Written December 10, 2011
Our morning starts early with coffee in the main house just before six. Fernando has promised to show my mother the toucans. At day break we head out in a taxi on a road that winds above the property.
Fernando first shows us a couple of nocturnal birds who have already started their morning snooze.
One looks just like a stick on a branch.
Then we see our first toucan. He flies straight at Fernando’s telescope and lands in the tree just above the road.
This is one of the smaller toucans, he tells us. He will take us to see the bigger ones. We walk up the road stopping frequently to look at various birds through the telescope, woodpeckers, egrets, hawks, etc.
At the end of our walk we hear a steady squawking, two or more large toucans are chattering back and forth their yellow necks becoming more brilliant yellow as the sun gets higher in the sky.
Fernando makes a movie of the birds through the telescope first on my mother’s camera and a second on his cell phone.
Back at the lodge we meet Tom and his wife Mariela at the breakfast table. They are training a new cook from one of the Amazon villages. He is rather timid when he takes our complicated egg order. It seems there is not an easy equivalent in Spanish for eggs over easy. You must say something like, “fried on both sides with liquid yolk”. Breakfast is a plate of fruit, homemade brown bread and jam, eggs and hash brown patties. All well done and cooked to order.
After breakfast Fernando takes us to the butterfly house where they breed local species of butterflies. The guide gives a quick explanation, in English, of the house and the breeding area where the eggs are collected and the caterpillars feed on specific plants. The chrysalis is then left to mature and finally the butterfly emerges. We watch as several butterflies break through the chrysalis and began to unfold and dry their wings.
We spend the rest of our time walking around the garden photographing the various species on different colored flowers and plants,
returning back to the chrysalis house from time to time to discover what new has emerged.
After a short rest, we have one last lunch with Tom and say our good-byes promising to return some day to see the famous Cock-of -the-Rock. Every day of the year at day break the bright red birds can be seen strutting their stuff. Something to look forward to on a future visit.