I got 8 more butterflies today and at least one a “lifer” or new one for me, but identifying and processing hundreds of photos is just too much to share those today and the birds were just a very few! It is quite windy here this time of year.
So for today’s post, the easy way out, a handful of vistas from the hotel, many from my room and most of these are untouched straight out of the camera to facilitate my limited time for this post today! 🙂 One shot of last night’s sunset from my room just for the email announcement, and then all in a slide show that follows . . .
Yes, I’m still working on all my photos from Arenal, but with so few Toucans in my Guarumo Tree this year, I had to share this afternoon’s rapid stop by two Keel-billed Toucans to snack on some Cecropia Flowers before flying off to wherever they spend the night! 🙂
This was my fourth time to visit Arenal Observatory Lodge (link to lodge website) and the second time as my annual “Christmas Getaway!” The first two days we had a lot of rain & wind unlike the other Christmas visit and I thought it was not going to be a good place for Christmas this year, but then Christmas Day was a bright blue-sky, sunshiny day and we had a mixture of weather my remaining 4 nights there, and though I initially thought I didn’t see as much wildlife, I actually did pretty good with 27 species of birds and more butterflies and “other wildlife” than before! So – No big toucans or monkeys! I had a lot of other wildlife and some of my best frog photos plus more butterflies! 🙂
Also, I had less energy than on the previous trips here (cancer recovery is slow) and I scheduled no early-morning guided bird walk like usual, so to have 27 birds on my own is okay! 🙂 And I will be sharing those bird and butterfly photos in future days on this blog when I finally get them organized.
So . . . YES!I continue to rate Arenal Observatory Lodge as one of the best places in Costa Rica for birds and for my nature fix AND also for the lodge services with an excellent room and gourmet food, surrounded by one of the largest rainforests in the country! And yes, it is not cheap, but worth what you pay in my opinion. Superb guides, the best of other services, plus the best maintained wilderness trails that are featured below in this post, a birding tower, a big waterfall, and more birds, butterflies and trails than almost anywhere else! So yes – I will return to Arenal Observatory Lodge! But next time I’m going in May again, for the beautiful sunsets over the lake every night, and maybe monkeys then! 🙂 I think the sun moves further south this time of year, putting the sunset behind the mountains, but in May, it’s right over the lake! 🙂
Below is a Gallery of some rainforest trails at Arenal Observatory, then links to the photo galleries of my other 3 previous visits with a comparison of birds and other wildlife photographed. 🙂
From the top of a volcano to the mangroves at the ocean’s edge and even in the tiny garden behind my casita, I’ve daily photographed nature for 8 years here and called that photography “Nature as Art!” and shared it in this blog. 🙂
I like this Collins Online Dictionary definition:
Nature is all the animals, plants, and other things in the world that are not made by people, and all the events and processes that are not caused by people.
Thus in nature I worship God and find my peace & inspiration from Him, the creator of it all!
Each year I find it difficult to select only 12 photos from the year and I first tried to come up with 12 “categories” of nature to make sure I selected a variety, but that became as cumbersome as trying to have a “photo-a-month.” So I decided to just stick with “12 favorites,” even if more than 12 are favorites! 🙂
So, however labeled, here’s 12 photos I made in 2022!
Happy New Year and Pura vida! 🙂
To the nearly 500 email subscribers: I hope you read on for the other 11 favorite photos . . .
I was getting tired of sharing the same butterflies and stopped posting them for a few days on the blog. Then I realized that probably the reason I’m not seeing birds like usual is the noise of the construction of two houses across the street. Grumble, grumble! But – they sodded grass and planted palms today, so maybe they’re nearly finished! 🙂
Then decided I needed a short break to a favorite nature resort very near here, a 45 minute drive, and my first return since 2020. So about 11:00 this morning my driver will take me to Xandari Nature Resort on the edge of Alajuela, our provincial capital and the location of the San Jose Airport, hidden on a mountain overlooking it all in a thick rainforest with 5 waterfalls, a farm, lots of flower gardens, birds, butterflies, great food, Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture filled with beautiful art and no construction work! There is nothing to not like about Xandari, unless it is the price! 🙂 But sometimes one needs to splurge for a day or two! 🙂
Check out the galleries below from my 4 previous trips there and oh yes, this is the only hotel that has a complete library of all my Costa Rica Photo Books! 🙂 – Click the date of each previous trip below to see my gallery from that visit to Xandari . . .
For reading my blog! One of my host services just informed me that last month, July, I had over 2,000 views, 89 comments and 157 “Likes” with only other WordPress Bloggers having a “Like” button. So thank you for paying attention to an old man’s ramblings while retired in the natural paradise of Costa Rica! ¡Pura Vida!
Dark, damp, misting rain with no sunset as such but a trace of color as I eat my dinner at Playa Cativo overlooking the Gulf of Dulce on the Pacific coast of southern Costa Rica, while north of us Hurricane Bonnie is rushing across northern Costa Rica and Nicaragua and the handful of us here are thankful it didn’t veer south! 🙂
I saw and did a lot the first afternoon, but too tired to curate more photos now, so this rainforest report begins with a dark sky that will surely brighten as the week goes by. If not raining, I go on my birding hike at 5:30 in the morning and I got a head start with two pretty good photos today in the low light of a Great Curassow and a Scarlet-rumped Tanager.
And Of course I already like this place! 🙂 Later I’ll tell you about my beachside cabin and share photos from this nature-rich forest.
Last week (Feb. 2) I tried to see what birds would come around my terrace as the sun starts setting around 5 pm, with camera in hand of course! 🙂 There were several other birds, but I managed to capture only five, and of those only the Clay-colored Thrush (feature photo) was in good light, but regardless, here’s five common birds often around my house with the Oropendola staying near the tops of tall trees and not photographed as often. The Doves and Chachalacas are seen more in the mornings. Others are “special” or more rarely seen.