Hilltop Morning Walk

Margaret, the lady birder from Canada who was in a nearby casita for one month, did most of her birding right here in Roca Verde, including uphill above my casita and on Calle Nueva, the country lane alongside Roca Verde. (She also walked to other neighborhoods in town and had a few trips away, including to Rancho Naturalista & the Tarcoles River.)

But her finding so many birds here got me back into more birding where I live and beyond my own garden where I have no feeders now which has reduced the numbers. Friday morning I spent an hour walking up and down the hill above my house with the result of the following photos of vistas and birds.

Not bad for less than a 200 meter walk from my house! And I know I have already shared similar views and birds on this blog before, but each new time in the viewfinder is a little bit different perspective, a different light, a different pose or action of the bird, and a new joy for me! No new bird species this time, though the immature Blue-black Grassquit was my first immature version of that species! Notice how different she looks from her mother or some other adult female Blue-black Grassquit in photos above.    🙂    I loved the walk and will keep doing it occasionally!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”  – John Muir

Vistas

 

Birds

 

“I love walking because it clears your mind, enriches the soul, takes away stress and opens up your eyes to a whole new world .”    – Claudette Dudley

 

See also Walking Calle Nueva Atenas, the country lane alongside Roca Verde or . . .

Walking Atenas – emphasizing flowers in this small farming town in Central Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

More Bloomin’ Trees!

At breakfast this morning I just zoomed out a little further for some additional trees that are blooming now. Sorry I didn’t do it earlier when there where some bright orange trees and yellow trees, but I think I’ve shown them before and they are somewhere in my gallery called Flora & Forest Costa Rica, if you want more!   🙂

 

“They blossomed, they did not talk about blossoming.”
― Dejan Stojanovic

 

¡Pura Vida!

Black Skimmer

My lifer bird this morning on a trip to nearby Tarcoles River was a Black Skimmer. Read an Overview about them on Cornell’s “All About Birds.”

I took two new friends from British Columbia there this morning and we saw way more than 30 species of birds and I think I got around that many photographed! I’m still working on the photos, but maybe a full report tomorrow.   🙂

 

¡Pura Vida!

Country Lane Birds & More!

20200209_072404_001-A-WEBIn an earlier post I introduced you to the little 5 km country lane behind our Roca Verde development and along the stream by that cow pasture in front of my house. It is called Calle Nueva which would be simply “New Street” in English and the 2018 blog post was titled  Finishing the country road walk today . . .   Then later I added a photo gallery: Walking Calle Nueva Atenas 2018.    Same photos!

Yesterday I walked part of the road more slowly than I did with young man Jason Quesada back then. It was with another older person who is a birder from Canada! Totally different! We saw more than 15 species of birds just behind where I live and here are a few photos of some of them! Even got one lifer on this walk of about 2 hours, the Black-crowned Tityra, both male & female! CLICK A PHOTO TO ENLARGE.

And apologies for several washed out pictures with white sky. That was because I was not paying attention to details and accidentally turned the dial to “Manual” without setting the manual settings and wasn’t looking at the images on screen! Ugh! Sloppy old man!

Birds on Calle Nueva

 

Interesting Flowers on Walk

 

 

20200209_090605_002-A-WEB
Mountain Farm Vista on Calle Nueva.

 

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong.

~John Denver

 

¡Pura Vida!

Bosque Municipal Atenas

Central Park is not the only park in Atenas! We have a sports park in front of the elementary school, a public soccer field separately down the street and a public swimming pool! I have shown much of the sports park and mentioned the others, but the most important one for me is one I had never entered until today – Bosque Municipal AtenasAtenas Municipal Forest.

