Around the first of January every year in Costa Rica the skylines, forest tops and trees in every direction seem to be ablaze in yellow. In my yard it is what we call “Yellow Bells” in English, while many others here and throughout the country are the Yellow Cortez Tree and in other places the Brazilian Fire Tree. These shots are from recent short morning walks through my neighborhood. CLICK image to see larger . . .
Thanks to Goodreads that provided me with the above images and the list of books I reported to them as having read during 2020, most with a book review. I thought that by the time this blog post was scheduled, I would have finished my current book by Barack Obama, A Promised Land, that is not among the above images, but I was too busy at Arenal to read as much as I expected, meaning it will go down as a January book. And then there are others I’m “working on.” 🙂
I’m not a heavy reader because I tend to be a “doer” of adventures more a reader of adventures, plus I have a sometimes uncontrollable urges to “to create,” mainly with my photos. But I still love to read and no longer go to movies or watch TV. I currently have Netflix Costa Rica mainly for the documentaries and occasionally an old movie, though not as many titles available here as in the states, thus watch just occasionally. I no longer subscribe to any cable TV. So, when not photographing or creating something with my photos, I like to read Agatha Christie mysteries and select non-fiction books such as the Obama book.
Here’s a slide show of the book covers followed by a list of titles and authors. And note that in 2021 I plan to finish the entire series of Hercule Poirot mysteries with just 2 more to go! 🙂
My 12 Books This Year
Assuming I finish the Obama book which I’m sure I will. These are not in any particular order and I don’t remember exactly what order I read them, but most were good books. The sitting kills book was weak I thought and I was disappointed in the book on knowing God. The other 10 I recommend! The first 6 are non-fiction and the last 6 fiction – half and half! 🙂
There is a fairly new art shop in town called Tienda Galería Pachacuti Arte across from Central Park next to Banco Nacional that is operated by two artisans, a Tico friend who makes jewelry from local stones and a new artist from Peru who is principally a painter though does other art forms too. He named the shop after Pachacuti, leader of an Inca tribe thought to have built Machu Picchu in his honor in Peru. Their art shop is upstairs in this building and has a lot of beautiful work. Its a shame there are almost no tourists here now because of the pandemic. They asked me to present some of my photography for them to sell, but so far I am resisting any involvement in retail sales. 🙂
The mural of a black panther means that evidently this form of the cougar or puma (just black in color) evidently exists in Peru (not that I know of in Costa Rica, but possible). They are rarely seen in Florida of the U.S.
Another bit of ethnic color in central Atenas, Costa Rica. Pura vida!
To me, this second most common dove/pigeon around my house looks sculptured, almost as if he were carved out of wood. Read eBird on Inca Doves for more information or to see more of my many photos, my Inca Dove Gallery with some better photos.
“Every bird, every tree, every flower reminds me what a blessing and privilege it is just to be alive.”
It’s rumored that many people went back to working jigsaw puzzles while on COVID19 lockdown. My neighbor’s sister came for an extended visit from the States just before our airport closed for the pandemic and she just returned to the states this week. In addition to books, she had this puzzle to work on while here. She gave it to me on leaving since her brother was not interested. I started on it immediately, liking a challenge!
I normally work only “nature” puzzles, especially landscapes and since moving to Costa Rica I have only worked puzzles online, electronically, and usually a much easier image than this 1,000 piece Coca Cola nostalgia painting. ! THIS WAS DIFFICULT! I spent an hour or two every day for six days but completed it solo. Now I will give it to my maid whose children and niece will enjoy working it while also feeling “trapped” at home. And I will go back to online 50-piece nature images that I can solve in 4-5 minutes before going to bed at night! 🙂 Hey! Its just to calm me down and clear my mind for bedtime! A tranquilizer. 🙂
A difficult jigsaw puzzle. Un rompecabezas difícil.
Most Read Bible Verse in 2020
Isaiah 41:10 was searched for and read more online than any other this year during the pandemic:
Not only does one create his/her own happiness but also the world in which you want to live. When I moved into this fairly new rent house it had the basic trees and shrubs but I immediately planted a garden and added other plants around the yard and that now big Cecropia tree that appears in so many of my photos.
Another one of those early plantings was a row of palms outside my two bedrooms to gain additional privacy from the street that my bedrooms face, howbeit down a steep hill through lots of other trees and flowers and my big Strangler Fig Tree. It was not only for additional privacy but for the feeling that I live in a forest as seen from any of my windows and doors. Yes – we can create our own world! That is what I was trying to show in an earlier post: My Windows – My World, and back then the above bedroom window feature photo was different with an indoor palm (at right). I have to change pot plants occasionally because this window gets minimal sunshine! 🙂
And because it also changes a lot, there’s another earlier post titled Kitchen Window View. I love being surrounded by nature, the main art in my house along with some of my nature photos.
“Nature is the art of God.”
“Just remember life is all an illusion…..
it’s your creation and you can dismantle it and re-create at will.”
An article in Tico Times on how Canada and U.S. Citizens can win one of 15 free trips to Costa Rica for 2 people each. Just write a brief article or statement on an “Essential Person” to you during the pandemic. The 15 best will be published and you get the free trip! 🙂
Yeah . . . that’s sort of how I get it – every morning at breakfast – from a slanted, sideways view (obliquely) with the distant hills lit first, then part of the town and then it reaches my tiny patch of wildness. Kind of fun – makes me smile – and it’s a great way to start a day! 🙂
The feature photo is of sunrise over Atenas as seen from 105 Roca Verde yesterday morning. The sun is rising from behind a hill to my far right, thus not hitting me yet, but it soon will! 🙂 Our world can be magical!
My Vistas Gallery has lots of different kinds of sunrises & sunsets – all of which are fun! 🙂
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
“Practice any art . . . not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
And that quote, I just found, describes exactly what I am doing with my photography, with this blog, and with me being “Retired in Costa Rica!” I am becoming, discovering and growing. Living in and focusing on nature is my idea of life now, “almost heaven.” 🙂
The feature photo of a Red-eyed Tree Frog in the hand of another nature explorer at Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, is an example of what lights up my life! As is the frog on the cover of my latest photo book below, photographed with my simple cell phone at the Danta Corcovado Lodge, Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park. Frogs are almost as dear to me as birds! 🙂
I’ve always had a wall calendar by my desk to see the current month at a glance even though appointments, etc. are on my electronic calendar. I mark only my trips on the wall calendar. And for the last few years I’ve zeroed in on calendars by the Costa Rica Nature Photographer PUCCI. The one I just bought for 2021 (feature photo) has a greater purpose than just nature, part of the price I paid goes toward planting trees in Cost Rica! It is called Árboles Mágicos and supports one of the best ways to fight Global Warming! Our trees absorb some of that carbon dioxide the fossil fuel cars are emitting and Costa Rica is already working on that, planning a future of only electric cars. And if you don’t already know, Costa Rica already has 100% clean electricity now! 🙂 The United States should be embarrassed that this little developing country is so far ahead of them! The Árboles Mágicos proposition in a one minute video en español:
“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”
― Munia Khan
And for those interested in more details, this year (2020) I had Pucci’s “Backroads & Trails” Calender with photos of twelve trails/roads, eight of which I’ve been on! 🙂 I love this place!
Now here is just one month from the new 2021 calendar to show how it looks:
And here’s the back with all 12 month’s photos shown if you can see the small image. The majority are flowering trees.
And of course I have a Trees Gallery as a new sub-gallery of my Flora & Forest Gallery. 🙂 All photos made in Costa Rica, the most bio-diverse country in the world!