Day 4: The Tallest Tree

So… on this day we saw toucans, a white hawk (more on that later), squirrel monkeys, a 3-toed sloth, exotic frogs and lizards and snakes. Where to begin?

Late in the day, after visiting La Tarde–another wonderful, privately owned conservation project, this one in a remote mountainous area of the Osa Peninsula–a handful of us weren’t ready to call it a day. Our tireless guide, Dennis, took us to Miramar, an area of steep roads and astonishing views.

From one of those views, we looked out over a valley and encountered this giant of a tree–standing head and shoulders above the rain forest. I have a million questions for that tree!

What do you see from where you stand, dear tree? How did you get so tall–so much taller than all those companions clustered around your trunk and mingling with your roots? What can you teach us about finding your niche in the universe and living to your fullest potential?

The tree will answer, but those answers will trickle in over time… assuming I’m listening…

Not a white hawk, but a sweet little bird whose name I don’t yet know.

As for the white hawk, I have no photos to share. Steve Perry, one of our instructor for this photography workshop experience, has emphasized over and over the need to constantly check camera settings, even as you are shooting and in spite of your excitement at the subject matter. I didn’t do that.

The white hawk was sitting in plain sight, high in a tree with a nice leafy background and in full light. A great opportunity and not a bird you see everyday, even in Costa Rica! But I was shooting at 400mm and my shutter speed, which should have been at 1/500th of a second minimum, had somehow gotten set at 1/200th. Every single shot is blurry from camera motion. Ce la vi. Lesson indelibly learned.

But here’s a lovely butterfly!

Julia Longwing (Dryas iulia)


  1. I love these updates and I love the questions you have for the tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] pot-holed mountain road, I was deeply moved by this tree. I have questions for this tree. Read them here in the blog post I wrote the night after encountering […]


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