Fancy Coffee Friday: The Adventures of Captain Oblivious!

I may need this on a t-shirt for when I go out.

I may need this on a t-shirt for when I go out.

Years ago, as I made my way through my adolescent and teenage periods, I was “too busy for boys”.  Between school, 4-H, NJHA, and sports, not to mention having farm animals to care for, I was kept busy.  Those fleeting moments that I thought about boys and wondered why they rarely asked me out or to “go with them”, passed quickly in retrospect as I moved onto the next thing that had to be done or meeting I had to attend.

My first real introduction to the opposite sex came in Catholic grade school, specifically in the kitchen of the lunch room as I washed mashed potatoes out of a large pan in a sink with water hot enough to leave my hands red and my pores clear from the steam.   My good friend at the time, Jamie, rushed away from her station in the washing line to me, excitedly announcing that a boy working at the sprayer unit on the far side of the kitchen, whose name now escapes me, wanted to “go with me”.  Go with me?  I finished with the mashed potato pan and moved onto the green pea cauldron, giving Jamie a puzzled look.

“We can’t go anywhere…  we have kitchen duty today.”

Jamie stood in silence, raised an eyebrow, and leaning in she raised its partner to match to emphasize, at least so she thought, “No, Sarah.  He wants TO GO WITH YOU.”

I heaved the green pea cauldron out of the way and reached for the next pan, utterly puzzled at just where this boy wanted to go as we had kitchen duty and then had music class immediately afterwards.  Music class for goodness sake.  So, I shook my head as I scrubbed and looked over my shoulder at Jamie and repeated my “we have kitchen duty today” and punctuated it with “and music class is next”.

Just what was this boy thinking?  Shirking duties assigned by the kitchen ladies and nuns?  I don’t think so!  The school wasn’t that big, no matter where he wanted to go with me, surely we’d get in trouble for leaving our post.

Later that day he kept shooting me hurt looks and eventually asked why I wouldn’t “go with him” – of course, I replied *drum roll please*, “We had kitchen duty.  I couldn’t go anywhere with you.”

Fast forwarding to college and my utter oblivion to the wooing ways of the masculine sex continued.  I dated (finally) a lot of men, and my best friend was Mr. Muse-before-he-was-Mr. Muse.  He got to hear about every botched date, what the guys did right, what they did wrong and he refers to that time as “Reconnaissance”.  But, what I didn’t notice, because I’m Captain Oblivious, is that Mr. Muse wanted “to go with me”.

For the Dr. Who fans out there...

For the Dr. Who fans out there…

Friends started pointing out the second year at college that Mr. Muse “liked me”.  I’d laugh and say matter-of-factly, “Of course he likes me… we’re friends.  Friends like each other.”  I missed the pointed “he likes you” references, that he didn’t just like me, but he LIKED me.  They’d say, “he hugs you all the time” and I’d reply, “but he hugs you guys all the time too.  He’s a huggy person.”  They’d roll their eyes, sigh and on one particularly intense night of Boone’s Farm Fuzzy Navel pass-the-bottle, tried everything in their power to get me to realize that Mr. Muse LIKED me liked me and still, there I was, stuck at that grade school sink on kitchen duty wondering just where he wanted to go.

I know you’re all relieved to know that eventually, after a “Eureka Moment” with Mr. Muse – and my realization that he LIKED me liked me – it all worked out.

And that brings me to my recent adventure once again sailing with Bare Necessities.  One of the ports we stopped in was Philipsburg, Sint Maarten.  Mr. Muse and I had been to the island twice before and we knew that this time our goal was to head to famous, perhaps infamous, Maho Beach to watch the planes land and take-off and see people be stupid.

We’d set ourselves up nicely at the Sunset Bar and Grill, famous on Maho Beach, where from our perch we could watch the people on the beach and the planes coming in to land.  While we didn’t have great views of the planes that were taking off at the end of the runway, we did have a view of the cyclone fence that idiots people-prone-to-risky-behavior-who-ignore-warning-signs attempted to hang onto in the jet-wash of the planes.  It was at the bar, where as I headed back to the table from a trip to the loo, that a man in aviator sunglasses (who’d had his back to me) stopped me with, “Where do I know you from?”

Me, being the polite Midwesterner that I am, shook my head in bewilderment and said that he must have me confused with someone else.  He persisted, “No.  I know I know you; I just can’t think of where.”

I’m a helpful person, so I attempted to jog his memory despite that fact that I was 99% certain I had never met this man in my life.  “Well, are you from Wisconsin?  Are you on the nude cruise in port today?  I’m a model – maybe you’ve seen a photo of me?  I write – perhaps you’ve read my blog?  Twitter?  Facebook fan page?”  He shook his head to all of my suggestions and then I tossed out, “People tell me I look like Dana Delany.”  He agreed that he could see the resemblance in my eyes.  I smiled politely, because that’s what I do, and told him that if he thought of where he knew me from to let me know, handed him my business card and headed back to the table where Mr. Muse was waiting.

I relayed what had just transpired to Mr. Muse who smiled and nodded as he usually does and we continued to watch the planes, people and chat to the group that sat down at our table.  Soon, the man, who I’d found out was a private jet pilot, was at the next table with his coworker (who was frequently on his phone getting updates from mechanics so the story holds up).  We said hello again, we chatted about the planes, considered odds on whether people on the beach were going to go down in the surf or not and he asked me about the nude cruise.

DrinkBarI didn’t think anything of the unusual conversation until seven hours later when suddenly it dawned on me that this man may have been hitting on me.  Mr. Muse and I were making our way down the corridor of the cruise ship by then and in another of my “Eureka Moments” I stopped, turned to Mr. Muse and said, “Wasn’t it weird that the guy kept saying he knew me?  His back was turned to me when I came out of the bathroom…. I mean, maybe he saw me when I headed in there, but…. *dramatic pause as the light bulb over my head begins to glow* Okay, it just occurred to me that maybe he was hitting on me.  Weird!  Do you think he was hitting on me?”  Mr. Muse just smiled and nodded and we proceeded down the corridor.

At dinner, I relayed this story to my fellow staffers, they all laughed with one dear woman I adore declaring, “Goodness child!  He was trying to pick you up!”  I commented that the thought had occurred to me an hour earlier and we all laughed harder that it only took me seven hours to figure that out.  More hearty laughter followed with more questions about how I didn’t figure it out at the time to which I responded, “I choose to believe my not noticing is part of my charm.”  I’m a smart cookie people – but social cues of interest from the opposite sex are NOT my strong suit – I fully admit that.

So, to the pilot who was stranded in Sint Maarten for the second day do to mechanical issues…. I never got your name, but if you’re reading this, now you know the rest of the story.

Just call me Captain Oblivious.

Are there certain social cues that you miss?  What are they?

Entertained by this post?  Let me know.  Just make it obvious. :P

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The Monday After: Why Are Vacations So Exhausting?

Mr. Muse and I finally arrived home early afternoon yesterday after being away a week and a half.  Our flights were uneventful and we plunged into the cold as fuck brisk 7 degree F breeze of Madison with suitcases in tow, Cedric The Roaming Gnome safe in my satchel and Charlie The Traveling Chupacabra securely contained on the back of Mr. Muse’s travel pack.   Our Explorer started right up after sitting in the parking garage at the airport all those many days and with everyone intact and all luggage accounted for we headed off.

Do I need lotion? Perhaps just a little dab.

Do I need lotion? Perhaps just a little dab.

The change from warm and moist tropical air to the dry, frigid air over Wisconsin apparently began to break the magical spell of me having decent-looking hands.  I’ll never be the “after” hand model but at least while on the cruise in the tropics I didn’t have what Mr. Muse calls my “old lady hands” (or what Jeff calls my “hands of a fish wife”).  I took off a glove that I’d put on only a few minutes before in the airport and sighed as I saw how parched the skin appeared.  Just that morning it was looking somewhat youthful.

But, I laughed, restated my demand for “FOOD!” that I’d made on the ATL to MSN leg of the flight as the only thing I’d had to eat since Mr. Muse and I had fallen into exhausted slumber in the mid-evening at the hotel on Saturday, thus bypassing dinner, was a KIND bar and a Grande Peppermint Mocha, non-fat, no-whip from the FLL Starbucks.  Sadly, the baristas must have assumed that since I ordered “non-fat, no-whip” I must also have wanted “sugar free” because the first sip I took had me wrinkling my face in disgust and giving a shiver at the nastiness that is sugar-free anything.

