December 2020 Arenal Gallery

Just in time! The night before I leave on another trip I finished my photos from the Christmas 2020 trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge with more than 50 species of birds! And 5 are lifers for me! Plus a whole lot of other photos from this favorite lodge. For now the birds are presented alphabetically by their English Common Name. Later I will make time to arrange by species families according to my birding guide book. Overall I’m pleased with this collection of photos and moving on to the next collection! 🙂 To see gallery CLICK above link or the image below:

¡Pura Vida!

Other Wildlife at Arenal

Wednesday I shared my photos of “Other Wildlife at Caño Negro” which was a different wetland world on a day trip away from Arenal and the 3 Monkey species seen there were shown in two separate posts. Now sometimes there are more monkeys and other animals in Arenal Observatory, but this trip I photographed 10 species and I’m sharing just 8 of the “other animals” (not birds or butterflies). All were seen on the grounds of Arenal Observatory Lodge, one of my favorite places. Later I will have my trip galleries completed and will summarize here all the amazing wildlife and other nature seen and photographed on this Christmas week trip. CLICK an image below to see it larger:

“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” 

– Charles Lindbergh

See my photo galleries OTHER WILDLIFE.

¡Pura Vida!

A “Lifer” in first afternoon

I arrived at Arenal Observatory Lodge in time for lunch with my driver and my first afternoon of looking for birds with 11 species photographed including the above Emerald Tanager (link to eBird description) which is a “Lifer” or first-time-seen bird for me! And a colorful one found only in Central America plus Columbia & Ecuador.

I did lots of walking including to the top of the 28 meters or 92 ft. tall observation tower with 146 steps on stairs. I’ve gotten lots of birds and monkeys from this tower in the past, but not today with it being overcast and very windy when I went up today, but I got several landscape shots including this one I call “A Sea of Treetops.”

My “Sea of Treetops” shot today from the top of Arenal Observatory’s observation tower.

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

¡Pura Vida!

House in the Forest

I just found this feature image from the May 9 “Big Day” of bird counting for eBird when I walked, counted and photographed birds in Roca Verde and adjacent Calle Nueva. The only non-bird photo was this above of a “House in the Forest” which I think I shot because it was so appealing to me, beckoning me into the forest.

Then just as I started to use it in this post as a wishful place, PRESTO! I realized that I already have it! It is the same kind of thing I have created with my little rental house, planting trees and flowers all around it where there were none already until I now have a slightly more modern version of the above house in the woods. Mine is seen below:

I love my “house in the forest” and the “jungle” I’ve created around it. This was “wide open” or mostly barren when I came 5.5 years ago, so I’m proud of my “reforestation!” 🙂 Plant a tree! It will make you happy!

A few weeks ago I spoke to this “living in a forest” with my blog post Forest Window and back in January I did a post titled My Windows – My World where I actually showed you the view I have from every room in my house! 🙂 You see, I love forests and living in them! 🙂

But I also live periodically all over Costa Rica now and those many forests can be seen through my eyes in a Flora & Forest Gallery and of course other galleries with the birds & other animals in these forests! And oh yes, today is the day I leave for one of my favorite forests in Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano National Park and the wonderful in-park wilderness lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge (link to lodge website). So maybe an arrival-day blog post report tonight! 🙂 Enjoy your own trees and plant some more! 🙂

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

Forest Details

At the end of Avenida 8 on the “Country Lane” part of the land is forest even though private property. As everywhere here in Costa Rica, if you look deep into the forest you see more details and colors like the orange Heliconia in the foreground of this photo and towards the back left the Red Ginger flowers. Yes, these flowers do grow wild in the forests as well as being cultivated in home gardens. Tropical Costa Rica! And even the variety of leaves and shades of green bring me joy as I continue to love forests more and more!

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.”     

~Paulo Coelho

See also my Flora & Forest Galleries.

¡Pura Vida!

Forest Window

Not only does one create his/her own happiness but also the world in which you want to live. When I moved into this fairly new rent house it had the basic trees and shrubs but I immediately planted a garden and added other plants around the yard and that now big Cecropia tree that appears in so many of my photos.

Another one of those early plantings was a row of palms outside my two bedrooms to gain additional privacy from the street that my bedrooms face, howbeit down a steep hill through lots of other trees and flowers and my big Strangler Fig Tree. It was not only for additional privacy but for the feeling that I live in a forest as seen from any of my windows and doors. Yes – we can create our own world! That is what I was trying to show in an earlier post: My Windows – My World, and back then the above bedroom window feature photo was different with an indoor palm (at right). I have to change pot plants occasionally because this window gets minimal sunshine! 🙂

And because it also changes a lot, there’s another earlier post titled Kitchen Window View. I love being surrounded by nature, the main art in my house along with some of my nature photos.

“Nature is the art of God.”

—Dante Alighieri

My Monstera deliciosa plant provides a good habitat for the birds in my photos! 🙂

“Just remember life is all an illusion…..

it’s your creation and you can dismantle it and re-create at will.”

― Nanette Mathews

¡Pura Vida!

For more pix of my “forest house” see photo galleries: My Home Garden, or My Rent House in Roca Verde, or Vistas from My Terrace, or Vistas from Hill Above My House. Of course all of Costa Rica is my big backyard and I travel to all parts of the country about every other month in national forests, parks and reserves, so watch for reports on the blog and/or check out my big gallery where I have photos documenting more than 80 Costa Rica trips in the CR Trips sub-gallery! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica offering all-expenses-paid vacations: How to enter

An article in Tico Times on how Canada and U.S. Citizens can win one of 15 free trips to Costa Rica for 2 people each. Just write a brief article or statement on an “Essential Person” to you during the pandemic. The 15 best will be published and you get the free trip! 🙂

Today’s Birds

Close to home I usually photograph my most birds along the 1 km or so up the hill from my house. Today I met a neighbor to show her where I find them and we spotted or recognized a minimum of 12 species. Here’s photos of 8, having no good photos of female Blue-black Grassquit, Hoffman’s Woodpecker, White-winged Dove and Inca Dove. The two doves I have so many photos of I just didn’t even try to photograph today. 🙂 The featured image is an immature Tropical Kingbird which is fairly common all over Costa Rica. CLICK an image below to enlarge and/or start a manual slide show.

See all my BIRDS galleries from many countries or just Costa Rica Birds if you prefer! 🙂

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way.

—Aristotle

¡Pura Vida!

Flowers

On the bird walk Sunday with my big camera I got a few nice flowers to share with the last one an Anthurium in my garden which I also show.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

– Audrey Hepburn

See also my Flora & Forests of Costa Rica Gallery.

Weather Update

The Hurricane Iota rains started yesterday afternoon in Atenas which we expect to continue day and night for 3 or 4 days, but at least no big winds here. The now Category 4 Hurricane is slamming into Nicaragua and Honduras and could go straight through to the Pacific Coast and little El Salvador and/or turn north for Mexico & the U.S. For English weather updates on conditions here in Costa Rica, see TicoTimes.

¡Pura Vida!