Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Misty Morning in Dominical

When I look at this photograph, I think of morning solitude, generous warmth and wet sand.  If I was an egret, this would be my rock too.  I would love to spend every morning here. Except, instead of fish I'd eat a farm fresh egg and a papaya picked from a near by tree for breakfast.

If I was an egret I'd be impossibly thin. Ha! And dressed in wispy white feathers.  I'd prefer to keep my people feet though.  Because there's more surface to feel the mushy sand beneath my toes. What a weird sight that would be. A graceful egret with human feet. The horror!

These two fishermen were having a grand time beating the relentless waves. 

A forest of water fairy plants emerges at low tide.


I love the texture of this photo. And the subtle color. 

A crab's eye view.

A solemn reminder of water safety.

Playa Dominical is one of the most dangerous beaches in Central America and was previously known as “Playa de Muerte” (Death Beach) due to the high drowning rate. The Dominical Lifeguards deal with 8-10 foot surf and rip currants that pull 300-400 meters of shore on a consistent basis. The ISLA Team is on a scouting mission” to see what type of training, resources, equipment the Costa Rican guards need. While their down there the volunteers will be noting the needs, watching the operations, sharing their knowledge, and donating equipment.

I enjoy the sand side of this beach.  But if you are braving the surf, beware. And a prayer couldn't hurt.

And on a lighter note, be sure to click your paw here to follow the folly of funny felines over at The Chorus of the Crows.

The links:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Viewing Ventenas

Playa Ventenas, Costa Rica

Enjoying the view. That's what Dean is doing. 

 Do you feel like you could die happy, if only you could spend just one day on the perfect beach? Not me. I demand to have hundreds, even thousands, of those kind of days. But, if you do happen to find yourself on death's door, you just might complete your bucket list here in Costa Ballena. Even the locals think it is the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica.

I tried out my new water camera.  The results were mixed. Literally!

School is not out little doggie.


Here is what the caves look like from a boat. In the middle of the photo there's a sneaky little opening to the beach beyond.

Sea arches dot the coast line of Costa Ballena.

What's this? Mysterious cave creatures...

There are a lot of great things about Playa Ventenas. For one, it's in Costa Rica.  Enough said.  But there is so much more. Blue green mountains create the jungle backdrop. Close to shore, palm trees sway along a cool mountain stream. Take a step, barefoot, and follow the water as it drizzles into the warm ocean.  And did I mention the sea caves? There are two of them. At high tide the ocean fills them up to the brim.  At low tide the mysteries are revealed. You can walk all the way to the ocean. And at all times, the ocean is funneled through the caves, creating an echoing roar as it bursts in and flows over your feet.  Heaven.

The caves simply create unbridled joy! (see above)

And did I mention the view?

Who is that handsome devil?

Be sure to stop by The Chorus of the Crows for the blog post of your dreams. Ha!

The links:

 P.S. Be sure to pop over to Our Seaside Baby to participate in a new travel link-up. The blog has a great post on Venice this week. Plus prizes for the linky winner. This week it was me!

Monday, February 15, 2016


This is a famous shelter. Do you recognize it? Here's a hint. It's a manger! Obviously, I figured that this selection from my first illustrated book Mary Rode to Bethlehem on Me was the perfect fit for this week's Illustration Friday theme. After all, the famous couple (not shown) were looking for shelter on a fateful night so long ago. All the animals shown here are just a bonus.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Writing is on the Wall...


This is my favorite kind of art. And it's not on a wall at all. The random squiggles are created by little Hydrobia snails. And the rest, well, they are simply created by Mother Nature herself. While she's on Holiday of course!  I've been enjoying these creations ever since my first Costa Rica trip. The varied and artistic visions are endless.  And the canvas is my favorite place to be. The beach! I'm sorry to say I've defaced a few of these master pieces.  The culprit...

shown here.

Beach Trees.  The naturalist. 

Beach waves. The sensual artist.

Undulating leaf. It's priceless.

The minimalist

The caffeinated

The random-ist

The dazed and confused

The Jackson Pollock wannabe

And my favorite.  The lover.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For more romance head over to The Chorus of the Crows Mother said so...

The Links:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Banjo Hat

I couldn't resist posting my Banjo Pig Illustration for the Illustration Friday theme hat. Duh. It's a no brainer. The pig is wearing a banjo hat. Unfortunately, the musical hats didn't become all the rage. I was certain that after I painted this, the banjo beret would become a big new fad. My bad. What else would you do with a banjo? Play it? I don't think so.

Of course, I'm also spoofing Project Runway. The unconventional challenge has always been a personal favorite. And Banjo Pig is a pretty unconventional illustration!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Casa Quiet

Do you remember Casa Construction? It had breath taking mountain views. Plus, a wee bit of noise. Well, we moved into Canto del Mar after leaving Casa Construction last Winter. We managed to find a bed off the dusty streets, an affordable place and another great view!  Not quite so great. But good. Really good. There was some road noise.  But compared to the bulldozers, gravel trucks, hammers and saws reeking havoc from dusk till dawn at Casa Construction, let's just say it was a wild improvement.  At casa construction, you could pass a cup of sugar through the palm trees to the gravel truck driver. Or a cerveza if he asked for one.  I think I even saw a monkey waving a white flag with a bandanna filled with bananas on a stick. He was swinging as fast as he could down the mountain.

Pipas Frias. A fresh, chilled coconut opened with a small machete and served with a smile and a straw.

We were in Costa Rica for a long time this year.  But we were still tourists after all.  And nothing is so refreshing after a hot day on the beach than Pipas Frias.

When we got home in the afternoon, we sometimes had nude sunbathers on our deck. 

We just asked if he wanted a drink. "Gracias," he replied.  Or was that me.

We got to walk on a new Dominical beach. Our favorite restaurant just happened to be perched on a rock ledge at the end.  Paraiso Lodge.

When this boat brought in the day's catch, we witnessed a girl fight at the far corner of the beach.  The men had all they could do to break it up. I don't know what the problem was, but I doubt it had anything to do with Mahi. Man-he maybe.

The vultures eagerly awaited some scraps. Or my toe.

We're up there somewhere.

At low tide there were little pools to cool your toes in.

And at night there were amazing sunsets.

 I love this photo.  And I loved the tourist friendly and quiet Canto del Mar. 

Did you eat your leftovers? They're getting re-heated and served over at The Chorus of the Crows 

Smartie Paws

Dessertus Interruptus

This old illustration is based on a true story. But it's not just one story, it's the whole kitty and kaboodle. The whole 9 yards, or 9 lives to be more specific.

My cat Hana has been torturing me with her feline grit and determination for 7 plus years. She's smart. Basically, you don't want a cat to be this smart. It's like living with a naughty monkey that is determined to get the better of you. In reality, if Hana had a sibling monkey, the monkey would probably prevail. It really makes me laugh just thinking about another creature actually getting the better of her. If only. I can just see the tail pulling. And Hana's utter confusion at not being top cat anymore. 

I learned early on, that letting Hana sit on you lap during dessert or any other eating ritual, was a lesson in futility.  It only took the first swipe of an errant paw and the food hitting the fan to realize that. I started holding my plate to the far left, or far right. Not, in the paw target zone, right over her head. But that being said, the carnage still happens... occasionally. She is after all, determined to always be on or around me at dessert time. Always!

 Sometimes, she's a good kitty. These days, she is usually content with sitting on my lap and licking the plate after I'm done.  But there are other times. Cat-astrophe kind of times.

It just smells too darn good.

Maybe, she has lulled me into complaisance for months.

Then, the kibble hits the fan.

The other day, I had defrosted an upside down peach cake for dessert. Hana was sitting beside me, over my shoulder, on the back of the sofa cushion. I started eating. Then a paw came out. Whack. She didn't knock the cake off my plate, but this was war! Now days, one whack and she spends the rest of dessert time locked in the bathroom. So, I set my plate down beside me, grabbed Hana and into the bathroom she went. But (my bad) when I set the plate down in haste, it tipped over and fell peach upside down side on the floor below. AAARRRGGGHHH!

Delicious homemade peach upside down cake doesn't grow on trees you know.