Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Asa Wright Nature Center is high in the mountains several hours from our marina and we had heard such great things about it we decided to spend three days there with a group of friends.
The first picture here shows Walt "Will O Wisp", Mike "Casa del Mar", Scott, Sam "Encantada" and Ed "Dreamtime" and the second shows Honore "Will O Wisp", myself and Margy "Encantada" on the top and Linda "Casa del Mar" and Linda "Dreamtime" on the bottom. Mike and Linda and Ed and Linda have been with us since Georgetown in the Bahamas. Jesse picked us up early and stopped for a break mid way for doubles (hot pastry filled with curried chickpeas) and other snacks. The narrow twisty road with several previous landslides very evident, had steep drop offs and we sometimes had to back up to allow other cars to pass. This 200 acre nature preserve is at 1200 feet and was formerly part of a cocoa, coffee and citrus plantation. In 1950 William Beebe established a tropical research station nearby and became good friends with Asa and her husband. After her husband's death she established the property as a reserve. The 1907 estate home is a guest house now and we were lucky to stay in the main house. Our bedroom had 20 foot ceilings and antique mahagoney furniture. It is a peaceful retreat with constant birdsong in the background. The broad veranda is the center of human and bird/animal life from 6 AM to bed time. Bird feeders hang all around and large tables with fruits laid out surround the porch on the ground. Hundreds of birds are visable at all times - it is mesmerizing.
Excellent guides are on duty almost all the time. Birders from all over the world come here and we had six very knowledgeable ones there for a week. They and the guides identified and pointed out over sixty birds for us. The birders themselves had identified over 140 each. Our cameras were in constant use both for the birds and the flowers that attract them. On the way back we drove by the beautiful north shore beaches. I'm dividing this story into several postings so that we can show more pictures - so, more to come.