Flying to the Caribe Today!

Today begins what has become almost an annual tradition of spending a week in the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, during September when this rainy rainforest has the least amount of rain. After trying a few other hotels, I’ve settled on Banana Azul as my favorite and it is right on the beach (one of the few!) in a favorite room with balcony overlooking the beach and hotel gardens. It is one of my most relaxing weeks of the year! This Puerto Viejo area is south, near the Panama Border and quite different from my other Caribe fave which is north of the port of Limón and in a great wetlands wildlife national park called Tortuguero.

I have just two morning bird hikes scheduled, one in the Cahuita National Park and the other in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Otherwise I just “hangout” at the hotel and beach, walking both the beach and a forested beach road where last year I found a bonanza of butterflies! 🙂

Sunrise at Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Limón.

Read on for some of my past creative endeavors from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica . . .

Continue reading “Flying to the Caribe Today!”

2023 Independence Day Parade, Atenas

This past Friday was the 15th of September, Independence Day for Costa Rica, when in 1821 it shed the colonial rule of Spain. In this small but very significant little developing country, patriotism is big and almost everyone wears red, white & blue and many decorate their houses with banners and flags. I wore my national futbol (soccer) shirt, red, white & blue! 🙂

And almost every town of any size has a parade, usually featuring their local schools, and Atenas is no exception! 🙂 I have for several years now been photographing it most years (when not traveling) with galleries for those years included in my super-gallery: PEOPLE, FIESTAS & ARTS Costa Rica. Which of course now includes a gallery for this year’s 2023 Desfile del Día de la Independencia, Atenas. And here is a sample photo from each of the 7 sub-galleries in this year’s parade gallery . . .


Flags are a big part of this parade. Click image to see more flags.
Continue reading “2023 Independence Day Parade, Atenas”

Local Art Gallery is About to Happen!

The registered name & logo.

Lots of meetings, government regulations, fees, expenses, rental space, requirements and limitations, plus how a cooperative will work together as one, all seem to make it complicated, but it is slowly coming together! 🙂 Thanks especially to Elisa & Margaret, the leaders of the group! We communicate with each other on a private WhatsApp page and now have a gallery FaceBook page (public) with not a whole lot for the public yet. 🙂 And we will be the location for this year’s JIT – Just in Time for Christmas Art Fair which uses the same FaceBook page as last year and is now set for December 8, 9 & 10, 2023. In Calle 2 Plaza Atenas!

TENTATIVE OPENINGS are a “soft” opening on October 4 and a “Grand Opening” on November 9 with the Christmas Art Show a month later, December 8-10. BUT, note that there are many things that could delay the first two dates, though Christmas Show is pretty solid! 🙂

The registered name & logo.
The registered name and logo.
7 of the 10 to 12 participants we can never get all together! 🙂 By one of the flower murals outside our gallery space in the new Calle 2 Plaza, next to Linea Vital Clinic.
A shelf set up by some of the ladies as an example of how pottery may be displayed in the gallery.

Please Remember that Everything is Flexible now . . .

Meaning that the opening dates and the participants could change in the next month or two as we struggle to put everything together. But a very fine art gallery is coming to Atenas soon! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

A Call from My Friends at Maquenque

Today I received a phone call from the wonderful family that runs Maquenque Eco Lodge just checking on me and how my health is doing. They are so nice to me in every way and I count them among my best friends in Costa Rica. Then they sent me this photo of the table in their lodge lobby covered with my photo books that they continually thank me for and tell me how much their other guests enjoy them! 🙂 Just one more reason that I enjoy my retirement life photographing nature! 🙂

Charlie Doggett Nature Photo Books in lobby of Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada, San Carlos, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Art Gallery Coming Behind Calle 2 Boat!

Calle 2 Plaza is under construction and could open within the next month or so! One of the 5 shops will now be a new Atenas Art Gallery, the name of which can’t be published until it is registered. So keep reading this blog for more information and see photos of the under construction Calle 2 Plaza and its flower murals below these first two shots . . .

Old land-locked boat on Calle 2, Atenas between Linea Vital & Calle 2.
7 of the 10 local artists opening a new art gallery in Calle 2 Plaza. Meeting here at the gallery location.
Continue reading “Art Gallery Coming Behind Calle 2 Boat!”

Today is World Elephant Day!

August 12 is World Elephant Day, a really very important day! Elephants will be disappointed if you don’t remember this one, because they always do. (“An elephant never forgets”!) Seriously, this day is for learning more about Asian and African elephants, smart creatures that are being threatened with extinction because of hunting and habitat loss. Learn how you can help at

My photo of African Elephant in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya, 2005.

See my other elephant photos from the 2005 Safari in Masai Mara, Kenya  And there are older, not as good, photos from a 1998 Kenya Safari.

Also I experienced the total extinction of elephants during my 3 years of living in The Gambia, West Africa where both poachers and habitat destruction eliminated all  of the elephants that used to live there. It is very sad. This is a serious World Day that needs lots of attention or there will be no elephants left world-wide. Consider joining one of the efforts to save elephants.

¡Pura Vida!

Rainy Season Green!

A ground-level shot of the cow pasture across the street from my house where the grass stays taller and VERY GREEN during our rainy season, May to November.

Cow Pasture adjacent to Residencial Roca Verde, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica. In front of my house! 🙂

See my photo gallery Cow Pasture Across the Street.


And read in yesterday’s Tico Times English Language Paper the cool article on: Eco-Friendly Lifeguard Stations Coming to Costa Rica’s Beaches. In brief they are picking up the millions of plastic bottles left by idiots on our beaches, converting them into a wood substitute and forming substitute lumber with which they will build these cool Lifeguard stations for beaches all over Costa Rica! This is a great solution for both increased pollution and decreased forests! 🙂

Tico Times photo of recycled plastic Lifeguard Station


¡Pura Vida!

Thank you! – ¡Muchas gracias!

My WordPress host, DreamHost, and a service company, Jetpack, just released the July stats for my blog “Retired in Costa Rica” and its related website, And I say “THANK YOU” to the 501 subscribers of the blog, 650 FaceBook Friends who receive a link and hopefully follow it, 🙂 the 2 thousand views of my website/blog in July, the 95 comments on blog posts and the 158 “Likes” in July, which can only be made by other WP Bloggers, making those likes special! 🙂 I am fulfilling my dream of retirement with nature in Costa Rica that began with the adventurous move here in 2014 and the start of this blog. Thanks for coming along! 🙂

My site header pix of the valley town where I live, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
The feature photo at top is of Arenal Volcano.

I’m an old man of 83 years, retired from a publishing business in the U.S. who left the states in 2014 to live out retirement with the beautiful natural worlds of Costa Rica and its loving people, reporting in this blog. Even after a year-long battle with cancer, I’m having the best times of my life, my final years immersed in nature! I hope you will continue following my stories and photos! Your presence delights me! 🙂

That’s me planting an Almond Tree for the Great Green Macaws in the Maquenque Reserve, Boca Tapada, San Carlos in 2023.

¡Pura Vida!

Gracefulness in Nature

This Heliconia Leaf seems to me to be gracefully bowing its head as the first signs of deterioration begin it’s final days with only a little touch of brown now and the folding of the once tall and straight green leaf. Nature as Art continues to inspire me as I find my own life slowing down and less capable than before. May I conclude my life as gracefully as this Heliconia Leaf! 🙂

Nature as Art

¡Pura Vida!

See another Heliconia Leaf in a further stage of death that I used on the cover of a recent photo book titled Designed by Nature which you can preview for free online. Nature is truly graceful!