Water Lines

I hadn’t been fishing in a while and felt the need to reconnect. We’ve been working on the house all year, and some of the wettest months on record have produced poor opportunities for being on the water. Still, I needed reconnection with an earth mother dwelling in the clay and ferns, among the spruce and birch, beneath the river pools and riffles. I imagined that her late-year loveliness or her reptile countenance were tantamount to Time itself…

We needed to replace an ancient water line between the hillside spring and the plumbing in our basement. Digging out the long trench, draining the springhouse reservoir, we fixed the old connections, straightened out 200 feet of plastic line, backfilled tons of muddy clay, and let the water rise again to meet our needs with gravity’s permission…

Work aside, I track small animals that complement my being. Salamanders cold beside December rocks near the springhouse. Moles and field mice looking for an exit from the frost and thickening ice. Raccoons and foxes denning behind the barn. And trout– I could live with brook trout gathered in my reservoir of dreams! I track small animals, as if to balance a skewed totality, to speak with them and know them as my own.

5 December brown…
Mired in the mud, the Cat couldn’t come back– till rescued by Excavator…

The reconnection has its hurdles. Weather can be uncooperative. Machinery can bog down or destroy the gentle mystery. The flow can kick the ass of expectation! But completed, there is dialogue… I hear quiet words between a wild fish and an angler. Lines of poetry or prose in past and present time. A burst of exclamation! An exchange between a dream and a wakeful moment… Water lines.

contemplating old Red Wing shoe ad while in muddy boots!
upper Allegheny River, 12/5/21
autumn sycamore…
Fall Creek, Ithaca….
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In Praise of Hemlock

Indeed, the most precious things of life are often close at hand, obtained with little cost, and we give our thanks for what sustains us. A short walk from my home is a grove of hemlock trees. I often enter the grove in a summer evening and obtain a feeling that is priceless. The mature green conifers subdue the final rays of sunlight and reveal a growing sense of fine remoteness, a serenity verging on the spiritual.

Here amidst the hemlock trees the eyes grow large; the senses sharpen in the solitude. And yet I’m not alone. The winter wren rings out its intricate song as if from a soundboard of the deep ravine and massive trunks. The hermit thrushes flute melodically. John Burroughs thought them to evoke “the finest sound in nature,” and I almost see him there, sitting on a mossy log at dusk, chewing on a citric-flavored sorrel leaf.

The eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, is yet another forest tree in serious trouble. Hemlocks managed to survive unmerciful cutting through the nineteenth-century when the bark was valued for its tannin content and a promise for the leather industry. Today this so-called “redwood of the East,” so vital for the sustenance of brook trout and other cold-water species of the uplands that require deep shade and cool temperatures, has become a victim of the woolly adelgid, a non-native insect that consumes the tree by sucking the sap from buds and branches. Sadly, the tree is dying fast.

I think of hemlock and I think of Burroughs’ derived “peace and solemn joy.” I think of the support teams struggling to save endangered species. We can reach out to them and create, perhaps, our own steps toward the goal of preservation. I once wrote the following poem: Hemlock’s inner bark was ground for doctoring scurvy, diarrhea, sores, and swelling. Needles, boiled for tea, induced the bleeding of colds and poison. Hemlock: to interpret dreams, to balance thought and action. Long before the sickness, the incurable business of procuring and possessing, rooted like a fungus on the world, the woodlanders sought an evergreen spirit for contentment and survival.

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A Burnin’ Barrel Monologue

“I remember when it wasn’t so easy getting there. We didn’t have a nice road along the crik. Had to come up out of Cross Fork, or else hike down along the Hogback on that path… what’s it called, the Ripshin Trail? I don’t know, but it was pretty wild back then. I used to love it though. We’d go fishin’ for a week sometimes or just camp-out for a night or two– the world would disappear! Ah yeah, that was back before all these bottles got the better of me.

“So, what were you guys doin’ with a chainsaw? Tryin’ to unleash canopy trout in the cherry trees? Ha! I’ve heard those fish can swim or fly. Build nests up in the air come autumn time. Or maybe you were clearing out the wreckage of a Splinter Cat? Yeah, Splinter Cat. Destructive feline. Gotta watch for those critters. They’ll smash down an oak or maple for a beehive or a sleepy raccoon.

