“The road from appearance to reality is often very hard and long, and many people make only very poor travelers. We must forgive them when they stagger against us as if against a brick wall.” —Franz Kafka

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evening recap

We have been without internet for the last 24 hours due to a huge storm yesterday. It's the rainy season anyway but this one seemed worse than usual. I think we are getting the edge of the hurricane near Cabo San Lucas. I swear lightning nearly broke the window. Anyway, we lost power for the day and into the evening and the internet was down until this afternoon. Now it's late. My eyes are blurry, I have a headache, and the urgency to explain why I love Costa Rica has, in the meantime, subsided. It is an interesting place though, and I don't mean because you can zip line through the jungle canopy or raft white water. I love that the Harpy Eagle (still) lives here even though I didn't know anything about them until now.

For the last few days, M. Lee has been reading out lout to me about Costa Rica to me from the Moon Handbook. In case you also didn't know, Harpy Eagles are huge. Their wings are some 200 cm (6 ft, 7 in) across. I'd love one to drop by the Bird Park. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm at breakfast yesterday, I told Maria, the really nice Nicaraguan cook, that the Harpy Eagle's wings are 20 ft across. That's how I remembered it at the time... BIG WINGS. The internet was down and the book was upstairs so I winged it. Today she asked Lee for their name in Spanish. At that point, it occurred to me that probably I should do a little fact checking myself. I just did and damn. Now tomorrow at breakfast, I get tell Maria how I, um, kind of overstated the size of Harpy Eagles that, in fact, they do not grow to rival the size of small airplanes. What a bummer. Now they seem like puny little sparrows.

Anyway, Costa Rica is wild with life of all shapes and sizes. For example, according to Moon, it is home to over 1,400 species of orchids. I did not know that orchids are such beguiling creatures. "One species even drugs its visitors. Bees clamber into its throat and sip a nectar so intoxicating that they become inebriated, loose their footing, and slip into a small bucket. Escape is offered by a spout - the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. As the drunken insect totters up, it has to wriggle beneath an overhanging rod, which showers its back with pollen." I swear that's a direct quote.

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