Costa Rica Pilgrimage – Day 3

Day three in Costa Rica

It is 5:37 am. We began the day with a walk in the rain forest. While taking a boat ride on the Sarapiqui River, I took notes of the wildlife and the teachings of our leader, Mario.  I note:

Swallows flying over the water grabbing insect snacks…A black vulture and a turkey vulture, more common in Costa Rica……Iguanas with redish comb along its back and striped black and gold tail. The male hangs out in the tree tops attracting females that come in droves of 20 to 39, his harem. Then they go lay their eggs in the sand. The male turns completely orange when in heat and is very visible. The female turns dark brown like the sand where she lays her eggs…..The Anhinga is a snake bird without much oil on his feathers. Makes it better for diving than other water birds like our loon. They stab the fish with their sharp beek, come up out of the water, toss the fish in the air and catch it in their open mouth and swallow it whole…..Longhorn bats press against the dark bark of a tree and are almost impossible to see…..The flycatcher has a breast of bright yellow like a lemon…..Jesus Christ Lizard – bright green with little turquoise spots, can “walk on water”…..Black turtle sitting on a branch with its head held high…..A green ibis….. Capach is a cotton wood tree whose insides were once used to stuff pillows and life-jackets…..Three howler monkeys, way up in a tree’s branches. Only the males howl for territory or fear or for breeding. They are tranquil, live on leaves and fruit. They live in troups of 10-25 led by the alpha male…..Bees- most bees in Costa Rica are stingers, some African killer bees have come to Costa Rica and are moving north, now in Texas.

Mimicry is camouflage an animal uses to attract its food or to prevent being food for another.

Later poem:

Not an emerald lizard nor a honey bee

Not a golden hot iguana nor the howler monkey

Not the iguana, the snake nor the green ibis

Not the long nosed bat nor the spotted sand piper

Not, not, none of these escape the eyes of the Great Beholder.

Not the woman with hair of Medusa nor the Italian planner

Not the meteorologist nor the nurse practitioner

Not the social worker nor the teacher

Not the chemical engineer nor the artist from the north

Not, not, none of these escape the eye of the Great Beholder.

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