“It’s certainly been a wet year. The fishing has sucked. So much rain that my pores have sprouted watercress. And the frogs are sportin’ life-preservers on their backs! No kidding. And just the opposite of a year ago. So hot and dry that summer, hiking in the forest. Who’d have thought the fish would swim right up and greet you on the trail, through the dust! Aargh, just drought or flood, it seems… That’s why I’m drinking.

“Well, I’ll be the leapin’ trout of waters! Cleared trail and then went fishing, huh? The trout were pretty scarce, I’ll bet. November sky looks warm and fuzzy, but the water’s got to be pretty damn cold… You probably seen the Hogback, right? Wooded slopes up near the mountaintop. Hogback… You’d think some homestead pigs got fat and left the farm, got stuck between the mountain walls until they thinned out and could move again.

“And comin’ out of Short Run, did you see all them sheep there in the fields? Quite a flock. Actually that used to be a macaroni farm until, oh, about World War II… when the farm wives lost their help– the guys who bored out the pasta holes. And no more spaghetti on the side. They used to cut it from the macaroni borings. Anyway, that’s all history now. I guess raisin’ sheep is a whole lot easier… Hey Lucy! Give these guys another round, on me. I gotta go.”

king salmon, 10/21
Ontario trib…
home ground…
home falls…
Genesee, 11/7/21
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Ten Years On, Still Learning

Rivertop Rambles debuted 29 October 2011 with a short narrative commencing my Slate Run Odyssey series and the quiet start of a 10-year journey with this blog. I was certainly new to the game a decade ago and, frankly, I’m still learning. When I started up this blog (with my daughter’s help) I had no idea of how to post photos till about the third or fourth attempt but what I did have was determination to learn the ropes and to speak about my passions for fly-fishing, hiking, and natural history. The years have flown.

I am grateful for my readers and especially those who click the Like button and/or take the time to comment, opening the channels of communication. The Followers of Rivertop Rambles, modest in number but typically faithful, are especially appreciated for they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. They’ve been here, having found the site without a link from other social media. That’s right, I’ve not used Facebook, Instagram or anything like it for a purchase. They have been here because of their interest in outdoor recreation, conservation, and good narrative. This blog has floated some 630 posts so far (the vast majority my personal reflections and associations, with accompanying photos). That’s a pretty decent record, especially when considering the fact that the average life-span of a blog is said to be about 100 days.

When I started posting the long series called “The Slate Run Odyssey” in the fall of 2011, my wife and daughter had won a raffle by the Slate Run Sportsmen group designed to benefit a Pennsylvania effort to survey and to ultimately protect more wild trout habitat in the region. The prize, donated by the Slate Run Tackle Shop, was a premium fly rod and reel which I was privileged to use throughout my efforts to fish Slate Run from mouth to source. I still enjoy that Superfine graphite– a 4-piece 4-weight rod that measures 7-feet in length and wears its complementary reel with pride.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes over the years while blogging but when I learn of them I try to make amends. They’re sort of like a screw-up that occurred this summer while hiking in Costa Rica. I was walking down a gravel road, fascinated by the flight of Scarlet Macaws passing overhead. My head was in the clouds, so to speak, while I should have kept an eye on where I was heading. I fell flat on my gut, scraping limbs and injuring a shoulder that, two months later, requires physical therapy. I learned a lesson rather late but realized that, for some of us, school is never out.

Therapy takes many forms and, for me, one of them is writing. Also, not to be forgotten is that sweet rejuvenation gained from hours spent on a wonderful stream or mountain trail. Out there, I’ll look once again at the inscription on my little 7-foot fishing instrument, the one that entered my life about the same time that this blog was born. The script says “2011 Pine Creek Watershed Conservation Rod.” It’s suffered a few minor injuries throughout the decade but it’s primed, as always, for another gentle cast.

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Fishing the Cold Dew

No, the Cold Dew isn’t some new trout stream I’ve discovered. Rather, it’s a mini-season designated for early October by the ancient Chinese. The ancients, like those of us responding to shorter daylight hours and to longer, cooler nights, took note of the changing foliage, the coloration of leaves, the cricket’s chirr, the owl’s hoot, and the dewy grass that soon would crystallize into frost. It seemed like a small season within a season, and it’s also a time to activate an angler’s blood grown weary from weeks of summer lethargy.

Fishing the Cold Dew is about returning to a place I love, returning after heavy rains and house work, after polarizing forces in the social realm attempting to make a hash of my existence. Ah, but fly fishing! Catching and releasing trout, focusing intently on the moment of a drifting fly– what a simple thing of beauty, solitary action that engages one with something greater than the human world alone.

on the Salmon…

The heart is frugal, tight with friend and family connections, happy with the land and water, the dimensions of a soul that keeps one active and involved. My age brings autumn thoughts, for sure. But why feel limited because of our mortality? Everything dies, we say, but the dead say nothing. Fishing the Cold Dew brings refreshing balance.

