I was Two Feet from a Toucan in Atenas
by guest blogger Carole Connolly-Shaw
Carole and her husband Don are baby boomers and retired in Atenas, Roca Verde to be exact.
I want to share with you Carole’s blog because I know most of you will enjoy her short stories. They tell what living in Costa Rica is all about. Carole’s stories are fun to read.
I am not a birder. When I think of “birders”, the image of that lady on the Bob Cummings Show comes to mind. She wore a funny hat, actually I think it was a pith helmet, and maybe had a whistle around her neck. She was kind of geeky, which today is considered cool. Yeah, that’s it: geeky is the new cool.
While taking my morning walk through the steep hills of Roca Verde with my two visiting dogs, Turner, the Brazilian Mastiff, and Hootch, the white American Standford (pit bull), I stopped at the top of the steepest hill, which is nick-named “The Matterhorn”, to catch my breath. I’m surprised at how quiet my two canine companions get after a trek up The Matterhorn. The three of us stood under a tree, panting. I felt an energy to my left, and turned my head in that direction. Two feet from my shoulder was a lone toucan. He sat still for a moment, the dogs remained quiet focused on breathing, I gasped which broke the spell and the bird took off.
I’ve seen flocks of green parrots squawking their way over hill and dale in the neighborhood, I’ve seen ten scarlet macaws in the tree in my front yard in Esterillos, I’ve seen the beautiful Motmot with his long skinny swinging tail, while walking in Nosara, but I’ve never been two feet from a toucan in the wild; well it’s a gated community, not all that wild. It makes me want to get myself a birder hat and walk around with a color chart of the native species.
You just never know when one of Mother Nature’s creatures will surprise you. And no, I did not take the photo of the toucan; I borrowed it from stock by Peter Boyer in Atenas. The only photo I was able to snap was the one that shall remain in my memory and the feeling of peace and joy it brought me. Look around. Maybe there will be a surprise at your shoulder when you least expect it!