The Craziness of My Passion

Yesterday I hired Walter to drive me to the three hotels within an hour and a half from my house to deliver the photo books I made about the three hotels:  Jaco-Carara Birding Hotels.  (Click to preview the book.)

I visited these 3 hotels in March, June and July this year and because they are all in the same area of Costa Rica near Jaco Beach and Carara National Park I decided to do one photo book instead of three, thus the title and combination of photos. A nice book if I do say so myself, with a large variety of coastal and forest birds and other wildlife plus the best sunset photos yet and an interesting sunrise photo I used for the front cover. Check out this book about Punta Leona Hotel, Villa Calletas Hotel and Macaw Lodge by clicking the above link. An electronic “Preview” is free!

Walter picked me up at 10 am and I was home by 3:30 pm which included a super lunch at Villa Calletas which the book notes as the best of the three for food (according to me)!   🙂

Why would I spend as much money on delivering 3 copies of the book as I did on printing them? Because I’ve had 2 hotels not receive their book through the mail and most of all I’m passionate about making nature photos and sharing them, especially with the people who helped me make them and love the nature of their surroundings as much as I. One young hotel employee was thrilled to see his work surroundings depicted in a photo book – his smile alone made the trip worthwhile!   🙂

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”       ― Mother Teresa

Visit my Bookstore  for other such books.

¡Pura Vida!

Monteverde: The Book

IMG_9570-A-WEBI finished it last week but was waiting for Blurb to offer one of their discounts before I ordered my copies since I have to buy at least one copy to offer it for sale. That’s business!  🙂  I usually get about 4 copies, sending one to my host lodge/hotel and one to the birding guide I used and I’m saving a copy for some local library here in Atenas but I haven’t found the right one yet. Long story.

By including some photos from my 2016 visit to Monteverde the book has 123 photos on 78 pages with about 45 species of birds plus other animals and nature. I’m pleased with this photo book available in my bookstore at:

https://www.blurb.com/b/9427058-monteverde

FREE PAGE-BY-PAGE PREVIEW ELECTRONICALLY

Or click this cover image:

Monteverde

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”
~Claude Monet

Thanks to Monet for my subtitle inspiration!

¡Pura Vida!

Monteverde Gallery Completed

Finally, all the photos made during a week in Monteverde, Costa Rica have been sorted, culled, labeled and organized into the few best in each category as one of my “Trip Galleries” labeled as:

2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Rica

Now I will start working on the photo book about Monteverde and making more photos around here as I report on things in Atenas like the progress on our central park remodeling and the climate fair here next week with our annual oxcart parade – always something happening!    🙂

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

44 Species – 16 Lifers – Monteverde BIRDS!

Now that I am wrapping up the photos from my week in Monteverde last week, I’m better realizing how good a trip it was! It was one of my best birding trips in recent years with useable photos of 44 different species of birds, 16 were first-time sightings for me or what birders call “Lifers.” See the 44 birds in the gallery:

2019 Monteverde BIRDS

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Emerald Toucanet with an attitude!

My Lifer List This Trip

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Golden-olive Woodpecker
  1. Coppery-headed Emerald
  2. Magenta-throated Woodstar
  3. Ruddy Pigeon
  4. Buff-fronted Quail-Dove
  5. Golden-olive Woodpecker
  6. Paltry Tyrannulet
  7. Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
  8. Long-tailed Manakin
  9. Azure-hooded Jay
  10. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush
  11. Swainson’s Thrush
  12. White-throated Thrush
  13. Lesser Greenlet
  14. Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
  15. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  16. Black-thighed Grosbeak

The featured photo at top is of a Wilson’s Warbler. And I am now working on the other parts of my trip gallery like other wildlife, the hotel, flowers, etc. which will go much faster than my huge collection of bird photos!   🙂    It’s at  2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Rica  which the birds gallery is just one part of.

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Collared Redstart

I am thankful that when the Quakers came from the states and founded the little mountain farming town of Monteverde they also had the foresight to start preserving the virgin forest around the town and that other ecologists came and continued the effort with some of the largest forest reserves in the world! Nature is the main attraction of Monteverde!

My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.

~Claude Monet

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Three-wattled Bellbird close to the ground in search of food – A 1st for me!

 

¡Pura Vida!

Cloud Forest Scenery & Vistas

Just a few sample shots of the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica which I’m sorry I did not pay more attention to in my photography this past week. Every tree is a beautiful work of art and some are old growth or a part of an ancient virgin forest. I was particularly surprised to see how close we were to Arenal Volcano and what a beautiful view we had from the continental divide in Santa Elena Reserve shown above in the feature photo. I plan to go back to Arenal in November! So many beautiful places of nature here!

