Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring . . . finally!!!

We've had TWO DAYS in a row of mild weather!  There are only a few stubborn piles of dirty snow left in parking lots and along the streets.  Today I made use of the day to take my camera to the Arboretum.  There were only a few tiny flowers popping up, but I enjoyed feeling, hearing, seeing and smelling spring!  Here's some of my photos:  These yellow ones are always the first ones I see each spring.  I'm not sure what they are, but they are a cheery pop of color, and very welcome indeed!

 This is a tiny, tiny grape hyacinth just emerging from the ground.
 Love the red bark on this, and the tiny bud.
 Textures abounded!
 A fuzzy bud!
 This was a close-up of tree bark.
 Just playing with DOF, shape and texture.
 Last year's leaves are floating in the open water -- but a lot of the lake was still frozen.
 I love the look of these trees against the sky.
I really hope spring has arrived in your part of the world!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Costa Rica Bird Sightings

I officially catalogued all the birds that I saw in Costa Rica, and I officially saw 17 new birds that I had never seen before, including 5 new varieties of hummingbirds.  Thanks to my friend Judy, who loaned me her Costa Rica bird book.  Here's my official list:
And here are some of my favorite birds:  Red lored Parrots made quite a racket every morning.
I think this is a Crested Guan
 This Toucan was in captivity, so it doesn't actually count.  But we heard them in the wild!
 And the hummers were wonderful!

The good news on the home front is that I've heard the cardinals start singing their spring mating song today!  All we need is for the ground to thaw, the snow to melt, and a few flowers to start blooming!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Costa Rica!

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica.  It was quite an adventure.  We logged over 800 km in a little manual transmission rental car, driving over mountain roads with a GPS that sometimes took us on detours just for fun.  We experienced beautiful scenes, friendly people and once-in-a-lifetime events.  Here are some photos from our trip:
 We watched the sun set over the Pacific (while it snowed back home!)
 We got to see some very cool critters in their natural habitat.
 We SWAM in a waterfall!  Now that was a fantastic experience.
 We peered over the edge of an active volcano.
 We saw so many lovely green, growing things.  After our long winter, it was wonderful indeed!
We will cherish the memories we made for years to come!  Costa Rica is a magical place, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to have an amazing adventure.