The several swinging bridges at Arenal Observatory Lodge connecting the many trails are a lot more secure than those rope bridges we made in Boy Scouts, but just as thrilling! 🙂 Here’s some shots of two of the hanging bridges I hiked over during my Arenal Visit Christmas Week. CLICK an image to see larger . . .
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”
― Douglas Adams
Tomorrow Begins Another Adventure . . .
I don’t plan or intend to have trips just 3 weeks apart! It takes me longer than that to process the photos! 🙂
But because I had to reschedule this next trip, originally set for a March-April overlap week, just as the Pandemic was taking over . . . Soooo I told them to “reschedule it around the middle of January, not thinking about my Christmas trip – But anyway . . . I’m shifting gears from a rainforest at the base of a volcano to a cooler Cloud Forest in San Gerardo de Dota, starting tomorrow at the Savegre Hotel and Nature Reserve. (NOTE: their website is under reconstruction and only the home page shows for now.
This is one of the lodges I stayed in on my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009. It’s the best place in the world to see and photograph the Resplendent Quetzal bird. And the coldest place I’ve been in Costa Rica with fireplaces used at night. Since no rain in January, it is a little warmer at 13° C or 54° F average low to high of 27°C or 81°F, but hey guys! I freeze to death here in Atenas when it gets down in the 60’s F. 🙂
The new lodge website linked above is under construction, so instead of their photos, you can see my photo galleries of 3 previous visits, all a very long time ago 🙂 . . .
I arrived at Arenal Observatory Lodge in time for lunch with my driver and my first afternoon of looking for birds with 11 species photographed including the above Emerald Tanager (link to eBird description) which is a “Lifer” or first-time-seen bird for me! And a colorful one found only in Central America plus Columbia & Ecuador.
I did lots of walking including to the top of the 28 meters or 92 ft. tall observation tower with 146 steps on stairs. I’ve gotten lots of birds and monkeys from this tower in the past, but not today with it being overcast and very windy when I went up today, but I got several landscape shots including this one I call “A Sea of Treetops.”
“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”
Well . . . almost – actually just ABOVE my room is the Arenal Observatory Webcam going 24/7, rotating between Lake Arenal in sunset shot above and on the volcano as in the photo below. Both these photos are views from the deck of my room, similar to the Webcam views. My first year to come here I lucked into this room and have requested it now for the third time.
I’m writing this before I leave home to be released mid-day on my arrival day to start my blogging early from Arenal! 🙂 Everything should be green from months of rainy season that officially ended with November and it is now Summer (Dry Season) in Costa Rica! Though the weather forecast and above Webcam indicate there are still rain clouds at Arenal, which is okay! 🙂 The forest will still offer all the same wildness as a dry day! 🙂
I can hardly wait to explore the forests of Arenal again!
I just found this feature image from the May 9 “Big Day” of bird counting for eBird when I walked, counted and photographed birds in Roca Verde and adjacent Calle Nueva. The only non-bird photo was this above of a “House in the Forest” which I think I shot because it was so appealing to me, beckoning me into the forest.
Then just as I started to use it in this post as a wishful place, PRESTO! I realized that I already have it! It is the same kind of thing I have created with my little rental house, planting trees and flowers all around it where there were none already until I now have a slightly more modern version of the above house in the woods. Mine is seen below:
I love my “house in the forest” and the “jungle” I’ve created around it. This was “wide open” or mostly barren when I came 5.5 years ago, so I’m proud of my “reforestation!” 🙂 Plant a tree! It will make you happy!
A few weeks ago I spoke to this “living in a forest” with my blog post Forest Window and back in January I did a post titled My Windows – My World where I actually showed you the view I have from every room in my house! 🙂 You see, I love forests and living in them! 🙂
But I also live periodically all over Costa Rica now and those many forests can be seen through my eyes in a Flora & Forest Gallery and of course other galleries with the birds & other animals in these forests! And oh yes, today is the day I leave for one of my favorite forests in Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano National Park and the wonderful in-park wilderness lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge (link to lodge website). So maybe an arrival-day blog post report tonight! 🙂 Enjoy your own trees and plant some more! 🙂
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
At the end of Avenida 8 on the “Country Lane” part of the land is forest even though private property. As everywhere here in Costa Rica, if you look deep into the forest you see more details and colors like the orange Heliconia in the foreground of this photo and towards the back left the Red Ginger flowers. Yes, these flowers do grow wild in the forests as well as being cultivated in home gardens. Tropical Costa Rica! And even the variety of leaves and shades of green bring me joy as I continue to love forests more and more!
