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.
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Setting Up for 10-Day Fiesta

The carnival people arrived in town yesterday and started setting up for the central Catholic Church’s Patron Saint (San Rafael) Fiesta which, with donated food and entertainment on a stage in church parking lot, plus daily Bingo will all raise a little bit of money for the church. And the cheap carnival rides? Well I can’t see how anyone makes money off those, but evidently they do! 🙂 One set-up shot here followed by a 6-shot gallery of the carnival people setting up things in the street in front of church.

Setting up carnival rides in the street in front of the church.
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Central Atenas from My Hilltop

I never tire of trying to capture a slightly different view of Atenas from atop the hill I live on the side of in Residential Roca Verde, Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. These are not necessarily my best shots, so check out the others in my gallery: From Hill Above My House.

Here’s the three shots from my walk the other day, one a single shot vista and the others are two-shot panoramas of Atenas Central from atop Phase 1 of Residential Roca Verde. If you look close you can see the church steeple and the palm trees in front of it which are in our Central Park.

Atenas from atop Residential Roca Verde. A 1-shot View on Cell Phone Camera.
Atenas from atop Residential Roca Verde. A 2-shot Panorama on Cell Phone.
Atenas from atop Residential Roca Verde. A 2-shot Panorama on Cell Phone.

¡Pura Vida!

My Park Disappointment This Morning

I went early at 8:30 for what I understood would be an “unveiling” of the new ATENAS park sign and what they were calling a “dedication ceremony.” Nada! After nearly 2 hours downtown I picked up my photos I had left earlier to be printed across from the park and Sr. Chacón there told me that they would not unveil the ATENAS letters until 7 pm tonight (probably in the rain) and I will not go back! I was there mainly to get a photo of the Atenas sign, so I was disappointed! I walked home with my new photos and will maybe go tomorrow to photograph the sign.

!Then the only programming on the stage for the first two hours was the main Evangelical church here in town performing charismatic music like in a charismatic worship service and a hand full of vendors (more like a flea market) – both also disappointing to me. The stage will have more and different kinds of music throughout the day, which is what the city does with all of these all-day fiestas they sponsor, but after I learned the sign would not be un-covered, I got my photos and walked home. 🙂 I will photograph it tomorrow and post just that photo. 🙂

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Crimson Patch & Semana Santa

One is a butterfly and the other maybe the busiest week in Costa Rica.

Crimson Patch Butterfly, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica – A “Bokeh” Photo!

Crimson Patch Butterfly

This butterfly is one I photographed at Guayabo Lodge last week and my first time for it! I had earlier mistaken a Bordered Patch for this species, but the big difference is the two-toned orange on the underside of wing. 🙂 See my new Crimson Patched Gallery and to compare the two, my older Bordered Patch Gallery. Even though the photo above is of a damaged butterfly, I like that photo better than the next one below because of the better soft background which I just learned yesterday from another blog is called a “Bokeh” photo“. . . defined as ‘the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.’ Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.” ~nikonusa.com

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“TRANQUILO” – My Favorite Spanish Word!

Tranquilo calm, quiet, peaceful, relaxed, laid-back, unfazed – are some of the English words the online Spanish Dictionary (spanishdict.com) lists as equivalents.

Above: Tranquilo Sunrise at Macaw Lodge, Carara NP
Feature photo at top: Tranquilo Sunset on Calle Barroeta, Atenas

At first I wrote a lengthy essay on my need for “tranquilo” and how it has changed me, then decided it was “too much.” 🙂 So I’ll just let the photos speak for . . .

A “TRANQUILO” life of “Retired in Costa Rica.”

¡Pura Vida!

Blog, Website, Gallery, Bookstore

Or Just the Photos

🙂

The Beautiful in Life

I always receive much inspiration from every walk up the hill behind my house . . .

Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel Church, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica seen from hill behind my house.

The Beautiful in Life

The beautiful in life…
Some talk of it in poetry,
Some grow it from the soil,
Some build it in a steeple,
Some show it through their toil.
Some breathe it into music,
Some mold it into art,
Some shape it into bread loaves…
Some hold it in their hearts.

~Bernard Meltzer

¡Pura Vida!

See my photo gallery of the main Catholic Church in Atenas.

And/or the WEBSITE of Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel

Note that I’m not a Roman Catholic but this church is the only one in Atenas that inspires me to seek God – whether photographing from a distance like above or up close from Central Park or going inside their beautiful sanctuary to just sit quietly and pray. I’m inspired by the architecture, the ambience, the tranquility, the beauty, their music and even the church bells ringing! I thank God for this Catholic Church!

Happy Easter!

Its a beautiful sunny day in Atenas, Costa Rica for Easter Morning with the Yigüirro singing his heart out for the rains to come (any day now) though I cannot photograph him or any birds for several weeks now because of the high winds. The birds are hiding in the thick trees for protection from the wind. Thus I resort to Easter Flower Photos! 🙂

And our online English language newspaper Tico Times also wishes you a Happy Easter with a photo of the oldest church in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful historical place that I have visited once (my gallery link) in the Orosi Valley. The Ruins of Ujarras (Wikipedia link) is the site of Costa Rica’s oldest church, the Spanish colonial church built between 1575 and 1580 . . .

One of my photos of The Ruins of Ujarras in Orosi Valley

Happy Easter!

He Arose!

¡Pura Vida!

Merry Christmas!

And Happy New Year!

¡Pura Vida!

See all 7 Years of Costa Rica Christmas Cards in a gallery! 🙂

December 24, 2020 is my 6 year anniversary here! But the first Christmas Card was sent before I left on Christmas Eve 2014 as a combination Christmas Greeting & Change of Address Card, thus 7 cards+ since I’ve designed two for some years. In fact, this is the second one for this year! 🙂

The featured photo is of a Red-eyed Tree Frog in Corcovado National Park while at Danta Corcovado Lodge using my cell phone at night. See my Red-eyed Tree Frog Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!