El Silencio Book Published

I’m happy to announce that the trip report photo book from my visit to El Silencio Lodge is finished and now available for you to preview electronically for free or order a copy if you like! 🙂 It’s 60 pages with 97 photos of a truly incredible place! See it in my Blurb Bookstore at https://www.blurb.com/b/10309436-el-silencio.

Feature photo is front cover and the back cover is below:

“God is the friend of Silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence . . .

We need silence . . . to touch souls.”

~Mother Teresa

¡Pura Vida!

Odd Butterflies at El Silencio

I got photos of only 5 species of butterflies during my week at El Silencio Lodge and Reserve, all new to me and difficult to identify – with 2 still unidentified! I also saw a lot of Blue Morphos and Yellows but simply too fast-moving – never stopping for a photo! CLICK an image to see it larger.

¡Pura Vida!

And My CR Butterflies Gallery for more!

Or see THIS TRIP GALLERY: 2020 El Silencio Lodge & Reserve

Chisos Banded Skipper

My Central America Butterfly book has 119 pages of Skippers, some barely differentiated by the size or shape of a dot or dash on the wing, meaning that I am seldom 100% sure of my identifications and I have a whole folder of photos labeled unidentified skippers and another of unidentified other butterflies, but this is the closest match in the book and online plus I’ve photographed him before in my garden and given this same ID, so I will stick with it or be consistent! 🙂 See all my butterfly photos in CR Butterflies Gallery OR more of my photos of this Chisos Banded Skipper.

This is my last post from home before going to Bajos del Toro (Reviews of town and area on Go Visit CR site, My Tan Feet an expat couple’s folksy site and travel site Anywhere Costa Rica) & where I stay at El Silencio Lodge tomorrow, when/where I hope to post something from there tomorrow night and at least once a day during this week. The nature adventures continue! 🙂

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. –Alice Walker

¡Pura Vida!

Banded Peacock

As I continue to see more butterflies than birds in my garden, I found this one yesterday morning after breakfast which I haven’t seen in awhile, the Banded Peacock. He is very common all over Costa Rica and I was seeing more in May and June here. I do have better photos than these in my Banded Peacock Gallery, if interested.

And if you like to read more about butterflies, here’s a Wikipedia article: Anartia fatima, Banded Peacock and/or the Butterflies & Moths.org Map shows them mostly in Central America and Mexico.

Remember to CLICK image to see larger:

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

-Maya Angelou

¡Pura Vida!

White-banded Satyr + Travel News

This butterfly (above) was on my kitchen window screen yesterday and not new to me but they are all exciting to see for me! In my old age I’m more like a little kid and enjoy that! 🙂

I have better shots in my White-banded Satyr Gallery or the Butterflies & Moths of North America doesn’t have much info, but the map shows they are only in Central America, so somewhat unique, though at bottom of page they have a photo from Honduras that is something else, not this butterfly.

The Satyr Family of Butterflies is very interesting and I have galleries on these six:

Gold-stained Satyr at right

Change of September Travel Plans

I know. We are suppose to stay home during the pandemic and travel only to the supermarket, bank and pharmacy. And that is pretty much what I am doing while here in Atenas other than some neighborhood walks for photos. But the struggling tourism businesses in Costa Rica needs business bad and their COVID19 precautions are at the highest levels and still have only a handful of local Tico business. When I go my solo hiking for photos is safe from the virus. At Xandari I even had to walk my shoes through a sanitizer going in the double-masked restaurant. I feel safe and I am very careful to wear my double-masks now anytime around people except the moments I am eating or of course at home or in a hotel room alone. Plus they have discounts now too attract locals. My fear will be when the Americans start coming back.

OK – the change! Every September now I stay a week in my favorite beach hotel, Banana Azul on the Caribbean side in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. I also fly to avoid a long, tiring drive. Well, unfortunately Sansa Airlines is hurting for customers and canceled both my flights to and from Limon Airport. I’m afraid to ride the public bus that far during the pandemic and my private driver here would cost too much, so I canceled my Caribbean Beach vacation this September, always September because that rainy rainforest beach has the least rain during September. 🙂 So I will wait until next September and I do have a Pacific beach trip to Tambor Bay in March, which is enough beach for me.

