Chorreras Waterfall

20191017_095055-A-WEBJust a 4 km walk yesterday morning – to breakfast(0.5 km) and afterwards directly to the Chorreras Waterfall through parts of the Hotel farmland and other scenery (1.5 km), watching employees arrive by bus, bicycle, motorcycle and walking. A pleasant walk down a dirt farm road that became rocky and steep on the hill by the river and waterfall. Then the 2 km return with a friendly dog.

As the first one to the Falls that morning I was greeted by the barking dogs and very helpful security guard, Norman, a friendly young man from Nicaragua. (Costa Rica doesn’t chase its immigrants away or put them in cages.) And as in this case, immigrants help make life better for all of us here!   🙂    I love our immigrants!  (And of course I am one myself!)    🙂

Like most Latin Americans, Norman showed a great degree of respect for my age and seemed a little surprised I was hiking in the mountains and climbing down steps to the waterfall, offering to help me of course. Evidently not many 79 year-old people are as adventurous!    🙂

We talked about the difficulties of me learning to speak Spanish and him learning to speak English. Then he shared a quote with me in both English and Spanish to encourage me in my language learning (probably someone used to encourage him), which I include in both languages at the end of this post. Great advice from a young man that I will take to heart!  “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Wow! I love living here! All the neat people! And places!

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My dog companion walking ahead of me here.

No rain the previous afternoon or night, thus the Falls not as full Norman said. After visiting with Norman awhile I walked back and one of the guard dogs decided to walk back with me, all the way to the Adventure Tours station, nearly 2 km, where they said he does that frequently with guests – every creature is friendly here!    🙂

Chorreras Waterfall

 

Birds on the Walk

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Hotel Grounds on the Walk

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Flowers on the Walk

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Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Vive como si murieras mañana. Aprende como si vivieras para siempre.

~Mahatma Gandhi     –     Given to me by Norman at Chorreras Waterfall to encourage me with my study of Spanish.     🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Hacienda Guachipelín

Arrival Day Photo Overload

By the time I get to a place and settle in I usually have less than half a day there but seem to get as many or more photos as other days – the excitement of a new place I guess!   And so it was yesterday at Hacienda Guachipelín!   🙂

So to spare you, I’m saving today’s birds and butterflies for another day and putting today’s other photos in slide shows so it won’t look like so much.   🙂

Airplane Shots

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Hotel Grounds

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Hotel Mirador (Vista Point)

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Hotel Flowers

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart”    –Confucius

 

¡Pura Vida!

Yesterday’s Sidewalk Encounter

On my 4 km walk to town yesterday, on the one steep hill, I came across this sidewalk grasshopper in the featured photo above.  (Actually a Cricket – See Comments below. I stand corrected!)     🙂

Sorry I can’t identify him – but that’s not expected here since we have 11,000 species of grasshoppers and crickets in Costa Rica as part of our more than 500,000 total insect species!  —  More bugs than the U.S. & Canada combined!   🙂   And oh so much fun! See my Insects Gallery or just my Grasshoppers Gallery to stay with today’s theme. I only have photos of 13 of the eleven thousand, so a ways to go in that collection!   🙂

Here’s a fun, educational YouTube Video about our grasshoppers with jokes about how some people in the world eat them, though not Ticos! They do not eat them here like some in Mexico and of course my past home of West Africa. I’ll just stick with photographing them!   🙂

Just another of the many daily encounters with nature while being retired in Costa Rica!  Love it!   🙂

“Crowds of bees are giddy with clover
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.”

~Jean Ingelow

¡Pura Vida!

 

P.S.

I arrive at Hacienda Guachipelín in Rincón de la Vieja National Park mid-day today and may start posting at odd times as things happen on this new and exciting adventure! Or I may try to keep the discipline of one-a-day posted for release at 5 am, which I kind of like. Keep reading the blog for totally new photos and scenery this week. Pura vida!

An Extra Article for Those Moving Here

How to retire as cheaply as possible in Costa Rica

Click the linked article for one of the most practical list of how to live cheap in Costa Rica – in short it is all about the life-style you choose and I can testify that living without a car not only saves lots of money but is easy and fun here! The article is by Christopher Howard in his “Live In Costa Rica” blog & website – the one who also does a great relocation tour coupled with the ARCR Seminar. Panama may be cheaper, but Costa Rica is a whole lot better!   🙂

The Craziness of My Passion

Yesterday I hired Walter to drive me to the three hotels within an hour and a half from my house to deliver the photo books I made about the three hotels:  Jaco-Carara Birding Hotels.  (Click to preview the book.)

I visited these 3 hotels in March, June and July this year and because they are all in the same area of Costa Rica near Jaco Beach and Carara National Park I decided to do one photo book instead of three, thus the title and combination of photos. A nice book if I do say so myself, with a large variety of coastal and forest birds and other wildlife plus the best sunset photos yet and an interesting sunrise photo I used for the front cover. Check out this book about Punta Leona Hotel, Villa Calletas Hotel and Macaw Lodge by clicking the above link. An electronic “Preview” is free!

Walter picked me up at 10 am and I was home by 3:30 pm which included a super lunch at Villa Calletas which the book notes as the best of the three for food (according to me)!   🙂

Why would I spend as much money on delivering 3 copies of the book as I did on printing them? Because I’ve had 2 hotels not receive their book through the mail and most of all I’m passionate about making nature photos and sharing them, especially with the people who helped me make them and love the nature of their surroundings as much as I. One young hotel employee was thrilled to see his work surroundings depicted in a photo book – his smile alone made the trip worthwhile!   🙂

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”       ― Mother Teresa

Visit my Bookstore  for other such books.

¡Pura Vida!

