Variable Seedeater

This Variable Seedeater (eBird link) Female was on my porch right after breakfast yesterday. We saw both male and female on the pre-breakfast bird hike but I did not get a photo of one then. They are fairly common all over Costa Rica it seems, feeding on seeds in the grasses mostly. See my Variable Seedeater Gallery of photos from all over Costa Rica.

Variable Seedeater Female, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, Costa Rica
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A Fungus Among Us!

Phallus indusiatus (Wikipedia article) is the fungus Dictyophora indusiata. It might have been the most interesting thing we saw on our morning bird walk yesterday. At least it is new and different to me or my first time to see this “Bamboo Mushroom” or “Stinkhorn” with lots of other interesting common names around the world as it is found in most tropical forests of Asia, Africa, Australia and Central/South America.

Phallus indusiatus = Dictyophora indusiata, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, Costa Rica.
Phallus indusiatus = Dictyophora indusiata, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, Costa Rica.

And yes, Of course I have a Fungus Gallery with other interesting fungi in it like the “Pixi Cup Fungi!” 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Arrival at Chachagua Rainforest

We had to go to two different UPS offices in San José, but finally got my new debit card and were off to the forests! When I got to my cabin after treating my driver to lunch, I laid in the hammock and almost went to sleep. Did not explore much before the afternoon rain started, but here’s shots of the river swim hole and hot springs, both near my room or cabin and then some shots of my cabin.

The boardwalk between swim hole and hot springs on side of a hill.
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A Long-tailed Skipper?

There are many Long-tailed Skippers but with my book and the internet I am still unable to find an exact match for this specific species in my garden yesterday. At least the butterflies are coming again now! 🙂

The one labeled simply “Long-tailed Skipper” has blue on his back in all ID sources, this one in my photos does not. The Teleus Longtail Skipper is also like this one, without the blue, but has white lines instead of white dots at the top of wings. The devil’s in the details! 🙂 So these photos go in my gallery folder labeled “Skipper, Longtail Unidentified.” (Yes, I have others!) 🙁 And if any reader is certain of the ID, please CONTACT me! 🙂

One of the many Long-tailed Skippers, Atenas, Costa Rica.

And here’s 4 images from my garden yesterday . . .

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A Common Swallowtail Here

The Polydamas Swallowtail (Link to butterfliesandmoths.org) seems to be one of the most common in my garden and one of first showing up early this year! 🙂 I have 28 photos in my Polydamas Swallowtail Gallery, all made in my garden! 🙂

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Unlike other butterflies here, I have no photos from my many visits to other locations in Costa Rica. These photos were made day before yesterday, May 6, which means it is early for a lot of butterflies, other than Yellows flitting about, and in past years butterflies have peaked at my house in June & July. I’m located in the western foothills of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. I have a trip north of here next week and hope for some different early butterflies there and then on my July trip is to the southwest of the country, maybe something new there, I hope! 🙂

Costa Rica has an incredible variety of butterflies as a part of more than 300,000 insect species, the most for any country it’s size. Part of that is due to our location as a “connecting bridge” of land between North and South America. The above butterfly website shows this particular Swallowtail appearing across the Southern U.S. and throughout Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

See all my Costa Rica Butterfly Galleries. 139+ species!

Lavinia Clearwing

Lavinia Clearwing (Hypoleria lavinia) (link to Butterflies & Moths of North America site) or Fuzzy-spotted Ticlear in my book A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America. This seems to be fairly rare or at least I’m not finding much about it online. This one appeared in my kitchen as I was preparing a ham sandwich, landing first on a bottle of relish then flying to the floor where he seems to be on his last leg, though when I I examine closely the one on the floor seems a little different – hmmm. Anyway, it’s another new butterfly for me! 🙂

Lavinia Clearwing, Hypoleria levinia, Atenas, Costa Rica
Lavinia Clearwing, Hypoleria levinia, Atenas, Costa Rica

See my Costa Rica Butterflies GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly

Here’s my first Damsel or Dragonfly photo this year though not the first seen. They are all hard for me to photograph and to identify, usually! But this time with my handy new book Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica by Dennis Paulson and William Haber, I managed to narrow it down quicker than usual for me; obviously first to a Damselfly and then by the spreading wings that it is one of the subspecies called “Spreadwing” (most Damsels keep their wings straight by their side) and then with the book’s excellent photos and me having a photo with enough detail like the blue eyes and the brown thorax with white stripe I quickly determined that this is a “Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly” or “Lestes alacer” the technical name of this species found in Central America and parts of North America. I hope to expand my collection of Dragonflies & Damselflies which is already a pretty good start . . .

See my GALLERY: Dragonflies & Damselflies of CR (18+ species identified with many more not identified. Your ID help welcomed!) 🙂

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly, Atenas, Costa Rica
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The Park Sign

Sure enough, they finally uncovered the park sign last night at 7 pm in the rain without me! But I heard the fireworks go off right at 7 and knew that was the reason. They love to celebrate anything with fireworks here! 🙂

This morning on my way to my one breakfast out a week I detoured by the park for these 3 shots on my cellphone. I know the sun lights up at night and suspect the letters might, but won’t know until I go by there at night. I was not expecting the “little murals” on the letters since other parks in Costa Rica with their town name spelled out like this use solid colors like Alajuela’s red and Heredia’s also red. Thus Atenas is definitely unique in this way! 🙂

ATENAS murals depicting the coffee farming town.

I may describe the murals in more detail later, but in brief, the A: has our National Boyero Monument (Oxcart statue), T: the main Catholic church on the south side of Central Park, E: with three of several historic buildings, N: what appears to be lifestyle images, A: the historic and famous railroad bridge over Rio Grande and S: is their nod to the farmers with sugarcane, coffee and oxen.

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