“You should have been here last week!” says a local angler sitting on the river bank, his glazed eyes peering at the rapid flow, at great fish leaping tight-lipped toward the water’s source, ignoring fishermen’s repeated casting, every effort snipping one more strand of hope. “You should have seen the fish we caught!” Arrggh… The Incompleat Angler bangs a head, figuratively speaking.

Genesee River brown…

Away from the crowds, it felt good to be on the water once again. The autumn caddis seemed to pirouette and twist away from the surface tension, getting notice from the browns. They skittered like an old man wobbling over river stones, alert to late-year possibilities, to the struggle of staying balanced both in heart and in the mind.

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Cloud Forest/ Coffee House (Costa Rica #4)

[For this fourth and final post directly relating to a recent trip to Costa Rica, I’m departing from a previous chronological narrative and incorporating a thematic approach including cloud-forest hikes and patio meditations. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tour….]

to Hermida’s…

Our cabin at Hermida’s Coffee House and farm near the Santa Elena and Monteverde cloud forests of north-central Costa Rica offered an exciting springboard into the wild. Our first mountain road ascent to the village of Santa Elena gave our rented SUV a flat tire (not surprising since I’d noted that the tires had already seen many country miles as we began the journey). My wife and I taught our daughter how to safely change a tire on a sketchy highland road, while my attention was often distracted wondrously by noisy flocks of parakeets, parrots and chachalacas.

to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest…

While enjoying an afternoon beer and pretzel break at a brewery in Santa Elena, we reflected on Costa Rica’s modest infrastructure with regard to tourism. Santa Elena and adjacent Monteverde are among the most visited sites in Costa Rica and yet the bustling villages seem quaint, without the tinhorn chaos and the neon glitter of so many Western tourist traps. It’s as if the towns have worked to keep their authenticity and roots while saying to the visitor, yeah, our roads might be rough and our sodas (small town eateries) unimposing, but wait till you see what our woods contain…

the insect-eater, Dutchman’s Pipe…
a 3-inch hummer…
ants work hard to attain this size!

Our nights at the rustic Coffee House provided relaxation after hours of hiking on the higher ground of the Cordilleran cloud forest. A Mottled Owl hooted just beyond our porchlight in the rain; I thought about the insectivorous blooms of Dutchman’s Pipe, ostensibly the country’s largest flower, trapping bugs outside of our doorway. The malodorous plant will trap an insect one day but release it on the following day with pollen for another flower. I scribbled notes about our forest hikes, and wondered how those hikes would compare to investigations in days to come: to the national parks at Juan Castro Blanco and Tapanti, to Guayabo National Monument, to the archaeological sites and ancient churches, and to our stays at Grecia and Orosi…

Arenal Volcano, viewed from Blanco Nat’l Park, about 25 miles distant…
ribbon falls, Juan Castro Blanco Nat’l Park…

We chose to hike the Santa Elena cloud forest rather than the popular Monteverde site for the simple reason that it would be less crowded. Indeed, the 8.4-kilometer hike was like being gifted our own private jungle to explore. Again, I looked to birds as my gateway to the lush green forest, to the overhead bromeliads and orchids on the boughs. A Black Guan, a life bird for me, perched beside the trail, relaxed and apparently unafraid, its blue beak and red eyes as memorable to observers as the post-hike ice-cream savored in a Monteverde shop. That afternoon we also visited a forest gulley where a large Ficus tree had fallen and bridged the banks of a stream, its roots reaching downward from the trunk like tentacles anchored to the flow.

Black Guan…
ruins from oldest CR church, 16th century A.D.
Franklins on the fallen Ficus…

The coming days would bring numerous stops and wonderful diversions, but I want to end my Costa Rican narrative (for now) at Santa Elena/Monteverde. This cloud-forest country shares an interesting parallel with the Osa Peninsula and its wondrous Corcovado National Park in that it also contains about 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, a fact I’m still trying to wrap my scattered brain around.

