Insect Bites on Hikes?

One of my regular readers asked about insects and bug bites on all the wilderness hikes I make with every trip and in a little-less wilderness around where I live in Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. And he asked what I did about them.

YES, in the tropics, and Costa Rica specifically, there are actually more insect species than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Generally they seem to me to be worse at hot times, our summer which is North America’s winter – ironically the time of year we have the most tourists! 🙂 But also location is a big factor, para ejemplo (for example) hotter lowland rainforests and year-around wetlands seem worse to me than mountain cloud forest like I was in last week. And that includes most beaches which have more mosquitoes for example than I have ever seen here in the central valley. But the government has done an excellent job of keeping down the population of mosquitoes all over the country because of diseases they carry and I seldom see one. But there are still many other bugs that bite all over the country! And spiders too!

And you birders remember than many birds eat insects, thus the places I have photographed the most bird species like Maquenque Lodge Boca Tapada and Rancho Humo Guanacaste are wetlands year-around and thus more insects than some dryer places. Here in the Central Valley I see more insects just before and at the beginning of rainy season (April-May) than I do during the daily rains like right now. Not sure why.

When hiking in the reserves and parks I usually spray with Deep Woods Off (a high % of Deet) before going out, and occasionally here at home when I see lots of insects. For treatment off bites I always take a tube of Allergel with me or a similar antihistamine gel/ointment /cream to relieve the itching (many brands here from Europe, U.S., etc). When you live in the tropics you must learn to live with insects! 🙂

Around my house I notice at different times of the year an influx of different flying insects that are pests more than biters, while at other times I get biten and don’t even know by what! 🙂 I just pull out the antihistamine gel and treat it and so far I have lived through all my bug bites! 🙂

Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them. ~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

See my Insects Gallery which is separate from my Butterfly Gallery or an earlier blog post titled “Living with Bugs.”

Trees at El Silencio

I have not always made trees a priority when capturing nature photos, but I must in the future! They are the giants of nature! Along with being beauties, like the fern trees and some flowering trees! I didn’t do the best job this time, since around some of the waterfalls are some of the biggest and most beautiful trees and I was just focusing on the falls. A new goal for the future! 🙂 Most of these were around the lodge. —CLICK an image to enlarge . . .

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.

—Henry David Thoreau

¡Pura Vida!

I need to add a Trees Gallery. For now my FLORA & FOREST Gallery will have to do (with a few trees in it). And several of my “Trip Galleries” have tree photos.

And my “Trip Gallery” 2020 El Silencio Lodge & Reserve is now published.

Trees

BY JOYCE KILMER

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

¡Pura Vida!

The Happy Wanderer

It was my favorite song growing up, or at least while in Boy Scouts and hiking a lot, which we sang as a group then (Boy Scouts love the “Ha, ha, ha, ha” part), now I only sing when alone. 🙂

“The Happy Wanderer” (“Der fröhliche Wanderer” or “Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann”) is a popular song. The original text was written (in German of course) by Florenz Friedrich Sigismund (1791–1877). It was made famous by the Obernkirchen Children’s Choir, in Germany named Schaumburger Märchensänger. ~Wikipedia (for more info) + Lyrics below.

Off and on I threaten to write a biography of just words – stories, feelings, and challenges (unlike my current photo biographies of mostly pictures) and when done I hope to call it “The Happy Wander” which describes much of my life (even during the difficulties) and especially now being Retired in Costa Rica! Tomorrow I will tell you about my next planned wandering – it’s to a new place for me next week, but for now enjoy the lyrics of my favorite song, then go hiking! 🙂

The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
“Come! Join my happy song!”

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green-wood tree.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home,
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o’er the world we roam.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back

Photo Galleries of my Costa Rica TRIPS (6 years of wanderings here)

Photo Galleries of Pre-Costa Rica TENNESSEE Travel (Every state park & lots more)

Photo Galleries of my Pre-Costa Rica WORLDWIDE Travel (17 countries & most U.S. states)

“Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!”

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Central Valley Vista

Xandari is on a hill overlooking the great central valley of Costa Rica between the mountain in all four directions. My last morning here had maybe the clearest sky of the weekend and thus this expansive view of our Central Valley. Atenas is located somewhere in the right side of the photo or west of Xandari which is pretty much in the center of the valley.

Central Valley of Costa Rica from Room #4 at Xandari Resort, Alajuela. Atenas is somewhere on the right side of photo.

¡Pura Vida!

For more Costa Rica vistas see my gallery with a long name:

Vistas, Beaches, Sunrises, Sunsets Costa Rica

Bountiful Butterflies

This trip to Xandari I photographed more butterflies than birds, which I think is a first for anywhere I have visited in Costa Rica. Xandari has always given me a lot of butterflies, partly because of their lush gardens, but today I have photos of 16 different species, a new record! Multiple are new species for me, bringing my butterfly collection up to somewhere near 120 in my Butterfly Gallery. Check it out! Quite a variety!

The only WordPress inline Gallery that now allows labels, which I want to include, is their “regular” gallery which crops each image to same size/shape, meaning you need to click on an image to see the full-size presentation of each and I prefer my framing than their boxes. Clicking one also can start a manual slide show of all 16.

A part of the “Colourscape” of the place:

Xandari Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Adding to the Charlie Doggett Library

This weekend I go to Xandari Nature Resort near Alajuela, which is the only place in Costa Rica that you can see all of my Costa Rica Photo Books, other than at my house. I installed the library of photo books in January there for the benefit of their guests and this weekend I will be adding two more books, the only ones made since January for all of Costa Rica. (I also did a photo book on my Roca Verde neighborhood birds, but figure that is too narrow a focus, but may decide to take one of those too.)

Two new books for the Charlie Doggett Photo Library at Xandari Resort.

¡Pura Vida!

Impulsive Weekend Plans

Doing some things on impulse is part of being retired in Costa Rica I think and I’m tired of being cooped up at home in Atenas. One of my favorite nearby get-a-ways announced they were open on weekends only for now with special discounted prices, so I took the bait and will go to Xandari Nature Resort this weekend, an hour away, Friday afternoon to Monday morning; to hike their forests, waterfalls and most beautiful gardens. Hope to get some good photos and will avoid group hikes or any other interactions with people, eating alone, maybe even relaxing in their solo hot tub by reservation. But mainly some new nature experiences, some with my mask and face shield as we continue to fight the spread of COVID19 here. I will stay safe! And I forgot to say yesterday that I now have my “Permanent Residency” in Costa Rica! 🙂

The feature photo today is one of the sunsets from my last visit to Xandari in January.

Retired in Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

Morning Walk Vistas

Just the views are a reason to walk even if no birds or flowers! 🙂 The cow pasture is across from my house, included to show you how much higher the grass is in rainy season. All other views are from my street just up the hill from my house. And people have similar views all over Costa Rica! One of many reasons I retired in Costa Rica! Pura Vida! 🙂

And CLICK an image to enlarge it!

For more Costa Rica Vistas, see that gallery.

¡Pura Vida!