Posted by: luisabaldwin | August 21, 2010




Al & Sela even have irises - in Panama, no less!



Photography by:
Luisa Baldwin
© All rights reserved



Good morning Panama!  Today in Boquete, Panama it’s 71 degrees and 80% humidity. Thankfully, we have a bright sunny day today.  We’ve had an unusual amount of precipitation this year but usually get nice sunny mornings.  When you live 4,500 feet up the side of a volcano, the weather can get pretty dramatic but it’s fun to watch.



The gladiolas of Hillside Haven



I would like to take a moment to thank and welcome to my web-site, the community. I have visited your web-site and have read some of your questions and concerns about retired life in Central and South America.  As a resident of Panama, I would be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability.  If you care to ask your own question, please leave it in the comments section of the web-site and I will be happy to respond.

I would also like to thank you all for taking the time to laboriously read my last article.  This resulted in the highest statistics yet on this web-site.  It seems that my previous posting, “Commentary on the U.S. Economy” generated more interest than I was expecting. Your monumental readership was my reward for a rather large research project.  Even though the posting is still generating a lot of interest, we have to move on and have some fun to balance things out, don’t we?



Iris line the long driveway


Today I have a little update for you on our pet falcons.

Additionally, Al and Sela have been carefully tending to their gardens for five years.   The fruits of their labor have provided many wonderful photographic opportunities for me.  In honor of Al & Sela and the garden.web community, I thought it might be nice to have all the flower photography of Hillside Haven in one posting.  So, here is the best of the best.  Enjoy.



The baby falcons are growing up!



On the falcon front there’s trouble in paradise!  The babies Harold, Jr. and Maude, Jr.  have been kicked out of the house and sent to University without a chaperon!  Oh yes, and it’s all Harold’s fault.  One day I watched as Harold attacked Maude, Jr. for no good reason.  Boy, he just went after her and we couldn’t figure it out.  With feathers flying ferociously through the air and a lot of panicked and confused screeching, Maude, Jr. took off.  If we could say, ‘with her tail between her legs’ we would, but after all this is falcon country.  They don’t do that.



Tropical Paradise


This unprovoked aggression happened on several occasions during that day and the next.  It culminated with Harold flying through the air and attacking one of the babies, knocking him down by quite a few feet in the air.  Maude, who watched the whole thing started whimpering repeatedly and finally she  flew to Harold with a little piece of cracker, crouched down in submission, and passed the cracker to him to calm him down.  But no, Harold wasn’t going to have any of it – he was on a roll.

The next scene produced Harold viciously pinning one of the babies on his back.  Yet once again, the baby flew off howling and confused.  Go figure!  Kicked out of paradise and easy food, the babies could only be found on the roof of our car, begging for safety, and clawing our paint.  We ran a few scenarios by way of trying to figure this thing out.  Maybe Harold was establishing his feeding grounds.  However, the babies were at the level of development where they still associated food as coming from Maude’s beak.

Yes, that’s right.  Harold has nothing to do with feeding the young.  In fact, it seems like all he does is eat, stand on high, and watch.  It is all Maude’s responsibility. A newly found respect for “the Mother” entered my thoughts.  By this point Maude is getting thin, looking a little ragged, and losing her sex appeal. Because when those babies, with beaks bigger than their heads go after whatever she’s got for them, they do it with an unparalleled ferocity and for some reason, she doesn’t drop the food to the ground.



Can't you just see the fairies prancing around?


Maude actually has to turn her head and angle carefully so her eyes don’t get injured when the babies go after the loot.

Well, Harold had just about had enough of domestic bliss and wanted to get back to the brothel.  “Maude, you’re losing your figure!” Yes, that was what it was all about folks.  Yesterday we looked over to the tree and there they were – in the throws of passionate embrace!  Gosh, I don’t even know if those babies are able to hunt yet, but Harold doesn’t care.  He’s got one thing on his mind and one thing only.

Maude, on the other hand, is sneaking food to the young.  That maternal urge dies hard.  Oh yes, it’s going to be a long steamy summer!  Enjoy the pictures.









  1. Looking very,very good all those pictures.
    Thanks 🙂

    • Thank you. It’s been a fun project! Hillside Haven is a beautiful place to live.

  2. This is all very good but can you put a scratch n sniff with each picture – yup that is my question….

  3. I am the maintenance cheif here at Valle Escondido Boquete Panama. I am looking to buy some orchids and flowers to surround my lovely water fountain in front of our County Club House.
    Can you help me on this?

    thank you

  4. Loved looking at your blogs. You two have great talent!

    • Thank you Kathy! We are looking forward to our new neighbors.

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