Photo Books Tell My 2020 Stories

And part of that story is fewer photo books with fewer trips this year. Three books were drawn from my 5.5 years collection of Costa Rica photos. And one book was on my earlier life in Africa. Plus I did not do a book on every trip like usual, but for now you can enjoy the online photo galleries of every trip! 🙂

NOTE: I’m still doing my usual New Year’s Eve Photo Summary TOMORROW which I’m calling “2020 Photo Smiles,” twelve favorite photos of life in Costa Rica, just not restricted to a photo-a-month. 🙂

Roca Verde Birds

First book this year was not released until April 6, 2020 and by then I was itching to be creative! I went through my photos of birds photographed right here in our housing development called “Roca Verde” and came up with a book of 40 species of birds photographed in my yard and neighborhood which I was pleased with, and simply called Roca Verde Birds.

Go to the title link or click the cover for a free digital preview. I gave gift copies to the president and vice president of our homeowner’s association, the guards at the front gate, my 2 head gardeners and maid. All seemed to appreciate the book and giving them away is my main reason for making photo books! It’s an 8×10 coffee table book of 56 pages.

The little 7-inch ones I do on lodges or my trips I give one to the lodge and sometimes to a very good birding guide. 🙂 They are always very appreciative!

Pura Vida Birds

My second book this year was also created from my collection of photos from my years here in Costa Rica and one I have been wanting to do from the beginning. I published it June 5, 2020 with over 300 species of birds included and of course I saw a new bird the very next week that did not make my book! 🙂 That’s life!


It’s called Pura Vida Birds and was announced as a celebration of my nearly 6 years of living in Costa Rica. It is maybe the best summary of my first 6 years in Costa Rica and is my “main book” now, an 8×10 coffee table book of 230 pages. Makes a great gift!

Maquenque Mágico

Finally I make a trip in July and produced another little 7 inch photo book about it and this cool lodge! To celebrate my 80th birthday, I spent a week in a treehouse at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada, Alajuela Province and was their only guest for the 1st 3 days and 1 of just 12 guests over the weekend spent solo-hiking away from people during the pandemic.

It was my second great experience there with 60 species of birds photographed! That’s more than at any other lodge so far!

Plus this is my first lodge or trip book published totally in español, Maquenque Mágico. As a photo book you don’t need the language, plus I named the birds in both Spanish & English! 🙂 It was published July 27, 2020, 7×7 inches, 92 pages.

El Silencio, Touching Souls

After Maquenque I had only 3 nights at Xandari in August before my second week-long trip during the pandemic at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve in September, a new place that immediately became a favorite and definitely one of the best in Costa Rica, even if it is also one of the more expensive! 🙂  A beautiful 7×7 inch book of 60 pages.

And if you are a waterfall lover, this is your lodge, with more waterfalls at or nearby than almost any other place in Costa Rica! Similar to Maquenque, there were only 2 or 3 of us there during the week with about 7 over the weekend. Great service, food, waterfalls, birds, and butterflies! I loved it and got 4 lifer birds! El Silencio, Touching Souls was published September 26, 2020.

Pura Vida Butterflies

More than 120 photos of butterflies and moths in Costa Rica that I’ve made during my first 6 years of retirement in the land of Pura Vida – Pure Life! A colorful coffee table book or guide to help the hobbyist label his Costa Rica butterfly photos. Plus a great gift! Pura Vida Butterflies was Published October 1, 2020. 8×10, 106 pages.

Magical AFRICA

The only book not about Costa Rica! 🙂 One of my many pandemic lockdown activities was putting together a collection of a few of my favorite Africa photos as basically my Africa Portfolio. It includes photos from living in The Gambia West Africa for three years and two trips back in 09 plus my three trips to East Africa, Kenya & Tanzania with two safaris in the Masai Mara Reserve of Kenya. Magical AFRICA was Published October 27, 2020. 7×7 inches, 102 pages.

Faces of Nature

I forgot what motivated me to do this creative project, but it was originally to be one book until I started curating my bird faces photos and with so many, I decided to do a separate book of bird faces, coming soon I hope! 🙂 This first volume is all other animals including a few insects and was a fun project for me! Though I kind of favor the frogs, the monkeys and sloth faces are irresistible! 🙂 Faces of Nature, Book 1 was published November 12, 2020. It’s a colorful little 7×7 inch book of 42 pages.

And that was my 2020 Pandemic Year in 7 photo books! And to see all of my photo books, click Bookstore on the menu or here! 🙂

Cancelled or Postponed 2020 Trips & Books

I had two little short trips of 3 & 4 nights at Xandari Nature Resort (Jan & Aug) without doing a book but highly recommend that lodge near Alajuela!

My March Trip to Hotel Savegre in San Gerardo de Dota was postponed until January where I look forward to my second visit there after a first in 2009 on a birding tour from the States. That area is the best place in Costa Rica for the unique bird Quetzal and in-between I have visited two other lodges in San Gerardo de Dota, but still prefer Savegre.

My May trip to Talari Lodge, Chirripó I canceled since it required a day-long bus ride to get there and that’s not good in a pandemic. Long range I plan something there or in that area so I can visit Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary started by the now famous first birder in Costa Rica, Alexander Skutch, and where I can find birds not anywhere else, plus some other good reserves are nearby. This is a location where having a car would be more convenient! 🙂 And I’ve let both my TN and CR driver licenses expire, so can’t even get a rental car until a get a new driver license.

My Rancho Humo trip in November was cancelled because they just didn’t have enough customers to re-open as planned on November 1 after closing in March because of the pandemic. It has been a sad year for so many here in the tourism business. I’ve been there once and will eventually go again. Great birding and plush lodge!

Christmas week was scheduled at Arenal Observatory Lodge with me returning home on December 27, thus I can’t have a book completed from that week in time for this post. But one is very likely in January! 🙂

And to see all of my photo books, click Bookstore on the menu or here! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

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