Kinkajou Killed by Car

Kinkajou killed by car, Atenas, Costa Rica

Warning! The second photo is graphic! The Kinkajou is the size of some smaller monkeys (but unrelated) and has a prehensile tail with which he hangs from tree limbs when harvesting fruit. They look similar to the smaller Olingo (but again unrelated). They are found in lowland forests in Central & South America and are nocturnal.

He/she was probably hit by a car in the night. I photographed on the bridge over a small stream on Avenida 8 just outside the Roca Verde main gate on a walk to town. It saddens me that humans continue to remove the forests and trees that keep such unique animals alive. I have never seen one alive in the wild but of course that is partly because they are nocturnal and I am not! :-) Just one more of the thousands of unique species found here in Costa Rica. ¡Pura vida!

Kinkajou killed by car, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Madre Verde Butterflies!

Yesterday was the last morning birding hike with my friend from British Columbia and Walter took us to a new nature reserve for me, Reserva Madre Verde near Palmares which is north of Atenas, a 30 minute drive through beautiful mountains (or maybe hills). :-)

Our two hour hike up & down a hill had a 300 meter rise in altitude was good for us 80-somethings! We heard lots of birds but in a fairly thick forest we did not see as many as the other two birding hikes. I got photos of only 3 birds – BUT – I’m still happy because I got photos of 9 different species of butterflies, which took me all afternoon to identify and process the photos AND I got 3 new species for me! :-) So a very good 2-hour hike! Below is a gallery with one shot of each of the 9 butterflies after this one shot for the email version of post . . .

Tiger Mimic-White, Reserva Madre Verde, Palmares, Costa Rica
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Thank You for 2023!

I am immensely grateful for each and every one of you who read my blog regularly, occasionally or just look at the photos! My site host reports more that 2,000+ “hits” online at my website/blog every month! 🙂 And that doesn’t count many of the 500+ subscribers who only look at the email version nor most of the 650 Facebook Friends who look at the one feature photo without clicking the the link to the post! 

I also appreciate the hundreds of comments left on the posts monthly and many “contacts” or messages through my contact page or by email. Just yesterday I responded to a man in England with questions about photographing wildlife at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge and a friend in the States commented with a meaningful Bible verse about my post yesterday on hugging the 800 year old tree. Nature is fun! :-) And you who read or just look at the pictures are the ones who make it fun for me! :-) THANKS! Keep reading or looking at the pix! And click the gallery links for more pix!

As usual, I’m ending the year with 12 photos from this year, equaling one per month but not literally from each month, since some months have weaker or fewer photos. Nor are these necessarily my top 12 favorite photos from this year, but are representative 2023 photos from “Retired in Costa Rica” this year, with birds and butterflies obviously being two favorite subjects again! :-) One shot here for the email version and eleven more online with a quick click below of “Read More”!

Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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“Hug a Tree!”

After the jeep ride up the mountain (yesterday’s post) going past the mirador (Spanish for a vista overlook platform), we stopped at the trailhead for multiple trails. Me and the 3-generation Tico family chose the shorter trail through the forest down to the Savegre Mirador. Just one experience here, so be sure to see the others in the Hiking the Pioneers Trail Photo GALLERY.

An 800 Year Old Tree says “Hug Me!”
A Mother & Child Hug the 800 year old Tree.

And for more pix on the trails at Savegre, click the linked blog post below titled “Trails and Trees” where Marino Chacón (a different son of the founder than this year) took me on a longer trails hike for the early morning bird hike back in January 2021, just the 2 of us.

¡Pura Vida!

November Macaw Lodge GALLERY!

Finally, I have the photo gallery for my November trip to Macaw Lodge completed, just 6 days before I begin my Christmas Trip to San Gerardo de Dota! I have been very busy since that last trip! 🙂 I will now blog those 6 days before Christmas trip on my garden and some more from Macaw Lodge. :-)

This was just my second time to go to Macaw Lodge which is at the closest national park to where I live. And though I’ve visited 4 other lodges/hotels near that park, Macaw is my favorite and I’m likely to be returning! :-) You can read about the lodge on their website linked here: Macaw Lodge, and it is a lot more than a yoga retreat which the site seems to emphasize! :-) And now for my unique (and I think good) collection of photos from just 3 nights at Macaw Lodge last month, click the gallery image below or go to this web address:

CLICK image to visit this gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

AND ABOUT MY OTHER BLOG POST TODAY: Back in January I read an article about fun or funny “Annual National Days” in the U.S. and quickly did a blog post on what I thought was the most interesting one for each of the 12 months and today is the last one on “Underdog Day!” I promise not to do anything like that again, though it was kind of fun when I put together all 12 posts! :-) Tomorrow I’m back to only one nature blog post each day! My real passion! :-) 

¡Hasta luego!

