After a night of rain beating furiously down on our roof, we awaken to a new world. The power of the rain is a force to be dealt with, the water has carved new paths into the sodden Earth. The torrential downpour has washed away old patterns, replacing them anew.
“What is the scent of water? Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.” ~ Elizabeth Goudge
Dawn shines on a different world today. Everything is changed. The rain has cleared out the old, stagnant energy that lingered and suffocated. What was before, is now gone. What never was, now is. The world is starting over, painting a new beginning. The rain is cleansing. It washes away the past while making room for the future.
Can you feel it? The change? The change that comes with the rain?
The Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica averages between 200-300 inches of rain per year. (To help you put that number into perspective, Seattle is known as one of the rainiest cities, but only averages 38 inches of rain per year.) But in Seattle it can be a constant drizzle, with no sign of the sun for days, or even weeks at a time.
Even during rainy season in Costa Rica, it is rare to have more than a day or two without sunshine. Most mornings start out sunny and clear, with the rain hitting in the afternoon/evening.
But the rain is different here. When you get caught in a downpour of sideways jungle rain, no umbrella or rain jacket will keep you dry. These extreme, powerful downpours can cause flash floods, landslides, swollen rivers, swift currents, and other hazards.
"There’s always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down." ~Don DeLillo
My husband Andy and I are sitting on top of this mountain of jungle, watching the rain change the land before us, witnessing the jungle come down around us, one tree at a time. Out with the old, in with the new.
I know we must weather the storm, embrace the new, bend flexibly into the breeze of change. But it was a sad day for us when one of our favorite bird watching trees took it's last breath, fell, and crumbled into the Earth, with a solemn sigh.
Two Scarlet macaws sharing our favorite tree with a Mealy parrot.
Two Black-mandibled toucans enjoying the tree.
Late one evening we were startled by a thundering boom, as a tree across the road from our house viciously uprooted itself, ripping its veins from the dirt, and toppling over in the ruthless downpour surrounding it. The eerie silence that followed seemed to honor the life of the tree. The heavy rain paused for a moment, acknowledging the sacrifice. The silence is followed by more ripping sounds, as another tree crashes to it's death. And another. And another.
Our walls begin to shake as the thundering sound builds with anger. The ground caves in and a landslide of mud, trees, and debris melt into a horrifying river of turmoil. A tsunami of jungle is rushing down the side of the mountain, toward us, and the sound is deafening. Fear floods my veins and my body goes numb with terror. After 30 never-ending seconds, the sound stops as suddenly as it began...our ninth life, in Costa Rica, spared.
We head outside at first light to examine the destruction. The landslide came to a stop at the bottom of the valley, just across the road from our house.
Hiking up the road, we photograph the sheer drop-off the landslide left behind.
The gaping hole where the trees used to stand now opens up to a stunning, panoramic ocean view. Clearing out the old, making room for the new.
I've never been good with change (says the girl who moved to Costa Rica without a plan). But the only constant in life is change. We must bend, or we will break. Change only means what was before wasn't meant for you. Learn to let things go, for the simple fact they are heavy. Change is inevitable, progress is optional.
Beneath the renewal of the rain, while surfing life's waves of change, we will find our new direction...
"Good night. I have said my prayer with the forest; stood to the dark and the rain; cast my voice on the storm. Though my body shall lie in heavy slumber, my petition has gone on, caught and carried in the surge of the trees, whirled in high vortex over the mountain, drifting in black mists through the fertile night. Acknowledged, answered, in the drip of the rain."
~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
Costa Rica is a country famous for it's abundant monkey population. Of 250 species of primates in the world, 68 of these species are located in the Americas, and there are four kinds of monkeys native to Costa Rica:
1) Mantled Howler Monkey
2) White-faced Capuchin Monkey
3) Central American Squirrel Monkey
4) Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
The Southern Pacific Zone is the only section of Costa Rica in which you can see all four monkey species in the wild. The only national park where all four species exist together is the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula.
All of the Costa Rican monkeys are active during the day and live in the treetops. You can observe them munching on fruit, leaves and insects, and swinging between the trees using their prehensile tail like a fifth limb. My husband Andy and I have been lucky in our travels across Costa Rica, and we have witnessed all four monkey species in the wild.
