August Nature Sightings: Nica Nugget #102

The Mot Mots have gone. The clouds of butterflies have disappeared and left behind just a scattering of loners. The cicadas that were here screaming in the heat of mid April are now silent and who knows where.

But the sandpipers have returned to the beach.

Sandpipers on the beach, San Juan bay.

The Kiskadees are always around, as well as the Stripe Breasted Wrens who make their nest over and over and over again in my neighbor’s hanging twig lampshades but never seem to raise any young.

The fireflies are out, but oh how I would love to see them again in great number like John and I did one night, covering a huge tree by our house so fully they looked like the world’s absolute best rendition of blinking Christmas Tree lights.

But the red ornamental flowers at my house right now are in full bloom.

Red, ornamental flowers at my house.

Last week, I stopped from exhaustion on a rock while hiking a very steep hill. I was eye level to the tops of a tree. And there were monkeys. At first they glared at me just like I glared at them. But when I didn’t move they proceeded to copulate. They didn’t mind my watching at all. And it was brief. No cuddles or foreplay, although maybe that went on before I arrived. And no love talk afterwards or smoking cigarettes. They just went their separate ways.

Half an hour later, on an equally steep climb, but one much less well traveled, I came upon some bones, so perfectly preserved. They look like monkey bones to me, with the tail curled at the end.

The monkeys are here year round.

Our friend, Maureen, hiking the trails with us behind TreeCasa.

But I had two big surprises this month:

  1. While hiking on the trails behind TreeCasa a couple of weeks I ago, I saw a huge snake. I don’t have a picture for you, unfortunately. I was too busy with my eyes following the tip of its colorful tail into the undergrowth, and along the snake’s back as it was snaked along some limbs, up past its raised upper body to its alert head. I called out to my hiking buddies, John and Maureen, who were ahead of me and had walked right past it. They turned back, and in so doing, scared the snake away. What I first saw was its tail along the side of the trail. It reminded me of a colorful climbing rope, shiny and new and interlaced perfectly. My mind wondered, What’s a new climbing rope doing in the middle of the jungle? And I followed it up, a long long ways until I saw the side of a head looking at me. It was as big around as my calf and as long as maybe 6 or more feet. It was beautiful. Majestic. Fat and healthy and shiny. When I hike, I look at the ground a lot because I have ankles that are prone to twisting. Sometimes I am rewarded by such sights.
  2. A crocodile in the estuary that separates the Talanguera neighborhood from the town of San Juan del Sur. During the Semana Santa festivities in April, the town puts up signs warning people of crocodiles in the estuary, but in the four years we’ve lived here I had never seen one. Until now. I was looking for a bird John was pointing out along the estuary’s edge when I caught movement along the surface of the water right in the middle of the estuary. A crocodile! A small one, but still. They really are here!
A crocodile in the estuary.


  1. James Jackson says:

    Thanks! Do you know the name of the snake? Are terciopelos a problem there? I used to see some big crocodiles in Costa Rica.

    1. susanafield says:

      Hi. Unfortunately, I don’t know what type of snake it was. Terciopelos (Fer-de-lance) do exist here, at least along the Rio San Juan where our guide talked about catching them and being bitten by one once! Have you read my Rio San Juan series? That’s where the crocodiles are plentiful. Here’s the link to the beginning of the series. You may enjoy it.

  2. jeanne neary look says:

    This is one of your best posts ever….Thank you!!!

    1. susanafield says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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