I always receive much inspiration from every walk up the 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.
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!
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! 🙂
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! 🙂
I’ll tell you how the sun rose, a ribbon at a time. The steeples swam in amethyst, The news like squirrels ran. The hills untied their bonnets, The bobolinks begun. Then I said softly to myself, “That must have been the sun!
Charlie Doggett Photo of sun rise on the Central Church of Atenas, Costa Rica.
NOTE: Today’s photo makes 8 days of blog photo posts all from the one morning walk of photos last Thursday, 10 December, a week-a-go today. And I had prepared all 8 posts by Friday afternoon the 11th. I don’t always do a week’s worth at once in advance, but glad I did this time as I have other projects I’m working on. Starting next Monday I will be doing daily blog posts one day at a time, reporting at least a portion of that day at Arenal Observatory, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica, My Christmas Treat Trip! 🙂
Like the hills yesterday, I never tire of trying to get a better photo of the Atenas Central Catholic Church, especially from the Roca Verde hills, so here’s another one! 🙂 The official name (en español) and website link is Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel.
The cluster of palms in front of the church is the Central Park which has been closed since March because of the pandemic, as has the church for large crowds, just open for solo prayers and small groups distanced and masked. Costa Rica has taken the pandemic seriously with national mask and distancing required, no large gatherings and strict restaurant rules, though unfortunately many restaurants have closed permanently for a lack of business. A sad time for many people world-wide. But the central church is still a symbol of hope for many. And fortunately Costa Rica has fewer cases of COVID19 than any other Central American country.
And some trivia . . .
Most Catholic Churches face west so worshippers are facing east towards Jerusalem. I haven’t put a compass to it, but have been told that is the case here. In Costa Rica it is also tradition for most central parks to have the central church on the east side of the park and on the west side of the park, opposite the church, is a Banco Nacional, the main national bank in Costa Rica. That is the case in Atenas and Alajuela I know and in many other towns when I’ve thought to check. Hmmmm . . . is that elevating money? Sounds more like the U.S. 🙂
Well, maybe TMI – too much information! But I find it fascinating living in a culture that I did not grow up in and thus notice little things like these and I love living here! For more pix of just Atenas, see my Atenas Galleries and CR People, Fiestas & Arts (mostly Atenas).
“Let the villages of the future live in our imagination, so that we might one day come to live in them!” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Some mornings I just walk the circle drive over the hill my house hangs on the side of. Near the top in just one spot, directly above my house, is this view of Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica – the tranquil little coffee-farming town where I’m living out the rest of my life, Retired in Costa Rica! The town slogan is Mejor Clima del Mundo, “The best weather in the world!” A subjective opinion of course! 🙂
I love walking up and down my hill and the others around me, even if they leave me winded sometimes! 🙂 And when I take my camera (in addition to the cellphone) I can zoom in on things like our village church or the cows on the next hill over! It’s fun! And one of these new views is from my terrace and living room! (The feature photo) And of course these were made a few days ago with sunshine before the hurricane rains started. 🙂 Yesterday’s post of cloudiness was what I expected more of plus rains, but this hurricane did not have a lot of rain like the last one. It is partly overcast and partly sunny today.
CLICK an image to see it larger:
“There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” —Charlotte Eriksson
Just the views are a reason to walk even if no birds or flowers! 🙂 The cow pasture is across from my house, included to show you how much higher the grass is in rainy season. All other views are from my street just up the hill from my house. And people have similar views all over Costa Rica! One of many reasons I retired in Costa Rica! Pura Vida! 🙂
Margaret, the lady birder from Canada who was in a nearby casita for one month, did most of her birding right here in Roca Verde, including uphill above my casita and on Calle Nueva, the country lane alongside Roca Verde. (She also walked to other neighborhoods in town and had a few trips away, including to Rancho Naturalista & the Tarcoles River.)
But her finding so many birds here got me back into more birding where I live and beyond my own garden where I have no feeders now which has reduced the numbers. Friday morning I spent an hour walking up and down the hill above my house with the result of the following photos of vistas and birds.
Not bad for less than a 200 meter walk from my house! And I know I have already shared similar views and birds on this blog before, but each new time in the viewfinder is a little bit different perspective, a different light, a different pose or action of the bird, and a new joy for me! No new bird species this time, though the immature Blue-black Grassquit was my first immature version of that species! Notice how different she looks from her mother or some other adult female Blue-black Grassquit in photos above. 🙂 I loved the walk and will keep doing it occasionally!
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
Farmland adjacent Roca Verde
Central Atenas seen from the hill
Cattle on the next hill
Central Atenas seen from the hill
Clay-colored Thrush (light version)
Immature Blue-black Grassquit female
Clay-colored Thrush (dark version)
Adult Blue-black Grassquit female
“I love walking because it clears your mind, enriches the soul, takes away stress and opens up your eyes to a whole new world .” – Claudette Dudley