I finished it last week but was waiting for Blurb to offer one of their discounts before I ordered my copies since I have to buy at least one copy to offer it for sale. That’s business! 🙂 I usually get about 4 copies, sending one to my host lodge/hotel and one to the birding guide I used and I’m saving a copy for some local library here in Atenas but I haven’t found the right one yet. Long story.
By including some photos from my 2016 visit to Monteverde the book has 123 photos on 78 pages with about 45 species of birds plus other animals and nature. I’m pleased with this photo book available in my bookstore at:
Now I will start working on the photo book about Monteverde and making more photos around here as I report on things in Atenas like the progress on our central park remodeling and the climate fair here next week with our annual oxcart parade – always something happening! 🙂
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
I saw one really cool and new-to-me moth at Santa Elena Reserve, two butterflies at Selvatura Park and all the rest were at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where they have a really nice small butterfly garden indoors. There is one dining table for up to 4 people that can be scheduled for a private Butterfly Dinner! 🙂 Kind of neat! And two of the moths I photographed on my little private room terrace/patio.
Selvatura claims to have the largest butterfly garden in Central America and the huge dome looks like it but this trip it was horrible with only two (2) species of butterflies. There is a Monteverde Butterfly Garden operated by a couple of nature lovers but I did not go this time. Three years ago it was great! There were a lot of butterflies, especially blue morpho, flying around in all four reserves, but difficult to photograph there.
Butterflies & Moths
Blue Morpho at Lodge
Blue Morpho at Lodge
Blue Morpho at Selvatura
Blue Morpho at Lodge
Owl’s Eye at Selvatura
Whitened Bluewing at Lodge
2 Blue Morphos at Lodge (open-wings & closed-wings)
One of the better lodges I have visited yet in Costa Rica even though older. The service is superb with all the staff knowing my name and calling me “Charlie” everytime they see me. Food is some of the best yet in Costa Rica and the grounds are a part of the Cloud Forest both their gardens and their forest trails with lots of birds and other wildlife to photograph when not out in one of the official reserves. A great place for a nature lover to stay. See their Website for more information. And below is my little slide show of first day shots I did not have time to post yesterday:
Monteverde Lodge Slideshow
This morning I had a guide for birding in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and hope to report on it by this evening. Note that the 4 birds I photographed here on hotel property yesterday afternoon were posted last night and two were “lifers” for me. A good place ! 🙂
And you history buffs will be interested in how Monteverde was started and settled by Quakers from the states in the 1940’s. See The History of Monteverde.There is no other place in the world like Monteverde!
I arrived today at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, a really nice hotel and restaurant that I will really enjoy when not on a birding hike in one of the reserves. Tomorrow I will post more photos of the hotel. The above featured photo is looking out of my room over my deck hammock into one of the many gardens here. And below are the first four birds I photographed in the hot sun this afternoon on a hotel trail:
Costa Rica announced Tuesday that 34 fast charging points for electric cars will be in operation this year. They will be part of a network of charging stations the government plans to expand in the upcoming years.
For more than 4 years I have been trying and hoping to get a good photo of aFiery-billed Aracari (Neotropical Birds Link for description), one of the unique and more rare smaller toucans found only on the Pacific slope of southern Costa Rica and western Panama. I really expected to photo one at Punta Leona last week but the only one seen was at a great distance up a mountain and impossible to photograph.
In 2016 I got one shot of a Fiery-billed in a high tree at Los Campesinos Ecolodge, Quebrada Arroyo, Naranjito, Costa Rica, up the mountain from Quepos on the Pacific (Not a very good photo.). I also got one shot of an injured Fiery-billed at the ZooAve in La Garita, but it is wild birds I want!
Thus I was surprised and thrilled Tuesday morning when on my terrace for breakfast around 7, five young Fiery Billed Aracaris flitted between my Strangler Fig Tree and my Guarumo or Cecropia Tree. They were socializing and eating what appeared to be leaves on the fig tree. Here’s 20 of nearly 200 photos I quickly snapped before they left. As Alice said, “There’s no place like home!”and though our part of Central Valley is on the Pacific Slope, it is mid-Pacific and not southern Pacific where they say these aracaris are. So I consider myself quite fortunate! I think they are juveniles and probably siblings or one might be the parent.
Punta Leona is big and hotel rooms are in different clusters – mine in Selvamar, Haiti Sidewalk (Between Cuba & Jamaica Sidewalks) where each group of little cabins is named after a Latin American country. So I was Selvamar, Haiti 852. It seems newer than some other areas of hotel rooms and has its own restaurant called Carabelas which is suppose to be Peruvian food, all three meals served buffet style. That is typical of a place that caters to tour buses of which there were a few here. And how Peruvian is debatable, though almost everything was good. I ate at the Mantas Beach restaurant Marinos twice and the Playa Blanca Restaurant once a la carte. Both featuring fast casual food. I don’t rate Punta Leona very high for food, but okay. The room was very nice and by putting the little sign on my doorknob “clean now” it was clean after breakfast every morning! Nice!
Like all of the many buildings at Punta Leona, they have tried to save the old big trees with these cabins nestled in among old trees and new trees and other plants added. Nature is central here which I appreciate.
Restaurant & Pool
All we need, really, is a change from a near frigid to a tropical attitude of mind. ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Punta Leona is huge and having a car here would be helpful, though they do have shuttle vans when available, but as always, the walking is good for me! 🙂 And I’m exhausted from walking several hours today!
They are strict about the 3PM check-in time meaning they held my luggage from my 11AM arrival until 3 at the front desk while I explored, photographing birds and butterflies in their above-average butterfly garden, finding the Scarlet Macaws and their nest boxes that are all very, very high in very, very tall old trees.
I walked to the closest beach, Mantas Beach and may wait for the shuttle to see Playa Blanca. In the midst of what must have been a gorgeous old-growth forest they have placed buildings of all kinds while saving a lot more big old trees than most developers, but it is still a development with houses, condos, hotels, cabins, restaurants, etc.
Except for the Scarlet Macaws, all the birds I saw today are pretty common all over Costa Rica. I’m doing the 6AM birding hike on property in the morning (Wed) and Thursday morning I’m going with a guide to Carara National Park. The transportation to Tarcoles River is pretty expensive, so I decided to pass on that, since I’ve been there about 8 or 9 times! The rest of the week I’ll just explore their huge property. And oh yeah, I have to wear one of those plastic bracelets while on the property, 🙂