Repeat Visitors – New Discovery

These three butterflies are all frequent visitors to my garden and even inside my house, but when I photograph one I often try to double check the identity which is so difficult on butterflies, even with two books and a third one on order, plus some internet help.

Well, the featured photo today is one I have been calling a “White-striped Longtail” and after more research, I have determined that he and the others like him I’ve photographed here are actually “Brown Longtail” (link to their gallery).

Sorry for the incorrect identification earlier! The other two here today are still labeled the same and I’m confident correctly!   🙂   But you will see two shots here of the Polydamas Swallowtail because the top and bottom are so different. The same is true for Blomfild’s but I was unable to get a good top view today (wings closed most of time) – there are several top shots of him in my gallery

All of these were shot in my garden except the Blomfild’s Beauty on my kitchen window before I opened it to let him out.    🙂

3 Visitors Today

Relatives of this Brown Longtail are also in my gallery as Plain Longtail and the Teleus Longtail. 

Butterflies are fun to study and observe (photograph) and are one of the most colorful creatures of Costa Rica. With 1500 different species of Butterfly and 12 000 different species of moths, the numbers are staggering! I will never finish photographing them!   🙂    Possibly the best “butterfly garden” to visit in Costa Rica is  Butterfly Conservatory  near Arenal which I hope to see when I’m at Arenal Observatory Lodge in November, though not the high month for butterflies!   🙂   In Atenas we have more butterflies in June-July-August.

See my newly revised Butterflies of Costa Rica PHOTO GALLERY that is better organized for your viewing pleasure!   🙂   Easier to find a specific butterfly but if using it to identify your Costa Rica butterfly photos, the sub gallery for each species usually gives you multiple images to compare! Though prejudiced, I think I have the best Costa Rica butterfly photo gallery online now!   🙂    80+ species!   Check it out!

I also have a little 7X7 inch photo book titled My First 50 Butterflies in Costa Rica.  You can preview all pages electronically for free at this link. Best viewed full screen for bigger photos.

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.

~Jeffrey Glassberg

¡Pura Vida!

Garden Work

I have been wanting to “open up” or “loosen up” my flower garden and make a couple of plant changes. Finally did that this week with the expert help and physical strength of my gardeners.

The Palmetto had become a giant ugly tree and was interfering with other plants. I had them remove it completely and replace with a Croton, the English name we used in Florida for a colorful-leaved shrub that can become very large if not trimmed. Earlier I had asked for a border of caladiums and they used the only type found in the Central Valley with very long sparse red leaves that went too far over my sidewalk. I explained the kind of small, heart-shaped leaf caladium I wanted and to get 40, as I needed, he had to order them from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. But now I have what I wanted!  🙂

And we trimmed or cut back everything, especially the Plumbago which just takes over! So more open and clean now (fewer snakes!) but also with fewer flowers for the time being. In the tropics you have to be severe with pruning as everything grows rapidly here.

Here are a few photos I took in the rain yesterday that sort of shows what I have done different. Not many blooms now but there will be and I have two Poinsettias that will be blooming nicely around Christmas! It all will fill in soon.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

~Luther Burbank

¡Pura Vida!

A Wow Hotel

Villa Caletas is an older hotel and old-style upscale, old-style architecture, and old-style service with big staff, lots of young people anxious to wait on you. So far I like it even though the trail down the mountain is closed because of rainy season damage. It was raining when I got here and has rained most of the time, which I thought meant no sunset, but boy was I surprised! It’s late & I’m tired, so I will post the sunset photos tomorrow. Here’s my first impressions of the hotel in photos without photos of the toucans and macaws flying around when I didn’t have my big camera out. All of these are cell phone photos:

Hotel Grounds

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My Room

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My Room’s Vistas (Before Sunset)

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Room’s Praying Mantis

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Tomorrow I Post the First Sunset Photos!

And maybe some birds!

¡Pura Vida!

Garden Visitors

This morning a quick walk through my garden gave me photos of these four butterflies plus I kept seeing a bright yellow one (probably one of the Sulphurs) who would never slow down enough for a photo. But here’s the four I got (CLICK to see larger):

 

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

~R. Buckminster Fuller

 

See all my butterflies in my Costa Rica Butterflies  Photo Gallery!

 

¡Pura Vida!

Brilliant! The Book

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:

Brilliant Book cover
Click cover to Preview the book online.

Also see the 2019 Trip Gallery for this week. 

Or the older 2018 Xandari Trip Gallery

And my photo book for that year’s visit titled Xandari Enchanted by Nature

A truly amazing place!

Xandari Nature Resort

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Flowers

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.

Xandari Flowers

 

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
– Luther Burbank

 

I will be starting work on my Xandari 2019 Trip Gallery today but give me a week to complete it – lots of photos!   🙂   In the meantime, check out my other trip galleries which I egotistically consider amazing!   🙂   OR specifically . . .  the Xandari 2018 Trip Gallery where I showed more of the architecture & Art than this year. It is one of my favorite hotels!

And/or check out my other flower photos in the gallery Flora and Forest.

Xandari Nature Resort

¡Pura Vida!

“The ‘Eagle’ Has Landed!”

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!

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“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.”

~Richard Rohr

Xandari Nature Resort

¡Pura Vida!

Macaw Lodge Grounds

One of the best things about Macaw Lodge is the beautiful grounds! The owner Pablo’s hobby of horticulture helps!   🙂   I have already done posts on Flowers and Other Green Things,   The Waterfall, and yesterday on my Cabin in the Woods – thus you’ve seen some of the grounds but here is a whole lot more photos of just the general look of the grounds and chocolate farm and in my gallery I’m adding a Trails gallery because that is a big part of the grounds, though I barely photographed trails, mostly the trail to the waterfall & spa.

Click on an image in the montage below to see it larger and/or start a manual slideshow.

Macaw Lodge Grounds

 

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

~Lord Byron

See my “Trip Photo Gallery”  titled:  2019-06–18-24–Macaw Lodge    (finished except for a few more bird photos)

Macaw Lodge   (lodge website)

My Quick Evaluation: It is one of the better “eco lodges” and more isolated than most at 45+ minutes from a town of any size and no houses or farms nearby. The rainforest surroundings match or surpass most other eco lodge I’ve visited. The rooms are excellent as is the food, though note that you have to request daily maid service and a change of towels. And you need lots of towels because it is the hottest most humid place I think I’ve been to yet (in the middle of rainy season) and hanging towels never dry.

Birding is good or basic, not my best source of birds with one “lifer” here if I labeled the Indigo Bunting correctly. Though note that I did see a Sunbittern which is a rare find anywhere (though this photo not good)! As a comparison, I photographed 30 species here and 53 at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge and about that many at Selva Verde Sarapiqui my first trip there. But this was still good!

There were lots of lizards but I saw no monkeys or other wildlife (though supposedly there). For my morning guided birding hike they secured a local Carara Park area guide who was good but not the best I’ve had. The Muscovy Ducks on the lake are entertaining and they, along with other birds, have babies this time of year (June).

I would return here but probably not anytime soon, since I know of eco lodges that have given me more birds. It was a great location for the Yoga Retreat going on while I was there! And for anyone wanting to just “get away!” About 45 minutes from Tarcoles or an hour from Jaco Beach on a terrible road. Though not required, 4WD would be safer.

It is adjacent to Carara National Park, but on the backside, thus about an hour drive to the entrance on Ruta 34. The Lodge can arrange a driver from San Jose Airport at about $140 each way. I’m glad to answer other questions you may have about this unique place.

¡Pura Vida!