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:

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

¡Pura Vida!


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: came up first in the search window and has an especially nice photo as does, and then for more scientific sites try or

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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Flowers in a Volcano?

Yes – that’s rather surprising! Especially this Irazú Volcano, the highest in Costa Rica and usually above the clouds as seen in one of the following photos or the feature photo at top. As the highest, it is the only volcano from which you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day, though not a clear day while I was there. 🙂

Irazú has two craters, one inactive and one occasionally mildly active, with sometimes both craters filling with water in the rainy season (not now) to form beautiful lakes. But the biggest surprise to me was the number and variety of flowers and other plants, even trees around both craters and “the beach,” a large, flat sandy, desert-like area above both craters with hills going above that, all with plants growing on them!

And as I will denote tomorrow in my post on the neighboring Turrialba Volcano, the land below an active volcano grows great vegetables with the soil enriched by the regular deposits of the rich volcanic ash! 🙂 When it erupts during the windy dry season (Dec-Mar) I get some of that rich ash on my garden and even as dust all over my furniture at less than a hundred air miles away! 🙂

Many flowers growing around the top edge of the main and active crater at Irazú.
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The Blushing Phantom

Yeah, that’s the real common name for this butterfly, Blushing Phantom, (link to Wikipedia article with very little info), the Cithaerias pireta pireta (Mexico to Colombia, Ecuador) also known as the “Pink tipped Clearwing Satyr” and the “Rusted Clearwing Satyr.” It is my first one to see and also the only “clearwing” I’ve seen with an eye spot! It was in the jungles of the archaeological site Guayabo National Monument, Costa Rica, so maybe it’s a prehistoric butterfly! 🙂

Blushing Phantom Clearwing Satyr Butterfly, Guayabo National Monument, Costa Rica
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A Black Tarantula

With over 2000 species of spiders in Costa Rica, it is hard to identify many of them and my internet search did not help find an ID for this guy that I photographed at the Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica. There are many kinds of Tarantulas and I’m reasonably sure he is in that family. He was a little smaller than the palm of my hand, so not a large Tarantula.

One of many black tarantulas in Costa Rica. Nearly as large as the palm of my hand.

¡Pura Vida!

And I’ll get to my bird photos eventually, just too many photos to process. 🙂 And of course I have a Spiders Gallery! 🙂

Bees at Irazú & Guayabo Lodge

Three different bees that I have not tried to identify yet from my time at Guayabo Lodge, near Turrialba, Costa Rica through yesterday.

And for those who have written about my health, I went to Clinica Linea Vital for a checkup yesterday and an added visit to Santa Sophia Clinic for x-rays. Plus I got two shots and Rx’s for inflammation, swelling and something else she noted that will relieve my pains. So I do try to take care of myself, even if clumsy in my old age! 🙂


Going for the sap of an evergreen tree on Guayabo Lodge Farm by their cow pasture.

AND . . .

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