Of course, I still drank it, because it was 5:30 AM EST and since I knew I wasn’t going to get any sleep on an overbooked flight (seriously, Delta, do you HAVE to overbook nearly every flight into and out of Atlanta?) that they were trying to fit eight bumped passengers from the ATL flight that left 20 minutes earlier – I was going to need the caffeine.

Wow.  I went off on a bit of a tangent right there…  Okay, reeling it back in.  Or, I can use the phrase I learned from new friends from the vacation, “Speaking of marriage…”  (There is a story there… you had to be there for it so you’re just going to have to trust me on this.)

Hangry.  It's what's for dinner.

Hangry. It’s what’s for dinner.

Food.  Yeah.  So, I was hungry.  Or ‘hangry’.  And tired.  That’s a dangerous combination and since I knew that we also had to stop at the grocery store to pick up some laundry soap and lunch supplies for the work week – going in hangry was a terrible idea.  Our first thought was the Hubbard Avenue Diner – and as soon as we walked in the door and found out that it was an hour long wait for a table of four (I didn’t ask about a table for two), we turned right back around and headed back to the Explorer to ponder our options.  Taking the lazy route, we headed to Chili’s by the mall, which has a handy-dandy touch screen at the table where I can find gluten free options.  I ordered a margarita (because we were still on vacation, dammit) and a water (which I drank before the margarita) and healthy choices which I fairly well inhaled.  Mr. Muse carb-loaded like usual and with the first actual, full meal in nearly 24 hours we headed off to the grocery store and then to home.

Oh, home.

In my head I envision that the beautiful people of the world arrive back at their homes to perfectly clean abodes, vases of flowers cheerfully greeting them as they walk into the door and they never have to worry about washing the dirty laundry that was artfully packed in their suitcases because they have people to do that for them.

My reality is that Mr. Muse wanted to pull up to the back of the house to schlep all the groceries and baggage inside so as to avoid a multiple-trip, back-and-forth on the narrow walk at the front of the house.  Fair enough, nobody wants to plow snow with a 43# suitcase.  The interior of the house looked as if our cats had exploded, tufts of hair lay all over the carpet, but at least there was only one puke stain on the arm of the chair.  The hard floors were in need of sweeping the debris from the barn, the cat hair and the dead box elder bugs.  While some of the house plants are flowering – mostly all of them were wilting and I can’t say I detected any cheer from them – it was more like “hey asshole, where can a plant get a drink around this joint”.

Mr. Muse set about dumping the laundry we’d crammed into the suitcases onto the kitchen floor and sorting it into piles as I tucked into washing the 12 dozen eggs the chickens laid while we were gone.  The carpet was vacuumed (as was the furniture).  The eggs were washed, sanitized and packed.  The laundry eventually was completed and the plants watered.

At one point, Mr. Muse, who had taken to relaxing on the couch, implored me to “just sit and relax” as I had an exhausting vacation and needed a break before heading into work today.  Two hours later I finally did.  That lasted 90 minutes before I was back up and doing stuff that needed doing, like more laundry.

Vacations are supposed to REcharge your batteries, right?


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Fancy Coffee Friday: Sailing – Take Me Away

Well, I can’t really call being on a huge cruise liner in the Caribbean “sailing” – there are no sails after all – but that’s what the industry calls it, so therefore, it is what it is.

As you read this I’m enjoying my last day at sea aboard the Celebrity Constellation with the fine people of Bare Necessities Cruises for the Big Nude Boat 2015.  We’ve been to: CocoCay, BahamasGustavia, St. BartsPointe A Pitre, Guadeloupe; and, Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

I’ll write about those locations later (and the cruise), but for now, here is a photo of at least one view I’ll be having today:

This image may or may not represent what the sea looks like today. Sadly I lost all of my past images showing the sea on a "Sea Day". Image via

This image may or may not represent what the sea looks like today.
Sadly I lost all of my past images showing the sea on a “Sea Day”.
Image via

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Toes in the water, Ass in the sand.


Mr. Muse and I have once again taken leave of Wisconsin and headed to…. The Caribbean!  We embarked yesterday aboard the Celebrity Constellation with the fine people of, and for, Bare Necessities for the 2015 Big Nude Boat.

Today’s stop?  CocoCay, Bahamas.

Thanks Google Maps, The Snipping Tool and Paint!

