One of several beaches below the rainforest lodge last week, this one is the “Surfing Beach” or where the surfers hang out. The beach name translates to English as Sweet Bread Beach, which I won’t try to explain now. 🙂 I liked Matapolo Beach better because the Scarlet Macaws hung out there! Or the hotel’s beach at the end of Pacific Trail shown earlier.
I’ll just do a slide show of the 5 shots of Playa Pan Dulce . . .
If you are anywhere near my age you may remember a childhood game where, usually boys, would claim a high-spot in the land or an object as “The Mountain” and one boy stand on it, declaring himself “King of the Mountain.” And though there may have been rules, it was usually brute strength that made you ‘king.”
That is exactly what was going on between this Yellow-headed Caracara and Fiery-billed Aracari. In this photo (overcast day & bad light) the Aracari is diving at the Caracara with his much bigger bill. And though the Aracari took over the top perch of the tree at one point, the Yellow-headed Caracara came back with his much stronger claws or talons (much like a Hawk’s) and remained the dominant “King on the Mountain!” 🙂
Though not one of my highest bird count locations, even on the Osa, I did get photos of 18 species of birds and will do a post later today or tomorrow featuring them with just one shot of each. And if I go there again, I’ll make sure I’m healthier and able to actively search for more birds! 🙂
Some of you know that I prefer traveling solo; maybe it’s selfish or maybe it’s the results of 20 years of marriage. 🙂 I also enjoy eating solo, reading my Kindle or just observing what surrounds me. Occasionally in the informal lodges people invite me to join them at their table and never wanting to offend, I often accept. This group from Florida asked me to join them on the second night and I think I told them I would, but for dinner only, since I liked to read at breakfast and lunch. They have also invited others to their table like this couple from St. Thomas with a teen son. It’s been interesting as long as I ignore political statements! 🙂 Our waitress made this image on a couple of our cellphones for us last night.
Like pretty much everywhere in Costa Rica (except San Jose) all our meals here are open air, just under a roof because of mucho rain! 🙂
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.
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 . . .
Tuesday I had a morning doctor’s appointment in San Jose, getting back a little before noon and took a walk on my nearby “Country Lane” extension of 8th Ave. As I entered the road I asked myself, “What can I photograph today?” Almost immediately my eyes fell on a leaf! And so I tried to see how many different leaves I could make photos of with my cellphone. Here are 13 that were accessible and I purposely did not include fern fronds since I did a post on them last week, nor palm fronds because most are too high to reach with my cellphone! 🙂
Here’s one for the email and then you go to the full post for the gallery of 13 leaves!
I always receive much inspiration from every walk up the hill behind my house . . .
The Beautiful in Life
The beautiful in life… Some talk of it in poetry, Some grow it from the soil, Some build it in a steeple, Some show it through their toil. Some breathe it into music, Some mold it into art, Some shape it into bread loaves… Some hold it in their hearts.
Note that I’m not a Roman Catholic but this church is the only one in Atenas that inspires me to seek God – whether photographing from a distance like above or up close from Central Park or going inside their beautiful sanctuary to just sit quietly and pray. I’m inspired by the architecture, the ambience, the tranquility, the beauty, their music and even the church bells ringing! I thank God for this Catholic Church!
To describe part of my walk last Saturday morning early, I found this nice poem:
Cows Upon A Hill
There is nothing I like better In the sunrise of the day To see cows on the hill It’s the perfect time to pray
The Costa Rica University Systems has a special agricultural university campus on the edge of Atenas and these cows I frequently see and like to photograph are a part of that student farm on the next hill over from mine. 🙂 Students study here from all over Central American as the best of Latin American agricultural schools! And they learn a whole lot more than just our local coffee farming! 🙂 And next door to where I live!
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:
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!