Surprise WhatsApp Message Today

MonteverdeThis 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!     🙂

Art must take reality by surprise.

Francoise Sagan

¡Pura Vida!

Art is 1 Reason for San Jose Visits

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:

Why Expat Retirees Shouldn’t Ignore Costa Rica’s Capital

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:

 

See my photo gallery San Jose     and/or

My SAN JOSE TRIP GALLERIES: 

San Jose Tented Production of the Cirque du Soleil

¡Pura Vida!

FLOWERS de Selva Verde

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

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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!

¡Pura Vida!

Living Among Trees

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.

~Martin Luther

From My Kitchen & Living Room:

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Trees all around! The same from my office, bedroom and even bathroom!   🙂

 

Entering My Favorite Room, the Terrace:

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Where I eat, read and relax, surrounded by trees.

And 2 “Gallery Trees” for Photographing Birds

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Cecropia Tree I planted 4 years ago – the perfect open bird perch!
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Ficus or “Strangler Fig Tree” is the bird’s favorite “Hiding Place.”

¡Pura Vida!

Sundown

Sundown is a nice, quiet time at my house in Atenas, Costa Rica. Winding down for a good night’s sleep and a great tomorrow!

My casita or “little house” at sundown.

To watch a sunset is to connect with the Divine.

Gina De Gorna

¡Pura Vida!

Monteverde Gallery Completed

Finally, all the photos made during a week in Monteverde, Costa Rica have been sorted, culled, labeled and organized into the few best in each category as one of my “Trip Galleries” labeled as:

2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Rica

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.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

44 Species – 16 Lifers – Monteverde BIRDS!

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:

2019 Monteverde BIRDS

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Emerald Toucanet with an attitude!

My Lifer List This Trip

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Golden-olive Woodpecker
  1. Coppery-headed Emerald
  2. Magenta-throated Woodstar
  3. Ruddy Pigeon
  4. Buff-fronted Quail-Dove
  5. Golden-olive Woodpecker
  6. Paltry Tyrannulet
  7. Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
  8. Long-tailed Manakin
  9. Azure-hooded Jay
  10. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush
  11. Swainson’s Thrush
  12. White-throated Thrush
  13. Lesser Greenlet
  14. Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
  15. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  16. Black-thighed Grosbeak

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 Rica  which the birds gallery is just one part of.

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Collared Redstart

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.

~Claude Monet

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Three-wattled Bellbird close to the ground in search of food – A 1st for me!

 

¡Pura Vida!

Nature as Art!

“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

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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:

Pre-Costa Rica ART PHOTOS   (New gallery)

Or always my Costa Rica photos at:
Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

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!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The Mysterious

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.

¡Pura Vida!

Experience more of the mysterious in my gallery: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Punta Leona Grounds

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

 

Flowers

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Public Art

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“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

¡Pura Vida!