Thanks Google Maps, The Snipping Tool and Paint!

Just what do I do on these cruises?  I model, assist the photographer, teach Modeling 101, am “the clothing police” and…. beach time, baby…. LOTS of beach time.

Not my photo (thanks WIkipedia!) - mine would have had more beach, more sand, more water, been plastic and had a daiquiri or pina colada in it.  Or a rum punch.

Not my photo (thanks WIkipedia!) – mine would have had more beach, more sand, more water, been plastic and had a daiquiri or pina colada in it. Or a rum punch.

I probably won’t have a beer in my hand… it’s a little difficult to find gluten-free beer in the Caribbean, but I will have a rum drink.  Oooh, another cocktail umbrella!  With enough of them, I can protect my forehead from the sun.

I promised Mom that I’d take photos, probably not of the nude people – I don’t need photos of that anyway as it’s indelibly marked on my brain forever.  But photos of exotic locations?  Beaches?  Cedric the Roaming Gnome and Charlie the Chupacabra?  Of course!  I might even have one taken of Mr. Muse and me – if we remember.

My Mom cracks me up!

My Mom cracks me up!

So, while I’m enjoying the sun, surf and sand in the Caribbean, please enjoy this “on hold” music.

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Costa Rica Vacation, Part 3 – Does this Bug You?

My experience with other humans, as much as I try and limit them, have shown that people seem to have some major issues with bugs.  Bugs happen.  Right now they happen in my house in the form of Boxelder Bugs trundling across every surface of my home, and that includes me.  I’ve developed a small soft spot for the little guys, shooing them off of my cutting board, rescuing them from the cooking pan they just crash-landed into and making sure that I pull them to safety when I find them in my water glass (although recently I’ve switched over to an insulated “iced drink” cup with a lid and a straw, so the bugs in my water should be done with now).

My, what green chelicerae you have. Phidippus audax.

My, what green chelicerae you have. Phidippus audax.

As a child I was fascinated with insects and arachnids, but I was not a fan of moths as they’d get stuck in my hair when I attempted to dart into the house beneath the porch light in the warmer months.  I adore jumping spiders, my favorite species so far is Phidippus audax and it’s not unusual for me to be seen catching and talking to bugs and spiders inside or outside of the house.  I’ve outgrown my animosity towards moths, though I don’t like it if they fly at my face – which, if I’m being accurate and disclosing fully – I don’t like anything flying at my face.  But I digress.

Bugs, in my opinion, are pretty damn cool and fascinating to watch and since “bugs happen” people, including myself, just have to get used to them.  In December when I went to Costa Rica I knew I’d be back in Leaf-Cutter Ant territory and was quite excited about that as my previous ventures in Central America found me staring and watching the lines of ants trekking to-and-fro for long stretches.  I also knew that Costa Rica was home to huge butterflies like the Blue Morpho Butterfly, which I saw on a quad tour but wasn’t able to get a photo of.  I also knew that there were insects the likes of which I wanted to keep a safe distance from, like the Kissing Bug, which is not as cute as it sounds and can spread a parasite through its bite which is called Chagas Disease.  Imagine my surprise waking up the first morning in my apartment to find on on its back in the middle of the floor (the apartments are sprayed to keep insects to a minimum).  I’m going out on a limb and I’m going to believe that it didn’t bite me as it’s been almost two months and I feel fiiii…..

Just kidding.

Kissing Bugs aside, Costa Rica had a plethora of insects and spiders to keep me entertained.  The first evening at Casa Banda found me making friends with a Praying Mantis who was circling a porch light above me and then landed on my foot, resting for a bit.  I had “the porch spiders”, two largish spiders that appeared to be in the Wolf Spider family and who each lost additional legs during the course of our stay (one started with 7 legs, the other 6).  Massive grasshoppers longer than my hand from fingertip-to-heel were everywhere, including those that made suicidal dive bombs into the pool, and Katydids 5″ long and standing almost 3″ high slowly walked through the garden.

There were some mosquitoes and more bees, such as the little orchid bees which Mr. Muse and I each received a sting from (Mr. Muse stepped on one, I collided with one while walking), more butterflies, moths and what turned out to be my favorite bug of all:  a rhinoceros beetle.  Even watching the Leaf-Cutter ants (even the ones breaking into our hotel room through the AC unit the final night) didn’t surpass the cool-factor of the rhinoceros beetle – it was like touching velvet!  If you’re a budding entomologist, you’ll be in heaven in Costa Rica!

You missed Part 1 and Part 2? Follow the links!

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Comedy of Errors for the Accident Prone

Last week my post about the birds of Costa Rica was supposed to be followed by a post today about the bugs of Costa Rica. This is not that post.  That post will happen next week.


Well, rather than rattle off everything that has kept me from actually writing a decent post about the insects with whom I made friends in Costa Rica, let alone really get to a computer in the evenings between getting home from work and falling asleep… I’ll tell you a more interesting story about how I am becoming more accident prone, or… we could say “klutzy”… when it comes to eating and drinking.

I'm -Accident Prone--Are you sure-

I’ve always been a bit of a danger to myself in the kitchen, knocking pointy objects like knives from the counter to the floor where my little piggies scream in abject horror at their impending doom as if they starred in a scaled down version of Final Destination is not uncommon.  I’ve so far been able to whisk them out of the path of danger at the last moment, thus preserving them for another sandal season.  But, while my toes have been spared, my fingers, hands and forearms have been burned and singed on hot parts of the oven and stove.  I’ve nearly steamed the skin off of my thumb a few times, and I burned my tongue on hot liquid twice just last week.  To top it off, last weekend during a round of Cards Against Humanity with friends, my errant tossing of a card to a friend resulted in The Great Wine Flood of January 2015 and one broken Ikea wine glass.  At least everyone laughed.

Once I add in all of the occasions where I appear to have missed my mouth entirely with my beverage of choice, salad dressing that splatters onto my glasses (or the computer screen as I’m guilty of eating at the computer at work AND at home) and even having stabbed the corner of my mouth with a fork at least a handful of times because I wasn’t paying attention, leaves me wondering if one day someone will decide I’m incapable of being in charge of my own sustenance and they’ll just hook me up to a feeding tube and pump Soylent into me.

Unpleasant thoughts about Soylent aside, I choose to believe that my quick reflexes in the name of self preservation, or at least preservation of my toes, combined with my foible of being a messy eater, only add to my charm.  After all, one of my friends continually drops food into her cleavage and we still invite her out to eat at restaurants.

But, back to the inspiration for this post that wasn’t supposed to be.  I woke up this morning and thought that getting myself a doughnut sounded like a great thing to do.  I invited Mr. Muse to join me for a doughnut purchase, and he mentioned he’d need a fancy coffee as well.  Okay!  On the way in I texted a coworker asking if they wanted a fancy coffee as well.  They responded with a yes and their order and I headed into the coffee shop to order the fancy coffees.

Everything was going well.  I was on a roll filling out the crossword puzzle taped to the pick up counter, my three drinks showed up and I got them into a tray.  I got to the car, sat down, put the tray on my lap, handed Mr. Muse his coffee and as I reached over my shoulder for my seat belt:  disaster struck.  My coworker’s and my order flipped over as Mr. Muse and I sat, horror on our faces as they hit the floor mat.  We scrambled.  Mr. Muse grabbed my coworkers drink first as I reached for mine, the sleeve on the cup flew off and my drink hit the floor mat again.  A choice word escaped my lips and I grabbed it again, and said, “Thankfully I make a point of making sure lids are on tight.”

My coworkers drink barely lost an ounce, mine spewed about a quarter of its contents on the floor mat.  I pouted briefly, took a sip… a peppermint mocha, now with a touch of road salt.  Like the episode of The Simpson’s where Homer roasts a whole pig in his yard, I said, “It’s still good,” and shrugged.  Road salt, bits of teeny-tiny gravel and… whatever else was on the floor mat be damned – I take a multivitamin.

Mr. Muse, shaking his head and looking at my white jeans said, “You may have to go out and buy new jeans today.”  I told him that was nonsense.  I sit in an area of the office where nobody really sees me (after all, they usually forget I’m back there anyway) and I need to wash a load of whites anyway.

What's that on your white jeans, Sarah?  Oh... just my morning coffee.

What’s that on your white jeans, Sarah? Oh… just my morning coffee.

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Costa Rican Vacation, Part 2 – This is for The Birds

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Want to catch the intro, part one or the final installment?  Follow the links!

