b- frog

You know you live in Costa Rica when you’re awakened in the pre-dawn by glass crashing to the floor and upon inspection you find that a fist-sized frog has been kicking delicates off the shelf.

In the spirit of truth in reporting, I must disclose that it wasn’t my house and it was a beer bottle instead of a wine glass.  But you get the idea.  And the cat was innocent.

So, yesterday afternoon, when I arrived home, I witnessed the unusual even of a Howler Monkey on the ground.  Today, there were three males – that’s unusual in itself, I think – traversing the pavement in front of my gate near Samara, Costa Rica.  Two climbed the fence, leaped the tree, and continued on down the road along the phone line.  The third, confused perhaps by my arrival, ran across my yard and disappeared into the thicket.

The sky is BLACK.  We are expecting rain.  And more . . . . .

Coincidence?  I think not.

howler monkey samara costa rica

A rare sight in Samara – a monkey on the ground.  As we stopped to open the gate, he climbed up onto our gate post.  As he scrambled away on a phone line, we saw a bit of a limp.  he must have fallen because it’s very rare to see Howler Monkeys on the ground.

costa rica wildlife

Yesterday morning, when I returned from my beach walk, I sat down to enjoy a second cup of copy.

b- ants 5

In the few minutes I sat on a stool at the kitchen counter, the house was invaded by “cleaner ants”.

costa rica cleaner ants

When I put my foot down, I found the floor black with trails of pincer-bearing insects.  They come to clean, carrying off all bits of organic matter, dead insects and excrement, dust bunnies, and crumbs.

cleaner ants samara costa rica

I should leave them to do their work – many people just leave when the ants move into the house -

but I just can’t.

cleaner antsIn the time it took to grab the jug of soapy water I keep under the sink, I was bitten a dozen times.  And those bites hurt.

wildlife costa rica

I soaped the door thresholds which encouraged the ants to leave the house.

ants in costa rica

They continued their work on the terrace, covering the floor, walls, and furniture for about an hour.

b- ants 8

Then they were gone.  And the terrace was clean except for the ants I killed with soap.  If I hadn’t soaped, I wouldn’t have had to sweep.















While Dan was hiking through Rincon de la Vieja National Park, he found this Coati (sometimes called Cotamundi) but known as Pizote in Costa Rica.  They’re cute but vicious and quite aggressive beggars.


In the second part, you can see that he’s walking among the steam vents in the thermal section of the park.  Rincon de la Vieja is an easy park to get to, just 3 hours from Casa Mango and Casa Papaya but makes a better overnight than a single day trip.


That’s what my sister used to say to my brother when they were both in high school – it means “lazy” in Spanish.  But now I know it also means Sloth.  With his video camera, Dan found a pair in the woods near Tenorio Volcano.

Tenorio is another great National Park where you can see lots of animals on the face of the mostly extinct volcano.


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