This is a dog we met while on a road trip in Costa Rica. Seeing a chocolate brown dog in front of an aqua colored wall, I just had to stop for a photo. There was only one way to describe the look on this dog’s face as he saw us pull up – utterly unimpressed. He was like a grumpy old man sitting on his porch wondering why the hell these damn tourists had to come to his country to pester him by taking his photo. In the end, no matter how much he looked like he hated me, I still love him!
So I’m introducing something new…Flower Friday! Not that Fridays need to be any more awesome than they already are, but hey, it sounded good. The first flower I have chosen is the water lily, and in particular, this perfectly formed pink one. It is one of my dreams to eventually have water lilies in a pond in my very own backyard (first I need a yard though, but a minor point). I imagine my water lily pond to be home to a huge family of frogs (now you see where I’m going with this…). Lots of very cute and shiny subjects to photograph! Have a great weekend everyone 🙂
I believe that what I have photographed here is a green basilisk lizard, commonly found on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica. The adult males have three crests, one on the head, back and tail (which makes them look like a mini dinosaur). Adult females only have one on the head, and juveniles don’t have any. Despite growing quite large (up to 3 feet long head to tail), they are a skittish lizard, but this particular green beauty was quite comfortable hiding deep in the protection of these tree roots. Unfortunately for me, it made for some pretty uncomfortable and awkward photography half sitting/lying in some bushes and rocks on the edge of a steamy hot spring in my bikini. I think some of the other tourists thought I was a mad person photographing tree roots! Anyway, these lizards are also called Jesus Christ lizards for their ability to run across water, usually when spooked by a predator. Knowing that this is their best method of escape, they are often found in trees along the edges of a body of water. They are also great swimmers and can reportedly spend up to 30 minutes underwater. Click here for a very cool slow motion video by National Geographic of the Jesus Christ lizard running across water. Enjoy!
This painting is designed to make us stop and remember the simplicity of what children find beautiful and interesting. As kids we’d collect sticks in different shapes and sizes, see colorful fences to climb on and blow dandelion seeds into the wind. As adults we see dead branches and weeds against a dirty old fence. An acknowledgement for the way that time and age changes us… We know more, and appreciate different things, but maybe sometimes we need children to remind us to appreciate the simpler things in life. To find a million exciting uses for those cardboard boxes, and instead of filling them with the meaningless material junk in our lives, we should go back to feeling like the kings and queens of our fortresses.
Rhinoceros beetles are the largest of all beetles, and in far north Queensland can grow up to 2.5inches (about 6cms). I’d like to think that this beautiful male rhinoceros beetle who lives in Cairns is playing hide and seek with his lady friend inside the coconut. However, it might be that he is actually having a territorial dispute with another male over this lovely coconut house. The beetle in the coconut was also playing hide and seek with me, so I didn’t get a good look to see if it had horns or not (which only males have and are used to fight off other males over the privilege to mate with a female). Judging by the thick armor and huge horns, I get the feeling though that male beetles just don’t know how to be friendly at all.
The Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, Western Australia is a unique and bizarre landscape marked by incredibly yellow sand. The Pinnacles themselves (in the top photograph, and seen in the distance of the bottom photograph) are ancient limestone formations, which range in height from only an inch to 16 feet tall (5 meters). They formed millions of years ago from broken down shells, but exactly how these limestone towers came about is still debated. A three hour drive north of Perth along a picturesque coastline of stunning beaches is a wonderful journey to this alien landscape. In the early mornings or late afternoons you even have the chance to see emus and kangaroos amongst the shrubs. Different times of day can completely transform this landscape, with the sun and pinnacles creating large, interesting shadows all around them. Most definitely a landscape photographers dream. It might have been a very different photograph to the middle of the day in summer when I went, dripping with sweat in a dessert with no hope of shade! Perhaps the feeling of being on another planet was just a delusion from heat exhaustion, but either way, a very cool place to visit.
I have recently been nominated for the Creative Blogger Award by a wonderful fellow blogger, the Timelesswheel. Thank you dearly for this lovely compliment and for considering my blog worthy of this award. Your blog is a wonderful place of collected thoughts and photographs, and full of inspiration for people to start living their lives in the moment. Its always such a pleasure to visit your blog.
To accept this award, here are five new facts about myself.
- I hate mosquitoes and cockroaches
- I love baking cakes and desserts
- My first job was at McDonalds
- Even with my Italian background I could happily live the rest of my life never eating pizza or pasta again (my grandma would be horrified!)
- My most cherished time of every week is weekend breakfast
Here are the fellow bloggers who I would like to nominate for this award. Their blogs brighten up my days.
Lastly, a very huge thank you to all who read, enjoy and comment on my blog!
Costa Rica is known for some of the most beautifully colored birds in the world. However, since I don’t own a telephoto lens, I rarely get to take bird photos unless the bird literally lands a few feet in front of me. For me, this particular bird will be forever associated in my mind with this beautiful country rather than the traditional toucan. These magnificently intimidating vultures could be seen no matter where we were, circling the skies all day, every day. This particular vulture was sitting on a farm fence post, his/her partner on the next one, both truly formidable in size and presence. Thanks to a rainy day, both had their wings fully spread to dry off their feathers. On the ground below them in the long grass, 5-6 wet chicks huddled together (and by chicks, I mean their fuzzy babies the size of medium chickens!). I would have loved to get out of my car and take a photo of the chicks too, but I envisioned my eyes being gouged out by the parents while they tear my scalp off with their talons. Needless to say, I stayed in the safety of my car, and left their chicks alone. A tribute to truly terrifying parents!
This year is Chinese zodiac year of the Monkey, and it certainly is for me. I have just spent a week with various monkeys in the jungles of Costa Rica. Of all of them, this is definitely my favorite. The Squirrel Monkey. Adorable little creatures flitting through the trees like a family of small, grey and orange birds. You can hear them calling to each other as they bounce around, the sound of content and happy chirpings. Being somewhat cheeky like most monkey can be, they swept through this tree eating the fruits, only taking a few bites of each one before throwing them to the ground. Sometimes I think they were even purposefully aiming at my head. However, I will gladly take a few fruits to the head to spend time with these cute and cheeky little monkeys.
Watching clownfish swimming amongst a brightly colored anemone has always been a magical moment of any snorkeling trip for me. This photo actually has three of them, with the two smaller ones safely hiding amongst the stinging tentacles of their home, whilst the leader boldly sizes me up. Its very cute to watch, and always brings a big smile to my face (which usually means my mask fills with water and I momentarily drown). Common clownfish are seen in warmer tropical waters ranging from eastern Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia. The fish in this photo call the waters around Malaysia their home. They are such a beautiful sight to see, that I get so very disappointed and angry to hear that their numbers are decreasing due to the demand of the pet trade. I can imagine for some, that it might seem nice to watch them swimming in a tank in your home, but isn’t it so much more exciting to spot them happily swimming in their home in the ocean?