As common after trips, I’ve been overwhelmed with things to do since I returned from Maquenque Eco-Lodge and with so many bird photos to process (70+ species) it may be awhile before I share those, so here is a small collection of 7 species of butterflies. Every living thing loves Maquenque! 🙂 CLICK an image to enlarge.
It’s very tough for me to focus. I’m like: ‘Look, something shiny! No, focus. Oh, there goes a butterfly!’ ~Gabby Douglas
I got lots of attention all day yesterday but the biggie was dinner with a birthday cake and singing of Feliz Cumpleaños. Plus they decorated chair with flowers and gave me a bouquet of flowers to take back to my room in the tree tops! And I will eat more birthday cake today!
There are 4 kinds of Kingfishers here at Maquenque and so far I’ve photographed 3 of those species. I’ve seen Green Kingfisher here before but not this week so far. Here’s the three species I’ve got with two shots of the Amazon because he looks different in each shot. CLICK image to enlarge.
There are 4 species of Honeycreepers in Costa Rica and these three are easily seen all over the Maquenque Lodge & Reserve. Note the big difference in male and female of all three! CLICK image to enlarge.
Instead of traditional 4th of July fireworks I am enjoying the colors of parrots and toucans this weekend. I’ve photographed over 65 species of birds so far, so still way behind on presenting them all and decided to show just the two categories most foreigners consider the most colorful here! Enjoy my tropical fireworks show as a slideshow of 10 photos.
Not only did the mother Spider Monkey decide to eat some plant parts near my tree house but she brought her “toddler” who was more interested in playing than eating, and if that was not enough for the monkey mother, she was also pregnant – quite obviously! Here’s a few shots – just click to enlarge an image.
Watching things like this is just one of the reasons I choose a tree house here and they now have 8 tree houses along with their regular cabins on the lake. See their website at:
Can you believe that the tree house they assigned me to this year is named “Tarzan?” And I love it! Like they knew the little boy Charlie wanted to be Tarzan! Why it even comes with grape vines (see outside views) though I will not be swinging on them! And I was welcomed to my room by a visiting Keel-billed Toucan! See photo below.
And I doubt that Tarzan had a King sized bed or screens and ceiling fans, but I’m sure glad I do! It is hot and humid here like where I grew up in south Arkansas near the Louisiana line – hotter and more humid than Atenas which is in the hills.
CLICK a photo to enlarge it.
Our 3 hour drive took 4 hours with a lot of trucks on the roads today and the gravel road portion of the drive was in pretty rough condition – what it costs to get to real wilderness! 🙂 And yes, we are all wearing masks here, Costa Rica is smart enough to require it and everyone working here is in the same family – cool! And so nice! I’m the only guest until Friday when there will be 8 to 10 other guests for the weekend.
“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace
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! 🙂
Earlier I shared two videos of virtual night & day rainforest hikes with one of the young female guides at Selva Verde Lodge, Melany Ocón. The kind I experience on my trips, though we see more on our live hikes than these short videos . . .
Today is a hike with one of the young male guides whom I have been hiking with before when there (an expert on frogs). We saw a lot more than they see on this video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like to hike at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve, one of my many favorite places in Costa Rica. You will see a couple of frogs, a helmeted lizard, a pit viper and an anteater, so worth your effort to watch for 20 minutes and see just a little of why I love to explore the forests of Costa Rica with guides like Iván and Melany. June 30 I head north of Sarapiqui (location of these videos) for a week at Maquenque Lodge with other guides but similar experiences. And remember that English is not their first language! They do much better with English than I do with Spanish! 🙂
“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”
And for my photos of two visits to Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui:
Come join one of the guides at Selva Verde Lodge on a typical night hike in their Sarapiqui Private Reserve. Since people have not been able to visit them live, they put this”virtual night hike” on their YouTube Channel. One of the guides shows you the kinds of things I get to see live when I go on such night hikes at this and other lodges in Costa Rica. It is real and typical except for the short time of only 3 minutes! In real life there is more walking between the animals seen! 🙂
And here’s the same guide on a DAYTIME TOUR of Selva Verde, Just be aware that in an hour or more tour you see a lot more wildlife than in these little 3 minute videos! But both are a taste of what I regularly see and photograph in my retirement in Costa Rica: