Tag Archives: nature

What kind of bird is this?


When we first moved to CR I sent my inquisitive, science-loving nephew Nathan several nature questions to solve.  For example, we have a particular kind of ground cover whose leaves close up when touched.  I took some video of us touching it (this is NOT my video, btw.) and sent it to Nathan with the question, “what is this?”  Nathan and his mom researched it and came back with the answer, “Mimosa or Shy Plant”.  I bought myself a plant book after that.

My next question was concerning a very noisy and social yellow bird that woke me up every morning.  He was large, yellow and black, and not afraid of people.  I took pictures and sent them to Nathan.  He decided it was a “Social Flycatcher”.  I bought myself a bird book after that.

Once I took a picture of a butterfly that looked exactly like a leaf.  And another time I snapped a picture of a clear butterfly!  We have more species of butterflies here in CR than anywhere else in the world.  We actually export butterflies… well, the cocoons really.  I’ve posted pictures of strange fruits, trees, bugs, flowers, sloths, birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and sunsets.  This country never ceases to amaze me with the wonders of God’s creation!

Here's the butterfly that looks like a leaf.  Amazing Camo!

Here’s the butterfly that looks like a leaf. Amazing Camo!

My last question involved a volcano near our city.  The volcano has a lake in the crater, as many volcanoes do.  The lake changes color from lime green, to grey, to turquoise, to redish depending on the level of heat and acid coming from the volcano vent under the surface of the water.  Scientists monitor the color of the lake and the quality of the steam.  They watch what happens to the vegetation around the crater to give them an indication of when the vapors turn toxic or more sulfuric or dangerous.  So one day in the newspaper there was an article that claimed the the lake in Volcan Irazu had “mysteriously” disappeared.  So I sent Nathan the question, “What happened to the lake?”  Turns out it really is no mystery.  It’s something that happens on occasion.  We had had a particularly dry rainy season and then a crack had developed in the edge of the volcano crater which caused the water to drain down into the volcano for a time.  After some hard rains, the lake was back again, cooling off the volcano again like a natural wet blanket.

A young Taylor looking down into the crater lake at Volcan Irazu.  The lake is actually really far down below.

A young Taylor looking down into the crater lake at Volcan Irazu. The lake is actually really far down below.

So here’s my most recent nature question.  I’m going to ask all of you readers too to see if anyone can come up with the answer.  We saw this bird up in the cloud forest of Monteverde.  I think it might be a kind of toucan, but I can’t find it in my bird book.  What kind of bird is this?  There is no prize for the right answer.  Just the intrinsic satisfaction of being right.

What kind of bird is this?

What kind of bird is this?

EARTH without ART is just EH


I had lunch with a missionary friend of mine the other day.  She talked about her deep desire to just be a normal woman, a mom and wife with few responsibilities outside her home.  She said she envied her sister who is not a missionary and does not have to write newsletters to supporters.  She day dreamed about taking art classes and expanding her new veggie garden.  She longed for her childhood days on the family farm where they worked just to survive without a thought as to how their lives appeared to others.

She said, “I just want to care for my family and to fill the world with beauty.  Is that enough?”

I smiled.  I’m pretty sure that’s one of the main purposes why God made women to love beauty.  God is the Creator of all things beautiful.  He’s the Artist.  I too am an artist.  Speaking as an artist, I like it when people are inspired and moved by what I make.  I think God likes that too.  He likes it when we are inspired and moved by what he makes.  God made Woman and she was exceedingly beautiful.  Man was moved by her beauty.  Woman looked around her and saw the exceeding beauty of Nature.  Woman was inspired by Nature’s beauty to create more beauty through her Art.  It’s a layering effect of appreciating beauty which brings glory and pleasure to the Great Artist.  It’s a reflecting of the very nature of God within us.

As an artist, there is something in my soul that comes alive only when I am creating.  I feel like it’s an extravagant element in my personality.  Creating art doesn’t actually DO anything in the grand scheme of life.  It’s not particularly productive or practical (that’s the other side of my nature at war with my artistic side).  But Art reveals something about us spiritually and enhances our relation to God.  I relate to God on a deeper level when art is part of the equation, because my Creator made me this way.  I think he wanted there to be some people who can appreciate the beauty he creates.  These people are just extravagant touches to his Grand Masterpiece.  When I appreciate beauty, it brings glory to God and that pleases him.

So is it enough to just want to fill the world with beauty?  Maybe, because it brings Glory to God and mirrors his character in us as we long to create beauty as well.  Maybe for now, that is enough, my friend.


here’s the website to this artist’s page. Josephine Wall. http://www.deshow.net/cartoon/fantasy-art-painting-566.html