What’s up at the Toucan Hideaway

Not a whole lot happening around here in the last couple of weeks, but then again something is always happening. So here are the stories of the week.

During the day, birds are in the trees above our house picking seeds and fruits off them and letting most of them fall onto our metal roof. The last few nights things have been dropping on the roof all night long and we know it’s not the birds. Finally our curiosity got the better of us and we had to go see what it was. Turns out it is a kinkajou, nightwalker or honey bear, whatever you know it by. A very cute little critter that comes out at night and climbs around the tree tops. At this point he has been coming around for the past week or so.  Since he is only there at night it is impossible for us to get a good picture of him. So below is a stock photo just so you can see what one looks like. Cute, isn’t he!

Kinkajou 2 - Copy

We don’t know if it’s all the wild fruits and seeds in the trees that are ripe this time of year or maybe they are just more comfortable with us being here now, but the birds are everywhere.  Every day for the past month or so we have had a lot of toucans and other birds stopping in the trees around the house. And green parrots…every morning and evening, there are more than a hundred or so that stop in the trees and squawk and eat whatever the trees are producing. We have also been seeing more wildlife, but like most animals they are usually spotted at a distance or in the morning and evening when the light is not great, making it difficult for a good picture. Which is why we are looking into getting a better camera, something with a telephoto lens and able to take better pictures in low light. Our current camera (which we have had a few of) is an Olympus Tough that is waterproof, shockproof and takes great pictures, but sometimes you just need something with a bigger lens and more options.

Cotimundi crossing our road.

A long time ago we had a nice SLR camera with all the lenses that took great pictures, but this is what you would have to do to get those great pictures. First, you would have to head down to the local store to get a roll of film, remember there was no Amazon back then. Then came the big decision… Do I get Kodak or Fuji film, what speed film am I going to need for this outing, do I want color or black & white, and finally, do I get a roll of 24 or splurge for a roll of 36? Remember we were a lot more selective when we clicked that button to take that photo, which meant that sometimes the film would stay in the camera for months before you took it in to be developed. That’s right you could not see your pictures until you took your roll of film to be developed down at the local Fotomat booth in the middle of a parking lot somewhere. And most places that developed pictures always had a special where for a couple of dollars more you could get double prints to share with your friends and family. Unless you were a very good photographer, only about 25% of your pictures were worth showing people, which meant that you now you had 75% of your pictures that were crap. And to top it off you had to have double prints made just in case they were some good ones. So, in the end, you ended up with 75% crappy pictures that take up a lot of actual space. Then came digital cameras and you could take as many as you wanted on a little memory card and then hit delete on the bad ones. Digital cameras are great, but there was something special about waiting a few days to pick up your pictures. That is your camera history lesson for the day, kids.

Fotomat back in the day.

We have not had too much rain this year, but when we do that’s when the frogs come out. Even if it is only a short 20-minute rain it brings them out. There are all sizes and types, from little 1/2” long ones to some pretty big ones. They range in color from white, to camouflage to green, and some will just hop along around the yard where others will climb right up the side of the house and hang out on the rafters.

Surprisingly it’s the smaller frogs that are the loudest.

The other day we had Ruben cutting some trails around the property. Just simple hiking trails that loop around inside the property, mostly so we could get a better look at what we actually have and to provide us a place to take a hike in the jungle without leaving our property. There are lots of cool trees and plants along the trail but Kelley spotted one that stuck out in particular. It was a single vine about as big around as my arm that came up out of the ground about 3’ curved around and then went back down. It seemed to form the perfect heart. If we clear a little more around this vine it would be the perfect spot for some great photo-opts.

heart vine
The heart vine along our trail.

Because of where we are in the jungle, we usually don’t get many colorful sunsets, but the other night the evening sky did have some color to it. The sunsets here are nothing like the spectacular ones we had when living on the beach in Mexico, but sometimes we get one that’s pretty good. It did make a great backdrop that night when we fired up the grill.

sunset grill
A good night for grill’n.

Speaking of the grill area, I have finally finished the smoker. Little piggy is ready to start blowing smoke out his ass and into that smokehouse. Soon there will be all kinds of delicious smoked meats coming out of that thing. We have even considered having smoking parties, where everyone brings a pork belly, shoulder roast, chickens or any other meats and we show them how to prepare it and then throw it in the smoker. Then when it’s all done we can all sample everything and everyone gets to take some home. Could be a fun day of some good smoked meats and of course a few ice-cold beverages.

The new smokehouse is ready to go!

In case anyone is interested about the smoker, here it is. The smokehouse is made entirely out of non-treated hardwood. The framing is Nargusta (same as our house) and the siding is Santa Maria (same as our kitchen cabinets). Pine would have been a cheaper choice, but all their pine here is chemically treated and that would not be good for the meats. The fire pit is an old water pressure tank that has been turned into a BBQ grill that looks like a pig. As for the wood, we are finding small bags of different smoking chips from the states, such as hickory, mesquite, and apple. Those work great in our electric smoker, but those would not even come close to what I will need for the big smoker. We have rounded up some allspice wood, but that is a little hard to come by and I am saving that for something special. Mostly here they use hardwoods like craboo or oak for cooking and they both should work great in the smoker. At this point, we have someone working on getting us a truckload of craboo and oak so soon we should be ready to get that thing fired up.

Here’s looking at you piggy!

We didn’t think we had any more room, but we found some space for a couple more paintings. Jorge Landero is a great artist who has done most of the paintings in the house and the casita and we love his work. Jorge is a good friend that we see around town and he will always let us know when he has some more paintings done. Of course he will, he says we are his best clients.

parrot painting
Another great work by Jorge Landero

The other thing is that he lives across the street from Remo’s where we go on Sundays to see friends and have a few beers. So, of course, our curiosity always gets the better of us and we have to go see his latest works. This time we found two beautiful paintings that would fit in the house nicely, but seriously we believe we are now out of wall space. When you come down, if you would like to go see what he has to offer then we can go see him. After all, the canvas will roll up nicely and fit in your suitcase.

This is a big painting, but we really liked the feel of it.

That’s about what’s happening around here this time. We’ve got a few friends coming down in the next few months, hopefully, we will see more of you down here soon.

One thought on “What’s up at the Toucan Hideaway”

  1. Kinkajou update… there now seems to be at least four in our tree over the house. We swear they are jumping from the tree to our roof as something big keeps hitting it. When we go out in the morning there are no big branches on the roof or the ground. This goes on all night and wakes us up. We really wish we could see what they are doing.

Comments are closed.