After the birds and vistas I photographed only a few of the many flowers along my Sunday morning walk. I do enjoy the immense variety of plant life here in Costa Rica! And remember to CLICK to enlarge an image:
“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Nature as Art” was the name of my little photo business for a few years in Nashville and I was reminded of that theme during my week at Maquenque with lots of “little things” I photographed and enjoyed just seeing! 🙂
As much as I love most art, no artist can compete with the creative handiwork of God in Nature!
All art is but imitation of nature. ~Seneca the Younger
For more of Maquenque “Nature as Art” see these galleries:
I have completed two new photo galleries from my recent trip to Maquenque. Of course the Maquenque Gallery is the biggest with most photos, but we stopped for coffee in Cinchona on the way back home and in 15 to 20 minutes I photographed 6 birds with two of them “Lifers” (new to me)! And of course the San Fernando Waterfall! And since it is a totally different location than Maquenque and my travel galleries are about locations – two galleries! 🙂
You have been getting samples or teasers on the blog (with 4 more to go through the 22nd) while this is the real collection from my #1 birding lodge and photos of 61 species this trip! Plus photos of lots of other nature! Check it out! And similar to the blog, you click photos to enlarge or sometimes open a sub-gallery for that bird or topic.
And the separate gallery for our coffee break stop on the way home at Soda & Mirador Cinchona for a waterfall and 6 birds, 2 of which are “Lifers” for me!
And in the interest of Coronavirus Safety I have no more trips planned until the middle of September, my annual Caribe Beach trip to Hotel Banana Azul where I will again be a “loner” doing things “solo” for safety. This place is more about relaxation than serious birding but there will be birds! 🙂 And solo walks on the beach searching for nature gems! And always enjoying someone else’s cooking! And reading! 🙂
And FYI, because of some spikes in Coronavirus cases, Costa Rica has shut down again until maybe August with no bars and restaurants only for “take out” or para llevar! (Or delivery, called “express” here.)
And even the banks were closed this week! I hope not next week as I’m trying to renew my residency! And for two weeks at least, private cars are allowed on the road for only 1 day a week based on tag number. We take the virus seriously here! And most of us wear masks. The borders are still closed to everyone until announced otherwise. They had hoped for limited border openings in August but that is not looking likely now, especially for Americans, the most infected country in the world! (Love your money but not your virus!) 🙂
Flowers in the wild here are for me kind of like birds and butterflies, I find new ones almost every time I go into the forest! Here’s 14 more added to yesterday’s photo. CLICK an image to enlarge and enjoy! I’m still working on the bird photos which may take a few more days or I may present them in little groups also. Keep reading!
Yes – these all grow wild in the rainforest even if they have moved some up near the lodge. And I really tried to get a name for each flower which I did for the 13 today and for all but 3 of the 14 for tomorrow. I make a big deal out of all the birds here and could just as easily for all the unique flowers. Enjoy and remember to CLICK an image to enlarge.
Walter usually drives me in one of his two vans but today was Monday and both personal cars and tourist vans with tags ending in 1 or 2 are not allowed on the road. Yes, it’s a coronavirus prevention tool, keeping more people off the roads and out of the towns. Well, he has 2 vans and both were disqualified, so he had to use his taxi today (no limit on taxis), meaning his driver Cristian had the day off, like it or not. Only 40 km of the road from south of Boca Tapada to the lodge is gravel, but you notice it more! 🙂
This morning I leave at 8 AM with Walter, my local transportation for out-of-Atenas trips, on a 3 hour drive north of here but still in our Alajuela Province. It’s on the San Carlos River near the Nicaragua border as a private nature reserve and eco-lodge that is one of my favorites in Costa Rica, where I’ve photographed more species of birds than any other one place and where I can sleep in a tree house room, watching howler monkeys and spider monkeys from my room. See my 2019 experience there and this short video of the virgen rainforest reserve says it all:
I will be here through next Monday – 6 nights in the tree house to celebrate my 80th birthday on Saturday the 4th of July! And, as long as the WiFi in their main building works, I will be posting blog reports every day! Maybe one tonight.
Because of world-wide increasing Coronavirus, the borders of Costa Rica remain closed to non-residents where we have the lowest infection rate in Latin America! But hotels, lodges like this one, and restaurants can open at 50% capacity to local residents only with required social distancing and masks, making places like this more pleasant (no “Ugly Americans” or “aggressive Japanese”) and less crowded. Two weeks ago they told me that in addition to me they had two couples coming for part of the week with me alone the other days, though that could change with late registrations! 🙂 Many Ticos are just now discovering the great tourism in their own country.
I will wear a mask when not eating and around other people, including my birding guide just to be extra cautious. I will not take their delightful boat trip to a little jungle village with great people that I enjoyed but will avoid this time due to COVID19 possibilities. I will mostly traipse through the jungle solo and stay safe from the virus. There have been NO CASES among the lodge employees (mainly one family) nor in the nearby town of Boca Tapada. But I will still be cautious because it is close to Nicaragua where the virus is more rampant and we are still getting new cases in Costa Rica.
“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne
My BIG BOOTS Adventure . . .
Yep! I’m taking my big boots this trip because I’m going in a car and can! 🙂 Plus they fit me and the lodge loaners don’t always fit . . . and I’ll be in a rainforest during the rainy season so they are needed! And my poncho!
I know . . . the boots are dusty, but why clean when they will get muddy this week! Plus I had to empty out the spiders and spray with that bug spray before I consider putting my hand or foot inside! 🙂
According to a report in Semanario Universidad, there are 650 species of bees in Costa Rica and all are endangered by the powerful insecticides neonicotinoids used to protect fruit from fruit flies and other insects. I have been unable to identify this particular bee in my garden today along with many butterflies. I cannot find books or websites to accurately identify which one of the 650 species this one happens to be. 🙂 Click image to enlarge.
Today I spent some time in the garden trying to be Georgia O’Keeffe with her oversize flowers, curves and colorful shapes in leaves, mountains or whatever she painted. I love her work! Here’s 10 of about 100 photos I made today in the garden.
It was also a “practice” for next week when I will be at Maquenque Lodge, not only photographing lots of birds, but hopefully some “Nature as Art” photos of many other natural creations in that beautiful wilderness setting, partly from my tree-house room! 🙂 Click an image to enlarge it or start manual slideshow.
Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
As noted earlier, one of the things I’m doing more of during the “lock-down” time is trying get all of my old photos culled through and posted in one place.
One of the biggest collections is from my 10 years of volunteer work at Nashville Zoo and my Nashville Zoo Gallery is now completed. It includes one of my biggest collections of bird photos along with so many other animals and a really large number of people photos which was what the Zoo PR Dept. wanted a lot of. It was a nice re-living of many great memories at Nashville Zoo. And as I go through other photo files I expect to find more of Nashville Zoo, like when friends and family visited, I often took them to the zoo but haven’t gotten to those photos yet! 🙂