Maquenque Wildlife

Here are some shots of non-bird wildlife I haven’t already shown on the blog other than the monkeys and frogs that got their own blog posts earlier. A real rainforest like this is full of wildlife of all kinds and the photo ops are numerous and I’ve seen more than shown here.


The photos of my main target, birds, is almost overwhelming as I now have gotten photos here at Maquenque of over 50 different species and with new lifers my total Costa Rica collection is close to 300 species now, though not tabulated yet. I am still sorting and labeling photos and may be for days,  🙂    but will soon have a blog post and an online gallery of Birds at Maquenque. That will include 2 manikins, 2 trogons, plus a Little Tinamou and a Water Thrush as lifers plus more new ones for me!

¡Pura Vida!

Howler Monkeys Visit My Treehouse

Yesterday afternoon before I got ready to leave for dinner and write last night’s blog post I had a family of Mantled Howler Monkeys visit my treehouse – browsing for nuts and possibly other food in the trees on two sides of the tree house which is built around an almond tree. Here are a few photos I managed to get before leaving. Photographing up in the treetops is not as easy as you might think because of many limbs, leaves and shadows all around through which one must photograph, seldom getting a clear view of a monkey or bird! But here’s my effort! Click an image to enlarge it.


Life in a Costa Rica Treehouse!


¡Pura Vida!

Night Hike Frogs

Last night I went on the lodge’s “Night Hike” with about 8 other guests. It was similar to most other lodge night hikes and I have learned that my big camera is too much trouble on a night hike, so depend on my cell phone for photos. In addition to these frogs I got some insects and tried to photograph a coral snake we saw but failed at that. One of these is a new species of frog for me, the Red Webbed Tree Frog which has red-colored webs between his fingers and toes. Look close and you can see them. Click image to enlarge.


¡Pura Vida!

King Vulture

Yesterday I went with Sergio to his house where he has a blind or what he calls a “Hide” next to a cliff where he uses meat to attract vultures, particularly the King Vulture. Here are just a few of my many shots:


And shots of Sergio’s Blind:


¡Pura Vida!

In My Treehouse

It is a long drive (4+ hours) to Boca Tapada and beyond for the lodge plus we had to stop for a car repair and then lunch, but here by about two where I crossed the river by ferry to a truly isolated rainforest lodge you cannot get to by car. At check-in were two types of toucans and many other birds to greet me and I was taken to my most unusual room, a steel structured platform (secure) 20 meters above the ground built around giant virgin almond trees, thus my cabin name (español) Almendro. Three flights of stairs and a lot of steps! And so amazing! I am literally among the birds and other tree life! Writing this at dinner as the only place with Wifi. And in the jungle is luxury cream of squash soup, tilapia with risotto and pineapple flambe for dessert.

The Treehouse Up Close

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My 1st walk through the grounds

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What Sunset looks like through a rainforest canopy


¡Pura Vida!

Why I Travel CR

Tomorrow I will begin exploring the virgin rainforests & wetlands of Maquenque Lodge & Reserve in Boca Tapada, Northeast Costa Rica though still in Alajuela Province, yet on the Caribbean Slope, not far from the Nicaragua border. The link on name above is to their website, telling their story. The first video clip below is about their



I have one of the treehouse rooms . . .

living like Tarzan!   🙂

Their WELCOME to Maquenque Lodge:

NOTE: They have WiFi only in public areas, not in the rooms meaning I will be more limited on doing a daily blog post, but I will try! Maybe at dinner?

¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica


Church Group Cancels & I Add Monteverde!

Anytime you are dealing with groups of people there are complications and changes and this happened with the First Baptist Nashville group that were coming back to Atenas to work again in the Hogar de Vida Children’s Home this April. Pam told me yesterday that it did not work out, so instead of a week with them I now have scheduled a week in the Quaker town of Monteverde in April and already scheduling guided birding hikes while there.   🙂

Rare Three-wattled Bellbird I photographed at Selvatura Monteverde in 2016

I limit myself to one birding trip a month and somehow for 2 years now I have not been able to get back to Monteverde where I had only 2.5 days back in 2016 on a Birding Club Trip that I added an extra night to but still did not have enough time for all the reserves and other places for nature. I’ll stay 6 nights this time with my first priorities guided birding hikes in three reserves: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (or Official Site in English), Santa Elena Reserve (or Official Site in Spanish), and Curi-Cancha Reserve. That’s three days! Then a really good commercial nature reserve there called Selvatura that has the longest canopy hanging-bridges in the country plus a fabulous butterfly garden & hummingbird garden and more! That will be another full day, to which I will then add shorter trips like one of the best night hikes in the country, the excellent Monteverde Butterfly Garden, not to mention the trails and gardens at the Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where I will be staying. A full and fulfilling week!   🙂   So Nashville guys, I will miss you, but not be bored!   🙂

And I change my 2019 Trips Map with #4 (April) moved from Atenas to Monteverde.

Click to enlarge



¡Pura Vida!

A Blog-reader Stops By for ZooAve

My Visitor at Zoo Ave

Yes, I actually have some regular readers of my blog and several I have never met, some of whom are contemplating retiring in Costa Rica. One from Texas, a bigger birder than me, has visited several times and is possibly going to move somewhere in Central Valley here next year in retirement, with Atenas one option. One “Retired in Costa Rica” Wannabe from California has been planning a nature photography trip here for months, writing me for advice and with questions. She arrived today with a local flight to the Osa Peninsula in the morning but needed something to do today. I took her to Animal Rescate Zoo Ave in La Garita today with her hotel reasonably close to the airport for her flight out in the morning.

We did not finish our walk through the zoo because her camera battery went dead with her other one left in the hotel, but I got a few photos shown below. Note that 4 of the animals in today’s animal gallery or slideshow below were “wild” or not part of the zoo collection!   🙂

Animal Photos

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More of My Photos at Zoo Ave

One of many flowers at zoo





Part of a magnificent bamboo grove at Zoo Ave

Flower Garden at Night

I’m not often in my garden or even out of my house at night, but with late watering tonight I saw how different it looks and tried to photograph it, though a photo can’t capture the magic of night in a garden. The blue flowers are Plumbago.


“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables