New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Krausman's Woodcarving Studio 2016 Costa Rica "Pura Vida" Birdcarving Extravaganza!!

                                      Krausman's Woodcarving Studio's 25th Anniversary

                                                              Costa Rica!!

     Continues.......Day 8, Thursday, Oct 6, 2016, Trogon class continues, Marino's local birding trips, and a very special surprise!! - With the day tours now completed, maybe some would sleep in this morning? The class will be moving along with many new and additional painting techniques, as the Trogons are nearing completion. Marino will be taking short birding trips again this morning to the Quetzal mirador before breakfast. After breakfast he would take everyone to the spectacular Los Robles Oak Forest Reserve on top of the mountain above the Hotel......this one I highly recommend!! :^) Others may be birding and walking around the Hotel.

      Marino was prompt as usual, and at 6:00 am many of us were loading into the utility vehicles for the short ride to Felo's mirador. Again, just as with the other mornings, we were rewarded with another Quetzal showing that was only imaginable if we hadn't experienced it! Felo visited us this morning and again we had a little chat (with the help from Marino). He really enjoyed us enjoying his mirador and of course the Quetzals!He told me that he enjoyed my Quetzal carving very much! That made me think, I should have brought that with me and place it in that tree!

      This adult male had extremely long caudal plumes which were visible while the body of the bird was hidden-                        

                     A male Quetzal plucks a ripe aguacatillo while hovering upside-down-


               Another Townsend's Warbler. This species was very common in this aguacatillo tree-

                        A male Quetzal flies off down the hill after it plucked a fruit........

        ........but it leaves a small body feather behind which slowly drifted towards us in the breeze where Jan Parekh caught it!-

                         Male Quetzal that has lost his caudal plumes from molting-

                                  Another male Quetzal about to grab an aguacatillo-

   At the base of the stairs.......(from top to bottom)- Pam Krausman, Jim Krausman and Bill Czajka-

                                                    Rob Monkhouse and Yours Truly-

 (From left to right) Jim Carpenter, Gary Maclean, Jacquie Donahoe, Sandy Czajka, Laurie Snelling-

                                                            Marino and Barry Parekh-

                                                         One of Savegre's 4WD utility vehicles-

       As Marino drove his utility vehicle over the bridge to the Hotel, I thought I would take a picture of my friend Jim Koschman for this report article........

           .......who was taking a picture of me! I think we need more birds!! :^)

      Another unidentified Moth was sitting on the walkway near the office, another beauty!-

        After breakfast, the class began with a little species, color and painting theory first. Today we were going to finish the sun/shadow interplay in the tail and tail banding using our complimentary palette of Yellows and Violets. The idea was to create the illusion of the sun highlighting half of the tail at a transverse angle and then to add the shadow on the opposite side by clever paint application and techniques. When that was completed, it was time to start adding the light vermiculated mottling details on the tertials, secondaries and wing coverts using a small Kolinsky brush and perfect brush strokes. To add the life-like realism to these vermiculations, we will be painting them in multiple layers using values of the complimentary colors to again facilitate the light/shadow interplay. This will be very challenging, but I know everyone is ready and up for it!

                      Everyone was working hard-

                                                              Courtney Mason-

                                                                        Bob Harris-

                                                             Robert Rankins-

                                                                        Teri Netter-

                                                                         June Lyon-

             During breakfast, Marino told me that Felo just called and said he was on his way down to the Hotel, and he had something that he wanted to give me. I was curious to see what it was.....if a Costa Rican gives something to you, it is from their heart, and is special. Felo walked in and I could see that he had something in his hand. He walked over to me and he reached out to me holding a beautiful caudal plume from a male Quetzal. The feather was magnificent as it shimmered and glistened green, than yellow/green, than blue/green turning to blue and blue/violet. He told me that right after we left his mirador this morning a male Quetzal lost this feather. He walked down the hill and picked it up. He said his first thought was to give this beautiful feather to me!

     To say I was humbled, honored and choked-up was an understatement! I was so touched and moved that Felo wanted me to have this feather, It was a great honor to accept his most gracious and generous gift! I thanked him over and over.....what an amazing and kind gesture. I asked him if he would like to stay for breakfast, but he declined, he said he had a lot of work to do. Honestly as I sit home three weeks later writing this, I am still stunned and am still getting choked-up over this!

     I wish I could have taken the feather home, but with CITES regulations, it wouldn't be possible. I gave the feather to Marino for him to care for it.......this feather belongs at Savegre, at home in the land of the Quetzal.

         Just as class started after breakfast, Marino was leading a two-hour tour up to Los Robles, the Oak Forest Reserve.-

                                           Felipe drove everyone up to the top-

      Marino pays tribute to the Pioneers and Founders of the Oak Forest and Savegre.......His Mother and Father-

                                          It looks like everyone is having a wonderful time!-

                                                                   Jim Krausman-

                          Marino, Christine Koschman, Pam and Jim Krausman-

          (From left to right)- JoAnn Jolley, Laurie Snelling, Barry Parekh, Bill Czajka, Sandy Czajka, Marino, and Jim Koschman

                                                    I think Jim loves Los Robles!! :^)-

                                                           Jim Koschman, Pam and Jim-

       A few shots showing the incredible magic of Los Robles, there is no place like it anywhere!-

       Meanwhile back at class.......the clouds started moving in, and we could hear thunder! I have never heard much thunder here at was probably going to rain pretty hard.......