Monteverde Forests & Vistas

 

Cloud forest is quite different from lowland tropical rain forest. The name comes from the observation that the forests are nearly always shrouded in clouds. These forests are situated at high altitude along the continental divide down the spine of Costa Rica. As the warm moist air from over the Pacific or Caribbean is pushed up the sides of the mountains, it cools, and the moisture begins to condense forming clouds.       ~Costa Rica Guide,  https://costa-rica-guide.com/nature/refuges/monteverde-cloud-forest-reserve/

I just realized that I have started to repeat some photos, so this will be all of my reports on a wonderful week in Monteverde. My “Trip Gallery” will be coming to my online photo gallery soon at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde Lodge & Gardens – just need a few more days for that and then “The Book,” my first on Monteverde even though I was there one other time. Watch my Bookstore for the Monteverde photo book! This trip alone yielded photos of 44 species of birds!

And check out some of my other trips in the Costa Rica Trips Photo Gallery! Almost every location is as beautiful and exciting as this one.

¡Pura Vida!

Other Wildlife Monteverde

I go for birds and show mostly bird photos, but I love the other animals too and here is my collection from all four reserves and the lodge. Enjoy!

Other Wildlife Monteverde

 

It takes a true encounter to realise that real animals, wild animals, have all but passed from our lives.      ~John Burnside

See also my Other Wildlife Photo Gallery

All my photos & adventures this week made possible by Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

¡Pura Vida!

Butterflies & Moths Monteverde

I saw one really cool and new-to-me moth at Santa Elena Reserve, two butterflies at Selvatura Park and all the rest were at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where they have a really nice small butterfly garden indoors. There is one dining table for up to 4 people that can be scheduled for a private Butterfly Dinner!   🙂   Kind of neat! And two of the moths I photographed on my little private room terrace/patio.

Selvatura claims to have the largest butterfly garden in Central America and the huge dome looks like it but this trip it was horrible with only two (2) species of butterflies. There is a Monteverde Butterfly Garden operated by a couple of nature lovers but I did not go this time. Three years ago it was great! There were a lot of butterflies, especially blue morpho, flying around in all four reserves, but difficult to photograph there.

Butterflies & Moths

See also my Butterflies & Moths Gallery – a growing collection!

 

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.      ~Zhuangzi

¡Pura Vida!

Selvatura Park, Monteverde

Selvatura Park is (or was) a great combination Nature Park next door to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve AND an Adventure Park (which part is now taking over).  It was a super place when I visited 3 years ago with the biggest and most impressive Butterfly Garden I had ever seen and they claimed it to be the largest in Central America. Well this time the butterfly garden had only two species of butterflies – my hotel has more in their tiny butterfly garden! Their Hummingbird Garden is flowers & feeders attracting wild hummingbirds, so what seemed like fewer this year may just be what is happening in the wild (or what they are feeding them and fewer butterfly-attracting plants). I refused to pay extra for the serpentarium or insect exhibit, expecting they had gone down like the butterfly garden.

The hanging bridges seemed to be about the same and like before I saw one Bellbird and one Quetzal. So they are more about the forest than birds and I enjoyed the bridges the most, but I do not recommend spending the high amusement park prices if you just want a nature visit. The adventure business of zip lines, tram ride, a new “Superman” zip and other such has taken over here. For nature lovers and birders I recommend sticking with the four nature reserves in Monteverde. Here’s 4 slide shows of what I saw there which was still nice as I hope the photos show.

Hanging Bridges

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Birds

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Butterflies

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Flowers

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“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

¡Pura Vida!

Birds at Curi-Cancha Reserve

A day late because I had so many photos and so little time yesterday. Curi-Cancha Reserve is probably my favorite reserve in Monteverde, not only because I photographed more birds there but because I think it is the most beautiful and I apologize for no scenery photos except this one unusual tree below. I use my cell phone for scenery shots and had let Rodiber, my guide, carry my phone because he gets great bird shots on it for me through his high-powered scope.

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In 1970 the Lowther family purchased the property of Hubert and Mildred Mendenhall and named it Curi-Cancha, the name derived from “Golden Enclosure” in Inca. At that time the property was approximately 1/2 pasture and 1/2 virgin rainforest. In the ensuing 45 years the Lowthers cleared no areas and allowed the majority of the pastured areas to re-grow into forest.

The fact that some pastures still remain there as meadows is part of the beauty and that openness makes it easier to photograph birds. We saw a lot more birds, but here are 17 that I got decent photos of:

Curi-Cancha Birds

Birds at Monteverde Reserve

It was another great morning with the same super guide at a different Cloud Forest Reserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve of the Tropical Science Center is the first private area for the conservation of wildlife founded in Costa Rica in October of 1972.

We did a lot of walking with a lot of hills but it paid off with more birds today and two that birders all over the world come here hoping to get: The Resplendent Quetzal and the Three-wattled Bellbird. Below are my photos of some birds we saw and as always I see more than I get photos of. I’m not sure yet, but 3 or more lifers today! One bird is still unidentified.

Monteverde Reserve Birds

Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day.

Alexander Pope

¡Pura Vida!