The “Trip Gallery” for last week’s 4 nights at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve in Bajos del Toro, Alajuela, Costa Rica is now completed and ready to visit by clicking the image below or this web address with many photos not yet shared on the blog:
And because I was there just 6 months ago, last September, and was not having a knee problem, I have even more photos in THAT FIRST TRIP GALLERY, especially more waterfalls! 🙂 Just click the gallery title below to see it . . .
One of my new favorite lodges in Costa Rica is El Silencio Lodge at Bajos del Toro in my own province of Alajuela, north of San Ramon in the cloud forest mountains where there are many waterfalls. I was there last September and as I frequently do, I made a little 7X7 inch photo book about my experiences there, sending them a copy plus one each of my general birds and butterflies books for their other guests to enjoy. When the owner came down from San Jose and saw the books he was so impressed that he told the staff to offer me two free nights in this luxury lodge.
Well, of course I accepted the offer and will add-on two more nights at my cost for a great 5-day visit the middle of February! 🙂 If you want to see a free electronic preview of the book online, click the title here:El Silencio, Touching Souls, inspired by a quote from Mother Teresa:
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Well . . . only three! Though I saw many more, most never stopped for a photo, especially those dratted Yellows! 🙂 The Mexican Silverspot never let me see his top but Orange Mapwing did let me get both a side-view and top-view, just not both in good focus. 🙂 And then right before making this post, I decided to make a second, more zoomed-in version of some of these photos for a closer look, where you can see more details on the more drastically cropped versions, such as in the feature photo of the Orange Mapwing (butterfliesandmoths.org Link) found only in Central America.
The Painted White (Wikipedia Link), was my first sighting of this butterfly, found from Mexico south to Paraguay. In my butterfly galleries you can see that it is similar to other Whites. And the Mexican Silverspot (butterfliesandmoths.org Link) is found from Brazil north through Mexico with strays in New Mexico & Texas and also a first time photographed. All were identified with my trusty book A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America and reconfirmed online with different sites.
Because I’ve seen it before, I had a gallery for the Orange Mapwing with 2 other photos from El Silencio Lodge, Bajo del Toro Amarillo. The Painted White was a first-time sighting and thus only this one photo in that gallery for now and the Mexican Silverspot is also new this trip but I have 3 photos in it. If you like butterflies, I have 126+ species now in my Butterflies of Costa Rica Gallery, one of the largest, if not the largest, photo gallery of Costa Rica Butterflies on the internet. 🙂
Though I still have posts coming through Tuesday, February 2, the photos have all been processed and collected in on of my “Trip Galleries” to see all of the photos in one place called 2021 San Gerardo de Dota Hotel Savegre. Click the linked title or the gallery image below to see.
Just in time! The night before I leave on another trip I finished my photos from the Christmas 2020 trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge with more than 50 species of birds! And 5 are lifers for me! Plus a whole lot of other photos from this favorite lodge. For now the birds are presented alphabetically by their English Common Name. Later I will make time to arrange by species families according to my birding guide book. Overall I’m pleased with this collection of photos and moving on to the next collection! 🙂 To see gallery CLICK above link or the image below:
Wednesday I shared my photos of “Other Wildlife at Caño Negro” which was a different wetland world on a day trip away from Arenal and the 3 Monkey species seen there were shown in two separate posts. Now sometimes there are more monkeys and other animals in Arenal Observatory, but this trip I photographed 10 species and I’m sharing just 8 of the “other animals” (not birds or butterflies). All were seen on the grounds of Arenal Observatory Lodge, one of my favorite places. Later I will have my trip galleries completed and will summarize here all the amazing wildlife and other nature seen and photographed on this Christmas week trip. CLICK an image below to see it larger:
“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.”
Yesterday’s butterfly post was all photographed at The Butterfly Conservatory, El Castillo – Arenal, Costa Rica. I highly recommend it if you are at or near Arenal Volcano or La Fortuna. I always stay at Arenal Observatory Lodge which is less than a 10 minute drive to the butterflies while from La Fortuna would be about 30 minutes. It’s on Lake Arenal.
See yesterday’s post for the butterflies I photographed. Below are some shots of the facilities, the hiking trails, and flowers. There is a so-so insect museum with dead insects of many species stuck to boards, but not labeled. This competes with if not better than the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens for just the butterflies, my other favorite and both are better than the very commercial Selvatura Adventure Park in Monteverde. And another one surprisingly good on my 3 visits there is the small Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica and sometimes the butterfly garden at La Paz Waterfall Gardens has a good collection. All are up and down with many butterflies only living a day or two and thus a lot of work to keep hatching new butterflies! 🙂
The International Living Magazine again ranks Costa Rica the #1 Place in the world to Retire. I’m not a fan of the magazine because I found them too commercial, with too many ways to take my money, but they do have interesting articles and if you are considering retirement in any other country, read these short articles on the top 10 places to retire.
Here’s my photos of just 10 of the many I saw at The Butterfly Conservatory, El Castillo-Arenal, on Christmas Day no less! 🙂 Tomorrow I will do a post on the facility which is a little-known nature gem in Costa Rica. It equals if not excels both butterfly gardens in Monteverde.
My guide there identified a some of these with all other identities found in my usual source, A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America, Second Edition by Jeffrey Glassberg and all were verified with this book.
If you really like the butterflies of Costa Rica, check out my Butterflies of CR Gallery, at about 130 species now! 🙂 I have the largest Costa Rica Butterfly Gallery on the internet.
This Banded Peacock Butterfly was just one more colorful thing in nature I photographed on yesterday’s morning walk. I don’t carry my big camera on all walks because I photograph too much! 🙂 And tomorrow I will share the flowers I photographed on yesterday’s walk!
I do a little 7 X7 inch photo book on almost every lodge I visit in Costa Rica and send a copy to the hotel and/or the guides. After my September trip to El Silencio Lodge & Reserve I sent two such books to the hotel along with a copy of my CR Birds Book & one of my CR Butterflies Book for their guests to enjoy.
One of the guides sent me a What’s App message “Thank You” yesterday afternoon with the above photo of my two El Silencio guides, Daniel & Bryan, holding a copy of the El Silencio Book. Nice to be appreciated! 🙂 Thanks guys!