Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Costa Rica: Back Among Friends

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2008 Collard Peccary Juvenile with Bread Fruit
I arrived in Costa Rica at the place I call heaven on earth ... La Selva Biological Station. There are so many great things being done within the almost 4000 acres here; surely that has something to do with the energy of the place. There is so much life within it that it makes you feel so full. God has created so much for our enjoyment and here at La Selva, I catch a glimpse of what God had in mind. View La Selva photos and more in Costa Rica.

When I visited last year I quickly made friends with the Collared Peccaries. They're also known as Javelinas or Musk Hogs. They delighted me almost every time I went in and out of my room since there was always some around the cabin. The main reason seemingly being the nearby Bread Fruit Tree (Fruta de Pan).

They hung around waiting for one of those huge fruits to fall to the ground so they could tussle over who got first bite ... or who had the biggest mouth to selfishly haul it away.

Since I miss my cat while I'm here, I think of "my little peccies" as pets hanging around to delight me as my cat lives to do. Okay, so she's not all that attentive, but I still delight in her being around ... and the peccaries being at ground level fills the bill. I can walk beside them so I feel like they're walking with me.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Collard Peccary Family - Loving Hugs
The mothers and babies have very close contact with each other and form a clan of their own with the group that travels together.

One of the first photos I took upon arriving this time was this one with a young 'un rubbing up against the mom. And then the mom leaned into it to love on it also. It was one of those "awwwhhhh" moments.

How carefree life seems when you head out into the natural world. Times stands still and you learn so much from watching how it all works. God gives us so many of life's lessons in Creation. There is much to be seen if we ask Him to open our eyes as we seek to find more of who He is in this world He created to reflect His love for us.

Animals care for their young as we human mothers do. They protect, they grieve loss, and they make sacrifices so that another generation can grow up and carry on. All within the command of "be fruitful and multiply."

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Collard Peccary - Mom and Two Offspring - Group Hug
Although the little one in front was busy enjoying some morsel on the ground, it didn't take long for her to realize she was missing out on a love moment, so she soon joined in. Then I thought to myself, "group hug."

Some cultures always hug upon greeting and some never do. I think we should pass a law that hugs are mandatory for all greetings. We get too wrapped up in thoughts and mental lists we're tracking and don't take time to enjoy each other.

God is all about relationships. It's what He's all about when you think of the Trinity. Three in one ... that's relationship at it's finest and we're invited to be part of that relationship when we accept Christ and He lives within us. The mysteries of the Trinity.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Collard Peccary Mom with "The Look"
Well, moms always know best, right? So you can see even this peccary mom has something that looks familiar to all moms who have at one time also been children. It's "The Look."

Later one of the little ones was barking and fussing and bugging the mom for something and finally the mom turned around and squared off face-to-face and gave the little one "The Look." That photo wasn't a keeper, but you can get the idea from this one. Who would want to disappoint this mama?

I've been enjoying the time here even when it rains ... and it has rained. But then isn't that why they call it the rainforest? They get 152 inches of rain a year. That's 13 feet. Amazing! It's been wetter than usual for February but it comes and goes and my umbrella works fine. It makes photography a bit more challenging, but then the shadows of the jungle are quite challenging anyway.

What I enjoy most while I'm indoors is the continual sounds of the it all. It's like a heavenly chorus. The Mantled Howler Monkeys are my alarm clock and the birds all begin soon after making my head swim with joy. There are 420 species of birds here at La Selva. Last year I recorded the sounds of some with my camera's video feature. What a treat to take a break from work, close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the jungle. Instant transport back!

I had no agenda when I arrived, other than to be with God and seek His direction for my life. I've been enjoying The Green Bible that our son gave me for Christmas. Very unique. The Bible makes 490 references to heaven and 530 to love, but did you know it makes over a thousand references to the earth. If anybody has one of these, leave your comments below on what you think about it. I was so very impressed with the content of articles and references as to where to begin and resources available.

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Anonymous said...

These pigs are cute.

I bet there are a lot of other animals around there as well.

I had a friend go there on a mission trip not too long ago.

Anonymous said...

Loved your Oropendola songs and video
There are tons of birds on the tour at Tarcoles river - near Carara Park
R. Fair

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