Monday, September 1, 2008

Service and Blue Skies

In spite of Hurricane Gustav and my mother (in WA) buildng fires to stay warm over Labor Day weekend, I'm blissfully walking the Playa Barqueta beach looking for turtle tracks (like this picture of tracks I snapped in Costa Rica right before seeing the Olive Ridley going back into the ocean after laying her eggs) collecting sea beans (for my ever-growing collection pictured here with fake orchids), and hoping to see a humpback whale breech (several neighbors saw them breeching Friday night). I am continually amazed at the great weather we have here on the Pacific side of Panama. While friends near Boquete deal with downpours, power outages & eroding topsoil, I'm birding, body boarding, maintaining my vitamin D levels (sunning) and flying kites. When it does rain (which an be very hard ... i.e. tropical), it's usually late afternoon or after the sun goes down.
Last week became a full-fledged volunteer of Paradise Gardens and a member of Rotary Club Boquete (the David Rotary is closer to me but the meeting is conducted in Spanish). Paradise Gardens is so peaceful (except when this pictured red-backed squirrel monkey tries to pick-pocket you). I spent my first day getting acquainted with the occupants of this lovely wildlife rescue santuary near Boquete. I watched in awe as 7 year old Dollar & 9 year old Ruby (Greenwing Macaws bred in England) tried to "feed" each other. They reached into each other's beaks & acted like feeding mothers. I asked Jenny (who owns/runs Paradise Gardens with her husband Paul) what was going on. She was very excited to hear about this behavior because it's a sign they are going to breed and raise baby macaws (since they are practicing feeding). Go to if you want more information. I also joined the 15 member Boquete Rotary Club. It meets every Thursday at 9:00 a.m., so I can easily attend the meeting & volunteer at Paradise Gardens after the meeting. As it turns out, I went to Santa Rosa High School with the great nephew of Rotary Club founder Paul P. Harris. Since I'm planning the SRHS class of 1969 40-year reunion (for July 18, 2009), I've been emailing various classmates, including Chris Traub (the great nephew). Seems like we are all so connected. The sun is out so I'm headed for the pool. I hope everyone had a fine Labor Day Weekend. Of course, in my blissful state of retirement, every day is a holiday!

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