El Poeta making sense of it…

One sun-drenched morning in Monteverde we enjoyed our locally-produced coffee while observing Keel-billed Toucans, Silver-throated Tanagers, and Collared Redstarts. I listened to the tolling EENK! notes of an unseen Three-wattled Bellbird, a unique canopy dweller and one of the loudest birds in all creation. And then there was The Hummingbird Gallery– on the wooded edge of town…

Blue-gray Tanager…
Violet-ear Hummingbird…

In most of the wild or rural locations in Costa Rica I found that if you sit or stand patiently in one place and keep your senses on alert, the birds or other wildlife will appear as if by magic from the lush surroundings. On the patio of a small business like The Hummingbird Gallery, however, you can walk right into a hive of ongoing activity. Bananaquits and (especially) hummingbirds were zooming around the hanging feeders and almost begging for observation. These bejeweled avian creatures, hovering or flying in any direction (almost like the sharpest of human minds) had names like hermit, mountain-gem, and emerald– a sampling of the 50 hummingbird species to be found in Costa Rica, the small country with a giant heart.

female Purple-throated Mountain-gem, w/ Bananaquit & bee…
greetings from Rio Orosi!
a mountain-gem…

My favorite of the hummers might have been the Violet Sabrewing, a large 6-inch creature with a dazzling violet hue and a white-tipped tail. All of the birds were beautiful in their own way and, in this case, almost as remarkable to a first-time visitor as the iconic Resplendent Quetzals that had opened our eyes at a first stop in the mountains of Costa Rica.

Green Violet-ears…
Brilliants…
Violet Sabrewing…
waterfall @ Blanco National Park…
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Under the Volcano (Costa Rica #3)

It was a long tedious drive north from Corcovado and the Osa Peninsula to Guanacaste Province and volcano country. We broke from the Pacific palm plantations and an endless line of fruit and vegetable vendors at the “Crocodile Bridge,” walking out over the Rio Tarcoles and observing some 20 crocodiles resting on a little island. Sunlight gleamed from an opened mouth with prominent teeth, inspiring the question: If a human approached that island on foot, would those reptiles flee or fight each other for a first bite of human flesh? I wasn’t certain, but was glad I didn’t have to answer the question empirically.

Montezuma Oropendolas, a large tropical bird that builds a pendant nest in colonies, seemed to welcome our approach to Rinconzita, a wonderful mountainside lodge with restaurant. Melodious Blackbirds whistled nearby, and striking White-throated Magpie Jays called raucously. We would soon hike the Rincon de la Viega National Park, a land of rainforest and volcanic fumeroles (reminiscent of Yellowstone but with various monkeys cavorting nearby).

M. Oropendola
nests at branch ends prevent monkey predation…

Although the trail to the summit of Rincon Volcano had been closed since the eruptions of 2012, we enjoyed a three-kilometer circuit trail that by-passed yucca plants and massive strangler figs. I think our favorite forest sound was issued by a Nightingale Wren, a typically hidden songbird that my field guide referenced with “… one should learn to enjoy (and settle for) the extraordinary vocalization that unhurriedly wanders up and down the scale, not quite staying in key.” It truly was exquisite, and quite a contrast with the booming of neighborhood Howler Monkeys.

lodging patio…
Blue Morpho…
volcanic mist…

Our next two-day stop was near Volcan Tenario National Park. We had a cabin reserved in the deep San Miguel Valley close by, and to reach it we descended from a high ridge on the roughest, most cratered, gravel road imaginable. Alyssa dropped us admirably down the five-kilometer “goat path” (as described by our Lonely Planet guidebook to Costa Rica) but, let me say, I’m glad we survived that nightmarish, white-knuckled drive both into the canyon and back.

Laughing Falcon (dared not laugh at our descent)…
Inca Dove…

Once situated at our cabin, life was good. There was an interesting mix of rainforest and pastoral land around us. Alan, a young farmer who owned the cabin we’d be staying in, described the differences in toucan species and confirmed my earlier sighting of a Laughing Falcon nearby. His sister was employed at a neighborhood coffee and cocoa farm and would give us a tour of the organic site. Alan’s wife brought us breakfast each morning from the main house and ensured that our rural stay would be pleasant, even in the rain.

Yellow-throated Toucan… my first of several…
got my eyes on you…

And rain fell steadily as we started our 4.4-mile hike at Tenario. I glimpsed my first Collared Aricari (a small toucan) in the sodden canopy of the cloud forest as we climbed toward a renowned blue waterfall. Beyond the falls, a “blue lagoon” collected two converging streams, one of them muddy from the rains, the other almost azure-colored from volcanic elements in the soil. The two streams mixed as one, thus forming the beautiful Rio Celeste.

convergence…
Rio Celeste…

Later, at our cabin site again, I walked the evening farm lanes and identified birds– from Southern Lapwings to Common Paraques– many of them life birds for me, feathered spirits nice to contemplate as the sun went down (yes it did appear eventually) like a cold beer in the heat.

