The Language of Birds
2016, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”, $1,200.00
When I am awakened by the sound of many birds chirping, shrieking or singing I always try to imitate the sound and respond to their calls.
While traveling in Costa Rica we took a train from San Jose down five thousand feet to Port Limon. The British with Chinese labor built the train. Many of the laborers perished building the tracks. It was a very old train and had a rounded balcony on the back. The route began in San Jose and climbed along the slope of Mount Irazu before descending downward through gullies and over ravines. The train zigged and zagged past waterfalls occasionally passing under a canopy of lush jungle foliage and a tangle of orchids.
Porto Limon is an old Spanish Colonial city, much decayed and partly in ruins. The inhabitants are mostly migrants from Jamaica and speak English. Our destination was a beach town named Coahuita. We boarded a train headed south and before long the tracks ended. We got off and were told we had to cross the Suarez River in dugout canoes. The slope of the river was a steep incline and all muddy. We practically slid down to the canoes. While crossing the raging river I felt this might be my last trip anywhere.
When we arrived in Coahuita we stayed at a very rustic lodge. This was 1973, well before the Costa Rican tourist boom. In the bar of the lodge a grizzled older man sat drinking while at his feet laid the carcass of a small ocelot. Sadly since I was in Costa Rica many of the wild cats there have been driven to the brink of extinction.