Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Bird Chronicles in Paradise

Hey, sorry guys. I know I’ve been MIA. I do try to keep up with your recent posts. Being ‘retired in paradise’ isn’t always how you imagine it. Maybe if one has unlimited resources and uses servants and services 24-7, you’d live that movie style lying-on-the-beach with an umbrella drink kind of life. 

The reality is that life is life no matter where you live it. There have been serious health issues for my husband which now require regular trips back to the states, which is costly and emotionally draining for us. We do love the chance to see family at those times and so far he is doing well.

There are different daily challenges here, including biting coffee flies and other intrusive bugs which we deal with. Public systems work differently, and as much as so many others complain, we have found them much simpler once you get the right combination figured out. I recently got a driver’s license, which, we were told would be nearly impossible without a facilitator because not many people speak English in the public offices. After an acquaintance related their process, we formulated our plan, pulled out the translator app, and I got to work. All businesses here use WhatsApp and it is much easier to schedule appointments, order food and get information using it. I even scheduled my husband’s surgery last year using it-directly with the Urologist! 

Day to day life before we bought our little car was challenging. We had to take taxis to town every few days for groceries and supplies or for a meal out. We normally tried to combine those trips. That in itself can be tricky if we needed things from several places and we made sure to get groceries last because cold things get warm pretty quick. Even though the average temperature here in the mountains is around 72 degrees, it does get warmer and is quite humid during the rainy season. Unlike many here, we chose not to take our chances waiting for a cheap taxi or bus to happen by. We use a couple of very reliable taxi drivers and although it is a couple dollars more, it’s worth it to us to be picked up and dropped off at home. These nice young men often help get heavy things to the house and our favorite driver even moved us recently. The best part of having our own car now is not having to plan even small trips and being able to go to the bigger city for warehouse shopping and those things that are not as readily available here. Oh! And being able to get ice cream for the house. You can’t buy a $6 carton of ice cream and expect it not to melt while waiting for the taxi! 

A great little vivero (nursery) where we for some terrific plants

The best thing about the tropics to me is that growing season is every day! Plant it, care for it and it grows. Rainy season can be tricky and we now understand why there is a lot of cutting everything back or not panicking when something dies. It all returns. 🙂

This little sweet nest was hanging at the entrance to the medicinal plants section. Yes, they have such a thing! 

While daily work is different, there are still things that require doing. Because of all the trees and debris, the porch area needs daily attention and now that it’s rainy season there are mold issues. I have lots of happy plants so I often have to shuffle them so that some don’t get too much water. We are high on a hill so if the wind gets too brisk the umbrella has to come down or the whole table can be swept over the wall. We have a heavy base ordered. We rent so we’d hoped the owner would do these things but she hasn’t so we are getting them done as we can. We live in a nice little studio, but I like to cook and we’ve brought some things from home which have to be strategically placed to avoid ‘junking’ the place. I’m a pretty fair organizer so it’s been okay. Still, utilizing spaces like stovetops, counters, etc. makes for a fun game of Jenga when we need to cook or use extra space. 

What has this to do with birds, you’re asking. Well, I LOVE birds. All of them. Even annoying, bullying Mockingbirds. There are some incredible birds here, so many colors and species.some like fresh fruits while others love crackers. We have a family of Yellow Headed Cara Cara that have adopted this place as their second home. Our neighbor was sharing meat scraps with them when we first moved in but he is out of country now so the torch has fallen to us. They had a baby recently and have been bringing it around for an introduction. Okay, I won’t go into details today because I’ve already talked too much. Here are some of my favorite bird photos for now. I have about 7 various hummingbird feeders which some have declared ownership of. Wr have one little hummer who keeps guard over one just outside the picture window. It had a favorite branch nearby to keep watch. Yesterday it was sitting on the arm of my patio chair looking rather serious. When we looked out front, its favorite little branch was broken! 😔

Hello, Miss.. someone broke my branch. 

I’m sure it has other options..

It got good use from this one though.

And these guys…

Mama. Female Yellow Headed Cara Cara. Our neighbor named her Bella.

This is Junior. Junior is demanding, unappreciative and timid. Gives Daddy a hard time. Yep, it’s a juvenile..

It never comes on its own but after Dad starts eating it steals his food. 

They love fresh beef but will also eat pancakes, scones and certain crackers.

In the last few days they have grown to appreciate the little bird bath. It feels like we have family here. 🙂

Here are just a few of our other feathered friends. 

Working in Paradise

This little dude knocked itself stupid on an open car door. It recovered in a few minutes with some TLC.

This beauty can be found in higher elevations, like on the Pipeline Trail

Detour.. Tooth abscess and extraction. Ouch but all better now. 👍🏻

Splish Splash! 

Our favorite red..

Yep. We’re happy here! 

Gratuitous rainbows, but there’s a bird! Vulture..

Stay tuned for more of Life in Paradise and our Bird Chronicles.

Brought to you from my happy place! 🙂❤️


  1. Exceptional writing Cheryl and those photos! (SWOON) Keep us informed!

  2. I am glad to hear you can safely buy ice cream. I know, out of all the good things you shared, that's where my focus landed. You do indeed live in paradise, Cheryl, and I am so glad you two are happy. I love the birds! The rainy season sounds like a challenge, but at least you don't need a snowblower.

  3. Every new place one finds they have to make adjustments non? I'm glad you're adapting and do so very well it seems. What language is the national language there? Spanish? Are you learning some everyday? I found living in CA I picked up enough to order food in restaurants and fine the bank and hotel while in Mexico.

    I love your view and the birds! Have you thought about getting an ice cream maker? I know it would be one more appliance to store. 😮
    We have the same trouble with wind. It knocked over our heavy grill 3 times before we got the weights right to hold it down, and Saturday the wind was blowing so hard it blew one of our outdoor chairs across the patio and one of the cushions from another chair blew off and we have them tied down to the chairs with velcro strips. One of the strips is who knows where? The wind carried it over the fence somewhere.


I love hearing your thoughts!