Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail, Atenas, Costa Rica

This was one of the butterflies in my garden this morning that I haven’t seen here for awhile. He is similar to te Broad-banded Swallowtail and a little bit like the Thoas & the Ornythion Swallowtails, so you have to examine the details in the photos for a good ID. 🙂

You can read about the Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes on either of these websites: butterfliesandmoths.org or the butterfliesofamerica.com, the first of which is where I will eventually post one or more of these photos, when I get caught up, and the second sight is another one I use for identification along with my favorite butterfly book, A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America. The gallery below includes 2 top views, 2 bottom wing views and 2 side views or folded wings views of this beautiful big butterfly.

Continue reading “Giant Swallowtail”

Xandari Trip Gallery

I do an online photo gallery (or galleries with the sub-galleries) and the gallery for my recent little two-night stay at a favorite place is now up at https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2022-Aug-31-Sept-2-Xandari-Resort-Alajuela

Or you can just click this first page image and get there!

The highlight of this little trip was the large number of butterflies seen and photographed with 29 species having useable photos for the gallery. And I am still trying to catch up with posting all my butterfly species on butterfliesandmoths.org! 🙂 Butterflies rule! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Flowers – Works of Art

Over the years here my favorite flower gardens have been the ones at Xandari because of (1) the large variety of species, (2) their placement in forest settings with architecture that is colorful and complimentary to flowers and (3) the additional wild flowers you can find on the forest trails. Earlier this year I found their match on variety of flowers at Guayabo Lodge near Turrialba, Cartago, though not arranged or laid out in as beautiful a surroundings as Xandari. And for some reason, this year Xandari seemed to have fewer flowers, especially in that front garden trail along the entry road, but certainly enough for me to make a lot of “flower art!” 🙂

One photo for the email announcement and then a gallery of some of my favorites from this short two-night stay at Xandari Costa Rica. Enjoy . . .

Flowers are works of ART at Xandari Costa Rica!
Continue reading “Xandari Flowers – Works of Art”

Last of Xandari Butterflies . . .

. . . and I think one of these 9 is actually a moth, but I can’t find an ID. The immense variety of butterflies and moths here in Costa Rica can be overwhelming at times but is also one of the joys of being here! 🙂 It depends on which website or book you read, but with more species still being discovered here, some say there are now 1,500+ known species of butterflies and over 12,000 species of moths (not all identified), so it is not surprising that I can’t find an ID for everyone I photograph. 🙂

And as is my practice, one photo here for the emailed announcement of this post, followed by a gallery of all 9 final butterflies (maybe 2 are moths) from my visit to Xandari Costa Rica last week. I may still share some other photos from that very unique hotel in Alajuela and then back to nature shots around where I live for the next two weeks before my Caribbean trip the 19th of September. Pura vida!

Blue-vented Mimic-White
Continue reading “Last of Xandari Butterflies . . .”

Second Group of Butterflies . . .

. . . from my brief two-night trip to Xandari Resort in Alajuela continues to show the amazing number of butterflies at this forest hotel less than an hour away from my house! I’m still not sure of the total and have four I can’t identify, but I will share 9 or 10 more tomorrow as the final batch of butterflies from Xandari before focusing on those around my house again.

As usual, one photo here for the email announcement of the blog post, then followed online with a gallery of all 10 butterflies. And again 11 photos because I want to show the big difference in the top and bottom side of the wings of one, the Starred Oxeo, even though almost all butterflies have different patterns on top and bottom, with this one just being a more drastic difference. Enjoy!

Ochre-patched Gemmed-Satyr
Continue reading “Second Group of Butterflies . . .”

First 10 of 30 Butterfly Species!

I already knew that Xandari was good for butterflies, but really didn’t think I would photograph this many species! And I’m still processing the photos and identifying, but it now looks like about 30 species. I could share one a day for the next 30 days but that would not be fair to you who are faithful readers of this blog, so just 3 days of Xandari butterflies! 🙂

One shot for the email notice of the blog and then a gallery of all 10 with actually 11 photos because one is so different with folded wings that you must see both views! 🙂

Julia Heliconian
Continue reading “First 10 of 30 Butterfly Species!”

Forced Respite From Blogging

Well, it was just two nights away, one of my shortest overnight trips yet in Costa Rica, and I was planning on a blog post each night. But first it was Google Chrome, then MS Edge and finally Firefox browser that all refused to let me into my own website to post (and one other site) saying I was on an “unsafe connection (hotel Wifi) and that someone at my own website might steal by personal information including credit card numbers.” 🙂 Grrrrrrrrr.

So I just took a respite from the blog. No big deal. And here are the photos I was going to post that first night there (Wednesday) simply showing my room. The large rooms, or really spacious villas, plus the overall architecture is the highlight of Xandari Costa Rica for most guests, that and also the original art and statuary in every room and in the gardens. Then the first class restaurant and for nature lovers like me, a protected rainforest with 5 waterfalls and beautiful gardens around the buildings plus for other people, 3 pools and a Spa! It was a good respite and even though fewer birds this time (fewer all over Central Valley because of the strange weather this year), I photographed 5 or 6 birds plus more that 25 species (still counting) of butterflies with about 6 new or first-time seen species for me! Here’s one photo of one of the butterflies for the email version of the post, followed by a gallery of 6 shots from my room . . .

Orange-striped White by my terrace.
Continue reading “Forced Respite From Blogging”

A Two-Night Respite

I was getting tired of sharing the same butterflies and stopped posting them for a few days on the blog. Then I realized that probably the reason I’m not seeing birds like usual is the noise of the construction of two houses across the street. Grumble, grumble! But – they sodded grass and planted palms today, so maybe they’re nearly finished! 🙂

Then decided I needed a short break to a favorite nature resort very near here, a 45 minute drive, and my first return since 2020. So about 11:00 this morning my driver will take me to Xandari Nature Resort on the edge of Alajuela, our provincial capital and the location of the San Jose Airport, hidden on a mountain overlooking it all in a thick rainforest with 5 waterfalls, a farm, lots of flower gardens, birds, butterflies, great food, Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture filled with beautiful art and no construction work! There is nothing to not like about Xandari, unless it is the price! 🙂 But sometimes one needs to splurge for a day or two! 🙂

Check out the galleries below from my 4 previous trips there and oh yes, this is the only hotel that has a complete library of all my Costa Rica Photo Books! 🙂 – Click the date of each previous trip below to see my gallery from that visit to Xandari . . .

2020 August

Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela

And links to 3 other earlier visits to Xandari . . .

Continue reading “A Two-Night Respite”