Park Renovation Update

I’ve recently learned that much of the park renovation is being paid for by volunteer donations as the city budget was greatly hurt by the pandemic. And all the work is being done by park employees rather than an expensive contractor, so I guess the slowness is to be expected and maybe praised for a job well done without much means.

After the celebration of the park entrance sign and flagpoles, they finally started again by blocking off another wedge of the park with the ugly tin construction fence. It is the area where we’ve had a children’s playground. They’ve removed all the old playground equipment and dug up the brick sidewalk in preparation for another modern cement sidewalk with I assume the trademark low walls for sitting as a replacement for park benches. There will likely be an additional sitting area for parents watching their children play. This sidewalk radiates from the central circular kiosk to the SE corner of the park. Once the concrete work is done I assume they will then install the new playground equipment and another section of remodeling will be completed. I doubt that even they know how long it will take. Here’s 3 photos to show what they’ve started . . .

Construction fence around the playground section of park while people still use the other spaces including the central kiosk partially shown here.
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Blomfild’s Beauty

Not a new butterfly for me though the first one seen this year. It is beautiful in it’s own complicated sort of way like a paisley design? 🙂

The scientific name is Smyrna blomfildia ( and it is found throughout Central America and Mexico and the southwestern fringes of the United States. Just two shots here and FYI, that is a narrow ceiling level screen for air flow in my laundry room (much lint) and I did vacuum the screen after seeing these photos! 🙂

Blomfild’s Beauty, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Blomfild’s Beauty, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

See other photos in my Blomfild’s Beauty Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Titan Sphinx Moth

This month is my second time to see one of these in my garden in June 2020 when I did a blog post first titled “Flying Shrimp” and then went back and changed it when someone told me it was a “Hummingbird Moth.” Well, now I’m a little better versed in butterflies and moths and the scientific name is Aellopos titan (link to and the accepted common name Titan Sphinx Moth, though some still call it “Hummingbird Moth.” It is found throughout South and Central America north throughout the eastern half of the United States. It is one of the weirdest looking creatures I’ve seen in my garden. My Titan Sphinx Moth Gallery includes those photos from 2020 as well as this year’s. Interesting! 🙂

Titan Sphinx Moth, Atenas, Costa Rica

And more photos from this year . . .

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Calle Balsilla Birds

I must admit that I was more focused on butterflies than birds when we walked Calle Balsilla last week, plus we were later getting there which means fewer birds, but I did get these 4 bird species along with my 11 species of butterflies! 🙂

Inca Dove, Calle Balsilla, Atenas, Costa Rica

Interesting that the above dove is the only bird I photographed that was not totally black in color! 🙂

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Calle Balsilla Butterflies

Judith LaBelle introduced me to a new “country road” in Atenas the other day that is likely better for birding! But, because of car trouble, we got there later than planned, with not as many birds photographed (only 4) which I will share tomorrow, but I was wowed by the butterflies flitting along the side of the road when no farmer riding a horse was going by. 🙂

It’s on the other side of Ruta 27 by the Tarcoles River after the dam or after Rio Grande has become Rio Tarcoles. There is a small rural community known as Balsilla de Mora, centered around a church by that name in Atenas Canton that includes some people living over the nearby province line in San Jose Province adjacent to our Alajuela Province. Farming people don’t pay much attention to canton and province lines! 🙂

I’m featuring this neat unidentified butterfly that was our trip target and then 10 more butterflies below it for a total of 11, including 4 new species for me! 🙂 And I’m thankful to Judy who saw this same butterfly on her last trip there and took me back looking for it. There is never a guarantee of repeat sightings of birds or butterflies, but, just as we were leaving, we saw it! I still can’t find it in my books or on the internet, but will keep trying for an ID! 🙂 There’s 1,500+ butterfly species in Costa Rica!

NEW-Unidentified Butterfly for Now, Calle Balsilla, Atenas Canton, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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One of the Grass Skippers

This Skipper showed up on my kitchen counter here in Atenas, Costa Rica last week and I have searched diligently both in books and the internet and cannot identify him specifically, but I am pretty sure he is in the subfamily of Skippers called “Grass Skippers” (Hesperiinae) and that’s the best I can do! There are over 1,500 species of butterflies here in Costa Rica, not to mention the over 12,000 moths! So ID is a challenge and I’m taking on that challenge the best I can. 🙂

A Grass Skipper, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

And one more photo in slightly different light . . .

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Youth Service Project

On one of my walks to town the other day these high school aged kids did not see me snap a photo of them with my phone. They were evidently doing a service project, possibly through the school, painting this public picnic table at the City Sports Park next to the covered Basketball Court. Hopefully they are painting all of the several at this park which are always full at lunch time with a very popular empanada shop across the street in one direction and fried chicken (el pollo frito) a block the other direction. 🙂

Teenagers painting picnic table in a public park, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

A Browner Swallowtail

This is another Polydamas Swallowtail like I showed before my trip, but the underside of his wings here are more obviously brown than the others which were dominated by black. It could be because I had better light, but it still seems somewhat like a different species. Polydamas Swallowtail ( for descriptions, locations, etc. and you can compare all of my many photos of this species in my Polydamas Swallowtail Gallery. And it is interesting to note that all of my photos were made in my garden.

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Costa Rica.
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Cativo Photos not in Blog

Or in the case of some galleries, not many were in the blog. The links are to sub-galleries in my Trip Gallery titled: 2022 July 1-7 – Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce & Piedras Blancas NP in case you want to go to just one subject of your interest, click it below:

Sea Turtle Art at Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce & Piedras Blancas NP, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!