     ......and rain it did! We were suddenly surrounded by a deluge of heavy rain. This is the hardest I have ever seen it rain here!-

                      I kept thinking to myself......I hope they brought their rain gear!!-

            Where Pam and Jim live way up on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they are subject to heavy lake-effect snow. Well in Costa Rica, they have a similar occurrence when a hurricane is in the Caribbean.....its called Hurricane-effect rain! And it came down in el barrils!

       Yup, as expected, they were better than halfway through their Oak Forest hike when the sky opened up! Even the ones with rain gear came back soaked! They went back to their cabins to take a shower and change into dry clothing, and have a late lunch. Later as class ended for the day, we all met in the restaurant for dinner.

       After dinner we had what I consider the most special event of the was Pam's Birthday! Yesterday, Jim had arranged to have a Birthday Cake made for Pam. What a wonderful surprise!

                                       HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAM,  from Jen and I-

      After Pam's Birthday Celebration, Jen and I suggested that for all who were interested in a little entertainment, please meet in the lounge; Jen and I had a little "surprise" lined up! With quite a few of us relaxing in the lounge, Jen announced that we would be showing the movie on the big screen that was on the back wall of the lounge. Samantha, one of the restaurant/lounge staff set it up the electronics for us, so all we had to do was turn it on! The name of the movie was "The Big Year" and most had never seen it. The lounge was nearly full and we started the movie........popcorn please!!-

                     The movie was a big hit, just what everyone needed to break up the week!

                                                               Buenas nochas!-

     Day 9, Friday, Oct 07, 2016- Last day of class, and the last night at Savegre! Its hard to believe that this week at Savegre has gone by so quickly..although everyone was very busy!  Today will be the last day of class and  the Trogons are beautiful. Today we will finish up the vermiculations, the neck collar, bill, eye rings and dorsal side of the outside tail barring......everyone will be painting small details today.

        When Jen and I were at Savegre two years ago, Marino took me up the hill across from the Hotel in the apple and peach orchard. He wanted to show me a place that he was planning something really special. He envisioned a birding platform on the top of this hill overlooking the breathtaking valley view. He was planting all kinds of native berry, fruit, flower and seed plants that along with the orchard would attract birds. I thought it would be a wonderful place, I couldn't wait to see it!

        This morning, Jen and I had our chance......and it was spectacular! The covered platform had chairs and was extremely comfortable., in fact it was amazing. It looked out over that spectacular view down the valley, and the birds were coming and going! He even built a bathroom building near by with Mens and Ladies rooms, just amazing.-

     Marino asked me what I thought, and I told him it was better than I could imagine.....perfect. What a spectacular place. I pointed over to a nearby tree and asked him if he remembered that two years ago that tree was attracting Elegant Euphonias. He did remember, and he suggested we should look again. Sure enough there they were.........

       Also two years ago, the trees near the Hotel were alive with feeding Sulphur-winged Parakeets, but this year the only looks at them we had were large flocks flying high going up and down the valley!-

       Suddenly without any warning, we heard the Parakeets overhead, but they sounded close. We looked up just in time to see small flocks of them landing in the trees over our heads!-

                                  White-collared Swifts were buzzing high over the tree tops.-

            From the platform, there were many birds coming and going to the feeding pole, including this White-naped Brush-Finch-

                                                                 Baltimore Oriole-

                                                         Several Tennessee Warblers-

                                             Flocks of Long-tailed Silky-Flycatchers-

                    But the star of the show was this stunning male Red-headed Barbet, Wow!!-

            Up the hill from the platform there were many trails entering the extensive cloudforest. There were many, many aguacatillo trees, but none of them had ripe fruit. I can only imagine the large numbers of Quetzals, Toucanets and Black Guans that will be feasting ion them in a few months!--

                       The breathtaking view down the hill into the valley from the platform-

              The morning is over, time to return to the Hotel for breakfast, and class!-

                                                 Nadine VanLanen taking a quiet walk along the river-

                                                                 Rolando Chacon-

                                                Everybody is hard at work in class-

                                             Barry and "Greensnake" Jim Carpenter-

                                                            Robert Rankins-

                                                     Bob Harris and Dave VanLanen-

                                                 Mary Beckstead and Jacquie Donahoe-

                                                                  Larry DuBey-

                                                                Rob Monkhouse-

                                                                   Jim Koschman-

                               First application of vermiculations.....looking good Sandy!-

                                                               Nils, John and Kent-

                                                                      Hard at work!-

                                    For those who were a bit behind, catch-up time!-

                  Use Green, uh,I mean yellow/green, oops I meant blue/green, no wait that's not correct, blue, ahhhh, blue-/violet, yeah, blue/green!! Anyone have the phthalo green/blue shade?? :^)

