Those of you who have followed our posts from the beginning know that Mary and I try to take two or three mini-vacations a year to a city just north of San Clemente (about an hour and a half away by bus) called Canoa. We always stay at a small hostel named Amalur. We have become friends with the owners Diego and Lorena and their (now almost three year old) daughter Luna.
But, somehow with two longer trips to the U.S. last year and some travel conflicts last September we realized a few weeks ago that we had not been to Canoa at all last year. So, we made plans to head up to Canoa for a week to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
We like Amalur because it is close to the beach, but sits about two blocks back from the main malecon (beach front road) and is therefore removed from much of the noise that emanates from the bars and restaurants downtown – especially on weekends.
From the front the hostel looks cozy and inviting, but we really love to sit and visit in the beautiful courtyard area inside. The fence alongside the stairway in the courtyard is covered with flowering plants (mostly from the hibiscus family) that have now grown to fully blanket the wall with rich green vines.
It is so nice to be surrounded by the beautiful flowers!
There is also a vine of hybrid hibiscus with a ruffled flower.
These beautiful flowers attract guests to the courtyard and I made it a quest to see if I could photograph some of them.
After many failed attempts I learned that it was best to simply focus the camera on a particularly inviting flower and then sit and wait.
I did capture the above shot of a bee circling near a red hibiscus, but it was not bees I was looking for. My goal was to photograph some of the colibrí (hummingbirds) that regularly dart from flower to flower. One of the important lessons of retirement (that I am still learning) is that it is okay to just sit and wait. It is also okay to take hundreds of blurry shots with a digital camera while waiting for a clear photograph.
Because eventually, you just might get lucky.
Many of the photos that follow were taken on the very last morning we were in Canoa. And they were all taken from twenty to thirty feet away in different light conditions. There is some lack of clarity, but we still wanted to share some of the excitement of watching calibrí in the courtyard of Amalur.
I even caught a quick shot the little guy resting!
Back to work!
As quickly as these little marvels sweep in – they depart!
God is good to allow an old man the blessing of sitting and waiting so that he could share some quality moments with one of God’s smallest birds.
(For some more expert photos of hummingbirds please see: https://johnandmarylivingitupinecuador.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/evening-falls/ which we published three and a half years ago featuring some hummingbird pictures our talented sister Lori took in Ohio.)
More to come about our trip to Canoa soon.
Life is good in Ecuador!