Of the Marvelous – Trip Book

Sorry there were two posts yesterday, the old man gets flustered on the computer sometimes and makes mistakes! I intended for one of those today and this one for tomorrow, but here it is anyway! 🙂

I think this is one of my best books yet on travels around Costa Rica, this one about my week in Uvita on the southern Pacific Coast, whale-watching, many birds and other wildlife, sunsets, a river trip and visiting one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen yet in Costa Rica, Nauyaca Waterfall, my 27th waterfall to photograph here!

You may see or “Review” every page of the book electronically for free without having to order. Enjoy another one of my tropical adventures in Costa Rica!     ~Charlie

The book:     https://www.blurb.com/b/9678019-of-the-marvelous

Or click the book cover image:

Click to PREVIEW this book online for free

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
~Aristotle

And for even more photos see my “Trip Gallery” 2019 Cristal Ballena, Uvita

¡Pura Vida!

New Butterflies

Two butterflies scurrying around my garden the other day captured my attention much because of how fast they traveled and thus difficult to photograph. The one with red & pink is a Transandean Cattleheart (Parides iphidamas), while the one with turquoise is a Short-tailed Flasher (Astraptes brevicauda). These are both identifications using A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America, Second Edition. On the Cattleheart especially, I trust the book more than the internet where the many different types of Cattleheart butterflies do not have their photos as finely separated as in the book.

The unknown yellow butterfly was on the parking lot by gym at Colegio Liceo (college-prep high school) – must have been pretty when alive but can’t find him in the book. CLICK images to see larger.

Transandean Cattleheart

 

Short-Tailed Flasher

 

Unidentified Butterfly

 

So we’ll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterflies.     ~William Shakespeare

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

 

And check out my Butterflies & Moths of Costa Rica photo gallery! I have not found another online Costa Rica Butterfly gallery yet with as many labeled butterfly photos, more than 80 with names!

Pruned My Yellow Bells Again

To maintain a vista from my terrace I have to top or prune off the top of both my Yellow Bells Tree and my Nance Tree about once a year.

I asked the gardener to write down the official name in Spanish which is “Arbole de vainillo” (Costa Rica only name – click for español description and other Spanish names by country). I just discovered that the Latin name Tecoma stans  (click for English description) also has multiple English names listed in this order on Wikipedia: Yellow Trumpetbush, Yellow Bells (which I have been calling it because of the yellow bell-shaped flowers), Yellow Elder, and Ginger-Thomas. It is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of The Bahamas, both using different names!

Topped the Yellow Bell & Nance Trees to preserve my vista.   🙂

And is very popular all over Costa Rica as a garden tree bringing 2-4 months of yellow flowers every year. You can see more photos of my trees blooming in my photo gallery named:  My Home Gardens.

 

“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”
~Okakura Kakuzo
¡Pura Vida!
See my photo galleries  Flora & Forest  and  Vistas for more of life here!

Trip Gallery

And the trip gallery is finished for my week-ago trip at:

October & November Adventures

Coming in October: A visit to Rincón de la Vieja National Park & Hacienda Guachipelin, a volcano park lodge, this one in the north of Guanacaste, above Liberia (a new area for me)  and another hotel that promises a great birding experience. I continue to try new places while occasionally repeating favorites like a redo of Arenal Observatory (another volcano birding lodge) coming in November. In Costa Rica – the adventures never end!
¡Pura Vida!

Hotel Grounds – Cristal Ballena

Included are shots from their “Rainforest Trail” which is a fairly dense forest with a lot of old growth big trees which is refreshing but difficult to photograph birds in because of all the limbs and leaves!   🙂

I did not show my room this time but the rooms are on the hill just above the restaurant and pool seen at top of feature photo above or in the pool photo below at upper left. Rooms 10-14 look directly over the ocean and sunsets, while other rooms like mine have garden views with partial ocean views. (My room views are seen in gallery Day Vistas.) I got more birds from my garden view but the premium rooms have better sunset views (cost more) and with clouds & rain every afternoon in rainy season there is not much sunset to see. See the hotel website for more information at   https://www.cristal-ballena.com/

Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita

CLICK Image to Enlarge

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on 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

For more photos see my Cristal Ballena Trip Gallery

¡Pura Vida!

Fruits & Flowers

Just a few of the beautiful fruits and flowers blooming all over the hotel grounds at Cristal Ballena Hotel with 2 shots made on the river trip in same area.

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“Almost every person, from childhood, has been touched by the untamed beauty of wildflowers.”    ~Lady Bird Johnson

¡Pura Vida!

For more area photos, see my Trip Gallery:

2019-September 13-21–Cristal Ballena, Uvita

OR for more Costa Rica Flowers see my gallery:

FLORA & FOREST COSTA RICA

Rio Sierpe Mangrove Tour

Wednesday of my visit to Uvita I took a taxi back close to the Palmar Sur Airport I flew into for the Mangrove Boat Tour on Rio Sierpe – my sixth place to do a Mangrove or River Tour in Costa Rica which always provides a lot of birds and other wildlife to photograph. This one did not disappoint! (Not my best, but very good!)

A Couple of Coincidences

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Carlos Gonzales

The big surprise for my solo boat tour with a captain and guide was that Carlos Gonzales was the guide – the same guide I had in Drake Bay at Aguila de Osa Hotel in 2017. He is one of the few “older” guides I’ve had in Costa Rica with the majority looking like they are fresh out of college. Carlos is 71.

Plus the funny coincidence was that the boat captain was also named Carlos and my name in Spanish is Carlos!   🙂   Tres Carloses!

Birds

 

Other Wildlife

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River Scenes

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“Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!” said Piglet, feeling him.
Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.”
― A. A. Milne

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

 

Another Nature Adventure arranged by  Hotel Cristal Ballena!

This trip gallery:  2019-September 13-21–Cristal Ballena, Uvita