“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.”
I never get tired of photographing the hills across our little valley and just keep trying to make a different image or view of the same hills I see daily. I would prefer them without the cell phone towers, but the modern society would argue that they are absolutely necessary! 🙂 Debatable! 🙂
Not only does one create his/her own happiness but also the world in which you want to live. When I moved into this fairly new rent house it had the basic trees and shrubs but I immediately planted a garden and added other plants around the yard and that now big Cecropia tree that appears in so many of my photos.
Another one of those early plantings was a row of palms outside my two bedrooms to gain additional privacy from the street that my bedrooms face, howbeit down a steep hill through lots of other trees and flowers and my big Strangler Fig Tree. It was not only for additional privacy but for the feeling that I live in a forest as seen from any of my windows and doors. Yes – we can create our own world! That is what I was trying to show in an earlier post: My Windows – My World, and back then the above bedroom window feature photo was different with an indoor palm (at right). I have to change pot plants occasionally because this window gets minimal sunshine! 🙂
And because it also changes a lot, there’s another earlier post titled Kitchen Window View. I love being surrounded by nature, the main art in my house along with some of my nature photos.
“Nature is the art of God.”
“Just remember life is all an illusion…..
it’s your creation and you can dismantle it and re-create at will.”
An article in Tico Times on how Canada and U.S. Citizens can win one of 15 free trips to Costa Rica for 2 people each. Just write a brief article or statement on an “Essential Person” to you during the pandemic. The 15 best will be published and you get the free trip! 🙂
On the front end of the cow pasture across from my house are a couple of short, squatty trees that remind me of the acacia trees I saw in the Masai Mara and Serengeti of East Africa and I’m embarrassed that I don’t yet have the identification of these here. But all trees are worth showing photos of, named or not! 🙂
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
I’ve always had a wall calendar by my desk to see the current month at a glance even though appointments, etc. are on my electronic calendar. I mark only my trips on the wall calendar. And for the last few years I’ve zeroed in on calendars by the Costa Rica Nature Photographer PUCCI. The one I just bought for 2021 (feature photo) has a greater purpose than just nature, part of the price I paid goes toward planting trees in Cost Rica! It is called Árboles Mágicos and supports one of the best ways to fight Global Warming! Our trees absorb some of that carbon dioxide the fossil fuel cars are emitting and Costa Rica is already working on that, planning a future of only electric cars. And if you don’t already know, Costa Rica already has 100% clean electricity now! 🙂 The United States should be embarrassed that this little developing country is so far ahead of them! The Árboles Mágicos proposition in a one minute video en español:
“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”
― Munia Khan
And for those interested in more details, this year (2020) I had Pucci’s “Backroads & Trails” Calender with photos of twelve trails/roads, eight of which I’ve been on! 🙂 I love this place!
Now here is just one month from the new 2021 calendar to show how it looks:
And here’s the back with all 12 month’s photos shown if you can see the small image. The majority are flowering trees.
And of course I have a Trees Gallery as a new sub-gallery of my Flora & Forest Gallery. 🙂 All photos made in Costa Rica, the most bio-diverse country in the world!
I love walking up and down my hill and the others around me, even if they leave me winded sometimes! 🙂 And when I take my camera (in addition to the cellphone) I can zoom in on things like our village church or the cows on the next hill over! It’s fun! And one of these new views is from my terrace and living room! (The feature photo) And of course these were made a few days ago with sunshine before the hurricane rains started. 🙂 Yesterday’s post of cloudiness was what I expected more of plus rains, but this hurricane did not have a lot of rain like the last one. It is partly overcast and partly sunny today.
CLICK an image to see it larger:
“There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” —Charlotte Eriksson