The “Tarzan” Tree House

Can you believe that the tree house they assigned me to this year is named “Tarzan?” And I love it! Like they knew the little boy Charlie wanted to be Tarzan! Why it even comes with grape vines (see outside views) though I will not be swinging on them! And I was welcomed to my room by a visiting Keel-billed Toucan! See photo below.

And I doubt that Tarzan had a King sized bed or screens and ceiling fans, but I’m sure glad I do! It is hot and humid here like where I grew up in south Arkansas near the Louisiana line – hotter and more humid than Atenas which is in the hills.

CLICK a photo to enlarge it.

Outside Views

Inside Views

Our 3 hour drive took 4 hours with a lot of trucks on the roads today and the gravel road portion of the drive was in pretty rough condition – what it costs to get to real wilderness! 🙂 And yes, we are all wearing masks here, Costa Rica is smart enough to require it and everyone working here is in the same family – cool! And so nice! I’m the only guest until Friday when there will be 8 to 10 other guests for the weekend.

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

¡Pura Vida!

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Virgen Rainforest Paradise

This morning I leave at 8 AM with Walter, my local transportation for out-of-Atenas trips, on a 3 hour drive north of here but still in our Alajuela Province. It’s on the San Carlos River near the Nicaragua border as a private nature reserve and eco-lodge that is one of my favorites in Costa Rica, where I’ve photographed more species of birds than any other one place and where I can sleep in a tree house room, watching howler monkeys and spider monkeys from my room. See my 2019 experience there and this short video of the virgen rainforest reserve says it all:

My Paradise Rainforest this week!

I will be here through next Monday – 6 nights in the tree house to celebrate my 80th birthday on Saturday the 4th of July! And, as long as the WiFi in their main building works, I will be posting blog reports every day! Maybe one tonight.

Because of world-wide increasing Coronavirus, the borders of Costa Rica remain closed to non-residents where we have the lowest infection rate in Latin America! But hotels, lodges like this one, and restaurants can open at 50% capacity to local residents only with required social distancing and masks, making places like this more pleasant (no “Ugly Americans” or “aggressive Japanese”) and less crowded. Two weeks ago they told me that in addition to me they had two couples coming for part of the week with me alone the other days, though that could change with late registrations! 🙂 Many Ticos are just now discovering the great tourism in their own country.

I will wear a mask when not eating and around other people, including my birding guide just to be extra cautious. I will not take their delightful boat trip to a little jungle village with great people that I enjoyed but will avoid this time due to COVID19 possibilities. I will mostly traipse through the jungle solo and stay safe from the virus. There have been NO CASES among the lodge employees (mainly one family) nor in the nearby town of Boca Tapada. But I will still be cautious because it is close to Nicaragua where the virus is more rampant and we are still getting new cases in Costa Rica.

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne

My BIG BOOTS Adventure . . .

Yep! I’m taking my big boots this trip because I’m going in a car and can! 🙂 Plus they fit me and the lodge loaners don’t always fit . . . and I’ll be in a rainforest during the rainy season so they are needed! And my poncho!

I know . . . the boots are dusty, but why clean when they will get muddy this week! Plus I had to empty out the spiders and spray with that bug spray before I consider putting my hand or foot inside! 🙂

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

¡Pura Vida!

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Hummingbird Moth

This is a totally new butterfly or moth for me that I photographed yesterday in my garden. It has some characteristics of a Skipper, though not the shrimp-like face, the double plumes on the tail nor the wide white belt around his waist. It is not in my books nor can I find it online. If any reader knows, please contact me with CONTACT button on the main menu.

POSTSCRIPT 29 JUNE: I originally titled this “Flying Shrimp?” and posted it on FaceBook where two people gave me the correct name of Hummingbird Moth – Thanks to Don Walzel and Ron Box who shared this link:

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/hummingbird_moth.shtml?fbclid=IwAR2d7rCCyeOiTNdIoe6zPRVyCosQ0iG_BmSyRn8XGpPSUBtx5GSYaeu1JwI

See my Costa Rica Butterfly Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

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My Nashville Zoo Photos Posted

As noted earlier, one of the things I’m doing more of during the “lock-down” time is trying get all of my old photos culled through and posted in one place.

One of the biggest collections is from my 10 years of volunteer work at Nashville Zoo and my Nashville Zoo Gallery is now completed. It includes one of my biggest collections of bird photos along with so many other animals and a really large number of people photos which was what the Zoo PR Dept. wanted a lot of. It was a nice re-living of many great memories at Nashville Zoo. And as I go through other photo files I expect to find more of Nashville Zoo, like when friends and family visited, I often took them to the zoo but haven’t gotten to those photos yet!   🙂

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Organized in 6 super-galleries with many sub-galleries under each.

 

And check out the current Nashville Zoo Website – A wonderful zoo!

¡Pura Vida!

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Breakfast Visitors

My favorite time in my house is during breakfast on my terrace when I usually have many visitors and sometimes try to photograph them, whether bird, butterfly or other creature. This morning I managed to grab shots of 4 after trying and failing to get shots of two tiny orange & black butterflies that flew as a pair and never lighted on a flower for me. Shooting them in flight is very difficult and I failed. Both these butterflies and birds are regular repeats for me, but each one is a unique individual!   🙂

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Blue-gray Tanager

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Rufous-naped Wren

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Dione Juno

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Polydamas Swallowtail

 

See my Costa Rica Butterfly Gallery  and  Bird Gallery  for more images.

 

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”   ~Rachel Carson

 

¡Pura Vida!

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Yellows & Whites + Grasshopper

Today a cloud of mostly Yellows was in my garden plus one brown Skipper I didn’t try to photograph. They don’t stay still, thus very difficult to photograph and with the book full of Yellows & Whites the identification is not always exacting, but my best effort with a few “either/or” IDs!   🙂

And the grasshopper only eats the leaves, while the butterflies go for the flower nectar, so no competition! They share a flower!   🙂

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My Costa Rica Butterflies Gallery

¡Pura Vida!

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Flowers = Butterflies

And 4 species today!   🙂   I went out and photographed the above flowers for a one-shot post when I realized there was a dozen or so butterflies beyond them on my Porterweed flowers of these 4 species (one I incorrectly named the other day}:

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Cloudless Sulphur

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Statira Sulphur

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Polydamas Swallowtail, I mistakenly called a Red-sided Swallowtail recently. Sorry!

 

Cloudywing Butterfly (not sure which one of several Cloudywings)

 

See more of these 4 and 100 others in my Costa Rica Butterflies Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

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Red-sided Swallowtail

Yesterday I saw a new butterfly for me and my best efforts at identification using my book and online sites is “Red-sided Swallowtail.” He matches all the photos of that species except for his tail, but that could be one of those “exceptions” every species seems to have. His tail is more like the “Dual-spotted Swallowtail” but the wings are just too different. And his wings are a little bit like “White Crescent Swallowtail” but not totally and those don’t live further south than Honduras, so I’m sticking with this ID for now!  🙂

Just thankful that I have one more new butterfly whatever he is!   🙂

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Butterflies are nature’s angels.
They remind us what a gift it is to be alive.
-Robyn Nola

¡Pura Vida!

 

See my Butterfly Gallery.

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Esmeralda Longtail Skipper

This little blue-tinged skipper butterfly died in my house the other day and as frequently happens, was another new species for me. I’ve seen a lot of Skippers, as you can see in my Butterfly Gallery of over 100 species now, but never this one before. He can be seen from Mexico to Peru one website says, though I can’t find much detailed information on the species. I identified him through my trusty guide book:  A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America, second edition. 

“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel.”
— Claude Bernard

¡Pura Vida!

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