We have had many visitors come to our home for drinks and/or a meal. It is wonderful to meet so many people from all over the world. But today I would like to talk about a few visitors of the non-human species.
Having a beautiful tropical garden in our back yard is such a blessing. At times this garden invites both wanted and unwanted guests. Today was no exception. First off this morning just before breakfast as I was about to water the potted plants in the patio, I noticed a couple of our cats crouching down under the plants and staring at something. Upon a closer look, I discovered a snake coiled up under a palm tree. At that point, I grabbed Mia, our housecat who is not so savvy on what is safe to attack, leaving the other outdoor cats to continue with their watchful eyes. The snake eventually slithered along the wall, up and down a tree, and eventually disappeared behind the compost pile. The cats watched, but kept their distance. Taking a picture, I posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew what type of snake it was, as well as trying to compare it to Panama snake pictures on Google. The answer – either it is an equis snake or a palm pit viper; each one being highly venomous. I hope it goes away for good, but I will be watching my steps in the garden and Mikkel will certainly be careful when dumping the compost.
After breakfast, I was sitting out on the front veranda, reading my email, when I heard some rustling in the mango tree in the garden. This time upon further investigation, I spied a beautiful large bird sitting on one of the branches. It was very black contrasted with a bright yellow beak and tail. The bird stood there for a few minutes opening its wings a few times and looking around before flying off in the sky. Again, through Google and a bird pamphlet of Western Panama, I discovered we were visited by a Oropendola. I haven’t seen one before and don’t mind having such this kind of visitor any time.
Soon after, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something scurrying out of the garden and onto the patio. The cats saw it, too, and hurriedly chased after a large lizard. A couple of days before, they and Bella had been chasing one. Perhaps this was the same one, since this time I notices the tail was missing. It seems the cats like to chase and play with it, but really not interested in eating it.
One more visitor to report on. Back on the front veranda, we noticed Mia jumping around out front. She had discovered a large caterpillar and was trying to bat it around with her paw and bite it. But this caterpillar would not take her pestering and would actually turn its head around a bite back. Eventually, Mia gave up and the caterpillar went on its way. If the caterpillar lives after Mia’s taunting, it will morphe into an Opsiphanes Timarindi (Narrow-banded Owl Butterfly).
I don’t think I was ever this interested in finding out about the local critters where I used to live. Yes, Auburn, CA has snakes, birds, lizards, caterpillars and butterflies. But now that I live here in Pedasí and retired, I guess I have time on my hands to be more observant and to explore the creatures of God’s nature. I still don’t like snakes.