Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter 56 - About the Fawna

  There are marvelous wonders in Costa Rica.  We had a few in Kelowna, but the biodiversity here is extreme.  The varieties of birds that we don’t know a thing about make one want to get a bird book.  Melaney went into the internet into the Costa Rica Bird section. Apparently there are about 850 species of birds here, so where does one start?
  Across the road where the sugar cane fields have been cleared, large winged vultures check to watch for any rodents that might be left.  One brown bird rode a thermal across this property so low that I got a good look at it.  The wingspan was in the eight feet range and it just glided without a feather twitching.  It was magical.  It was the size of a big eagle, and flew in a similar way.
One morning while Melaney was walking Gigi, she spotted a toucan in the tree.  They will be coming to make advantage of the huge crop of mangoes.  They are sized up to the size of golf balls and better now.
    In Kelowna we had the huge moth that created the tomato horned worm.  I had a lot of experience with them when we lived at Scotty Creek and I did a lot of gardening.
When Melaney was coming to the house one morning, she saw a creature at the top of the wall in the north deck area that to her looked like a bat, but she didn’t realize that bats don’t rest with their wings extended, they fold them to their sides and hang upside down.  She took me out to see this critter, and at first I thought it was a mud wasp nest starting.  Then I looked again and it was a huge moth.  The wingspan looked like six to eight inches.  It was dark brown in color, with darker brown markings.  It was just resting at the top of the wall.
  When we returned from a little trip, I saw what looked like a worm on the floor in the bathroom.  When I turned on the light it stretched out at the crease of the floor and wall, but it is very difficult for any dark brown worm five inches in length to hide from me.  I took a tissue to pick it up and get it out of the house, and it instantly coiled into a flat circle about the size of a fifty cent piece.  It was also hard, not soft as the worms I know.  This is probably a defense against small birds.  It would be too large to swallow.  I showed it to Mel, and then threw it outside.  She said “I hope you threw it a long way.”
  Squirrels have made a colony in the roof section of the house next door.  They will probably have to smoke them out.  I have seen a squirrel running along the top of the wire fence by our place a couple of times, and then into a tree.
  I had pineapples out front on the porch rail to ripen, and something knocked one to the ground and chewed a good sized chunk out of it.  We have critters that are opportunists here, something for everything.
  I would like to be able to walk more, I know that I am missing a great deal by staying at the house.

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