20200206_064512-A-WEBMy friend from British Columbia wanted to go and I always have, so we went together to our “nature park” or forest for birds this morning. It is five miles west on Ruta 3 at Vista Linda or the edge of Barrio Jesus, on the right-hand side of the highway with multiple signs and two entrances. The main entrance is near the second sign or further up the mountain at the big community soccer field across the highway from Vista Linda Restaurant & Bar. Just walk around to the other side of the soccer field. Our first taxi driver knew nothing about it but was glad for the $13 one-way taxi drive!   🙂   The taxi that picked us up was very familiar with it, meaning that some people are into nature and others are not!   🙂

Well, we went for birds, especially the Long-tailed Manakin that definitely lives there and we heard their songs many times (toledo, toledo, toledo) but never was close enough to one for a photo. In fact the above Keel-billed Toucan is the only decent bird photo I got with efforts at some tiny birds and a blurry Woodcreeper. Maybe next time!  🙂   BUT, we saw lots of butterflies and below are 5 species I got shots of, some are new species for me.

5 Butterfly Species

 

Trail-head Signs

I did not get shots of the two highway signs – sorry!

 

20200206_090912_002-A-WEB
One of many huge old trees in this dense forest.

See my Butterfly Gallery (nearly 100 species!) or other parts of Atenas in my Atenas Gallery.   Or just go for ALL!   🙂

 

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.    ~Henry David Thoreau

¡Pura Vida!

02-02-2020

Just had to write this unique date down! It is one of the few dates that works for both Americans who write the month first and all the rest of the world who write the day first! Plus it just looks cool! All those twos and zeros! Say it like this:  “O-two O-two, two-O two-O”     🙂

POSTSCRIPT: Larry Yarborough wrote in the comments below what I did not know about this unique date:

FROM AXIOS:

Today’s date is a rare eight-digit palindrome (reads same, forward and backward), 02/02/2020 — the only one of its kind this century:
Aziz Inan, a University of Portland (Ore.) professor who has a website chronicling 500 years’ worth of palindromes, tells the Post about today’s rare configuration — where both MM/DD/YEAR and DD/MM/YEAR are palindromes.

“The previous eight-digit palindrome like this was 11/11/1111, 909 years ago. We’ll only have to wait another 101 years for 12/12/2121.”
👀 P.S. Today is “the 33rd day of the year, which is followed by 333 more days.”     ~Thanks to Larry Yarborough for sharing this Axios Post!

The feature photo is of the cow pasture and tree line along a little stream across from my house. This morning at 6 I decided to walk over along that tree line with my camera looking for morning birds – nada! Not a one! As has been the case the other times I tried that very “birdy-looking” area. The water in the stream is quite polluted (gray water from houses nearby) which may be the reason for no birds or it was windy this morning, though that time of year. And I’ve never heard of cows scaring birds! But not one bird over there! (Maybe snakes?) I do better just sitting on my terrace! Though walking uphill like I did yesterday is even better! I will do that more often!

The dove below was on the power line in front of my house and the shot of something burning nearby was the only photo I made from the cow pasture. Sugar cane farmers are burning the remains of their fields after the harvest this month or occasionally someone burns trash, though they are not suppose to in the dry season!  🙂   ¡Pura vida!

IMG_0625-A-WEB
White-winged Dove on power line in front of my house looking at the cow pasture.
IMG_0629 -A-WEB
Someone burning something nearby, as seen from the cow pasture.

 

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.    ~Khalil Gibran

 

¡Pura Vida!

02-02-2020

My Windows – My World

As Frank Lloyd Wright said,

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

And as he created his magnificent houses always integrated with nature – I have tried to create views through all my windows & doors that bring nature in and take me out! I love traveling in the nature places of Costa Rica, but living in nature day to day keeps me going! The luckiest guy in the world!

Look through My Pura Vida Windows on life!

Terrace – My Biggest Window

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Garden Door View

This garden greets me upon every departure and arrival!   🙂

 

Living Room Window

A Strangler Fig Tree – shades from afternoon sun.

 

Kitchen Window

Kitchen view garden.

 

Laundry Room Window

Slope with interesting tree!

 

Office-Guest Room Window

I planted a row of palms for privacy from street

 

Bedroom Window

Pot plant in front of the outside palms.

 

“Dormer windows” above my bed in the jungle!

 

Bathroom Windows

Above sink & toilet – my beautiful hill!

 

I shower in the jungle!

