You may remember that I posted a photo of this poinsettia in my garden before Christmas last month (Dec. 18) with only 3 large red petals. Well, those tiny ones near the center kept growing, and I believe they will even more!
It was my indoor potted poinsettia for Christmas ’21 that I planted in the garden last January and someone told me that those potted ones would never bloom again when put in a garden. Well, maybe some don’t, but this one did! 🙂 And it just keeps blooming with a smaller flower coming in beneath this larger bloom, that I’ve been told are actually leaves that turn red. Just another fun experience with flowers and a garden! 🙂 One of those “little things” in nature that a retired old man finds joy in – while “Retired in Costa Rica!” 🙂
And I’m not finished sharing photos from my Christmas trip to Arenal Volcano National Park, but I may continue to throw in an occasional “local” blog post to keep Atenas in the news! 🙂
For more flowers, check out my Flora & Forest GALLERIES! And stay tuned for more butterflies+ from Arenal!
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! 🙂
To the nearly 500 email subscribers: I hope you read on for the other 11 favorite photos . . .
As I celebrated living in Costa Rica for 8 years, I had a very special Christmas Eve Dinner and this morning went to the Butterfly Conservancy in El Castillo on the lake, then hiked one of the trails here at Arenal Observatory and after another great dinner of baby back ribs, I’m going on a private Night Hike, just me and the guide! It was their suggestion since with the regular night hike of a group of 10 they knew I would find it difficult to make photos. Most of “my” lodges here really take care of this old man! 🙂 Photos from the night hike will come tomorrow.
And I haven’t had time to process photos of butterflies or anything else today, so here’s photos of the great sunny weather we had today and my first view this week of the volcano! The lake shot was at about sunset time, though the sun is not seen there this time of year, it’s still more pleasant with clear skies! 🙂 Much more to share tomorrow!
I was told that I could plant my potted Poinsettia from last year but it would not bloom in my garden because the ones they sell at Christmas are specially treated to bloom just that one Christmas and for gardens there is another species or variety. Well . . . they were half-way correct. Mine has three red petals (which are really leaves that turn red) and is nice in my garden, but not really the same as the big multi-red-leaves version I got before Christmas last year. And on my walks through town I also cellphone-snapped a photo of someone else’s Poinsettia which is obviously a different variety and probably one of the garden species that do bloom in the gardens. It is below this photo of the one in my garden . . .
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:
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 . . .
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.
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!
I was both humbled and joyed by the number of people who came up to me during the art show and told me they enjoyed reading my blog and especially appreciated the four who asked for me to sign one of my photo books. It helped me to feel like I’m not wasting my time with the blog preparation time. And it reminded me of the experience at Hotel Banana Azul in September when a woman came up to me at my dinner table one night and asked, “Are you the Charlie Doggett of the Retired in Costa Rica Blog?” I said, “I sure am!” She replied, “My mother and I have followed you blog for several years now and we both love it!” Then she got my permission for her husband to take a cellphone photo of us. 🙂
The art show was excellent with a continuous flow of people through it all three days and I sold a lot of stuff, and particularly enjoyed meeting and talking to a lot of people, both Ticos and expats. Its beginning to feel like the pandemic is over here in Costa Rica and of course everyone hopes so! We will have our Atenas Christmas Parade next week, the 16th, which I look forward to; then I return to Arenal Volcano National Park Christmas week, so a busy but happy month! 🙂
The closest shopping mall to me is City Mall in Alajuela across the highway from the San Jose Airport, the largest mall in Costa Rica and second largest in Central America (Panama has a bigger one). Like all malls everywhere, everything is more expensive than at little local stores, but it is still popular, especially with the younger generations! I go two or three times a year for things I can’t get anywhere else and to see the new Christmas decorations. I went last week for my annual photo wall calendar by CR Photographer Pucci in the big and wonderful bookstore “La Librería Internacional” and some Avery Labels at Office Depot. 🙂