Another new butterfly for me today! I first saw him/her from my kitchen on the outside of the window screen. I snapped a couple of shots and went outside for a different view in the garden but he quickly flew away. This is another tropical butterfly found in Central and South America. These shots will be just the second ones to be posted on butterfliesandmoths, when they are up (they were not a few minutes ago). 🙂 Here are four different shots:Continue reading “Little Banner”
I read three things today that helped me realize again how fortunate I am to be living in such an amazing little country as Costa Rica! AND how much I have slowed down, calmed down, and embraced nature since I’ve been living here, eight years this coming December! Here’s links to the three inspirational articles I read today . . .Continue reading “Pura Vida Inspiration”
Of course there’s more photos and even more wildlife I haven’t shown like the White-nosed Coati and more butterflies, but I have them in the Christmas Trip 2021 Gallery, so check it out if you want more! 🙂
This was another favorite rainforest shot from Cristal Ballena that also includes the sea, so I just had to add it as my last post on that trip. As you can see, the rainforest not only surrounds the hotel, but flows all the way down to the ocean and the national park beach. It’s a beautiful place that I enjoy visiting and will probably go again someday. Now back to shots from my garden, the neighborhood and the little coffee farmers’ town of Atenas. For awhile anyway! 🙂 I’m trying to schedule a one-day waterfall trip and then in February I’m back to a tree house at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada. 🙂
“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”~Peter Benchley
Tico Times article: Costa Rica Tourism in 2022: Demand is back
Most Read Blog Posts 2021 is Humbling
I finally figured out how to get to historical statistics on my WordPress Blog/Website, wanting to see what kind of nature photos more people are interested in. Well, it was not my nature shots in 2021 but the posts labeled “Cancer Update” that all had over 200 readers or “hits” with none of my nature posts over 200 except the weird exception of an old one on a Truck Centipede. So THANK YOU for being interested in my health! It has been a long slow recovery still in process but I am so much closer to “normal” now and I was quite active on the last trip. I see my oncologist tomorrow and hopefully not many more times needed after that. 🙂
Starting tomorrow I am going to share some of my favorite bird photos out of literally thousands of over 350 species of birds here. It has been very difficult to choose just a few favorites. I started with 40 and whittled it down to 21 and gave up after that, so over the next three weeks I’ll be sharing 21 bird photos of 21 different species of birds found here, introducing the species, including a link to the eBird description, a link to my gallery on that species, and I’m writing a “Backstory” about each particular photo I’m sharing. It seems that there is a story behind every photo! 🙂 I hope you will find it interesting and revealing about Costa Rica for both nature lovers and birders! And oh yes, the two bird photos in this post did not make the cut for a feature, so they decorate this post! 🙂
I’m working ahead on the series and trying to make each blog post a visual work of art as well as a valuable chunk of information about a bird species in Costa Rica, including where I found it and which lodge I stayed it. I trust they will become valuable tools for future visitors and new expat residents of Cost Rica, starting tomorrow with the beautiful Resplendent Quetzal!
Update on My Health and Latest Cancer Report
First, I recently had the same CAT Scan (called TAC here) they did to diagnose the cancer and it shows me totally cancer-free after the surgery and 7 weeks of radiation. That is good news!
Now the effects of the radiation still have not all gone away and usually do not for about a year for most patients, meaning I may be “normal” by next July. 🙂 The left side of my face & neck + the left ear are all still swollen or enlarged somewhat. That is normal the first year. My smile is almost “normal” now, not totally lopsided on right side only as after surgery. I will always have to deal with my left eye not blinking or being able to fully close. I use eye drops two or three times a day and wear an eye patch most of the time except for about 3 hours in the morning.
I am still low on energy or tired a lot, wanting to sleep more and that is normal for the first year they say. My taste has partially recovered though not totally and they say that can take as much as 6 months to a year to fully recover, so I’m much closer to normal there! Though my appetite is still not high and my weight is still lower than before. I drink an Ensure protein shake once a day to help keep me healthy and otherwise try to eat healthy.