I’m a bit of a bird nerd – that is, a birdwatcher – and have been since I was young.  Growing up, we had an old copy of Golden Books “A Guide to Field Identification BIRDS of North America” and I would study that book for hours in spite of its missing pages,the lack of which deeply annoyed me.  I poured over the pages of between the covers of each book in the Life Nature Library series, each picture gazed at again and again, each caption nearly committed to memory.  The hours I spent gaining knowledge from the books in the home library were reinforced by witnessing birds around the farm, from the Great Horned Owl that perched atop the old silo to the rare visit of a Snowy Owl one winter as the family worked together cleaning the barn and even the surprise of finding a Eastern Screech Owl sheltering from the winter winds inside the garage that had been filled with an abundant crop of hay that year.

During later years, when I found myself married and enjoying the expensive hobby of feeding the local songbirds, color me happy (and a bit surprised) when I could rattle off the names of songbirds rarely, or never, seen in the area where I grew up.  My front yard is a veritable bonanza for the feathered kind with a variety of feeders* and food to choose from**, in fact we call it “The Feeding Station”.  In the spring when the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles arrive, they make a point of finding me in the house; the hummers stare at me through the windows until I notice them and the orioles come tapping their way around the house at each window until they find me and then go wait for me to fill their feeders.  They have me well-trained.

When the Chickadees have tattled on me to the neighborhood that I’ve gone out and refilled the feeders, I can count about two dozen different species of songbirds right out my windows.  With the Spring Migration, those numbers swell and include the Indigo Bunting, which had three of that species arrive our first spring in this house and have multiplied every year since – last year saw nearly 20 of the brilliant indigo birds at feeders and on the ground, gleaning seed that had been dropped.  I can’t wait for their arrival this spring as well.

Nosara, Costa Rica, is a place that in the words of Bibi, our host, “People only come to Nosara for a few things: hiking, bird watching, yoga or surfing.”  If you’re into any or all of those things – you should put Nosara on your list of places to which to travel.  Wildlife in general abounds but everywhere I looked there were birds!  On the first morning at Casa Banda I was relaxing on the front porch in the rocking chair with a book and heard a flutter of wings and sat with mouth agape as four feet in front of me was a bird I’d never before seen but it was beautiful and had two long, lyre-like tail feathers.  It turns out that it was a Long-tailed Manakin; sadly, I didn’t have anything near me with which to take its picture.  Parakeets and parrots flew overhead away from the coast every morning and every evening they headed back toward the crash of the waves.  Great Kiskadees played in the bananas, cuadrados and plantains on the grounds of Casa Banda and collected insects from the surface of the water in the pool – we even got to see a baby practicing this move after it watched its parents.

There were flocks of Fork-tailed Flycatchers that sat high up in the top of a large tree, all in formation facing into the breeze.  Hummingbirds of all kinds of varieties whizzed about the garden at Casa Banda, visited the feeders next door at Bella Vista Mar, and on our river wildlife tour we saw even more.  And speaking of the river tour, that is where the large birds really made a showing – they were everywhere.  Herons of all sizes, shapes and colors.  Sandpipers, plovers, gulls, shearwaters and petrels.  A Summer Tanager male was spotted by Mr. Muse, a bright red spot nearly hidden by greenery.  Then there were the birds of prey and those that came after from the commonplace Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys, and Black and Turkey Vultures to the Crested Caracara and  Laughing Falcon, which we could hear but not see.

No  matter what direction we looked, there were birds.  Big ones and teeny-tiny ones.  Silent ones and birds that seemed to have a need to make a noise wherever they flew (like the hummingbirds).  For someone like me who could watch birds for hours on end, this was truly a magical week and I want to go back just to see what other species I can spot!  If you’re a bird watcher – I highly recommend putting Costa Rica on your list of bird watching locations to visit.

*How many feeders do I have?  I currently have 13 bird feeders and 5 squirrel feeders (placed away from the bird feeders… not that it really deters them – after all, they have destroyed my Christmas lights in the past).

**What do I put in my feeders?  I get the BEST variety of birds using Black-Oil Sunflower seeds, Peanut “rejects”, and suet or “dough”.  I have one feeder filled with Niger/Nyjer seed and it is fairly well ignored other than a few weeks in the early spring – the finches showing a preference for the Black-Oil Sunflower seeds.

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