Living with Lizards

Anyone who has lived in a tropical climate has experienced Geckos if not other lizards living in your house. They are the best mosquito repellant and eat many other insects also, thus I’m glad I have Geckos! And I don’t object to other types of small lizards as they all eat insects! 🙂 This one in my kitchen yesterday was not like the other Geckos I have seen but when I looked him up in the book he seems to be just a different species of Gecko called a “Common House Gecko” (Wikipedia link) and it is a non-native “introduced” species, one of 9 species in Costa Rica now. That ID and number of species is from Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica, a Pocket Guide by Chacón and Johnson.

Common House Gecko, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

And here’s three more cellphone photos of the one yesterday . . .

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Park Renovation Continues

Soon after the Covid Pandemic started in March of 2020 the regular work on renovating the Central Park of Atenas slowed and then stopped in October 2020. I don’t know, but guessing they ran out of money or the pandemic caused a reduction of tax income or something like that for the city. There has been no work on the park renovation for more than a year. Well, this week it started up again!

First I noticed the tin fence around a small triangle of the park between two sidewalks at the corner opposite Olivera Pizza and between the City Hall and Banco Nacional.

View across old park while standing in street in front of Banco Nacional or the North side of park.

As I walked around the fence to see what was going on inside the fence, I stopped at the very Northwest corner of park opposite Olivera Pizza:

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Too Much Free Time?

NEVER! Since I retired at the end of 2002 that has not been a problem for me, though as a former “work-obsessed American,” what I did with my “free time” was at first very important to me, making sure I was “accomplishing something” all of the time! Not now!

This and feature photo at top made from hill above my house, inspiration points! 🙂

This so-called “Free Time” was brought to my mind Wednesday as I read this article in The Washington Post: Why having too much free time can be as bad for you as having too little and I apologize if you can’t read it as a non-subscriber, but I think they allow you one article for free. That article is mostly focused on people still working and not us retirees. But it motivated my little essay here on free time:

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My Burning Bush

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s just a Croton Plant in my yard, one of many and in one of the many colors that Crotons come in, most multi-colored. But for some reason the other afternoon when it wasn’t raining and a ray of sunlight hit it. I saw a “burning bush!” Maybe I should remove my shoes more often! 🙂 And thanks to Elizabeth Browning’s thought, I will continue seeing “every common bush afire with God,” and other parts of earth also, where God waits for us to notice. 🙂

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Variable Cracker Butterfly

A first for my garden, seen on the trunk of a small palm tree. This “strange” butterfly is very much like the Guatemalan Cracker, with the latter having 2 blue rings instead of one. I have photographed 3 species of the Crackers, seen in my CR Butterflies Galleries: The Gray Cracker in Nicaragua, the Guatemalan Cracker at Corcovado NP Costa Rica, and now my third, the Variable Cracker in my Garden, Atenas, Alajuela Province yesterday. 🙂 More photos are in the gallery linked above.

Variable Cracker, Hamadryas feronia

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

~John Archibald Wheeler

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

TRIP GALLERY is Ready

Because I wasn’t running around on my usual side-trips this past week (in my over-80 slow mode now) 🙂 I got started on and have now finished the “CR TRIP GALLERY” for this 2021 Banana Azul Caribe South week (link is to the gallery).

There’s a lot more to photograph when not leaving a hotel than I thought. Now granted, there are fewer photos of birds and other wildlife and none from national parks, wildlife refuges, waterfalls, indigenous reserves, or wildlife rescue centers (all of which I’ve “toured” from this very hotel in the past). This week became my “quiet mode” focus. I just stayed put and photographed the little things in nature all around me on the hotel grounds, plus some fun shots from the small plane flight there! There are 9 sub-galleries! 🙂 Just click the first page of the gallery below and ENJOY! 🙂

CLICK above image to go to the gallery.

“Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.”

– Ansel Adams

¡Pura Vida!

And if you are interested in some of those great “side-trips” I’ve made from this same hotel, check out the galleries from other trips to South Caribe:

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Beachside Rainforest?

Well – It has been and I hope that at least part of it will last! I’ve been coming here for 5 years and it is definitely deteriorating with development and now evidently a landfill somewhere on the peninsula north of the hotel due to truck loads of dirt and rocks and trash headed that way.

The main (only) highway runs parallel to the coast and thus most beaches but Banana Azul is on a peninsula of sorts with a narrow dirt road leading to it and a few other smaller hotels or B&Bs. Then alongside the beach are “tracks” in the dirt that I hike down into the forest with some old growth trees, marshes, and some small animals and birds. Locals come down these tracks to find a private spot on the beach and like all good things in nature it may be getting “loved to death” with too much use. My Gallery below includes a few of my shots from this trip along this beachside rainforest trail. Though the Caribbean is slower developing than other parts of Costa Rica, I’m afraid it too will go for “the progress of the area.”

Here’s a shot from the beach with forest on left going all the way to the end of that “point” or peninsula.

Looking North from Hotel Beach, Forest on the Left.
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Seen on The Beach

This trip was much more of a “Beach Holiday” for me than most of my trips to or near the beaches of Costa Rica. I’m usually on side trips to national parks or wildlife refuges to photograph nature almost every day. But needing to rest this time, I haven’t left the hotel and thus I spent a lot of time on the beach or overlooking it from my balcony. And of course photographing much! 🙂

With a telephoto lens I did photograph a few interesting people from a distance but decided to give them their privacy and not include in this collection of just nature things I saw on the beach near Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Below is my straight-ahead view from the hotel chase-lounge chair on the beach and below that a slide show of 16 other interesting things I saw on the beach including “A Dragon’s Head” (if you have an imagination!) 🙂 And this doesn’t include the sunrises from the beach every morning which are in separate daily posts.

My view from under the beach umbrella!
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