he arrived fully dressed for an evening out but stayed politely out of the way (here clinging to the bars of our window-yes, theft is an issue here) until he flew into Connie's hair as she was sweeping up after the dishes were done.  She screamed and we all came running. That night we went to bed laughing..

Might we always go to sleep with a smile.


Friday, 9 March 2012

We are all travellers

Vacations. Vacating. It puts a real spin on things to leave one's home for another and adapt so readily as we humans do to the next place we stand in.  One takes everything that one is to each new situation and so it is like one never left home at all.  Wherever you go, there you are.

Awake at 1 a.m. and on the plane by 6 a.m., I was excited and ready for my trip of a lifetime.
I had little reason to suspect that de-icing the plane would set off a chain of events that would cause my checked-in suitcase to miss my connecting flight in Miami and be delivered about 28 hours later to our little casita in Playa Grande on the Pacific coast of the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica where my friend, Connie, and I would stay for the next 2 weeks.

Nothing can compare to being above the clouds. Nothing.
I have many shots of this ethereal landscape.  It will be an exercise in self-discipline to keep from showing you every photograph I took.


Flying over Central America, I realized that we were, in fact, over Nicaragua, which has many volcanoes of its own. This was my first sighting, as you can see, in the top third of this picture.


Little was I to know that volcanoes are everywhere. And that Nicaragua has more than Costa Rica.

Here is a lake-filled crater. I'm going to guess that this is still Nicaragua. Most of the darker blue spots are made by cloud shadow.

As I said, I have a ridiculous amount of shots, often because my camera has a one second delay that nearly drove me "'round the bend".   I compensated by taking many shots in a row so that I might get a full frame picture rather than the tail end of some animal or bird,  or someone's smile wafting off because they thought the picture-taking was over.

I will share some of my best pictures over the next little while as well as whatever new projects I will be working on.  As for my Daily Project, I'm afraid it has bitten the dust.  Our household is in transition now as we prepare to...move.  Where we don't know. This all came up the week before I was to leave.  It has created a certain chaos around here. I would never have gone away on holiday if I had known that this was about to happen.  Fortunately we have a broad lead time so we can do the packing up and the editing with some sanity.  Still, it is an emotional time as I weigh through the lessons I have learned from travelling just at the time when my home is to be upended.  The big one that hits me most is: 

We are all travellers

It amazes me that I am home for 4 days already. If I had used my time this poorly while I was away I never would have seen anything. Exhaustion has set in and one afternoon I found myself flopped sideways on my bed, fully dressed and passed out. Slowly I am pulling the house back together even while I am thinking about pulling it apart. There is still time.

The mornig sky has since brought snow, lots of it.


A graphite sketch I did one hot afternoon in Costa Rica.
The bird is an interpretation of the magpie bluejay that I hand fed.

I send you tropical dreams from this snowy morning.