Then I remembered I have been wanting my driver Walter to take me about an hour & a half north of here to see several big waterfalls and was going to schedule that when I then remembered that my Dermatologist’s favorite hotel is up there by the waterfalls, El Silencio Lodge. Expensive with gourmet food, and wonderful private villas, but with their pandemic discount and staying fewer nights, I can use my Caribe money to stay there for about the same price AND see several waterfalls! So expect some waterfall photos in September! 🙂

Bajos del Toro Waterfall near El Silencio Lodge. (Photo from the internet.)

And if you like waterfalls, see my CR Waterfalls Gallery of more here.


Beyond September I have nothing planned for October, a return visit to Rancho Humo at Palo Verde National Park in November and Christmas at another favorite, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park. For next year, only January & March are set: Sevegre Mountain Lodge in San Gerardo de Dota for special birds and then Tambor Tropical Resort, Tambor Bay on the Pacific at the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula for sea turtles and birds! I like being retired! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Common Melwhite?

Or is it another type of White? Yellow? Sulphur? You butterfly enthusiasts, especially in Costa Rica, let me know if you know for sure. It was in my garden in Atenas this morning. The closest match in my Swift Guide is the Common Melwhite (though the yellow-white color placement seems a little different), while the flying photo looks a little bit like the White-angled Sulphur, the yellow is greatly different and it doesn’t have the four brown spots, eliminating that option. For now I’m sticking with Common Melwhite (Melete lycimnia isandra)  (Butterflies of America link). Whew! Butterfly ID is hard sometimes!   🙂


¡Pura Vida!

Xandari GALLERY #4 Published

The “4” can mean my 4th trip to Xandari or the 4th Gallery on Xandari or the fact that I was there for 4 days this time! 🙂 The featured photo is on my walk to the restaurant from my villa.

It is a magical getaway every visit and I tend to photograph many new things or the same things in different ways each time, like this time I didn’t even hike to the waterfalls but spent more time with flowers & butterflies and a feature on the bamboo forest. So if considering a visit to Xandari, check out each of my photo galleries from 4 different trips there with 4 different perspectives:

  • 2020 August 21-24 – A Weekend Retreat during a World Pandemic with masks & solo activities in nature. Most butterflies & flowers this time.
  • 2020 January 12-16 – Five days when I installed my photo books library and photographed all kinds of nature with more birds than above.
  • 2019 July 1-6 – My birthday week with them providing a cake and great celebration and me making another different set of nature photos all over. A very good week! Or see the Photo Book, Brilliant! My Birthday Week at Xandari!
  • 2018 July 14-18 – My first trip to Xandari and maybe my most photos as I was thrilled with the discovery in every way! Or see the Photo Book, Xandari – Enchanted by Nature

¡Pura Vida!

Bountiful Butterflies

This trip to Xandari I photographed more butterflies than birds, which I think is a first for anywhere I have visited in Costa Rica. Xandari has always given me a lot of butterflies, partly because of their lush gardens, but today I have photos of 16 different species, a new record! Multiple are new species for me, bringing my butterfly collection up to somewhere near 120 in my Butterfly Gallery. Check it out! Quite a variety!

The only WordPress inline Gallery that now allows labels, which I want to include, is their “regular” gallery which crops each image to same size/shape, meaning you need to click on an image to see the full-size presentation of each and I prefer my framing than their boxes. Clicking one also can start a manual slide show of all 16.

A part of the “Colourscape” of the place:

Xandari Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Breakfast Butterflies

This was yesterday at breakfast and today I will be leaving by noon today for Xandari where I expect a lot of different types of butterflies along with the birds.

I apologize that I cannot give an exact ID on all these guys, but as frequently happens there is not an exact match in my two butterfly books and the Skippers are particularly difficult, but still fun to watch! 🙂 CLICK image to enlarge.

Expect some “X-factor” Xandari Nature as Art the next few days! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

2 minute introduction to Xandari, my “Oasis!”

Xandari is my Nearest “OASIS.”



Find out why I like Xandari so much – check out the above video, galleries & books.