Remembering 6+ Years in Costa Rica

A lot of American, Canadian and European retirees choose to spend their last years in the beautiful land of nature called Costa Rica. And I am amazed at how many of them get a house somewhere and just sit on the porch, leaving only for the many necessary functions including immigration paperwork, shopping, medical services, a few for church, etc. While some take an occasional trip to see other parts of Costa Rica, there seem to be only a very small number like me who have a passion for seeing every “nook and cranny” of this beautiful natural paradise. And wow! What most of these gringos are missing! 🙂

For more than two years of the past 6, I traveled to a different park, reserve, or nature lodge every month. Last year I decided to slow it down to one place every two months, then got even that slowed down with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While this year was scheduled for a trip every two months before the villain Cancer came into my life. Meaning only God knows how many more places I will get to visit or revisit as I have been going back to favorite places more lately. Either way I get to be immersed in nature, my passion!

One wall of my living room is covered with photos of birds I’ve photographed here and another wall behind my dining table has photos of me on adventures around the world from Africa to Tennessee with a metal print of my social media logo, meme, or “gravatar!” 🙂 And below that gravatar is a map of the many places I’ve visited in Costa Rica. I just updated that map including my anticipated trip to Bosque del Cabo on Osa Peninsula this July for my 81st birthday, the only “new” place this year. The rest of the year I have 2 or maybe 3 scheduled repeat visits to favorite places, assuming I will be able to travel: Caribe Puerto Viejo and South Pacific Uvita for sure with Tambor Bay a maybe.

Since I’m not sure how much more traveling I will get to do here in my final years paradise, I decided to share the updated map that is on the wall mentioned above. Here:

Places I’ve visited in Costa Rica over 6 years in no particular order.

And just for fun, here’s the Google map that shows where Google has tracked me going all over Costa Rica with the number of times. Of course the solid red blotch is the Central Valley where I live and they’ve tracked me moving around near home a lot! 🙂

Where Google has “tracked me.” This map is more than a year old. And I have no explanation for the dot out in the Pacific Ocean. A Google error I assume. I have not been that far away from land! 🙂

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”

~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

Variegated Squirrel

I’m back to sharing nature from my garden again for a while and this morning the first thing I saw from my terrace was this Variegated Squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides) is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus, the most common squirrel of the 4 or 5 species of squirrels found in Costa Rica. He can be seen at many elevations and is more numerous than any of the others and varies somewhat in looks and color combinations with black, white, gray and reds or oranges.

This Variegated one is found only in Central America from Southern Mexico to Panama and is the most common throughout Central America. For anyone really into squirrels, the 4 others said to be in Costa Rica are the Central American dwarf or pygmy squirrel,  Microsciurus alfari LR/lc; Deppe’s squirrelSciurus deppei LR/lc; Red-tailed squirrelSciurus granatensis LR/lc; and Bangs’s mountain squirrelSyntheosciurus brochus LR/nt.

IN OTHER BLOG POSTS: Search Results For: Squirrel

And in MY PHOTO GALLERIES:

¡Pura Vida!

Have You Ever Watched a Campfire?

Have you ever watched a campfire
When the wood has fallen low
And the ashes start to whiten
‘Neath the embers crimson glow

With the night sounds all around you
Making silence doubly sweet
And the full moon high above you
Just to make the spell complete

Tell me were you ever nearer
To the land of hearts desire
Than when you sat there dreaming
With your friends around the fire?

Author Unknown
Montgomery Bell State Park July 2003
Continue reading “Have You Ever Watched a Campfire?”

The Beginning of Life 2 Outside

This fabulous documentary movie from Brazil present hundreds of ways to deal with the “Nature Deficit Syndrome” of modern children, particularly city kids around the world. Available on Netflix and other streaming services for free with English Subtitles though the audio is a mix of Portuguese, Spanish and English. Beautifully filmed and Life-changing for the whole world! It shows how NATURE is what the world needs now! 🙂 I RECOMMEND!

Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.

-Stephen Moss

¡Pura Vida!

To Be in a Forest

To be in a forest may be my favorite activity in Costa Rica, like looking out over the forest below at Arenal Volcano National Park . . .

Arenal Forest from the Observation Tower, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica.

Or seeing the inter-connectedness of everything in the forest like Jane Goodall says in this minute and a half YouTube Video:

Or to know that I’ve helped save an endangered globe by Planting One Tree! Check out that link for how you can plant a tree in parts of the world needing them most, OR go plant one in your own backyard or nearby park! 🙂

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Loving All Trees!

Tree in parking lot of Super La Coope, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Yes! I even love this tree in my supermarket parking lot which adds beauty and oxygen to my simple life here in Atenas! 🙂

“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

OneTreePlanted.org

¡Pura Vida!

Wilderness Bridges

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 🙂 . . .

¡Pura Vida!

A “Lifer” in first afternoon

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.”

My “Sea of Treetops” shot today from the top of Arenal Observatory’s observation tower.

“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.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

¡Pura Vida!