I was going to post about a hundred things today. I have some important updates about my Fulbright work and even more for the Stone Wood Iron International Sculpture Symposium people. I have made a tremendous amount of headway in the last several days but, all of that will have to wait.
I encountered a three-toed tree sloth today and named it smiles (we’ll call Smiles a she for the sake of the story). She is smiling, she makes me smile, she makes you smile, she makes kids and grown ups smile, and the only thing she can do quickly is spread smiles around the world – which she is doing as you read this. Smiles was crossing a road at the bottom of a blind hill, just ahead of a blind curve, only slightly beyond the mouth of one of the infamous one-lane Costa Rican highway bridges. Susan was driving our little tico cruiser and spotted a sign instructing us to look at the sloth, so we frantically scoped around to find out where we might glimpse the creature – and just as we crested the hill Susan slammed on the breaks and pulled to the shoulder to avoid the sloth in the middle of the road. Before she could even stop I jumped from the car with my camera and shot as many images as I could. I have spent months of my life in this country and have only seen a sloth in the road once before today. They are remarkable creatures, curious and adorable. Sloths only descend from the trees to defecate and on the ground they are defenseless against predators. So a sighting like this one is extremely rare. Every person I know that has encountered them this closely agrees that there is primal sensation – almost like magic that overcomes you being this close to them in the wild. Smiles was terrific and made an otherwise long day in the car much better. I hope you enjoy my encounter with Smiles almost as much as I did.
happy holidays from the tropics with lots of Smiles.