Keel-billed Toucan (try not to think of sugary breakfasts)…

Several days later we traveled toward the classic cone of Arenal Volcano and surrounding national park. We took lodging in the small village of El Castillo, created as a relocation zone following a big eruption in 1968. We had excellent views of the imposing mountain and its smoke still rising from eruptions in 2010. The view was especially satisfying from a nearby patio that offered food and drinks. Our last meal at that hillside biker-bar-cum restaurant (owned by friendly U.S. expats) featured a terrific thunder-and-lightning storm that lit the slopes of Arenal.

Arenal Volcano…
Green Honeycreeper (a tanager)…
Arenal Nat’l Park…

We would walk through Arenal Observatory and Resort (a former Smithsonian research station) and find yet another excellent opportunity for rainforest observations, as was the follow-up hike in Arenal National Park. It seemed as though new plants and animals paraded in from all directions. From coatis to curossows, from Speckled Tanagers to beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus stands, the diversity of life was almost overwhelming. While replaying these images in my head, I could still be on a jungle path somewhere, listening to the sawing sounds of hidden insects, still wrapped in the buttresses of giant Kapok trees.

Alyssa & the Kapok tree…
Coatimundi…
takin’ it easy, 3-toed sloth…
Rainbow Eucalyptus…
coati kidz…
Smokin’….

[Stay tuned forCloud Forest/Coffee House,my final post from Costa Rica… Thank you, all.]

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Corcovado (Costa Rica #2)

National Geographic once referred to Costa Rica’s first established national park as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.” From our previous station at Los Quetzales, we were headed down the Cordillera mountain range toward the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica. Since 1975, the 164 square miles of Corcovado National Park has been considered a crown jewel of the country’s extensive system of parks and biological reserves, and we had been looking forward to the big adventure now for months.

ancient stone spheres at an archaeological site en route…

We knew that the journey to this remote Pacific wonderland would be a challenge for the average traveler but rewarding if undertaken safely. Corcovado’s 13 major ecosystems beckoned with possibilities, encompassing the last virginal old-growth forest to be found along Central America’s Pacific coast. Corcovado contains 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, astonishingly enough. It contains more than 500 species of trees, for example, and (as I would learn) about 5% of all the planet’s animal species.

Leafcutter Ants at work…
Cherrie’s Tanager

With visions of monkeys, jaguars, and scarlet macaws dancing in my head, we secured our vehicle in the village of Sierpe, busy with arriving hikers and with giant crocodiles lounging near its central restaurant. An hour boat ride down the Rio Sierpe took us quickly through the vast Terrab-Sierpe National Wetlands, a mangrove wilderness where apprentice shamans once began incredible journeys in search of a special fungus to be used in hallucinogenic tea for guidance through seven days of fasting and drinking. Boating past the mangroves was no way to gain a shaman’s knowledge of self and place, but a sense of magic could be felt through this river journey, almost as if “being watched by lives unseen.”

my god, that grasshopper was what, 4 inches, 5-inches long?
Bare-throated Tiger Heron

Our small boat blasted into the Pacific and soon encountered a warm torrential rain that had us hunkering behind our ponchos. This was a wild West I had never experienced before. We arrived at Bahia Drake, a wet landing in the broken surf and climbed the frontier village for our reserved rooms in a quiet “eco-lodge.” Next morning, after an early breakfast courtesy of our hosts, we assembled on the beach and met our guide for Corcovado, a young Costa Rican named Daevid, who would prove to be the best birder I have ever met, an excellent, enthusiastic teacher of the Costa Rican wilds.

Bahia Drake, w/ high point of Costa Rica above the cloud layer, from which one might see both Atlantic & Pacific oceans…
main drag, Bahia Drake village…
our guide, Daevid, at center…

Because Corcovado is secured against unwarranted human impact on its pristine territory and because of the potential danger to inexperienced hikers on its system of trails, entry to the park (other than for research purposes) requires the accompaniment of a certified guide. Approaching the park on our ocean ride, we paused for a voyeuristic study (yes) of two Olive Ridley Turtles mating on the calming surface, then continued toward the shore for yet another wet landing in the surf.

