(Mindo Ecuador) – Many locals tell me that the extreme rains we’ve been receiving are due to the El Nino weather. When the road along Rio Cinto almost washed away, Barbara and I were part of an impromptu “Minga” where locals work together for the benefit of a community project. After about fifteen minutes, we were able to drive through the ‘rock bridge’ that crossed the washout.
“Hummingbird teaches us… what has happened in the past, and what might happen in the future is not nearly as important as what we are experiencing now. It teaches us to hover in the moment, to appreciate the sweetness.” Constance Barrett Sohodski
Mindo Ecuador – Barbara’s visit is zipping by way too fast, but we stay busy with many creative tasks. The sun peers from behind the clouds for a few hours each day, and we work on various outdoor projects until the rains run us inside! We then switch to other projects – like creating signs for the trails!
(Mindo Ecuador) – An impromptu meeting redirected one of my afternoons last week, and I embraced the opportunity to work with a small group of students that are preparing for an art competition. We met this past Tuesday, and they will bring sketches to the next meeting on Monday!
Every single student is precious, and they all seem thrilled that I will be helping.
This week’s Timeout is short and sweet, and will hopefully be delivered to your doorstep via ‘Publish later’ option. Barbara arrived this past Saturday, and – aside from lots of rain – all’s fine at beautiful Rio Cinto. (It was nice of the otter to drop by and say “Welcome Back!”)
More next week! Z
“I think you lied to me,” she said as they swam to the shallow end of the private lake. “You told me that story just to pull me away from my friends and take me here… They are probably catching lots of fish in the river right now…”
“I promise, I told you the truth! Just wait and you’ll see for yourself!” Continue reading
Birds, birds and more birds! This is the Backyard Birdcount Weekend! Give your feathered friends a voice and put your backyard on the map! Yesterday I counted a few, and today I’ve been in transit, but tomorrow will be dedicated not only to identifying each species, but also to counting howw many drop by to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
This is the Backyard Birdcount Weekend! I hope that many of you will give your feathered friends a voice and put your backyard on the map!
Thank you for your enthusiastic feedback on the last post! The Neotropical otter is called a “Nutria” here in Ecuador, and it visited for just that morning and has gone back into hiding. It must be playing tag with the cormorant, which returned and is again gobbling the tilapia! By combining photos, audio extractions of camera videos and music snippets, I found creative ways to tell the story via Windows Movie Maker 2012.
Today I am in Quito, and sitting across the table from me is our very special friend “Hummingbird” Barbara, who arrived from Panama this morning! We are about to travel to Mindo, and tomorrow we’ll try to document as many birds as possible there on my friends’ property.
Here’s a bird that landed near the house yesterday. Can anyone help identify this raptor?
It will be fun to swap bird stories later this week!
Here’s the link to the “Get Started” page for the birdcount:
Something was out there.
My breathing paused while my eyes switched from the well-thumbed Birds of Northwest Ecuador to the reflective waters of the pond. Subtle ripples confirmed that something was there, though there were many possibilities.
The masked water tyrants were nesting again, and they often patrol that section of the pond. I did not think that those birds were responsible for those ripples.
The white-ringed flycatchers were absent this week; their nesting cycle ended when the small bush holding their life’s work toppled into the pond during heavy rains. Hopefully the fledglings had fled before the nest’s baptism. Maybe they relocated to a favorite perch, the red ginger at the edge of the pond.
A striated heron stops in every so often, though it usually perches on dead limbs and waits in stealth mode. I quickly dismissed the heron from my list of suspects. Cute little swallows gather insects while practicing touch and gos during the last few hours of each day, but this was a sunny morning. Swallows were also quickly ruled out.
Ah! The blue-winged teal! They stopped by for a visit in December. Maybe they were back? Their presence added a touch of grace to the landscape.
The neotropical cormorant had been absent for a few days, thank goodness, as it gorges on tilapia throughout the day. I checked its usual spot – empty – and shifted my eyes to the mirror-like waters. Most likely the cormorant had returned. If so, it would surface soon.
My eyes darted to new ripples along the grasses, and the swift movement jolted me into action.