Monday, February 16, 2009

“Point and Giggle”



12 to 15 Feb, 2009 – Cahuita, Costa Rica

Parque Nacional Cahuita was described in our guide book as “full of point and giggle wildlife”. Very true. Besides the capuchin monkeys, lizards, snakes, birds, and insects (primarily ants!), the most giggle worthy were the sloths. Our first few sightings were from a long way below, but there was a bit of a highlight with the finding of a mother with a very cute baby.


Mother and Baby Sloths
Mother and Baby Sloths
A sloth with her baby, in Cahuita National Park.


Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
A heron feeds in the shallows on the shores of the Caribbean in Cahuita National Park.


Sea Birds on Perches
Sea Birds on Perches
The remains of an old pier along the beach of the national park.



However, as we were thinking about stopping for lunch, we found one only 2-3 metres or so from the ground, on a branch over the beach. Upside down, and wedged in the fork of a tree, he was unphased by our presence. At first, he opened his eyes and checked us out, and as we sat down on the beach to enjoy a lunch break, he yawned, stirred a little, and decided to try and sleep again. Just before we decided to continue on our way, after maybe a half hour, he got really active. It took 5 minutes, but eventually, he found his way on to the next branch, which Jo and I were convinced did not have enough strength to hold him. I guess he has more experience with knowing the weight limits of branches, as he did not end up on the ground. Once there, he settled down again for another nap.


Sloth Portrait
Sloth Portrait
Unphased sloth who let us share his stretch of beach when we had lunch in Cahuita National Park. He had no qualms about us being there.


Sloth
Sloth
Unphased sloth who let us share his stretch of beach when we had lunch in Cahuita National Park. This is soon after we sat down, as he checked us out.



We saw a couple of snakes, too, but one Eyelash Palm Viper was so stunning, lying in the sun, bright yellow, on a beautiful contrasting background of palm fronds. Perfect.


Eyelash Palm Viper
Eyelash Palm Viper
A venomous viper suns himself in the middle of the day.



We had already seen a sloth in town in Cahuita. The previous night. While having dinner. A wet sloth took his time to cross the road in town, from the town square, in to a vacant block of land. Given the way he moved and looked around, and the speed with which he moved, we wondered if it was not actually a sloth, but one of the dreadlocked hippies we had seen during the day who had got stuck in to the weed.


A Wet Sloth
A Wet Sloth
When we were told a sloth was crossing the road in Cahuita, we at first assumed it may be a reference to one of the doped up hippies from the bus terminal. No, it was a sloth.



Another highlight was the Mariposario de Cahuita, a butterfly reserve. Fantastic opportunities for stunning photos.


A Butterfly Enjoys A Rotting Banana
A Butterfly Enjoys A Rotting Banana
A butterfly in Mariposario de Cahuita, with lots of butterfly attracting fruit and plants.


Beautiful Irradescent Blue Butterfly
Beautiful Irradescent Blue Butterfly
A butterfly in Mariposario de Cahuita, with lots of butterfly attracting fruit and plants.


1 comment:

Courtney said...

Hate snakes with a passion - even if they are stunning in colour, but I love sloths... they have to be one of the cooler creatures God created... I always imagine sloths talking like Neil from the Young Ones...

OK.. think I have revealed a little too much of my personal weirdness!