Animal Life at ViVerde

By Diane Laughter

Hope 2017 finds you happy and healthy. Things are moving ahead here; the construction workers are gone so we can concentrate on finishing details for the guesthouse buildings and grounds. Brett has been with us here since November; she came after eight months working on farms and orchards in New Zealand. Amelie is halfway through her Masters in Nutrition program in Portland and plans to lead several educational tours here this summer.

The theme of this post is animals. Much of our fifteen acres is wooded, so you can be sure there is a whole world happening we don’t see. Every day we do see plenty of birds, squirrels, lizards and iguanas. Our dogs, bless their hearts, on their nightly rounds, encounter some private creatures we might not otherwise see.


This little guy was adorable.  We put a dot of fingernail polish to recognize him if we ever see him again. He spent the night in a bucket to keep him out of Mario’s grasp and then we let him safely go the next day in the cacao and coffee plants.


This Central American skunk is much smaller than its northern cousin and its scent smells like something is burning, nothing like the stench we use to smell on rural roads in Oregon.  Good thing because Mario got himself sprayed recently.


Curious Dulci checking out a possum.  They are quiet, nocturnal creatures and I think we have many.  This one did a good job of playing dead until Jose came to rescue it.  Brett thought it was dead but I said, “Have you ever heard of playing possum?”


We have insects of all shapes, colors and sizes.  Have you ever seen a walking stick this big?


Our two sister hens, are “brooding”, they think they are incubating eggs. They look cozy, though, don’t they?

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Animals in the guesthouse shower, left side.  You must come visit to experience this outdoor jungle shower.

working on mosaic B.jpg

Working with Brett to install the pieces.  Have to work quickly!

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Finished left side shower mosaic – That is a monkey in the right foreground eating an orange and the bird is a Motmot, Nicaragua’s national bird.  They are beautiful and plentiful here in the spring where they nest in the arroyo behind our property.


And of course, our favorite animals, Mario and Dulci.  In two weeks Dulci is going to have puppies.  We bred her with a friend’s beautiful male Rottweiler.  It should be a very fun experience, another advantage to living outside.  We’ll take videos. And no, we do not intend to keep any.

P.S. Gerard will go to Costa Rica next week with Brett’s friend Mark for a timber frame building course.  Lots of projects to do when they return.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn Moseler
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 22:26:17

    Great pics! Thanks Dianne for the update. It’s important to us how you and Gerard and the girls are and what’s new in Ur world! 😍


  2. Carol Gelfer
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 23:01:58

    Love the update. I love the mosaic design. It looks beautiful! I would so love to be there when those puppies are born. Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by puppies!! Glad you are missing these crazy snow/ice episodes this winter. Keep sending posts. We all love it!!


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