1 - THE MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY
The booming roar of a howler monkey can be heard from over 3 miles away and is the reason this monkey was gifted it's name. Howling loudly at dusk and dawn, the males call to each other across the jungle, to claim their section and warn others away. Known for being the loudest land animal, the chilling sound of a howler monkey is startling and I will never forget the first time I heard it.
Here is a video I took of one howling:
Howler monkey howling in Samara, Costa Rica
Howlers are the 2nd largest monkey species in Costa Rica. Adult males average 16 pounds and adult females 12 pounds. Despite their booming howl and large size, they are known to be a gentle breed with a calm, peaceful nature about them.
Infants are silver to golden brown and in adulthood become black with brown or blonde saddles. Howler monkeys are sedentary foragers and live on a diet of plants and fruit.
*fun fact!*: the call of the howler monkey was used in Jurassic Park as the sound of the T-Rex.
2 - WHITE-FACED CAPUCHIN MONKEY
The white-faced capuchin monkey is the 2nd smallest monkey species in Costa Rica. Adult males average just over 8 pounds and females around 6. Known to be the most curious monkey, they will get down on low branches to carefully examine you as you photograph them. But watch out, they may throw a stick or two at you when you're not looking, as they are known to be one of the more aggressive monkey species.
Capuchin monkeys will eat absolutely anything and are notorious for robbing tourists. One friend of ours had her M & M's stolen from her purse, by a capuchin monkey, while she swam in the ocean. And another friend of ours was nearly attacked by one as he ran up her legs to grab her granola bar from her hand.
We have come across the capuchin monkeys quite a few times in the wild, but the most memorable experience was the time we stumbled onto some accidental white-faced monkey porn:
*fun fact!*: capuchin monkeys are thought to be the most intelligent monkey species in the world and have even been trained to assist paraplegics.
3 - CENTRAL AMERICAN SQUIRREL MONKEY
The smallest of the Costa Rican monkey species is the adorable squirrel monkey. They typically average around 1.5 pounds and are similar in size to a squirrel. These tiny guys will eat mostly anything but prefer insects. Very entertaining to watch, they fly through the trees and forage for food, while squeaking, chirping and playing amongst each other.
Here is an entertaining video I took of them flying through the trees in our yard:
Squirrel monkeys in Costa Rica: MONKEY CROSSING!
The squirrel monkey, aka the Titi monkey, is making a comeback after near extinction, and is no longer considered "endangered". As their population continues to grow they have been upgraded to "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
*fun fact!*: squirrel monkeys are known to have the largest brain to body mass ratio of all monkey species in the world.
4 - GEOFFROY'S SPIDER MONKEY
The spider monkey is the largest of the Costa Rican monkey species, averaging around 18 pounds. They are easily recognized by their long, slim arms and large size. A bit more elusive than the other monkey species, they are somewhat rare to spot in the wild.
The IUCN has rated the Geoffroy's Spider monkey as endangered. Spider monkeys are the first animal to vanish from an area once deforestation has occurred, as they require large, lush areas to reproduce. The presence of a spider monkey in a particular forest is a strong indicator of the success and health of that particular area.
*fun fact!*: spider monkeys do not have thumbs, they maneuver through the trees using only their prehensile tail and their arms.
But of all of our monkey sightings in Costa Rica, there is nothing quite like getting lost in the pure, innocent eyes of a baby monkey. Seeing a monkey baby is always my favorite experience.
How many monkey species did you see on your trip to Costa Rica? Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!
Do you ever feel like there are guardian angels watching over you? Like they are invisibly floating above you, arranging parts of your life like a game of chess, pulling strings and making moves, to maneuver you into the right place at the exact right moment in time?
A recent series of mishaps and setbacks led up to the most epic, serendipitous moment of our Costa Rica experience. It began with our miniature dachshund Sophie becoming violently ill, projectile vomiting every hour until we took her to the vet. After checking her vitals and doing a blood test they still weren't sure what was wrong with her. The vet decided to hook her up to an IV, due to her severe dehydration, and keep her overnight for observation.
The next day the vet said she was feeling better and that we could pick her up that afternoon. We scheduled a departure time and in true "Tico time" fashion we were running behind schedule by over an hour. Finally we head to the car just as a worker shows up to work in our yard. He parked his motorcycle directly in front of our car, like the universe was deliberately shielding us from our intended departure, once again.
Finally we hit the road and as we are almost to the town of Uvita we notice a furry blob on the side of the road, as we speed by. My husband Andy decides to turn around to check on it, just incase it is an animal in need. We put on our hazard lights and pull up to an adorable, smiling sloth trying to slowly cross the busy Costanera Highway.
Many sloths die each year in Costa Rica when they are hit by vehicles. They are slow moving animals and if one tries to cross a busy road, the chances of it being hit are very high. 18-wheelers are barreling toward us in both directions, just as the sloth makes it from the side of the road, into the south-bound lane, directly into the line of traffic.
Andy stands there blocking him from moving further into the road, trying to nudge him in the opposite direction, as we signal to the truckers. One of the trucks slows down, honks his horn and gives us a double thumbs up. Everyone in Costa Rica supports the wildlife here, as it is a huge part of what makes this country so special.
Eventually we decide he needs to be carried away from the dangerous highway, just as he continues trying to cross the road and we see another truck barreling toward him. Andy makes an instant decision and delicately picks him up and carries him across the road.
It takes a real man to stop traffic to help a sloth safely cross a busy road. Here is a video I took of the heroic, touching sloth rescue:
Helping a sloth safely cross a busy road in Costa Rica
Spotting a section of trees off the highway, we decide he will be safest in that area. Andy picks him up again to make sure we leave him in the safest spot possible.
The friendly little guy shows us his appreciation with a happy wave and a smile. He brings tears to my eyes with his joyful spirit and genuine gratitude.
A heart-warming video of him smiling at us:
A sloth smiling at us from a tree after we saved his life on a busy highway in Costa Rica
If we had been even 60 seconds later, or earlier…I cringe to think of the results. It occurs to me in this moment that maybe Sophie took one for the sloth team and became violently ill to save an innocent sloth's life, and to give her parents the most epic, humbling, touching experience of their Costa Rican adventures so far.
Muchas gracias mi perro, dogia Sophia, who is now feeling much better. And thanks to my hero of a husband for being such a good, helping, compassionate person who always does the right thing. How many people can say they helped a sloth cross the road?
Costa Rica is famous for it's vibrant, rich sunsets. There is nothing like watching the sun sink into the ocean, the sky alight with rainbow fire, the salt water reflecting the blinding colors from above. The warmth, beauty and uniqueness of each sunset witnessed seeps inside you, weaving itself into your heart strings, forever becoming a part of your soul.
As my husband Andy and I have traveled across Costa Rica we have witnessed some spectacular sunsets. Pictures are worth a thousand words and I will let these breath-taking collection of our favorite sunset captures speak for themselves.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
- Rabindranath Tagore
There is nothing like a Sunday drive on a Thursday…(or whatever day it is). My husband Andy, our friend Jose, and I all hit the road in our trusty 1997 Toyota 4Runner, for a random Costa Rican road trip.
Exploring a rough mountain road across the valley from our house, we stop to photograph the distant, breath-taking, magnificent 300-foot waterfall in our village.
Zooming in with our zoom lens, we get a never-before-seen shot of our house, tucked into a rugged wall of jungle.
Continuing our drive we head into the town of Uvita and drive up some random side road, following signs to Catarata Carolina, a secret waterfall unknown to most. We pull into a flat spot at the top of the hill and admire the spectacular view of the ocean and valley below, blanketed by the velvety sun.
The famous whale's tail beach that Uvita is known for is a sand bar exposed at low tide that resembles a whale's tail when viewed from above.
Throwing our backpacks on, we follow some local Ticos as they guide us to the waterfall. The hike is slippery and steep but after 30 minutes we hear the roar of the falls. Catarata Carolina is pristine and glowing with pure, natural, untouched beauty.
The spot is deserted, no sign of life but us. Time ceases to exist, the jungle is vibrant in the afternoon sun and the soothing rush of the water drowns out all noise.
Untouched, the water is icy and fresh. This secluded piece of nature is something out of a movie, a dream, or maybe it just dropped straight down from heaven when heaven ran out of room to contain all the beauty.
The sky begins to darken and the afternoon storm rolls in. Suddenly we are engulfed in sideways jungle rain and we decide to begin our hike back up the mountainside. The downpour quickly passes, but by the time we reach the car we are soaked with sweat and thirsty for an ice cold beer.
Enjoying the sunset over the whale's tail we watch the storm roll out, and the tide roll in.
A rainbow of sunset colors sprinkle the sky as the sun dips down past the horizon. It is impossible to watch the sun sink into the ocean and not feel lucky to be alive.
Our perfect Costa Rican day ends as a noisy pandemonium of parrots circle above us, eventually flying off into the sunset, in search of their happily ever after…
"The redness had seeped from the day and night was arranging herself around us.
Cooling things down, staining and dyeing the evening purple and blue and black."
- Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Gracias. Peace. One Love. Namaste. Pura Vida.
Playa Ventanas, also known as "Windows Beach", gets it's name from the rugged sea caves carved into the massive rock wall that lines the shore. Just off the Costanera Highway 34, this is an easy beach to access, and a safe and pristine spot to waste the day. The cost is 1500 colones/car (about $3), if you arrive before 2pm. After that the entrance fee is waived.
Coconut palms line the beach, creating many ideal hammock spots in the cool shade. My husband Andy and I spent our 7th anniversary enjoying breath-taking Playa Ventanas, as this has become one of our favorite beaches in the Southern zone of Costa Rica.
A quaint beach stand, that is run by a friendly, local Tico man, sells delicious and authentic Costa Rican beach snacks: pipas frias (cold, fresh coconuts), ceviche fresco (freshly made ceviche), and platanos (homemade plantain chips), so that you may never go thirsty or hungry. After a salty swim there is nothing better than ice cold coconut water, flavorful ceviche and crunchy plantain chips to munch on.
The caves this beach was named after extend out into the ocean, and are about 50 meters deep. At low tide you can walk through the caves, exploring the dark caverns, and admiring the strange sea creatures stuck to the wall. At high tide the ocean barrels through the caves, building pressure which erupts with a "blowhole effect", spraying a salty, ocean mist high into the atmosphere.
Standing on the shoreline and looking out at the Pacific Ocean, you can see the famous Las Tres Hermanas (The Three Sisters) rock formation. These are believed to have separated from the shore many years ago, creating the beach caves that Playa Ventanas is known for.
Playa Ventanas is also known for its vibrant sunsets over the water, which is why we chose to spend our anniversary evening at this special spot. "Windows Beach" always lives up to it's name. The sinking sun alights the ocean below with an orange fire, and we are looking through a window, straight into heaven.
Sunsets are one of my favorite things in life. Each one is unique, each one spectacular, each one free. Sunsets are Mother Nature's kiss good night, the opening music of the night, proof that no matter what each day can end beautifully.
It's impossible to watch a sunset and not dream...
"Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside
you should be sitting under." - C. JoyBell C.
Living in a foreign country and not speaking the native language is incredibly humbling. Especially for me, a Journalism major, someone who loves to communicate. Removing the security of communication from my life, becoming the minority, the foreigner, changes a person and the way you see the world.
The world is wide, and I know so little...
English is a difficult language to learn, and after living abroad I now understand why. English makes absolutely no sense. The language is nearly impossible to navigate for a beginner. It's a miracle anyone understands English at all.
We speak in a series of idioms, sayings, figures of speech that we hear repeated over and over...that literally make no sense. (And can we add literally to the list of overused English words and phrases I never want to hear again?)
Why do we have noses that run and feet that smell? And butterflies in our stomachs and frogs in our throats? Why do we tell people to break a leg? Why do we screw the pooch, or go on a wild goose chase, or cry wolf or pull a rabbit out of a hat?
IDIOM ~ a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest.
An idiom is a form of expression, a peculiar arrangement of words in which they cannot be understood grammatically. The words used together have a meaning different from the dictionary definition of each individual word. You can see why idioms make it difficult for an English learner. The English language has thousands of idioms, so many in fact that most language students need an English idiom dictionary in addition to a regular dictionary.
When I hear someone using an idiom these days I stop and ask myself if I were learning to speak English, would I understand that saying and what the person means by using it?
Steal my thunder...
(I was unaware thunder belonged to you.)
Speak of the devil...
(actually I wasn't!)
Let the cat out of the bag...
(um, can we please talk about why the cat was in the bag?)
It's raining cats and dogs...
A literal shitstorm...
(from the raining pets?)
Cut the cheese...
(I love cheese!)
Hit the nail on the head...
(where else would you hit it?)
The ball is in your court...
(I'm sorry...why is there a ball? Are we playing a game?)
Don't have a cow...
(well I was thinking of ordering the burger...)
It costs an arm and a leg...
(that's obviously not worth it, unless it comes with complimentary prosthetics)
By the skin of your teeth...
(wait...my teeth have skin?)
You win some, you lose some...
(duh, stating the obvious.)
Don't spill the beans...
(I won't, I'm not eating beans.)
Cross that bridge when you come to it...
(pretty sure it's impossible to cross it before then...)
Let's call it a day...
(well that is it's name.)
To make a long story short...
(actually you're just making it longer.)
The next time you are out and about pay attention to what people are saying around you. Count the idioms, funny sayings, and figures of speech. They are everywhere. Everyone overuses these tired idioms. I certainly do…or did.
I am actively trying to remove these idioms from my daily language. Instead I'd like to think of something original to say, to only speak if it improves the silence. English is a tired language. Don't be lazy. Use your words, not mindless, outdated, cliche sayings you've heard repeated for generations.
Although idioms really push my buttons, I must admit that I am fond of a few...like take life by the balls, put your big girl panties on and deal with it, and when pigs fly.
What are your favorite idioms? Which ones bother you the most? Which ones make the least sense? And which, in your opinion, is the most overused idiom that should be permanently banned from the English language?
Hopefully you are chomping at the bit to share your idiom opinions with me. Why not make it a piece of cake, I'm all ears, although I can only lead a horse to water…anyway, to make a long story short, it takes two to tango and I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I'm counting on all of you to step up to the plate, cover all your bases, and jump on the bandwagon.
Have a blast, and think outside the box, but don't jump ship, while I hit the hay and go count some sheep, since I'm running on fumes. Cat got your tongue? Head in the clouds? Penny for your thoughts? Come on, don't be shy, time flies, don't beat around the bush, the ball is in your court, so let the cat out of the bag!
Hold your horses, cool your jets, I'm only blowing smoke and barking up the wrong tree. I'm just pulling your leg, you're off the hook, class dismissed…now go have your cake…(but make sure you eat it too).
Discovering a new beach is something we look forward to, and we have been determined to find the closest beach to our house. That happens to be Playa Tortuga, "Turtle Beach".
Located along the Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, near the charming town of Ojochal, Playa Tortuga has a few different entrances. After turning down some random side road, we pull up to a deserted beach paradise.
Settling in, we claim a section of sand and set up shop. I could tie a hammock up in my sleep these days, a hammock is something we never leave home without. It is a portable nap spot, a bed strung between palm trees, therapy for the soul, and permission to do nothing.
The sun bounces off the water, reflecting the vibrant blue sky above. The sand sparkles, the ocean is blinding with beauty, and life once again looks like a painting.
Our miniature dachshund Sophie is excited to be frolicking on the beach. Sun's out, tongue's out.
Two local dogs approach us, sniffing Sophie, wondering if she is a cat, a dog or a chew toy.
She passes the test and they joyfully sprint up and down the beach as a threesome.
It's a dog's life around here...
'Living La Pura Vida', Sophie wears herself out as she runs tirelessly along the pristine shoreline.
Stopping only to ponder the meaning of life...
As I'm trying to keep up with Sophie, I discover a few gifts from the ocean. Being spoiled by deserted Costa Rican beaches, I now judge a beach on it's sand dollar supply and Playa Tortuga does not disappoint.
When you find so many whole sand dollars that you can't possibly take them all home with you...#costaricaproblems
Sand dollars are quite fascinating. I feel lucky to live in a place where they exist in such abundance. Ever heard The Legend of the Sand Dollar?
As much as we love living near the beach, we don't like the beach living with us. Sand happens...but we try not to bring too much of it home with us.
Sophie's ocean bath somehow becomes a dog-pile pool party, all black and tan dogs are invited.
Until next time...Peace Out Beaches.
Costa Rica will make a bird watcher out of anyone. Located in the neotropical region of Central America, over 900 bird species have been identified and recorded in this bird-rich country.
The part of Costa Rica we currently live in is known for it's extreme variety of colorful birds, and we spend most of our days on our balcony, birding out, with our camera, binoculars and bird book.
Here are some of our favorite bird photos we have taken from our yard:
Green Honeycreeper (male)
Green Honeycreeper (female)
A pair of Masked Tityras
A pandemonium of Mealy Parrots
A pair of Scarlet Macaws
A family of 16 Scarlet Macaws
Squirrel Cuckoo eating a Golden Orb spider
Every bird nerd should add Costa Rica to their lifetime bucket list. Particularly the Caribbean side of the country, and the Osa Peninsula, are both known as a birdwatcher's paradise. With toucans, parrots and vibrant, colorful tanagers surrounding you, I promise you will not be disappointed.
