This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.
“The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”
~T. D. Jakes
Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .
My newest photo book is my cheapest ($8.83), smallest ( 6×9 in, 15×23 cm) and shortest (30 pages) as an introduction to why I retired in Costa Rica with 47 photos demonstrating my nature photography here. It’s not exactly a portfolio because of the cheaper paper, but . . . it actually is a cheaper version of a portfolio 🙂 and it also describes the 5 ways I experience nature and share it. As with all my books there is a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages in the bookstore at:
This will become my “give-away” book to guides, lodges and others here in Costa Rica, since some of my other books are too expensive to keep giving them away as I have been. But I’m still not in the photo-selling or book-selling business. I’m retired! 🙂 I make my photos to share with others online and the books become ways to do that physically on occasions. Prints and wall art are available in my gallery with no profit for me, just a good service of (and profit for) my gallery host. 🙂
And while you’re in my bookstore, check out some of my other photo books! They have free previews too!
Surely I’m describing Costa Rica and I could be . . . though this time it is the title of a documentary biography I found on my new streaming service, Curiosity Stream, that replaced Netflix for me, permanently this time with a whole year of streaming costing less than one month of Netflix (a stripped down version for Costa Rica).
The full title of this bio is Many Beautiful Things, The Life and Vision of Lilias Trotter. (Link to Wikipedia description) In brief, she was one of the world’s best unknown painters in water colors (late 1800’s to 1928) who was befriended by John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the Victorian era who promised to make her the “greatest living artist” in England. She repeatedly turned him down while continuing to paint beautiful nature scenes and landscapes simply to praise God.
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:
Here’s a few views of the big lake below Arenal Volcano. There is a boat taxi that will take you across the lake to a car taxi that will take you up that mountain to Monteverde. The lake is also a favorite for local fishermen. My May 2018 trip here gave me better sunset photos of the lake – time of year does make a difference!
Well . . . almost – actually just ABOVE my room is the Arenal Observatory Webcam going 24/7, rotating between Lake Arenal in sunset shot above and on the volcano as in the photo below. Both these photos are views from the deck of my room, similar to the Webcam views. My first year to come here I lucked into this room and have requested it now for the third time.
I’m writing this before I leave home to be released mid-day on my arrival day to start my blogging early from Arenal! 🙂 Everything should be green from months of rainy season that officially ended with November and it is now Summer (Dry Season) in Costa Rica! Though the weather forecast and above Webcam indicate there are still rain clouds at Arenal, which is okay! 🙂 The forest will still offer all the same wildness as a dry day! 🙂
I can hardly wait to explore the forests of Arenal again!
The “4” can mean my 4th trip to Xandari or the 4th Gallery on Xandari or the fact that I was there for 4 days this time! 🙂 The featured photo is on my walk to the restaurant from my villa.
It is a magical getaway every visit and I tend to photograph many new things or the same things in different ways each time, like this time I didn’t even hike to the waterfalls but spent more time with flowers & butterflies and a feature on the bamboo forest. So if considering a visit to Xandari, check out each of my photo galleries from 4 different trips there with 4 different perspectives:
2020 August 21-24 – A Weekend Retreat during a World Pandemic with masks & solo activities in nature. Most butterflies & flowers this time.
2020 January 12-16 – Five days when I installed my photo books library and photographed all kinds of nature with more birds than above.
This weekend I go to Xandari Nature Resortnear Alajuela, which is the only place in Costa Rica that you can see all of my Costa Rica Photo Books, other than at my house. I installed the library of photo books in January there for the benefit of their guests and this weekend I will be adding two more books, the only ones made since January for all of Costa Rica. (I also did a photo book on my Roca Verde neighborhood birds, but figure that is too narrow a focus, but may decide to take one of those too.)
Two new books for the Charlie Doggett Photo Library at Xandari Resort.
Doing some things on impulse is part of being retired in Costa Rica I think and I’m tired of being cooped up at home in Atenas. One of my favorite nearby get-a-ways announced they were open on weekends only for now with special discounted prices, so I took the bait and will go to Xandari Nature Resort this weekend, an hour away, Friday afternoon to Monday morning; to hike their forests, waterfalls and most beautiful gardens. Hope to get some good photos and will avoid group hikes or any other interactions with people, eating alone, maybe even relaxing in their solo hot tub by reservation. But mainly some new nature experiences, some with my mask and face shield as we continue to fight the spread of COVID19 here. I will stay safe! And I forgot to say yesterday that I now have my “Permanent Residency” in Costa Rica! 🙂
Now the night is falling gently, Shadows from the East intently. The sun descends as a pale dome, Sinking beyond the horizon to roam. Taking the day without any comment Stealing like a thief daytime’s moment.
Feelings in the heart may surge, As the stars begin to emerge. They awaken from deep slumber, Gathering together in great number. Muted sounds begin to be heard, Footsteps and night whispers feared.
Lanterns alight a spark and a wink, Illuminating the night blink-a-blink. Smoke rises like threads in a loom, Inscripting words that harbor doom. The night begins itself to remember, Tracing new memories fragile, tender.
All the nocturnal beings now awaken, As day bids farewell to a world forsaken. Distant mountains fade into darkness, In the shadows, night eyes see lightness. During the night, all the world simmers, I embrace the night as my soul glimmers.