I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
The book is now finished with photos from 3 different trips to Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica and I think it is pretty interesting. You can go to the book online and Preview it electronically free! And of course best seen at fullscreen since it is all photos. Click this link or the book image below for the preview:
I hesitate to rank or say there is only one favorite birding lodge, but this is in the top 3 or 4 best easily based on both the number of birds I photographed (53+) and the new birds I photographed for the first time or “lifers” of which there were these 7:
This is also one of the best or easiest places in Costa Rica (the whole world?) to get close photos of the King Vulture. My previous photos were made through a spotting scope, so I was thrilled to have Sergio pick me up at the lodge and take me to his blind on a nearby bluff where the King Vultures hangout and from his blind that he calls a “hide” I was about 20 to 30 feet from King Vultures.
Plus the lodge guides are excellent birding guides and found birds I would never have found on my own plus on the night hike I got a photo of the rare Red-webbed Tree Frog which is on the cover of my book. The DIY trails are excellent also for birding where I got several birds on my own.
The food is very good with excellent wait staff and by planning ahead nearly a year I got one of the 4 Tree Houses as my Treehouse Room for the week – an unbelievably unique experience which yielded all the Howler Monkey photos in my gallery (by climbing up 55 steps to my room). Or see my entire “Trip Gallery” 2019 Maquenque Ecolodge.
And check out the lodge website: Maquenque Ecolodgea true experience in nature! I highly recommend it for all nature lovers and especially for birders! Just be aware that it is not near anything familiar, a 4-hour drive from my house in Atenas to a river on the Nicaragua border.
This week’s death of Nature Poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019), and article about her in Washington Post, plus reviewing her poems led me to her “Journey” which in some ways describes what I was unable to describe in my 2014 “Decision Process” I called it then, of getting away from the depressing world of conservative Middle Tennessee, the clouds of a failed marriage and subsequent loss of family, branches and stones in my path of a vocational “calling” manipulated by power-hungry “rulers” ending unceremoniously first in 1999 and finally by 2002 in unplanned early retirement. In a daze . . .
I’ve always tried to “make lemonade out of lemons” and I turned my retirement into an adventure of nature travel and photography as much as I could afford, including visits to all 54 state parks in Tennessee with a book about that, A Walk in the Woods, along with many other nature/travel books and my growing nature photo gallery. But I was still looking for something else.
Moving from the vibrant life of rowhouse living in downtown Nashville to a suburban “Independent Living Retirement Home” was still not what I was looking for.
It was to commune closer with nature, to travel in natural exotic places that my limited income could not afford, then suddenly it hit me, why not move to one of the nature places in which I love to travel and just live there?
With only 2 family members left and no grandchildren, it was easier for me than some people to make such a life-changing move! And now I see it described in a new way in this poem by Mary Oliver:
Excellent first person account of living in the earlier, wilder Costa Rica as a twenty-something, then adapting and growing older here. Especially good for nature-lovers like me as a “Retired in Costa Rica” senior adult blogging about it at charliedoggett dot net. ¡Pura Vida!
When Lee Holloway introduced me to and gave me a copy of the 1931 historical adventures storybook Yankee Ships in Pirate Watersby Rupert Sargent Holland back in the early 1970’s while at The Brotherhood Commission, I had no idea how far it would lead in my future research of an 1800’s ship with my name.
For a long time I have had the research website on The Ship Charles Doggett (the definitive website on the ship) and along the way discovered the relationships of the ship to Nashville and a friend there who is a descendant of the ship’s captain, William Driver. Driver is buried in Nashville. (Click above link for more info.) Also while there I learned of the U.S. Flag first being called “Old Glory” while flying on the Brig Charles Doggett with the actual flag at The Smithsonian Institute National Museum in Washington, DC. My web page above tells exciting stories of the flag, especially during the Civil War in a Confederate State Capital.
Then later I learned that it was this ship that rescued the survivors of “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Wow! The stories go on and are many and exciting as presented in this one 48-page Chapter 7 of the 1931 book Yankee Ships in Pirate Waters by Rupert Sargent Holland.
As I have always intended to do, I finally scanned or used a print shopin Atenas to scan the pages of the stories for me. I now include those pages here. The chapter on The Charles Doggett is titled “Children of the Sun” and was introduced with this summary: “How the men of the ‘Charles Doggett’ angered a witch-doctor, fought Fiji cannibals, and saved a sister-ship from yellow pirates in the gulf of Tongking.” You can read the stories online here now at Chapter 7: Children of the Sun. A fun read! And just one more bit of valuable information on this website. 🙂
I have been playing around with writing Haiku about Costa Rica Nature for nearly 3 years now and this is my little collection of poems, each printed on one of my photos. I’m not a poet, but it was fun to do and I may continue trying from time to time. I write the American 2-3-2 syllables style of Haiku but like the original Japanese Haiku they only describe nature.
Check out the free electronic preview of all pages of my latest Costa Rica photo book at: http://www.blurb.com/b/9079446-rancho-humo or click the book cover image below. Use “full screen mode” to best see these photo pages. I think my books & photos are getting a little better. 🙂
And my exciting exploration of Costa Rica continues!
That’s my new Kindle Fire HD 8 above beside a real book I’m also reading. It is my second Kindle ever and 1 inch taller which does make the print a little larger and easier to read, but there are some things I don’t like as well as on my old 5-year-old Kindle. First, the cover is simply not as good and does not stand up on my dining table as well as the old one. Inside it is more complicated and confusing to use electronically for this old man – beginning to show my age? But I will get used to it and love it eventually. 🙂
The Strange Juxtaposition of Two Books I’m Reading
Written in 1948, this is the autobiography of a spiritual mentor whose writings I like and who is of the same generation of my parents, Thomas Merton. He describes his “coming of age” as an adult and discovering who he really is from first the adventures of life and then the spiritual dimension of life and at 68% through the book (Kindle tells you that) he is still struggling with what his vocation will be but even more so with his relationship with God. Been there, done that! 🙂
I’m only about a fourth of the way through this hardback book which is also an adult coming of age autobiography of a young man of my generation this time, published in 2001. Not as spiritual as Merton’s, yet more adventurous as American Jon Marañon ends up in southern Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast (where I love traveling) and as a 23 year old buys a tract of land on the coast at a bargain price. Then the problems and adventures begin dealing with government regulations, local farmers, and even a “witch” along with illnesses, injuries, etc. And that is as far as I am in the story now. But it is the kind of thing I too might have done in the 1960’s if I had not been, like Thomas Merton, highly motivated by what I considered a “calling” from God. Young men struggling with who they are!
I will report back when I have finished both bios and how I am relating to them then. It is funny how I identify with both guys of two different generations and two different worlds and somehow ended up reading both stories at the same time. 🙂