Xandari Trip Gallery

I do an online photo gallery (or galleries with the sub-galleries) and the gallery for my recent little two-night stay at a favorite place is now up at https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2022-Aug-31-Sept-2-Xandari-Resort-Alajuela

Or you can just click this first page image and get there!

The highlight of this little trip was the large number of butterflies seen and photographed with 29 species having useable photos for the gallery. And I am still trying to catch up with posting all my butterfly species on butterfliesandmoths.org! 🙂 Butterflies rule! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

A Busy Yigüirro

Yigüirro is the Costa Rican Spanish name for the English-named Clay-colored Thrush, like “the Robin of Costa Rica” (and Americans used to call it “Clay-colored Robin”). It is also the national bird of costa Rica because the early indigenous people said it was this bird that called in the rain at the beginning of rainy season, April-May, with its beautiful, melodious songs. Nice!

I’m not seeing as many birds anywhere this year which one naturalist said was because of the change in weather (El Niña) and a much wetter rainy season this year – I don’t know. But I thought the photo below of a wasp pestering the bird and another photo of the bird eating a berry were interesting enough to share, even if not high quality photos (bad light). But first a traditional portrait . . .

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, Xandari Resort, Alajuela.
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Last of Xandari Butterflies . . .

. . . and I think one of these 9 is actually a moth, but I can’t find an ID. The immense variety of butterflies and moths here in Costa Rica can be overwhelming at times but is also one of the joys of being here! 🙂 It depends on which website or book you read, but with more species still being discovered here, some say there are now 1,500+ known species of butterflies and over 12,000 species of moths (not all identified), so it is not surprising that I can’t find an ID for everyone I photograph. 🙂

And as is my practice, one photo here for the emailed announcement of this post, followed by a gallery of all 9 final butterflies (maybe 2 are moths) from my visit to Xandari Costa Rica last week. I may still share some other photos from that very unique hotel in Alajuela and then back to nature shots around where I live for the next two weeks before my Caribbean trip the 19th of September. Pura vida!

Blue-vented Mimic-White
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Guayabo Lodge Gallery

I’ve decided that two weeks of posts on this lodge may be enough, so I’m referring everyone to the gallery which has been ready awhile. Because of so many amazing flowers in their gardens, I may someday go back to more posts on them, but for now other photos from my life in nature in Costa Rica. You may click the image of gallery to go to the gallery or use this link:

https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2022-April-3-8-Guayabo-Lodge

CLICK image above to go to my trip gallery on Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Or check out ALL MY COSTA RICA TRAVELS.

Another Bird Name Changed

There is an international committee somewhere that will occasionally change the “official” name of a bird which really keeps birders on their toes to keep up with the changes, though being a part of something like eBird helps and the app on my phone called “Merlin,” that I use to identify birds, also helps me stay up-to-date on the names. So I thank Merlin for this new name. 🙂

Since I have been in Costa Rica there have been 3 Saltator birds I’ve seen, the Black-headed Saltator, The Buff-throated Saltator and the Grayish Saltator (gallery links below). On my recent trip I got a photo of what I thought was a Grayish Saltator. Just to be sure, I ran it through Merlin and the software told me it was a “Cinnamon-bellied Saltator” (eBird Link) and I thought I had a new bird, a new “lifer,” but a guide I’ve used before at Selva Verde was at the lodge with a group tour and he told me it was just the same Grayish, with a new name. 🙂

Since then I read on Wikipedia an explanation of this name change. “They” (whoever “they” are) split the Grayish into three different Saltators: Cinnamon-bellied Saltator (mine, only in Central America & Mexico), Blue-grey Saltator (only in South America) and the Olivaceous Saltator (only on the northern coasts of South America). All of these have previously been lumped together as the “Grayish Saltator.” Looking at the photos of each online, they are slightly different and thus I understand the need for a name change. 🙂 Then with more research I found that there are 7 more species of Saltators, all different and each in narrow regions of South America except one that is only in the Caribbean Islands. Wow! 🙂 Well here is just one from Central America . . .

Cinnamon-bellied Saltator, Guayabo Lodge & Gardens, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica
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Tropical Kingbird as a Tropical Painting

When I was selling photos under the name “Nature As Art” I would say that I paint with my camera and always tried to formulate in my mind through the camera lens an idea with simplicity, leading lines, contrasts, shapes and balance creating a type of “painting” with many of my photos. Yesterday’s “Melodious Morning” is a good example and in someway today’s photo of the Tropical Kingbird (eBird) sitting on a branch of the tropical Bougainvillea is another. I prefer the first image with the bird looking at us, making it more dynamic in that photo, but both images can be my tropical paintings for today! 🙂

Tropical Kingbird on Bougainvillea, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica
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Melodious Mornings

Whether at home or at one of the many forest lodges of Costa Rica, all of my mornings are melodious with bird songs waking me gently. And one of those singing is the Melodious Blackbird (eBird) photographed here at Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba. See more of my photos of this bird in my Melodious Blackbird Gallery.

A Singing Melodious Blackbird, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica.
A Posing Melodious Blackbird, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica

This second image is my preferred photo as a “painting” or work of art. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

More of this adventure in my “Trip Gallery” 2022 Guayabo Lodge.

Red Vein Indian Mallow

The Abutilon striatum (or Abutilon pictum) – Red Vein Indian Mallow flower was possibly my best “find” on last week’s trip, or at least it is my best “lifer” or first-time-seen item of nature at Guayabo Lodge. (Note that the Golden Scarab Beetle and Black Tarantula Spider were also firsts for me in Costa Rica, but this flower was to me the most beautiful and the biggest prize! 🙂

You can read about the Red Vein Indian Mallow on several websites: gardenia.net came up first in the search window and has an especially nice photo as does anniesannuals.com, and then for more scientific sites try Wikipedia.com or worldoffloweringplants.com.

It is native to southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The plant has become naturalized in Central America, and is used in horticulture. Common names include red vein abutilon, red vein Indian mallow, red vein flowering maple, Chinese-lantern and red vein Chinese lanterns.

Red Vein Indian Mallow, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica

And some more photos of this unique flower at Guayabo Lodge . . .

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Skirting Turrialba Volcano

Because it is actively erupting now you cannot go in the park near the craters, but my driver took me and Stijn the high road from Irazú to near the top of Turrialba and then around through the farms to the bottom and back to Guayabo Lodge. The big thing to me was how many vegetable gardens or fields of vegetables were growing on the side of the volcano with the rich volcanic ash. I noticed especially a lot of onions, carrots, squash and leafy green vegetables – and I’m sure there’s many others.

Turrialba Volcano seen from the farms that surround it.
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