Xandari Flowers – Works of Art

Over the years here my favorite flower gardens have been the ones at Xandari because of (1) the large variety of species, (2) their placement in forest settings with architecture that is colorful and complimentary to flowers and (3) the additional wild flowers you can find on the forest trails. Earlier this year I found their match on variety of flowers at Guayabo Lodge near Turrialba, Cartago, though not arranged or laid out in as beautiful a surroundings as Xandari. And for some reason, this year Xandari seemed to have fewer flowers, especially in that front garden trail along the entry road, but certainly enough for me to make a lot of “flower art!” 🙂

One photo for the email announcement and then a gallery of some of my favorites from this short two-night stay at Xandari Costa Rica. Enjoy . . .

Flowers are works of ART at Xandari Costa Rica!
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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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Second Group of Butterflies . . .

. . . from my brief two-night trip to Xandari Resort in Alajuela continues to show the amazing number of butterflies at this forest hotel less than an hour away from my house! I’m still not sure of the total and have four I can’t identify, but I will share 9 or 10 more tomorrow as the final batch of butterflies from Xandari before focusing on those around my house again.

As usual, one photo here for the email announcement of the blog post, then followed online with a gallery of all 10 butterflies. And again 11 photos because I want to show the big difference in the top and bottom side of the wings of one, the Starred Oxeo, even though almost all butterflies have different patterns on top and bottom, with this one just being a more drastic difference. Enjoy!

Ochre-patched Gemmed-Satyr
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First 10 of 30 Butterfly Species!

I already knew that Xandari was good for butterflies, but really didn’t think I would photograph this many species! And I’m still processing the photos and identifying, but it now looks like about 30 species. I could share one a day for the next 30 days but that would not be fair to you who are faithful readers of this blog, so just 3 days of Xandari butterflies! 🙂

One shot for the email notice of the blog and then a gallery of all 10 with actually 11 photos because one is so different with folded wings that you must see both views! 🙂

Julia Heliconian
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A Two-Night Respite

I was getting tired of sharing the same butterflies and stopped posting them for a few days on the blog. Then I realized that probably the reason I’m not seeing birds like usual is the noise of the construction of two houses across the street. Grumble, grumble! But – they sodded grass and planted palms today, so maybe they’re nearly finished! 🙂

Then decided I needed a short break to a favorite nature resort very near here, a 45 minute drive, and my first return since 2020. So about 11:00 this morning my driver will take me to Xandari Nature Resort on the edge of Alajuela, our provincial capital and the location of the San Jose Airport, hidden on a mountain overlooking it all in a thick rainforest with 5 waterfalls, a farm, lots of flower gardens, birds, butterflies, great food, Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture filled with beautiful art and no construction work! There is nothing to not like about Xandari, unless it is the price! 🙂 But sometimes one needs to splurge for a day or two! 🙂

Check out the galleries below from my 4 previous trips there and oh yes, this is the only hotel that has a complete library of all my Costa Rica Photo Books! 🙂 – Click the date of each previous trip below to see my gallery from that visit to Xandari . . .

2020 August

Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela

And links to 3 other earlier visits to Xandari . . .

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House on a Hill

On a recent walk that I haven’t been doing as much since cancer is the walk over the steep hill that my little rental casita hangs on the side of. It’s a difficult climb up, but with some rewarding views like this one I share today. And yes, I know, there’s actually 2 houses on that hill in Phase 2 of Roca Verde (I’m in Phase 1), but one house is the center of the view beneath the big mountains in the background, that I’m pretty sure are the ones in Braulio Carrillo National Park just east & NE of San Jose and thus two of the peaks may be Volcanoes Barva and Cacho Negro.

I’ve scheduled another butterfly for tomorrow’s post then the next day I’ll share a different vista from that same hilltop walk, one viewing our little town (called a pueblo here) of Atenas in Alajuela Province. ¡Pura vida! 🙂

“House on a Hill” viewed from the top of the hill I live on the side of, Atenas, Costa Rica

Some of my other Costa Rica VISTAS, a Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

A Tiny Grasshopper

I’m seeing fewer grasshoppers now than just a few years ago, like with so many of the insects that are decreasing in numbers or going extinct, even in species-rich Costa Rica (11,000+ species of grasshoppers). I don’t have an identity on this little fellow of about an inch long, but the first grasshopper in my yard in a long time! I would encourage you to read a book I just started titled Rebugging the Planet: The Remarkable Things that Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do – And Why We Need to Love Them More by Vicki Hird. As humans continue to cut down the forests and pour concrete and insecticides over the earth we are systematically destroying the natural earth including creatures necessary for our own survival. This little book is a great starting point for some people to begin “re-wilding” the earth! Time is running out! And I also recommend the documentary series INSECT PLANET on Curiosity Stream.

Unidentified Tiny Grasshopper, Atenas, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

See my gallery of Costa Rica Grasshopper photos. (14+ species!)

Or for all kinds of bugs, my More Insects CR Galleries (82+ species)

🙂