I am Rich in Nature!

 

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.     ~Socrates

 

For the wealth of nature surrounding me in Costa Rica, see my photo galleries:  “Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.”

See why I love it here!

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Scenery

Okay – my last post for Xandari! You may get tired of seeing photos from there, but hopefully they reveal why it is one of my favorite hotels in Costa Rica! I never tire of it and hope to keep going back! And like other great places, the friendliness and helpfulness of the people there is one great reason I may not have mentioned much! And that has nothing to do with my photography library being there – they treat everyone like royalty! I highly recommend Xandari Costa Rica anytime you are here and need a hotel near the airport or better yet for a luxurious nature experience over a longer period of time. You need several days to hike, see, photograph, and do all there is to do in this hotel!

And one of my many reasons for liking it is the beautiful scenery I have grouped here in two categories. As always, click a photo to see it larger and then you can return or take the option to see the photos in that gallery as a manual slide show. Enjoy!

Xandari Vistas

 

 

Xandari Trails & Grounds

And in case you wondered why no flowers here, I did a Xandari Flowers post last week or for those from all my trips there, see the photo gallery Xandari Flowers. 

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”     ~Rachel Carson

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica    (hotel website)

For the photo report on my latest and third trip to Xandari see my CR Trips Gallery 2020 Xandari Nature Resort, AlajuelaNOW READY! And includes for the first time my visit to the Starbucks Alsacia Coffee Farm.:

Photo gallery of my latest visit to Xandari Resort

Or if researching Xandari, see photos from my 2 earlier trips in both galleries and in books:

2019 Xandari Birthday Week Celebration:  GALLERY   –or–   BOOK

2018 July Xandari First Visit:   GALLERY   –or–   BOOK

 

My Xandari Villa

My third time to visit one of the most expensive hotels that I like in Costa Rica gives me a third different and bigger room/villa. I rarely show this many photos of a room, but because it is unique, I decided to this time along with the Art in My Villa, yesterday’s post.

This “room”  is called a “King Junior Suite” meaning just one king size bed in multiple rooms or spaces, a large suite or villa. They call all their rooms villas because most are in separate buildings and all are large.

From the lobby and restaurant main building, you walk through the gardens on a beautiful winding, paved path to the entrance of #5 in this case:

Private Entrance Compound

Kitchenette by front Terrace

 

Living Room

 

Valley-View Terrace

 

Bedroom

 

Bathroom

20200112_144317-WEB
Shower behind blue wall overlooking private garden. Toilet in separate room behind me.

This exceptional hotel is just 20 minutes from the San Jose Airport, thus a starting and ending location for many international tourists coming here, like the people I visited with this time from England, Germany, France, Canada and the U.S.

Yet they are immersed in a tropical rainforest with hiking trails, 5 waterfalls on the river, wildlife, both wild and cultivated flowers, a small farm for the kitchen, a wonderful Spa and restaurant. Some things are worth paying more for!   🙂   I do this occasionally here while other times I “rough it” in the wilderness to be closer to nature. I like both experiences! And the way Xandari combines both luxury AND nature! Plus now they house the Charlie Doggett Photography Library!   🙂   That alone makes the visit worthwhile!   🙂

Luxury is attention to detail, originality, exclusivity and above all quality.
~Angelo Bonati

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica

Dragonfly & Squirrel

Dragonfly

This dragonfly and squirrel round out my photos of wildlife at Xandari, having already done posts on Birds and Butterflies. The latter giving me 4 new species! Dragonflies seem to interest everyone almost as if magical or “fairy-like” as butterflies, though the larger ones are easier to photograph than these tiny blue ones. See my separate photo galleries for Costa Rica Dragonflies and for Costa Rica Damselflies for more of this magic!

IMG_9526-A-WEB

 

Variegated Squirrel

IMG_9155-A-WEBAnd finally, every man’s pest, the squirrel, in this case the Variegated Squirrel, the most common in Costa Rica. But there are other species of squirrels and I have galleries on 3 of them:

 

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

~Martin Buber

 

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica