Osa Mountain Village is a secluded jungle paradise, tucked into the mountains above the entrance to the rugged, unexplored Osa Peninsula. Half the species in the entire nation of Costa Rica can be found in this small section of the country, which is only 35 miles long and 20 miles wide.
The Osa Peninsula is one of the most thriving, diverse regions of Central America and has even been referred to as the most biologically intense place on Earth. After living here for five months, we have witnessed this first hand.
We may live up a pot-hole ridden mountain road that can swallow up a car...and yes, that may keep us from getting to the beach as often as we'd like...but luckily we don't have to leave our house to have incredible, up-close animal encounters. We truly are the minority and a Planet-of-the-Apes-situation is a real possibility around here.
Each time we open our door, we have no idea what animal awaits us on the other side. Some are cute, some are fancy, some are creepy, and some are deadly. It's like a game of 'What's behind door #1?' So let me take you on a photo tour of the interesting wildlife we have met and captured on film, right outside our front door.
This is a day in our life at Osa Mountain Village:
...some fancy-pants Costa Rican grasshoppers can make anyone's day brighter...
A cute, little guy eating a fresh, healthy salad for dinner. Farm-to-belly is the new farm-to-table.
Incase you missed the memo, neon is in this season.
A redneck lizard. He likes cheap beer, farmers tans and pick-up trucks.
A Black-mandibled Toucan playing hide and seek.
Is that a banana on your face, or are you just happy to see me?
A Fiery-billed Aracari, a member of the toucan family, perched on a tree in our yard.
A microscopic bright blue bird who occasionally visits us, called a Blue Dacnis.
Another occasional visitor: a Golden-hooded Tanager.
Two Scarlet Macaws, who mate for life, sharing a tree with two Black-mandibled Toucans.
This guy patrols our house at night, keeping us safe from rodent robbers.
It makes sense that Costa Rica, the land of butterflies, would also be the land of caterpillars.
This one will soon grow up to become the famous Blue Morpho butterfly.
Some of the caterpillars here are fuzzy, furry, and...poisonous. Despite how cuddly they look, keep your hands to yourself.
This bright, patriotic caterpillar fits in well in Costa Rica.
And of course, where there are beautiful caterpillars, there will be beautiful butterflies:
Even the moths in Costa Rica are vibrant and fancy, all dressed up in their Sunday best:
But of all the animals in Costa Rica, a monkey sighting is always at the top of my list of favorites.
A troop of 15 rare squirrel monkeys passing through our yard is a moment I will never forget.
And we always love our howler monkey visits, as their booming howls shake the walls of our house and make our dog bark each morning at 4am.
But...let's not forget that when you live in the jungle, it's not all monkeys, butterflies and fancy grasshoppers. There are also creepy, venomous creatures slithering around outside.
A bird-eating puffer snake on our deck.
A golden-orb spider.
The highly adorable, but highly toxic, green and black poison dart frog.
And to wind up our animal tour, a beautiful poisonous cane toad hiding outside our front door. Just don't tell our dog Sophie, as she has become addicted to their hallucinogenic secretions...
(Again...who, me?? You simply must be mistaken. Look at this cute face, I am an angel.)
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.