Posted in Achievements, Birders, mountains, nature, Perfection and Peace, strength, Stress free environment, Uncategorized, Villa Migelita Ecolodge

The Woman Behind my Strength

The Covid Pandemic has changed everything for those of us in the tourism industry. There have been many times in my life filled with crises; I don’t know how I withstood them, except with a strength of spirit I developed over a lifetime. After the tragedy of my daughter’s death, I found myself living in Colombia. I know my mother would have supported me with this life-changing event if she were alive because she is the woman behind my strength. As the world opens up again, I wish her guidance as I contemplate what will happen next on my journey in another country. When I first arrived in Colombia in 2011, it was still considered a dangerous country for only the most ardent adventure travel enthusiasts. Now, this tiny country has overcome its unsavory past and developed into an adventure travel destination for people worldwide. But as Colombia has opened up, the tourists haven’t followed as they did before the coronavirus. Will nature travel be the next big thing? 

As I live my life, my mother is always hovering nearby in my memories. My love of animals and nature is an intrinsic part of my being because she loved both. My brother and I were surrounded by animals as we grew up. Mom also loved the beauty of our world. I went on a class trip to Paris, France, when I was in elementary school. My family was not wealthy, but my mother found the money for me to take a class trip on an airplane to another country. She was instrumental in my applying for and landing my career-defining job as a flight attendant. Her ashes are here with me in Colombia. They rest beside my daughter under the most beautiful lilies that often bloom as butterflies flutter nearby. When I visit their beautiful garden, I like to imagine being embraced by them. 

When the Coronavirus quarantine began last year, I was content. So many times in my life, my mother shared with me the greatness of solitude. I can still picture my mother sitting quietly in a chair, immersed in prayer meditation. Isn’t it ironic how we repeat what we learn from our parents? My times for deep thought are often, usually while practicing Yoga. Now my thoughts are looking for an answer to a gnawing question. What is in the future for all of us struggling to regain our businesses in the tourism industry? It is hard living in this new reality. Changes happen daily and without warning. I felt we were getting ahead of this awful virus, but now I am not so sure. As I look outside at my bird feeding gardens or all the hummingbird feeders, I know there is peace in my world. Perhaps, nature will be the answer as people find traveling to remote places with wide-open spaces are the safest places to visit.

 My Ecolodge is healing for everyone, no matter your problems, because nature can restore anyone to a place of peace. Staying in my mountain retreat during the initial Coronavirus quarantine was never hard to do. After working so many years with the public, time alone is easy. Now that the world is slowly returning to a new normal, I realize that I had a different perspective than others on this life-changing virus. I have never felt the need to seek more than what I have right here in my beautiful mountain retreat. Life was a bit isolated, but again, I didn’t care. I felt grateful that I lived in a place of ever-changing moments. These Andes Mountains I am surrounded by and the nature that lives within them kept me centered during the last year. 

Now I am welcoming guests to visit Villa Migelita Ecolodge once again. They seek the allure of outdoor activities in the purely natural air of the mountains. Nothing is more soothing to the soul than time spent immersed in nature. The latest trend in this year 2021 is Nature, Wellness, and giving back, as referenced in this Forbes Article. Tourists can feel safe from the pandemic in vacation destinations that are outdoor-oriented. My Ecolodge is entirely open air. Wide-open spaces with space to breathe are a luxury that is affordable and calming.

I am meeting many young Millennial’s seeking distance from the hectic city life encountered worldwide. They love to sit outside to look at the views or hand-feed the hummingbirds. They wander in my gardens to observe the Neo-tropical birds, sometimes with a book in hand. Our souls need time in nature. Our bodies release stress when we hear sounds that only the mountains and animals within can deliver. Listening to the harmony surrounding them, they find a balance between their work life and their home life. Peace, don’t we all want to feel it again? I am still unsure when we will have what we had before the virus struck the world with such ferocity. Anyone can tune out the rest of the world for a little while as long as they breathe in the fresh air, free of noise pollution and environmental pollution. 

 Songs of birds harmonizing outside my bedroom window in the morning will always be on the playlist of my mind. These songs hold everything essential to my well-being. I believe they can give others what I have obtained in my peaceful place of harmony with nature.

Posted in animal rights, Birders, Colombia, Colombian life, Color and Colombia, Entreprenuer, expat life, hotel, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Nature, photo challenge, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Come and Sit for Awhile

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I find that nature soothes my soul. In my area of Colombia, in the Valle del Cauca department, we have many birds, including over 30 species of hummingbirds just at Villa Migelita Ecolodge. Because of Earth Day I thought I would share some photos of my birds I photograph daily at my Villa. Colombia has the most species of birds in the entire world. We are a small country that is the most bio diverse in the world. Enjoy some of my favorite photos, and enjoy my absolute love of nature. The featured photo is a Blackburian Warbler. They migrate to my area of Colombia. A very tiny little bird and I love the colors, I am not sure why this bird is still here because it is migratory time for all hummingbirds and birds in Colombia. Some of the birds just stay and they are more than welcome at my home!

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White shoulder Tanager, the very tiny white you see opens up to a lot of white when it flies

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The Long billed Starthroat hummingbird we have over 30 species of hummingbirds at my Villa

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The Great Kiskadee of Colombia

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Andean Emerald Hummingbirds

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Buff Breasted Ibis

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The Cariqui or Green Jay in English

These are just a few of my many species of birds I see regularly, so why not come and sit awhile and see for yourself? I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the climate, the birds and the peace of Villa Migelita Ecolodge. 

