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!

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!

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

One of the better lodges I have visited yet in Costa Rica even though older. The service is superb with all the staff knowing my name and calling me “Charlie” everytime they see me. Food is some of the best yet in Costa Rica and the grounds are a part of the Cloud Forest both their gardens and their forest trails with lots of birds and other wildlife to photograph when not out in one of the official reserves. A great place for a nature lover to stay. See their Website for more information. And below is my little slide show of first day shots I did not have time to post yesterday:

Monteverde Lodge Slideshow

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This morning I had a guide for birding in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and hope to report on it by this evening. Note that the 4 birds I photographed here on hotel property yesterday afternoon were posted last night and two were “lifers” for me. A good place !   🙂

And you history buffs will be interested in how Monteverde was started and settled by Quakers from the states in the 1940’s. See The History of Monteverde. There is no other place in the world like Monteverde!

¡Pura Vida!

The Mysterious

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. 
It is the source of all true art and science

— Albert Einstein

 

I felt the wind move across my face and arm, knowing nature’s way of showing its power and sensitivity would soon end – then a Yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush) sang its beautiful song that Costa Rica custom says calls in April and May rains that will replace the wind and dryness of our summer. I look forward to the “Green Season” and the freshness my explorations will bring – experiencing the mysterious in Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Experience more of the mysterious in my gallery: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Punta Leona Grounds

The development is so large and much of it private that I cannot begin to show all that is there, but here’s some shots of the public or hotel guest available areas with two shots up two private residential streets. It is an old development that has a lot!

General Grounds Shots

 

Flowers

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Public Art

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“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

¡Pura Vida!

BUTTERFLIES – Punta Leona

Butterflies always fascinate and dazzle me with their colors and rapid movements. Here’s a sample of what I saw in the Butterfly Garden at Hotel Punta Leona.

 

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.                                  -Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

See my Costa Rica Butterfly Gallery with 81+ species

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

Glowing Orange

Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine was the name of my article last April when my vine was at its best. This year it seems to be peaking a lot earlier or hopefully it will be for longer! As stated then, “Triquitraque” is the Costa Rica name of this profusely blooming and glowing vine while most Americans call it “Mexican Flame Vine” and now I read online line that in Florida they are actually calling it “Florida Flame Vine.”    🙂

As planned when I planted it around three years ago, it is mostly covering the stark concrete wall behind my tropical garden giving a blaze of color when traveling up or down the hill. My landlord likes it along his driveway! The butterflies & hummingbirds do too! Here’s a couple of views from above and one from the kitchen window through its glare and reflection of my hands and the kitchen sink. When not traveling, I enjoy my gardens!  ¡Pura Vida!

Orange is the happiest color. 

Frank Sinatra

Click image to enlarge:

This sun-loving, evergreen vine is also known as the flame flower or the golden shower. It’s native to Brazil and Paraguay, where it flourishes in rocky scrub habitats and forests that are seasonally dry. It grows quickly, spreading with tendrils; a single stem can be 80 feet (24 meters) long! Its genus name Pyrostegia comes from Greek words for “fire” (pyr-) and “cover” (steg-), and when it flowers in fall and early winter, it is engulfed in spectacular, flame-colored blooms that attract hummingbirds.    ~San Diego Zoo

University of Florida Article on growing Flame Vine 

San Diego Zoo Article on Flame Vine

Report on My “Weekly Post” Survey

Basically everyone who responded to my request for comments are simply very kind and flexible people; meaning I did not get any strong opinions one way or the other and you readers are divided on your interests, so I am probably going to continue mostly the way I have been blogging, with no more pressure to have a daily post, feeling free to skip days every once-in-awhile, maybe several in a row.

I will not legalistically stick to my original theme of “Retirement in Costa Rica” though that is who I am, thus all related! Even the above flowers!   🙂    And I will always strive for better quality writing and photography! I live a “Pura Vida” life here and will continue to report on it, sometimes daily, sometimes every few days or weekly. Since it was flowers today, I’ll do a serious article tomorrow and then back into my usual groove!   🙂   And by the way, if you ever wondered, those 3 “Related” earlier posts at the bottom of each post are not my choices but something the WordPress blogging computer chooses based on subjects and key words. Interesting!f And usually very well related!