This morning I received a WhatsApp Voice Message with the above photo from Rodiber, my guide at Monteverde last month. He was thanking me profusely for the autographed copy of my Monteverde photo book for himself, Costa Rica Expeditions (who service this hotel) and the hotel Monteverde Lodge & Gardens. The girl in photo is one of the several front desk persons who were all very helpful to me during my stay. I sent two copies of book, one for my guide and one for the hotel to use at front desk, in lobby or in their little loaner-library of books for guests.
Since I make a book for most of my trips or the first trip to a lodge, I usually send two books like this. I just concluded my second trip to Selva Verde Lodge and right now not planning a second book. Their two guides on my first visit plus the front desk got copies of my 2016 Selva Verde trip book.
I really enjoy surprising my hosts in thanks for a good experience with the little photo books – not something they expect nor receive from other guests. This is the first one to send me a photo with their thank-you note. A surprise for me now! My response was the typical Costa Rican response to a “Thank You!” which is ¡Con mucho gusto!“With much pleasure!” Ticos are such beautiful people! 🙂
I decided early in my visiting of Costa Rica to not live in the big capital city of San Jose because I wanted a more tranquil retirement life than most big cities can provide in their, busy, hectic, crowded, expensive and sometimes dangerous ways.
My first choice was always to live in the woods away from everything, but that would require an expensive 4WD car which I early decided I would do without plus in many cases it is actually more expensive, plus generally no where near the needed shopping and medical care a retiree needs.
Thus the “happy medium” or compromise location of the “Central Valley” of Costa Rica within easy bus or other transportation to the best shopping and medical facilities in the country (like most retirees to CR), yet still a somewhat easy trip to escape into the national parks and forests of Costa Rica which has worked well for me. And nature in the far corners of Costa Rica continues to be my focus. 🙂
BUT . . . sometimes there are fun reasons to visit the big city and especially an old, historic and artsy Latin-American city like San Jose (see my Trip Galleries below). Christopher Howard also explains it well in one of his latest blog posts:
And in that article you can see why I love the many parks in the city, plus the architecture, a tour I made of just the old colonial churches, the arts, the many museums, art in general and as shown here, as an example, some of the many public art sculptures in San Jose:
The Kiss, Parque Morazan by Olger Villegas-Cruz
Lots of Indigenous Artwork
The Flutist at Teatro Nacional
Pope John Paul II who visited San Jose in 1983
Lots of public contemporary art
Sit on a park bench with John Lennon
Short-term contemporary exhibit in front of the cathedral
God’s artistry is different in each and every little blossom and so I continue to show photos of flowers from almost everywhere I visit. Enjoy the photos below as what I call “Nature As Art!” – the name of my short-lived photo business in the states.
Selva Verde Flowers
Considering a Move to Costa Rica?
If you are one of those readers considering living here or retiring here, I strongly encourage you to get acquainted with the ARCR, Association of Residents of Costa Rica, who will become your best help as you consider and then plan for a move here, with their two-day seminar an absolute necessity for your preparation. In the meantime you might want to consider joining now and receiving the bi-monthly digital magazine El Residente. Hoping that link gets you to the current edition without membership, so you can see all the interesting & helpful articles other expats here write every two months.
And by the way, for those keeping up with me I got back from Selva Verde Wednesday afternoon with a doctor appointment Thursday afternoon and back into life in Atenas when not on a trip. I’m also finishing up my reports on Selva Verde, a good hotel/lodge for nature lovers!
My January week at Maquenque Lodge was special in many way, especially because I lived in a treehouse for a week – well I recently realized that I almost live in a treehouse in Atenas, on the side of a hill with trees and treetops surrounding me! It is beautiful with their myriad of birds singing, movement by the breezes, and my “galleries” for photographing birds! They are the most valuable thing about my little rental cottage:
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.
Now I will start working on the photo book about Monteverde and making more photos around here as I report on things in Atenas like the progress on our central park remodeling and the climate fair here next week with our annual oxcart parade – always something happening! 🙂
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
Now that I am wrapping up the photos from my week in Monteverde last week, I’m better realizing how good a trip it was! It was one of my best birding trips in recent years with useable photos of 44 different species of birds, 16 were first-time sightings for me or what birders call “Lifers.” See the 44 birds in the gallery:
The featured photo at top is of a Wilson’s Warbler. And I am now working on the other parts of my trip gallery like other wildlife, the hotel, flowers, etc. which will go much faster than my huge collection of bird photos! 🙂 It’s at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Ricawhich the birds gallery is just one part of.
I am thankful that when the Quakers came from the states and founded the little mountain farming town of Monteverde they also had the foresight to start preserving the virgin forest around the town and that other ecologists came and continued the effort with some of the largest forest reserves in the world! Nature is the main attraction of Monteverde!
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
“Nature as Art” is what I called my little retirement hobby photo business from around 2004 to 2008, selling art photos out of 3 galleries in Nashville and in Arts & Crafts Fairs all over Tennessee and thrice out-of-state. It was fun at first but soon became hard work with back aches from lifting boxes and tent set-up, etc. and bottom line was my “hobby” was costing me more money than I was making! +Back aches! So I quit in 2008 and had no more back aches! Here’s a slideshow of some of my shows in 2006-2007, my peak year:
Nature as Art: Charlie Doggett Photography 2007
One of my current efforts is to get all my old favored photos preserved in my online gallery as my only backup in the “cloud.” I have added the old sales photos from my computer organized by the sizes I printed them for sale back then. You can look at them and/or order prints from the SmugMug connected quality vendors, just like you can with any of my Costa Rica photos. 🙂
When you click “BUY” at the bottom right of an opened photo you choose first “Paper Prints” or “Wall Art.” The latter menu includes metal images, my new favorite and they have my old favorite of canvas. Check it out on an image you like from these old Tennessee photos with the most options appearing on the popular sizes back then of 8×10, 8.5×11, and 11×14:
I’m not reviving this memory for money with only a $1 markup on an order credited to me. But as a service for anyone who likes to decorate with photo art, especially Nature as Art! 🙂 Their print options are high-quality and cheaper than I could sell them in my business back then! 🙂
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science
— Albert Einstein
I felt the wind move across my face and arm, knowing nature’s way of showing its power and sensitivity would soon end – then a Yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush) sang its beautiful song that Costa Rica custom says calls in April and May rains that will replace the wind and dryness of our summer. I look forward to the “Green Season” and the freshness my explorations will bring – experiencing the mysterious in Costa Rica.
The development is so large and much of it private that I cannot begin to show all that is there, but here’s some shots of the public or hotel guest available areas with two shots up two private residential streets. It is an old development that has a lot!
General Grounds Shots
Entrance to Service Areas
Spa where I had 2 massages
Everywhere is a forest
Sidewalk to Butterfly Garden
Private Residences Street
In front of Reception
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”