 

 

Posted in Birders, Colombia, Colombian life, farm life, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Nature, photo challenge, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, photo challenge, Uncategorized

The Birds Glow in South America

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Here at Villa Migelita Ecolodge  we have so many birds it is hard to feature all of them. Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world! At Villa Migelita Ecolodge we now have scientists coming to classify my birds and catalog them for my area of Valle del Cauca, Colombia. I would love to say these photos are mine but they are not, they are from the scientists that visit. So if you are a birder and haven’t visited Colombia, you should! These photos I am displaying were taken at my Villa by those trained in Ornithology. 

They all glow. The cover photo is a Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris), there are many sub-species. They just call this one Un halcón de carretera azul, which means the blue falcon.

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Look at the glow of purple caught in this photo of: Molothrus bonariensis

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Purple glows in the sunlight: Amazilia franciae

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Every single inch of this bird glows: Cyanocorax yncas galeatus

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Momotus Momota

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 Pionus chalcopterus

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Very difficult to distinguish the Emerald Hummingbirds but I think this is a black winged Emerald male juvenile.

These are just a few of the many birds photographed at Villa Miglelita Ecolodge.

 

Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, camping, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, friendship, minimalism, nature, photo challenge, Uncategorized

The Wonder of Nature and Colombian Texture

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Some beautiful photos of different textures from my life in Colombia. I just adore these photos. They capture nature and happiness together. My life is perfect as an entrepreneur and tourist guide to all that Colombia is. Follow me at @Villa Migelita Instagram, or on Facebook at Villa Migelita  and of course my blog. I have the most amazing friends and adventures. Enjoy!

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Look at the reflections and the perfect color of the plant life

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I like the shadows in this photo of me

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Just look at the water falling, no more needs to be said

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I find this photo full of so much texture, again it is perfect

 

Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, minimalism, nature, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Uncategorized

It is just my life I am secure in.

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Awaking to the sound of birds, falling asleep to the sounds of  frogs and crickets. The cool breeze that comes through my window while I write in my office. The sway of the leaves of the banana trees. The sun that is an orb of fire as it sets over the valley. The fog that comes up suddenly over the mountains. A high-pitched wail that I hear every evening around 6 pm coming from the mountains surrounding my Villa.  Like clockwork I hear the shriek of some bird or animal calling the day to a close. Comfort like a warm blanket over me when I am snuggled in bed, secure in the knowledge a new day will come in the morning with new adventures to discover. Where I see horses grazing, livestock who are so friendly they follow me on my hikes. The sound of a rushing river, and a random butterfly who finds itself trapped in a window at my home. The little church I own here in my pueblo, having a mass where the dogs participate also. This is my life in Colombia. I am secure in the knowledge that I have found my paradise. As I hike and look up to the clouds the sun is shining on me with an embrace I can feel in my soul.

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Rainforest frog
Pure nature

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Posted in Colombian life, hummingbirds, nature, Nature, photo challenge

Rarity in Nature

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I am surrounded by nature. I never know what is going to show up around me. It is a delightful way to live. I come from South Florida. I remember growing up in a middle class neighborhood with a lot of empty lots that all of us neighborhood kids would explore. Many a time we would come home with scrapes, bites or bloody knees. I love to reminisce about my times in the Smoky Mountains with my children every summer. I am a nature gal. I started young and I have never lost the wonder I feel when I see some new insect, bird, flower, views of the mountains, anything related to nature.

There is so much to be seen when you are looking for good photos. I am no longer the person who finds spiders creepy, bees scary, and insects gross. I find them all to be a much-needed part of our ecosystem. I respect all life. I wrote about my new rescue here at Villa Migelita in my last blog; a hummingbird who has a hurt wing. He is still with me after three weeks and that in of itself is rare. Hummingbirds need protein, which I hopefully am supplying by crushing insects into his sugar-water. It must be working because he is still alive. His wing is still unhealthy as you can see. But he is a fighter.

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Grigio on a rare Jade Orchid

This spider is a common Cross Garden species..but I love this photo. He looks so intimidating.

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Normal Garden Spider

What about the birds I see daily? Sometimes I am lucky enough to get a good shot. The wonder I feel when I see a rare Toucan still keeps me captivated. I never have my camera when I need it, but I get to enjoy rare sightings of many birds every single day.

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Vermilion Fly Catcher

Colombia has the most species of birds in the world and is the second most bio-diverse country in the world. I have settled in the perfect place to satisfy my nature needs.

Rare in nature can be completely defined by this one butterfly:  Diaethria neglecta, a very rare phenomenon of nature.

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The #89 butterfly on my screen

When you visit Colombia, you never know what will show up. A Preying Mantis, an insect I have no idea what the name is but it is a flying leaf!

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A leaf insect

I no longer am afraid, I just wish I knew what they all did to help our planet. Because they are all part of a very intricate ecosystem called our world. We need to protect and defend each one in any way that we can.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Image tagged in gifs

via Image tagged in gifs.

Merry Hummingbird Christmas from Villa Migelita! We have hummingbirds year round. Come visit beautiful Colombia and stay with us at Villa Migelita. We are a personalized Bed and Breakfast with superior service to our guests. Relax and enjoy our hummingbirds while being surrounded by nature and mountains. If adventure travel is your idea of a good time you will love it here! We have many fun tourist activities that we can share with you, along with a Spanish/English speaking guide. Book today for the holidays. Click this link  to see the Gif I made of one of my many hummingbirds!