Now I will start working on the photo book about Monteverde and making more photos around here as I report on things in Atenas like the progress on our central park remodeling and the climate fair here next week with our annual oxcart parade – always something happening! 🙂
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
Now that I am wrapping up the photos from my week in Monteverde last week, I’m better realizing how good a trip it was! It was one of my best birding trips in recent years with useable photos of 44 different species of birds, 16 were first-time sightings for me or what birders call “Lifers.” See the 44 birds in the gallery:
The featured photo at top is of a Wilson’s Warbler. And I am now working on the other parts of my trip gallery like other wildlife, the hotel, flowers, etc. which will go much faster than my huge collection of bird photos! 🙂 It’s at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Ricawhich the birds gallery is just one part of.
I am thankful that when the Quakers came from the states and founded the little mountain farming town of Monteverde they also had the foresight to start preserving the virgin forest around the town and that other ecologists came and continued the effort with some of the largest forest reserves in the world! Nature is the main attraction of Monteverde!
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
Bajo del Tigre Reserveis the smallest of the nature reserves within Monteverde even though it is a part of the largest total Nature Reserve in Costa Rica called Children’s Eternal Rainforest or better known here by its Spanish name Bosque Eterno de los Niños. The better part around Monteverde is outside of town in the forests where you must stay in cabins to see many birds or other wildlife. And the very best area of the bigger reserve for birds is east of here near Arenal which I hope to visit sometime.
Here’s my better photos of wildlife seen in about 2.5 hours on the Bajo del Tigre Trail. The close-up of a Three-wattled Bellbird was when he came down near us (me & my private guide) feeding or looking for fruit to eat. Wild avocados are ripe right now. 🙂
Bajo del Tigre Wildlife
Lesson’s Motmot (formerly Blue-crowned)
“Away, away, from men and towns, To the wild wood and the downs, — To the silent wilderness, Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Selvatura Parkis (or was) a great combination Nature Park next door to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve AND an Adventure Park (which part is now taking over). It was a super place when I visited 3 years ago with the biggest and most impressive Butterfly Garden I had ever seen and they claimed it to be the largest in Central America. Well this time the butterfly garden had only two species of butterflies – my hotel has more in their tiny butterfly garden! Their Hummingbird Garden is flowers & feeders attracting wild hummingbirds, so what seemed like fewer this year may just be what is happening in the wild (or what they are feeding them and fewer butterfly-attracting plants). I refused to pay extra for the serpentarium or insect exhibit, expecting they had gone down like the butterfly garden.
The hanging bridges seemed to be about the same and like before I saw one Bellbird and one Quetzal. So they are more about the forest than birds and I enjoyed the bridges the most, but I do not recommend spending the high amusement park prices if you just want a nature visit. The adventure business of zip lines, tram ride, a new “Superman” zip and other such has taken over here. For nature lovers and birders I recommend sticking with the four nature reserves in Monteverde. Here’s 4 slide shows of what I saw there which was still nice as I hope the photos show.
A day late because I had so many photos and so little time yesterday. Curi-Cancha Reserve is probably my favorite reserve in Monteverde, not only because I photographed more birds there but because I think it is the most beautiful and I apologize for no scenery photos except this one unusual tree below. I use my cell phone for scenery shots and had let Rodiber, my guide, carry my phone because he gets great bird shots on it for me through his high-powered scope.
In 1970 the Lowther family purchased the property of Hubert and Mildred Mendenhall and named it Curi-Cancha, the name derived from “Golden Enclosure” in Inca. At that time the property was approximately 1/2 pasture and 1/2 virgin rainforest. In the ensuing 45 years the Lowthers cleared no areas and allowed the majority of the pastured areas to re-grow into forest.
The fact that some pastures still remain there as meadows is part of the beauty and that openness makes it easier to photograph birds. We saw a lot more birds, but here are 17 that I got decent photos of:
It was another great morning with the same super guide at a different Cloud Forest Reserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve of the Tropical Science Center is the first private area for the conservation of wildlife founded in Costa Rica in October of 1972.
We did a lot of walking with a lot of hills but it paid off with more birds today and two that birders all over the world come here hoping to get: The Resplendent Quetzal and the Three-wattled Bellbird. Below are my photos of some birds we saw and as always I see more than I get photos of. I’m not sure yet, but 3 or more lifers today! One bird is still unidentified.
Monteverde Reserve Birds
Bananaquit (stealing hummingbird sugar-water)
Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day.
My first of 6 different Cloud Forest Reserves this week (where trees, wildlife, water and air is protected) was this morning at Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve(right click on page for English translation). It is beautiful and less crowded than the one I will visit tomorrow. The above featured cell phone photo is from the highest point in the reserve looking East/Northeast at Arenal Volcano which I visited last year at Arenal Observatory and going again in November. The photo at bottom is looking the other direction at the mountains and clouds you are above in a Cloud Forest.
I had a wonderful guide through the hotel’s tour service, Costa Rica Expeditions, Rodiberi, and we saw 14 species of birds, several new to me. Here are my photos of 9 of those species, two of which are lifers for me:
Birds at Santa Elena Today
Cool birds huh? Most live only in the cloud forest.
Other wildlife will be a separate post for the whole week.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir
I arrived today at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, a really nice hotel and restaurant that I will really enjoy when not on a birding hike in one of the reserves. Tomorrow I will post more photos of the hotel. The above featured photo is looking out of my room over my deck hammock into one of the many gardens here. And below are the first four birds I photographed in the hot sun this afternoon on a hotel trail:
Costa Rica announced Tuesday that 34 fast charging points for electric cars will be in operation this year. They will be part of a network of charging stations the government plans to expand in the upcoming years.
One section of my photo gallery was recently added as Pre-Costa Rica Travel. I am slowly adding one trip at a time until it is finished, starting with my Latin American travels since that is where I live now. 🙂
But one couple living in snowy New Hampshire just left their winter visit to Atenas to return home until their trip next January which will be longer or two months next year. They are not sure yet about retiring here, but wrote to say that my blog keeps them looking forward to their annual trek here.
Well, their message reminded me of my only trip to New Hampshire which was a fall color photography trip in 2004. including lots of vistas and 22 covered bridges along with many of my other interests! So I just got motivated (by new friends) and added this photo gallery ahead of schedule with some of my favorite fall color shots. See this “New” old travel gallery now included here – CLICK Linked Title Below:
A part of the joy of being “Retired in Costa Rica” is occasionally remembering old times and places which is something my photography and Gallery provide, along with the personal pages of my Blog/Website on the top menu above (still being developed). And of course I continue my regular reports on Costa Rica! 🙂 My first love now!
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”