Olive Ridley Turtles, duty for the future…
Palm Tanager & Golden-naped Woodpecker…

To minimize human impact on the national park, only about 150 visitors are allowed each day, so we felt lucky to merge with the monkeys (all four species), Fig and Fica trees, coatis, anteaters, sloths, tapirs, wild cats, butterflies, leaf cutter ants, and birds (more than 400 species, including the rare Harpy Eagle) that morning. You can bet that our senses were alert, our bodies easing through the awe-struck hours.

Anteater…
Tree Boa…

Back in Bahia Drake, we enjoyed a dinner with our park guide, Daevid, and the five other travelers who had been with us throughout the morning and afternoon. I thanked Daevid for sharing his expertise on Corcovado’s natural history. It began to rain as he mounted his motorcycle for a long ride home, and his last words of advice to me were “Never stop birding!” As if I ever doubted.

not everyone makes it out in one piece…
Great Curossow…
the uncommon Squirrel Monkey…
checking out those humans…
Adios, says Spider Monkey… heading to volcano country next….
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Los Quetzales (Costa Rica #1)

To its everlasting credit, the small nation of Costa Rica constitutionally abolished a standing military force in 1948 and pursued the goals of better education, healthcare and democracy. Progressive social and environmental programs are a hallmark of the current day, inviting global visitors of every stripe including yours truly. I was pleased to have the summer guidance of my daughter, who engineered many of the details through our countrywide journey, along with my wife who offered consolation as our rental vehicle bounced along some perilous mountain roads and who hiked the jungle and the cloud-forest trails with confidence.

our first cabin…

Los Quetzales National Park was located close to our first major stop in Costa Rica, some 80 kilometers south of San Jose, the country’s capital and largest city. Los Quetzales was the first of nine or 10 national parks we visited (the country, slightly larger than the state of West Virginia, has about 30 wilderness parks, many of them established after the 1990s when the process of deforestation in this Central American nation was reversed).

female Resplendent Quetzal
Emerald Toucanet…

The highlands of Los Quetzales, drained by the Rio Savagre (a fascinating mountain stream where I wound up catching wild rainbow trout on a fly) are a special place for birdwatching, and yes– I had studied that potential for months in advance. The iconic and nearly endangered Resplendent Quetzal draws binoculared tourists from around the world, and I was lucky to view and photograph several of these beautiful creatures. The diversity of the park’s flora and fauna is astounding. Summer starts the rainy season in Costa Rica, and it rained a lot through our 17 afternoons and evenings in the land, but the weather was primarily cool and comfortable, and the tourist crowds were mostly absent.

Rio Savagre…
mountain view from cabin site…
I eventually identified 15 of CR’s 50 hummer species…

Watching the magnificent bird life really kicked into gear at our cabin near Los Quetzales and progressed through our following stops as we moved toward Panama and then back north again. I had told myself that identifying 50 life birds in Costa Rica would have made my preparations very worthwhile. I eventually saw and/or heard 145 species in my visit to CR, of which 126 were “life birds,” or first-timers. Pretty darn good, for an amateur.

on the trail at Los Quetzales…
breakfasting at Merriam’s…
Acorn Woodpecker…
Sooty Robin…
Rufous-collared Sparrow, familiar singer…
female Resplendent…
toucanetting…

Up soon, Pacific boat ride to the Osa Peninsula and the Corcovado wilderness.

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Slow Sea Rising

Casting for tarpon, paddling bioluminescent bays, adhering to a small boat in a storm-tossed sea, philosophizing in quaint tavernas, and getting lost on remote island trails are just a few of the experiences examined in my latest book– the fruit of an indie project that I’m proud to offer interested readers.

Slow Sea Rising is an 80-page lyrical blend resulting from a lifelong investigation of our far-flung capes and islands. From imaginative origins of life in the rising brine to personal jaunts through Caribbean, Mediterranean and oceanic isles, this perfect-bound paperback constitutes more than a collection of connected poems. A strong, consistent volume, SSR reflects an ecological urgency and the pleasures of independent maritime travel. If you’re interested in a copy, let me know and I’ll get one to you pronto.

That said, I’ll soon be hiking and birding Costa Rica for a couple of weeks (and even casting for wild rainbows in the cloud forest!) high above the rising seas. Wish me luck, take care, and please stay tuned.

Image result for maps of costa rica
Image result for maps of costa rica
R.-t. is the only hummer east of the Mississippi. Costa Rica has 50 hummingbird species… A challenge?
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