As my husband and I have been traveling around Costa Rica, like homeless gypsy wanderers, we have witnessed many things that will forever be seared into our memories. Monkeys and sloths crossing the road, 6-foot pit vipers trying to kill us, a pod of 300 dolphins surrounding our boat, tourists being robbed by a pack of rambunctious raccoons, 30 mammoth crocodiles piled up on the shore of a river, spiders the size of our heads…I could go on and on.
The animal encounters we get to witness are mind-blowing. The diversity of the wildlife in this country truly is remarkable and we rarely have to leave our house to meet a new animal. A few days ago I was once again reminded of the incredible animals that exist in this portion of the country, as I had three up-close, lifetime bucket list experiences, within a 24-hour-period.
My 24-hours of Costa Rican ecstasy began with a bumpy afternoon beach drive on our favorite beach: Playa Linda. The roads in Costa Rica are a special kind of horrible, but this is not always a bad thing. The potholes and multiple river crossings force you to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Creeping along at 5mph, as Andy dodges potholes with his expert driving skills, I happen to notice a large, furry blob clinging to a palm tree. We pull over and admire an adult sloth in the midst of an afternoon slumber.
Sloths are only found in Central and South America, so it is a treat to see one in the wild. Although there are many sloths in Costa Rica, they can be hard to spot as they rarely move and have impressive camouflage. We are lucky to spot one with our bare eyes, this has only happened to us a handful of times in our travels around this country. Seeing a sloth in an animal rescue center is one thing, but seeing one in the wild is a majestic and humbling reminder that Mother Nature is one spectacular broad.
Still riding my sloth high from the day before, I greet the next morning as the cloud forest rolls through our valley of jungle, with my steaming mug of potent Costa Rican coffee. Just as I take my first sip I hear a ferocious racket in the sky. 16 rare Scarlet Macaws, who mate for life, are doing a fly-by of their favorite tree. Like a gang, they shriek and holler at the family of green Mealy parrots inhabiting their perch, letting them know who is boss of this wall of jungle.
Scarlet Macaws only exist in a few small sections of this country, and we are lucky enough to live in one of these areas. We have witnessed a family of 9 flying by before, but seeing 16 at one time is truly a spectacular and unique event, even for this part of Costa Rica.
Just when I think it cannot get better, a troop of 50 rare squirrel monkeys invade our yard without warning. They trickle in, swarming the trees like an undercover squat team, and begin to fly through our treetops. Squirrel monkeys are the smallest monkeys in Costa Rica, they are about the size of a squirrel and typically weight only 1.5 pounds. Here is a video I caught of them crossing through our own personal monkey highway:
*(right click on below link and open in new tab)*
Squirrel monkeys in Costa Rica: MONKEY CROSSING!
The chirping squirrel monkeys swarm the foliage, jumping from branch to branch, squeaking back and forth to each other, as they forage the trees for birds nests to raid.
A family of Fiery-billed Aracari Toucans keeps a close watch on their competitors. This squirrel monkey family is their direct competition for food, as they both feed on eggs and nestlings of smaller birds.
Suddenly there is a dramatic commotion in the trees, and an aggressive squirrel monkey confronts a toucan. They are similar in size and have an intense standoff over a nest. The monkey is squeaking aggressively while the toucan tries to stand his ground…but the monkey wins and violently shoves the toucan out of the tree. Sadly I did not get the monkey/toucan fight on video, but was able to capture this video of the pair right before their confrontation:
*(right click on below link and open in new tab)*
Squirrel monkey and a Toucan sharing a tree in Costa Rica
These 24 hours of incredible animal encounters will always be a part of me, an event I can revisit time and time again in my mind. A napping beach sloth, 16 scarlet macaws soaring overhead, and a troop of 50 squirrel monkeys passing through the monkey highway in our yard, pausing only to shove a toucan out of a tree. I truly don't know of another place on the planet where these 3 phenomenal experiences can happen in the wild, within a 24-hour-period.
We are so blessed to live in such a place. Pura Vida. Peace. Gracias. OneLove. Namaste. And Audios Bitchachos.
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.