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5 a.m. Playa San Miguel Costa Rica

“The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour, and for a moment, something awakens which slumbers the rest of the day and night…   (Thoreau/Walden)

Dawn – Republic of Panama – Balboa

…it matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes of man.. morning is when I am awake, and there is a dawn in me.” (Thoreau/Walden)

Black Crowned Night Heron and Green Kingfisher

This morning I awakened to the blissful stillness of life on the river,  just minutes of latitude south of the equator.   The rat-tat-tattling of a lucky kingfisher announced his score on an early-morning breakfast just beyond the deck of the house!  Crickets chirped,  herons squawked, faraway ibis whimpered and even-further-away ocean waves crashed with the ebbing tide.  Humpback whales surely cruised the deeper waters in the distance.

My neighbors the birds

  This Man’s Journey/The Island Traveler asks this week,  “What makes you feel alive? What inspires you and keeps you motivated?”

When home on the river, I awaken  with a profound awareness of nature .  

Croaking Ground Doves


Vermilion flycatchers, wrens and finches serenade from the garden landscape while flocks of seagulls, pelicans, ibis, comorants and frigates add a cacophony of ecstatic joy from the river.


A pair of croaking ground doves add their unique melody to the morning’s serenade.  All sounds of modern man are removed, and I ponder that I could be awakening a thousand years in the past – or a thousand in the future.  

Pondering a thousand years in the future gives me a sense of foreboding; can our planet handle another thousand years of abuse?  If we don’t self destruct by our own hands,  Mother Nature will eventually implode or explode and slowly begin to lick her wounds and heal!

“What can I do?”  I asked myself as I reconciled my sleepful state with the waking one.  “What on earth can any of us do to halt or reverse this out-of-control roller coaster we’ve created?’

How Many Birds?

My Neighbors

My mind once again shifted to the birds, and I stepped outside in the awakening dawn. At low ebb, the river appeared frozen, it’s smooth gray waters mirrored the overcast sky.  

I scanned the vista;     great egrets, cattle egrets, snowy egrets and ibis in their shocking white garb contrasted against the dense green foliage.    

Mangroves: How Many Birds?

Cocoi Heron & Egret

Clusters of  pelicans huddled in the mangroves straight across from my perch.  Black-crowned night herons presided over the mangroves just past the edge of the yard as a lone cocoi heron waded the shallows.  

I pondered how a dozen hours earlier they were feeding in sunset harmony along the mud flats.  They’re all distinct species of birds that feed in harmony.    Frigates, the bullies of the community, often cluster in the higher branches and wait to swoop down and swipe a just-caught morsel from a distant-cousin’s beak.   

The Pirates & Bullies

My neighbor, a stocky green kingfisher, stands guard from the tip of a lone stick protruding from the recently-placed boulders.   A loner, he perches motionless until he suddenly zips to the water then rat-tat-tattles to the world that he scored a fish!     What a lovely alarm clock that lone kingfisher makes!  

As the day awakens, the birds grow more silent.  The pumps for the shrimp ponds slowly roar into life as the river ebbs higher.  Motorcycles buzz along the gravel road;  roosters crow,  grackles clack, and I stare at the landscape and wonder, “Why can’t mankind be content?  Why can’t we live in harmony like the birds?  

Was life really so bad a hundred years ago when less was more?   Food, shelter and water:  will future conflicts be over those necessities of life?


As most of the modern world zip through the day with the aid of the latest electronic gadgets and sport the trendy uniform of the season, are the masses any happier than the Indians of long ago?    Some would point out that there have been wars since the beginning of history.    How much have we evolved, if we have still not mastered the art of harmony?  

The Mangrove Melting Pot of Ibis, Egrets, Herons and Frigates

The comforts of technology keep us wired into the information age; with the magical click of a search button,  we drink in the latest information about any subject, or communicate with loved ones or strangers in the far corners of the globe.    Those same buttons also have the power to destroy, and the bullies and cheaters reach us in subtle malicious ways through cyber crime.    All the while, nature ambles along at its own pace, adapting when possible to the environmental changes or moving on when necessary.

Flying Home

Passion;  What am I passionate about?    My love of nature, my love of this planet, and my concern for our out-of-control roller coaster called Planet Earth.

If there are other intelligent alien/beings watching from afar, what do you think they’re saying about this third planet from our sun?

Save our Mangroves, Please!