Mentally/emotionally I am fine and generally have a positive attitude about life regardless what is happening. So in short, I’ve made great improvements and I’m overall feeling very well, just not planning as many activities as before. Plus at 81 I needed to slow down anyway! 🙂 And these new series of blog posts using past photos is one example of how I’m slowing down while remaining creative. But I will be adding new trips and new photos, just not as frequently now! 🙂
¿Cómo estás? – ¡Total bien! 🙂 That’s how most people answer here regardless how they really feel! 🙂 The positive and helpful attitudes of Costa Ricans is also healing to me! I’m so glad I live here now!
The response to yesterday’s blog post “Verdure” has been good and of course that older English word refers to the “green” in nature. One response caused me to look up quotes about “green in nature” and there were so many good ones! I limited myself to sharing just three:
“For still there are so many things that I have never seen: in every wood in every spring there is a different green.”– J. R. R. Tolkien
“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”– Pedro Calderon de la Barca
“Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.”– John Muir
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”– Mohandas K. Gandhi
So what does an old man “Retired in Costa Rica” do with his time? Especially since cancer and the dreaded cancer treatment forced a slowdown? In short, I have slowed down! And those who know me well may find that hard to believe. 🙂 It is easier said than done for the hyper-active little boy who is sort of who I am. So this blog post will be My “Essay on Slowing Down” or more accurately on “what it is like for me to slow down.” I have now learned to “Enjoy the Moments” here in Costa Rica and hopefully I can share the joy of living slow in Costa Rica! 🙂Continue reading “Slowing Down”
I got here in time to dump my stuff in my cabin before a delicious lunch that I was able to eat all of! Yay! 🙂 It’s overcast with some scattered showers but I explored the trails a little and scheduled 4 activities this week with the rest of time exploring on my own! And the 4? Well, boring old-man activities compared to some available here: Morning & Afternoon Birding hikes in 2 totally different locations, a sunset/night hike looking for night creatures, and a morning Primary Rainforest 3-hour conservation hike. The rest of the week is photographing a lot, resting, and finally eating real food for a week! My radiation taste is not totally gone, but greatly improved and I’m eating just about everything now! 🙂
I’ve seen a Crested Caracara (on the road here), and here: lots of Scarlet Macaws, lots of little birds not identified and a family of Spider Monkeys, all by my thatched roof cabin. And I’m looking forward to happy hour snacks before a great dinner. There are about 25 tourists in this lodge (from all over the world including children), which is not bad with Covid still raging around the globe! And it is a 45 minute drive (fording streams) from the primitive landing strip in Puerto Jiménez to the lodge or if you must, an 8-hour+ drive from the San Jose Airport.
And finally . . .
My Rainforest “Internet Cafe” for the Week!
Your nightly report from the rainforest will be uploaded each afternoon from the above poolside location! And oh yes, the internet connection is great (at least today!).
On January 5, 2020 I did a Blog Post 2020 Ranking of My Birding Lodges, which is now out of date and it even included Nicaragua and Panama lodges, where today’s is only Costa Rica and I have included the multiple trips to places I repeat with each bird count, but only those with 10 or more birds photographed by me. Even on eBird I count only the ones I get a photo of. These are from my birding visits since 2015, my first year living in Costa Rica.
The Feature Photo at top is my Treehouse Room at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada.
And the 2021 Rankings by number of species are . . .Continue reading “New Ranking of Birding Lodges”
This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.
“The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”~T. D. Jakes
Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .Continue reading “The Blessing of “Heart Treasures””
My newest photo book is my cheapest ($8.83), smallest ( 6×9 in, 15×23 cm) and shortest (30 pages) as an introduction to why I retired in Costa Rica with 47 photos demonstrating my nature photography here. It’s not exactly a portfolio because of the cheaper paper, but . . . it actually is a cheaper version of a portfolio 🙂 and it also describes the 5 ways I experience nature and share it. As with all my books there is a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages in the bookstore at:
Or click the front cover image below:
This will become my “give-away” book to guides, lodges and others here in Costa Rica, since some of my other books are too expensive to keep giving them away as I have been. But I’m still not in the photo-selling or book-selling business. I’m retired! 🙂 I make my photos to share with others online and the books become ways to do that physically on occasions. Prints and wall art are available in my gallery with no profit for me, just a good service of (and profit for) my gallery host. 🙂
And while you’re in my bookstore, check out some of my other photo books! They have free previews too!