From expansive beaches to overpowering vistas and sunsets dotted with colorful tropical birds – my newest photo book captures the magic of where I live as well as any! With it my photos show the adventure of birding in three hotels just an hour from Atenas — Punta Leona Resort, the Macaw Lodge and my recent visit to Villa Caletas, all with easy access to beaches, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River plus each having their own private forest reserve and trails. Nature at its best! All in one beautiful photo book!
You can preview the entire book electronically online at:
Because it was a special week, I’m doing a second book on Xandari where I celebrated my birthday last week. It was such a colorful week, I titled it “Brilliant!”Follow the link to a free online preview of the book showing 82 of my photos. Or click this smaller image of the book cover below:
Xandari has one of the best flower gardens of many in Costa Rica and I would be hard-pressed to name any one as THE best – but this one does a great job and here you can browse through about 40 species blooming there this month (that changes month to month!) and I will do a separate post of “other plants,” seeds, fruit and even interesting leaves! So much beauty in any garden! As always, click an image to enlarge it or in this format to start a manual slide show.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
– Luther Burbank
The only problem – he is not an eagle! On my first walk at Xandari for more than 2 hours up and down the hills through the jungle here I got a photo of the above bird perched on a dead tree and personally thought it was some kind of hawk. But when I got back an American woman and my Tico bellman both just knew it was an eagle. Well, there are 3 types of eagles in Costa Rica, all three rare and I quickly eliminated them with my bird book. An internet search got me to the right ID which I should have known, though all I’ve seen before now have been on big rivers. It is a Yellow-headed Caracara, (link to eBird description) a fairly common bird in Costa Rica and south through much of South America. See more of my photos of them in my gallery. He is beautiful and you can see why non-birders would think him an eagle. A couple of shots from my hike today with more photos in the coming days. Too tired tonight!
“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.”
My January week at Maquenque Lodge was special in many way, especially because I lived in a treehouse for a week – well I recently realized that I almost live in a treehouse in Atenas, on the side of a hill with trees and treetops surrounding me! It is beautiful with their myriad of birds singing, movement by the breezes, and my “galleries” for photographing birds! They are the most valuable thing about my little rental cottage:
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.
Bajo del Tigre Reserveis the smallest of the nature reserves within Monteverde even though it is a part of the largest total Nature Reserve in Costa Rica called Children’s Eternal Rainforest or better known here by its Spanish name Bosque Eterno de los Niños. The better part around Monteverde is outside of town in the forests where you must stay in cabins to see many birds or other wildlife. And the very best area of the bigger reserve for birds is east of here near Arenal which I hope to visit sometime.
Here’s my better photos of wildlife seen in about 2.5 hours on the Bajo del Tigre Trail. The close-up of a Three-wattled Bellbird was when he came down near us (me & my private guide) feeding or looking for fruit to eat. Wild avocados are ripe right now. 🙂
Bajo del Tigre Wildlife
Lesson’s Motmot (formerly Blue-crowned)
“Away, away, from men and towns, To the wild wood and the downs, — To the silent wilderness, Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
One section of my photo gallery was recently added as Pre-Costa Rica Travel. I am slowly adding one trip at a time until it is finished, starting with my Latin American travels since that is where I live now. 🙂
But one couple living in snowy New Hampshire just left their winter visit to Atenas to return home until their trip next January which will be longer or two months next year. They are not sure yet about retiring here, but wrote to say that my blog keeps them looking forward to their annual trek here.
Well, their message reminded me of my only trip to New Hampshire which was a fall color photography trip in 2004. including lots of vistas and 22 covered bridges along with many of my other interests! So I just got motivated (by new friends) and added this photo gallery ahead of schedule with some of my favorite fall color shots. See this “New” old travel gallery now included here – CLICK Linked Title Below:
A part of the joy of being “Retired in Costa Rica” is occasionally remembering old times and places which is something my photography and Gallery provide, along with the personal pages of my Blog/Website on the top menu above (still being developed). And of course I continue my regular reports on Costa Rica! 🙂 My first love now!
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
¡Tranquilo! is a favorite Spanish word in Costa Rica and is used in many ways to encourage or recognize tranquility and the easy-going ways here (except in the big city). My day started with a little bit of stress (in the big city) but ended very tranquil! (in a forest)
A different driver than expected picked me up early today which was good because of pre-Christmas traffic, but when I got to the airport the new girl at the counter told me my flight had been cancelled. What?! (Feel the stress building? She did.) But fortunately the supervisor she called over was exceptionally kind and helpful and not only got me on another flight but gave me a discount! Then I go and wait and wait for the plane which was 40 minutes late leaving with a driver waiting on me in Quepos. And being a Tico, he was not upset that the plane was late. ¡Pura Vida! Then when I got to my expensive hotel they could not schedule all the tours I wanted for various reasons (grrrr), but fortunately . . .
The Spa had space for one more person this afternoon and I got my “Relaxation Massage” and then went to a lovely dinner with monkeys entertaining and the nice sunset beside the building my room is in, with an ocean view by the way! 🙂
Phone Shots Today
I love flying over the mountains!
And the rivers!
Palm plantation that destroyed forest.
The runway is gravel here!
Monkeys around the pool at dinner.
Sunset from poolside restaurant, my room upper right.
I have been playing around with writing Haiku about Costa Rica Nature for nearly 3 years now and this is my little collection of poems, each printed on one of my photos. I’m not a poet, but it was fun to do and I may continue trying from time to time. I write the American 2-3-2 syllables style of Haiku but like the original Japanese Haiku they only describe nature.