Costa Rica ChroniclesūüćÉūüĆéūüćĆūüöł

As I sit around here twiddling my thumbs still waiting to be over the whole concussion thing…I came across an interesting envelope in my desk. “Hols Costa Rica memories,” in my mother’s handwriting no less. Bless her dear heart! I wrote and played a lot while I was living up in that incredible location, on the Continental divide, Monteverde, C.R.

“I wasn’t sure if I should really mention anything…but a large ape has been coming to me out of the forest, almost nightly, and for some time now. What I like so much about him¬† is not having to deal with the whole Spanish thing. What is Spanish anyway? you put an ‘ito’ or an ‘a’ or an ‘o,’ or sometimes a ‘dad’ at the end of English word, and that’s Spanish,¬† pretty much. True there are occasional surprises, like the word “banano.” But think about it, of course a banana is male. Frank and I (he’s so wonderfully direct) often enjoy a kilo or two of bananos together, all in good fun. The locals here prefer them nice and ripe and even feed bananos to their horses.

Then there’s the pig farm down in the valley.¬†I had to go down there to check it out. It’s actually more like a concentration camp. Barbed wire, large grey windowless buildings, dour looking men in gumboots and the cries of the damned, that’s what. I’m so glad I stopped eating bacon. I’ll occasionally get a good whiff of pig shit up here but I still tell¬† myself it’s paradise.”

here’s a video of a horse eating a banana

banano eating horse

Birdsongūüź¶ & BlossomsūüĆł

A warbling we go! Here by Stanley Park I am surrounded by blossoms…all the shades and varieties of cherries, magnolias, and the early purple azaleas. This year, for some reason, I’m really getting the fragrance of the blossoms more than usual. Even if they are lying on the ground. But the best experience is standing under an old cherry tree with a great canopy of blossoms overhead and standing or sitting or simply *being* – and simply breathing it in – heaven on earth? And birdsong fills the air! I find myself running out to the balcony, zoom recorder in hand, trying to capture the fleeting notes.

There was a sudden bash against my window – alas a little bird had flown into it… putting my hands around it, I gave it a little qi¬†treatment. I thought it was a goner, but amazingly twenty minutes later it flew away!

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According to the Stokes Guide to Birds, the orange crowned warbler is “very drab” and the Peterson Field Guide Series is equally unimpressed talking about its “lack of wing bars” and saying its song is a “weak colourless trill, dropping in energy at the end.” I wonder if we’re talking about the same bird! Bill and I have been talking about notating¬†bird song and I’ll let you know how that goes! My ever resourceful scribe, Mike, has brought the following to my attention. Dear readers, how about you give these a try and let me know how they sound! oh…there’s a cow in there too ūüôā

bird songs as musical notation.jpg

I will leave you with one last thought on birds from one of my favourite musical works (can you guess which one?):

One day, Peter goes out into the clearing, leaving the garden gate open, and the duck that lives in the yard takes the opportunity to go swimming in a pond nearby. The duck starts arguing with a little bird.

The bird says, “what kind of bird are you if you can’t fly?”

To which the duck replies, “what kind of bird are you if you can’t swim?”

Click here to have a listen!

 

Tristan the Swan

Tristan loved Thea, his mate of many years. Together they floated over the lagoon with royal elegance, bestowing¬†their grace upon all who saw them…

The parks board never did provide a safe place for the swans of Lost Lagoon. Tristan got bumble foot from the concrete and gravel around the lagoon and was sent to the vet for a couple of weeks. While she was left unprotected on her nest, Thea was fatally attacked by a coyote. This should never have happened. The thing is, there was a swan love triangle between Tristan, Bijan and Marika – a swan Tristan had briefly been involved¬†with a few years back. With Thea’s passing, Bijan corralled poor Tristan into the swampy area of the lagoon. Perhaps he was trying to prevent Tristan from reuniting with Marika.

Many thanks to Fiona and Ziggy, loyal swan-keepers of many years, who organized relocating the swans to a dream home in Langley where they have soft grass under their feet, and abundant clean lake water to enjoy.

It is my hope that the parks board will recognize the legacy and value of the Stanley Park swans and with public help, launch a campaign to make the lagoon safe for all wildlife, including the once and future swans of Lost Lagoon.

Here is an actual photo of Marika and Tristan “making hearts” – taken by Fiona:
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View the Instagram Page for the Stanley Park Swans

Visit the Swans of Stanley Park web page

Transcendent Tendency/ 3 over 2

 As we live ~ and die…

 flightless birds

 flying anyway

 over the liquid land

 a finely tuned sky poet

 touches sympathetic strings

 all held aloft by human invention 

 in this flying machine

 I see the rhyming patterns of land and sea

 how the liquid land coalesces 

 through bodies of water

 bodies of people

 wind and sand

 the three domes

 of earth, skull and sky 

 cranial patterns of earth

 as by breathing

 the double helix of life arises 

  ***Image

HB 2014