                                 Sandy is always happy! I think she likes her Trogon!! :^)

                                                Barry adds the finishing touches!-

          Just after lunch today.......Marino told me that he had another surprise for me. He told me that journalists were coming to see me in a few minutes to interview me for a major story in one of Costa Ricas largest newspapers. And the journalists that were coming were considered the top journalists in Costa Rica! Wow, this was incredible. I found Jen and told here what was happening, and she was excited. Just then the two journalists walked into the classroom area and Marino introduced them to us, their names were Pilar Cisneros and her husband Edgar Espinoza. They were very warm and friendly, and it was a real pleasure to meet them, I felt immediately relaxed with them.

     Edgar was a photographer and he started photographing my decoys that were hanging in the trees by the deck classroom. She asked if we could go into the lounge for the interview. Since it was lunchtime, that would be perfect. Jen and I, Pam and Jim and Marino accompanied Pilar and Edgar into the lounge. It was an amazing interview. They asked so many great questions about my art, Pam and Jim's Studio, my love for Costa Rica, and Marino told them about my World Championship wins, and Jen showed her plenty of images of my birdcarvings and sculptures on my iPad. The interview lasted around forty-five minutes and Pilar even got me to tell the story how Jen and I became engaged in Monteverde, Costa Rica. It was wonderful telling Pilar that story, and she really loved it, she had a huge smile on her face! Of course it was no where near as the huge as the smile on my face when Jen said yes!:^)

     After the interview was over they joined us for a quick lunch and then she said she wanted to go back to her cabin and start writing the article while it was fresh in her mind. She said the article would be out in a few days, I was thrilled! They were staying overnight at Savegre, so we would see them later and tomorrow.

                       Late in the afternoon, class ended, it was over! Just beautiful Everyone, congratulations, you really did beautiful painting on your Trogons; what a wonderful accomplishment! You are all artists, and I am proud of each and every one of you!-

                                                                    Gary Maclean-

                                                               Jacquie Donahoe-

                                                            Mary Beckstead-

                                                               Sam Hudson-

                                                           Rob Monkhouse-

                                                            Courtney Mason-

                                                                 Barry Parekh-

                  Nils and Holly, Marino and Daniel Fernandez Chacon (the journalist who wrote one of the newspaper articles).-

                             With class officially over, time to relax and reflect at dinner-

                                 And yet another wonderful Celebration............

             Yesterday, Jen arranged with Head Chef Lorena Chacon (on right) to make a 25th Anniversary Cake for Pam and Jim! Congratulations to our dear friends Pam and Jim,  you have worked so hard to make the absolute best Birdcarving school anywhere! Twenty-five years of the best instructors and the best students anywhere! You two have done more for the birdcarving community and have opened the eyes of hundreds and hundreds of budding birdcarvers! I toast to you both!-

                         The beautifully decorated Tres-leches cake.....wonderful!!

    Pam, me and Marino cut the celebratory first piece of cake! Congratulations and Thank You to all! Everyone of you made this 25th Anniversary Costa Rica Extravaganza a great success! Cake anyone??!! :^)-

              After dinner we all went to the lounge to RELAX........and UNWIND!! Yup, a beer is definitely part of the program! Kent Beck and Dave VanLanen-

    I critiqued anyone's Trogon who would like an honest and comprehensive critique. When that was over, we took the class picture!-

            After everyone left to call it a night, Pam, Jim, Jen and I and a few others just sat and talked about what had taken place in Costa Rica, at Savegre, it was amazing! After all the planning, the work and all the details, it was a great success! We just couldn't believe it was all over! In a little way we had mixed emotions; relieved that we made it through, happy how well it turned out, and sad that it was over.

     While we were talking, I caught a movement through the window out of my right eye. There was a large fluttering flying creature quickly spiraling around the outside lights. I thought at first it was a bat! Soon the fluttering stopped, maybe the bat had left? I walked over to the window to see if it would come back, and saw this enormous Moth clinging on the porch pole. This Moth was at least eight inches across its wings, incredible! I have seen pictures of the this moth but never in real life. We all marveled at this magnificent Moth. We left it there to spend the night. It was later identified by Walt Jolly as a Rothschild's Silkworm Moth.

          Tomorrow after lunch, we would be leaving Savegre. Pam, Jim, Jen and I would be staying in Costa Rica for another five days, as it was Jen's turn now to work. She has a Trade Show in San Jose at the Hotel where we will be staying at. While she works, the three of us would be going on day trips so I could show them different parts of Costa Rica that Jen and I have been to and love. So for now, its time to wish our dear friends Buenas Nochas! With a big and warm congratulatory hug with our friends, we walked slowly back to our cabins for the last night!

                                                 The Collared Trogon completed-

                            Continues........Day 10, Saturday, Oct 8, 2016, the last day at Savegre-

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