Thursday, January 9, 2014

Birding with Michael and Sara

Meg and I spent twelve days in Costa Rica this Christmas.  We took our New Hampshire family--son Michael and daughter in law, Sara--with us.  The basic purpose of the trip was birding. However, knowing that our style of at age seventy would be far different from theirs, we asked them to plan the venues, the activities, the adventures. The places we stayed were not as basic as how we lived in a our Peace Corps days. However, they  were not the sipping of drinks on a well appointed porch looking out at the ocean of the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific ocean or at the cloud forest of Monte Verde.

So, here is a vignette that encapsulate this time together:


"OK, Sara, I have it spotted--black and blue head, blue and black by eye, sharp pointed beak, reddish breast"

As Michael--who had an uncanny ability to spot birds in the thick tropical forest and get his binoculars up on them--rattled off these characteristics, Sara was paging through their Costa Rican bird book coming up with birds that matched Michael's description.

He would continue to add to the description, and if Sara did not find a match, she followed Michael's directions on where to find the bird with her binoculars ("see that white spot on the dead part of the limb about one hundred feet away.  Follow that branch up about ten feet to where it branches to the left, and then find the horizontal dark branch that goes out about ten feet"  "OK, Michael, I've got it.  I also see blue on its tail")  Meanwhile, Meg and I are putzing around hoping maybe the bird will fly again so that we can spot its movement and maybe see it ourselves.

Much more important than seeing birds, what Meg and I enjoyed most was watching Michael and Sara share, collaborate, discuss what they were seeing and finding. Their cooperation/collaboration, their give and take, their patience with each other is the heart and soul of a good marriage.

Orange throated parakeet, Amaya

Birding_Costa_Rica, Amaya

Black_throated_trogan, Corcovado


Birding_Costa_Rica, Amaya

Laughing_falcon, Corcovado

Blue_crowned_motmot, Curi_Cancha

Red_Crowned_woodpecker, Amaya, Corcovado

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