Xandari Landscapes

I got 8 more butterflies today and at least one a “lifer” or new one for me, but identifying and processing hundreds of photos is just too much to share those today and the birds were just a very few! It is quite windy here this time of year.

So for today’s post, the easy way out, a handful of vistas from the hotel, many from my room and most of these are untouched straight out of the camera to facilitate my limited time for this post today!  🙂 One shot of last night’s sunset from my room just for the email announcement, and then all in a slide show that follows . . .

Sunset from Villa 19, Xandari Costa Rica, Alajuela, 31 January 2023

 

Continue reading “Xandari Landscapes”

Today is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

According to the Washington Post, today is the official “Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.”

You could use this day to start 2023 with a pop, or possibly several hundred.  🙂  But instead of driving your family crazy, think about how the packing material could be used to make art. For an amazing example, check out the work of professional artist Bradley Hart (bradleyhart.ca).   🙂

Celebrate Bubble Wrap!

Or better yet, see this cool YouTube Video on making art from bubble wrap . . .

¡Pura Vida!

And I’ll share a few others of the many strange and silly “special days” during the rest of this year – maybe one a month – just for fun or to bring a smile. Doing something different makes one smile and live longer!  🙂   So look for another silly national day here on this blog during each month this year!  🙂

Arenal 2022 GALLERY Finished

It seems to be taking me longer to complete my trip galleries – just a slow old man!  🙂

But one reason was that it is slow identifying 32 species of butterflies (several new to me), 29 species of birds (1 lifer), and 13 species of other wildlife with lots of nice frog shots this time! These trip galleries are my main photo galleries to which I link for photos in the bird, butterfly and other subject galleries. If you are considering different lodges in Costa Rica as a visitor or one who lives here and travels like me, these trip galleries are a good source of real information about what you can see in a particular place.  Enjoy!

Index Page of my Arenal 2022 TRIP GALLERY. — CLICK IMAGE TO VISIT GALLERY

Or click this linked address:  https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2022-December-22-28-Arenal-Observatory-Lodge

¡Pura Vida!

 

Designed by Nature at Arenal

And this will be the last of my Arenal posts for a while, realizing I’ve done more than 3 weeks worth! And this final post will be considered the weirdest one by some or what I used to call “Leaves and Nature Things” and now refer to as “Designed by Nature” or “Nature as Art” which is also my photography brand.  I debated about naming each photo and then decided to let your imagination flow!  🙂  I will give physical identities to most items when I get them in my gallery – but for now, watch the slide show as a fairy tale!  But first an image for the email!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Designed by Nature at Arenal”

My 2022 in Photos

From the top of a volcano to the mangroves at the ocean’s edge and even in the tiny garden behind my casita, I’ve daily photographed nature for 8 years here and called that photography “Nature as Art!” and shared it in this blog.  🙂 

I like this Collins Online Dictionary definition:

Nature is all the animals, plants, and other things in the world that are not made by people, and all the events and processes that are not caused by people. 

Thus in nature I worship God and find my peace & inspiration from Him, the creator of it all!

Each year I find it difficult to select only 12 photos from the year and I first tried to come up with 12 “categories” of nature to make sure I selected a variety, but that became as cumbersome as trying to have a “photo-a-month.” So I decided to just stick with “12 favorites,” even if more than 12 are favorites! 🙂

So, however labeled, here’s 12 photos I made in 2022!

Happy New Year and Pura vida! 🙂

This 1st of 12 is looking out at the Pacific Ocean from Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce, Piedras Blancas NP and the 12th photo below is a shot  looking out over the Atlantic Ocean at sunrise from Hotel Banana Azul. Coast to coast nature photos!   🙂

To the nearly 500 email subscribers: I hope you read on for the other 11 favorite photos . . .

Continue reading “My 2022 in Photos”

2022 – My Year in Books

Assuming they let non-members in to the Goodreads pages, see what they prepared for me as My Year in Books on their website. Fun stats! In short, my goal for the year was a book-a-month or 12 books and they have me down for 15 books which is not bad, but I read Little Women which is a part of one huge electronic book Ten Books You Must Read Before You Die and I haven’t read the others yet, so they did not count it. And I just finished the fifth book of The Chronicles of Narnia series which Goodreads has not counted because the electronic book is all 7 books + a bonus Lewis book all together counted as one. So that would make 20 books! Not as good as my 24 books in 2021, but that was a year of both cancer treatment and a world-wide pandemic! 🙂  Here’s this year’s list and I’ve already started the 6th book in Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Chair!  🙂

  • Miss Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly by Agatha Christie
  • To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue
  • A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
  • They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
  • Diablo Mesa by Preston & Child
  • Easy Spanish Step by Step
  • Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
  • The Complete Fairytales of Hans Christian Anderson
  • Birds of Central America by Andrew Vallely
  • Trees of Panama and Costa Rica
  • The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman
  • Niksen by Annette Lavrijsen
  • Rebugging the Planet by Vicki Hird
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Green Ember by S.D. Smith
  • The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Possibly my favorite read of the year!
Both a great adventure and a mystery!
But comparing books is like comparing apples and oranges! 🙂

And oh yes, I have a lot more to share about my Christmas trip to Arenal Volcano, but been swamped with things that must be done on my return, so more after the New Year is in!

¡Pura Vida!

Red-eyed Tree Frog

My main reason for going on “Night Hikes” is to get more photos of this beautiful symbol of Costa Rica that almost looks “unreal” with his bright colors and “other worldly” look. But he is very real and best photographed with a cellphone as these two were, in the light of a flashlight. Just one more totally cool thing about living retired in Costa Rica!   🙂

I got a lot of other photos of other frogs, snakes, spiders, other insects, but these were my two favorite, so all for now with more to be shared another time.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica

Red-eyed Tree Frog, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

 

2022 Christmas Parade Atenas

Last night, Friday, was the first annual Christmas Parade in two years thanks to the Covid Pandemic and the people came out for that and the fiesta in Central Park. I got too many photos to share on the blog, so just a sampling here and then please go to my:

2022 Christmas Parade Photo Gallery

I’ve divided the good photos into 4 sub-galleries which you can go directly to from the link on the 4 pix below representing the sub galleries. First a photo of the church just before dark and the beginning of the light parade, then the sample photos . . .

The Central Catholic Church, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, Sunset before the Christmas Parade.
Continue reading “2022 Christmas Parade Atenas”

Alajuela’s “STARRED” Park

While Alajuela is finishing the reconstruction of the bus terminal for buses from surrounding towns like Atenas, our Atenas bus drops us off downtown and then we catch the return bus between a cemetery and neighborhood city park that I haven’t found a name for yet. For Christmas this year they hung brightly colored stars from all the trees in the park which doesn’t seem that special, but their “Walk-through Stars” on one of the sidewalks is kind of neat to me. Here’s three shots of it from different angles.

Starred Park in Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Continue reading “Alajuela’s “STARRED” Park”

Christmas Everywhere in Atenas!

During the last few days of my walks around Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica I have been cellphone-snapping photos of Christmas decorations and the slideshow below this one shot is just a sample of many in homes and businesses. Ticos love Christmas! And it is in our Summer break from schools with graduations the middle of December and new school year starting in February. It’s also the time for family vacations with all the hotels full during Christmas, especially on the beaches. I had to make reservations for my Christmas trip a year ago to get a room at Arenal Observatory. It will be literally full! Tomorrow night (Friday) is our Atenas Christmas Parade and I’ll have photos in a Saturday blog post. A fun and happy time of year here!

At one of the many little shops in Central Atenas.
Continue reading “Christmas Everywhere in Atenas!”