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P1150826 MOONSET august 2010 san miguel Z

Playa San Miguel, Costa Rica

Years and years ago, my friend Dan Wise (Rio Colorado Lodge/Costa Rica Outdoors Magazine – Costa Rica) told me about a high-energy woman who made beautiful floor cloths in Costa Rica. “You should meet her, Lisa,” he urged.

Concrete Floor Andean Rugs and faux tile

Hand-painted Concrete floors by Lisa!

Although we never met, I subscribed to Laurel’s Originals Newsletter and always look forward to seeing new designs and projects. Her June newsletter brought a jolt of a surprise; sometimes Life does indeed grant us very-personal gifts. See if you can spot what placed a huge smile in my heart:

Laurel’s Originals June 2018 Newsletter

Now enjoy some of her designs:

Laurel’s Originals Designs

Here in Ecuador, Museo Portoviejo pushed back the date for the Nomadas en Ecuador Exposition; most likely it will open on July 5, although the showdates are coordinated through the Museum’s home base in Quito.  That’s fine with me, as it gives me more time to work on paintings – or to give an old one a new look!


One night I worked until 5 in the morning and was so absorbed in my work that I did not notice the light-loving insects that were just over my shoulder!

P1960229 5 16 in the morning insects stilts

The work area now has blue curtains to deter the nocturnal insects, but that night they found their way to the source!

Stepping out of my ‘tent’ area, I was greeted by thousands and thousands and thousands of those wispy little insects.    Outside the windows, however, were that many ‘more’ to the 100th power!       These ‘hatches’ (?) have happened twice in the past ten months I’ve lived here, and now the numbers have returned to normal!

P1970797 squirrel on dragonfruit trellis look at its toe foot

The flora and fauna continue to grant lovely moments; the squirrels continue to raid the bananas!  One has now earned my respect and compassion, as it seems to have a deformed front left foot.

P1970447 ground level BROWN WOOD RAIL JUNE 15

Brown Wood Rail at ground level view!

The natural supply of bananas attracts the Brown Wood Rails for some very-easy photo ops, though the rails are pretty predictable to spot during the final half hour of each day. The forage briefly before crossing the yard and entering their private domain of thick cover.

P1950274 BROWN WOOD RAIL how to fly up to the bananas

They are funny when they prepare to jump into the bananas!

P1960257 JUNE 11 BROWN WOOD RAIL ALMOST NOON jumping into bananas

When I first ‘discovered’ that the rarely seen or photographed Brown Wood Rails were my closest neighbors, I thought they were chickens! They often forage near the chickens – the same way that cattle and horses occupy the same tract of pasture. At times the sometimes-territorial chickens chase the Wood Rails, which dart from zero to lightning speed, which always gives me a chuckle! Other times the Wood Rails strut across the yard while pumping their stumpy tails, as if practicing for a parade performance! This area is home to the Brown Wood Rail and five other VIP bird species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

P1900558 may 16 two brown wood rails and one chicken

Two Wood Rails and one Chicken!

Last week while watching the end-of-day activities of the Wood Rails, I suddenly realized that one small brown bird in the cast was not a Wood Rail! Camera – quick! – I managed three not-too-clear images, but good enough for identification.

P1960918 WOW 5 39 JUNE 12 TINAMOU

The Little Tinamou, which often graces the area with its perfect-pitch and projected whistle; several mornings earlier it called from what seemed to be right outside the window.  Usually a second one answers, and sometimes a third.  About every 45 seconds it repeats the same tune, and several minutes later they go mute. Let’s close this post with the audio of of an ultra-strong whistle from a very-timid little bird:

(Tinamou-Sound Cloud)


After I listened to the Tinamou upload, Sound Cloud rolled me to an artist I follow.  Enjoy some of the music that often plays when I paint late at night – if you feel exceptionally creative, start the Maassen tune on the Sound Cloud page, and then add the Tinamou from this one!  Now THAT’s a sample of my work environment!

May your week be a good one!  Thank you all for your support!   Lisa