Rooftop Iguanas

Though I haven’t noticed them as much recently, I think they are always around, maybe a family, as one of these looks younger than the other.

Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, Atenas, Costa Rica

The featured photo is of the older one on the roof, so email recipients have to go to the website by clicking the post title. 🙂 For more photos of this species, go to their gallery: Black Spiny-tailed Iguana.

¡Pura Vida!

34 Butterfly Species + Busy Schedule

I finally got through all my butterfly photos made on the property at Hotel Banana Azul in Costa Rica’s Caribe South and they total 34 species! Unfortunately I have 11 different Skippers labeled “Unidentified” and I really need some better sources to help with identification. I am including two photos here and one is an unidentified Yellow or Sulphur. You can see all of the 34 species in my Banana Azul 2023 Butterfly GALLERY. And this is in addition to all those already reported on from Gandoca-Manzanillo and Cahuita reserves making a total of 54 species! 🙂

Definitely one of the Spreadwing Skippers, but not specifically identified.
One of the Yellows or Sulphurs but again not specifically identified.

And oh yeah, the feature photo at the top of post has been identified as a Pompeius Skipper, Pompeius pompeius.

¡Pura Vida!

¡Muy ocupado! — Very Busy!

Read on for why I am behind on my blog posts now and what is happening in my personal life, from my new “free” doctors to helping open a new art gallery in Atenas . . .

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Flying to the Caribe Today!

Today begins what has become almost an annual tradition of spending a week in the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, during September when this rainy rainforest has the least amount of rain. After trying a few other hotels, I’ve settled on Banana Azul as my favorite and it is right on the beach (one of the few!) in a favorite room with balcony overlooking the beach and hotel gardens. It is one of my most relaxing weeks of the year! This Puerto Viejo area is south, near the Panama Border and quite different from my other Caribe fave which is north of the port of Limón and in a great wetlands wildlife national park called Tortuguero.

I have just two morning bird hikes scheduled, one in the Cahuita National Park and the other in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Otherwise I just “hangout” at the hotel and beach, walking both the beach and a forested beach road where last year I found a bonanza of butterflies! 🙂

Sunrise at Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Limón.

Read on for some of my past creative endeavors from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica . . .

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Today is World Elephant Day!

August 12 is World Elephant Day, a really very important day! Elephants will be disappointed if you don’t remember this one, because they always do. (“An elephant never forgets”!) Seriously, this day is for learning more about Asian and African elephants, smart creatures that are being threatened with extinction because of hunting and habitat loss. Learn how you can help at

My photo of African Elephant in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya, 2005.

See my other elephant photos from the 2005 Safari in Masai Mara, Kenya  And there are older, not as good, photos from a 1998 Kenya Safari.

Also I experienced the total extinction of elephants during my 3 years of living in The Gambia, West Africa where both poachers and habitat destruction eliminated all  of the elephants that used to live there. It is very sad. This is a serious World Day that needs lots of attention or there will be no elephants left world-wide. Consider joining one of the efforts to save elephants.

¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque Trip Gallery Created

Finally I have all my photos for the 5 nights in April 2023 at Maquenque Eco Lodge and Reserve including the sub-galleries I’ve already shared. This was another great photo trip to one of my favorite places in Costa Rica with photos of 62 bird species (6 lifers!), 10 butterflies and more than 30 species of other animals! Plus my usual “Nature as Art” photos of everything from flowers to weird leaves and beautiful landscapes. Just this one trip gallery will show you why I am so excited about being “Retired in Costa Rica!” the name of my blog and website. Enjoy the photos! Just click this image:

CLICK this image of this first page of the gallery to go to it.

Or use this address:

¡Pura Vida!