Impulsive Weekend Plans

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! 🙂

The feature photo today is one of the sunsets from my last visit to Xandari in January.

Retired in Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

As Night Falls

As Night Falls
By John Herlihy

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.

¡Pura Vida!

Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown

Have your days seemed pass slower or be longer and then your weeks and months passing faster? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon you can read about on BBC at this link:  Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown 

Or if you are one of those weird Americans who prefers to read American publications, try this one in the LA TimesIs time flying by oddly quickly during COVID-19? Here’s why you may feel that way

CLOCKS

Now . . . back to the future in Costa Rica!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

My Windows – My World

As Frank Lloyd Wright said,

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

And as he created his magnificent houses always integrated with nature – I have tried to create views through all my windows & doors that bring nature in and take me out! I love traveling in the nature places of Costa Rica, but living in nature day to day keeps me going! The luckiest guy in the world!

Look through My Pura Vida Windows on life!

Terrace – My Biggest Window

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Garden Door View

This garden greets me upon every departure and arrival!   🙂

 

Living Room Window

A Strangler Fig Tree – shades from afternoon sun.

 

Kitchen Window

Kitchen view garden.

 

Laundry Room Window

Slope with interesting tree!

 

Office-Guest Room Window

I planted a row of palms for privacy from street

 

Bedroom Window

Pot plant in front of the outside palms.

 

“Dormer windows” above my bed in the jungle!

 

Bathroom Windows

Above sink & toilet – my beautiful hill!

 

I shower in the jungle!

I am Rich in Nature!

 

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.     ~Socrates

 

For the wealth of nature surrounding me in Costa Rica, see my photo galleries:  “Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.”

See why I love it here!

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Scenery

Okay – my last post for Xandari! You may get tired of seeing photos from there, but hopefully they reveal why it is one of my favorite hotels in Costa Rica! I never tire of it and hope to keep going back! And like other great places, the friendliness and helpfulness of the people there is one great reason I may not have mentioned much! And that has nothing to do with my photography library being there – they treat everyone like royalty! I highly recommend Xandari Costa Rica anytime you are here and need a hotel near the airport or better yet for a luxurious nature experience over a longer period of time. You need several days to hike, see, photograph, and do all there is to do in this hotel!

And one of my many reasons for liking it is the beautiful scenery I have grouped here in two categories. As always, click a photo to see it larger and then you can return or take the option to see the photos in that gallery as a manual slide show. Enjoy!

Xandari Vistas

 

 

Xandari Trails & Grounds

And in case you wondered why no flowers here, I did a Xandari Flowers post last week or for those from all my trips there, see the photo gallery Xandari Flowers. 

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”     ~Rachel Carson

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica    (hotel website)

For the photo report on my latest and third trip to Xandari see my CR Trips Gallery 2020 Xandari Nature Resort, AlajuelaNOW READY! And includes for the first time my visit to the Starbucks Alsacia Coffee Farm.:

Photo gallery of my latest visit to Xandari Resort

Or if researching Xandari, see photos from my 2 earlier trips in both galleries and in books:

2019 Xandari Birthday Week Celebration:  GALLERY   –or–   BOOK

2018 July Xandari First Visit:   GALLERY   –or–   BOOK

 

Better Sunsets Tonight

If I keep trying maybe I will get a really good one on one of my 4 nights here!   🙂

20200113_173058-WEB
Sunset, 13 Jan. 2020 from Villa #5, Xandari Costa Rica

20200113_173902-WEB
Sunset, 13 Jan. 2020 from Villa #5, Xandari Costa Rica

 

When I admire the wonders of a sunset . . . my soul expands in the worship of the creator.     ~Mahatma Gandhi

¡Pura Vida!

Good Night from Xandari

My first afternoon was settling in, photographing the room, hiking the upper level of trails photographing mostly flowers and having a really great dinner! I love it here! Maybe my favorite hotel in Costa Rica! But I’m too tired to process photos tonight and this sunset is not great but will have to do. Good night!   🙂   Much more tomorrow!

¡Pura Vida!

2019 in Photos

Someone may remember that for “2018 in Review” I did a “Photo a Month” and decided then that it was not the best way to choose favorite photos – like it or not, the best or “favorite” photos are not evenly divided among 12 months.   🙂

So . . . this year I decided to try my personal favorite photo in each of several categories for 2019 – but yikes! This was not easy either and I really wanted more from the category of Birds, which is what I photograph the most – but this is what you get this year and since I used a different bird on my electronic “Christmas Card” earlier, you got that bird too!   And now I’ve decided to include two photos from my December trip to the rainforest AND there’s another bird!      🙂

I kept adding categories to include more photo! Cheating?    🙂    Here’s my personal favorites (not necessarily best photographically) – photos that mean something special to me in each of 18 categories listed alphabetically:

Airplane Shot

Flying in a small plane out of SJO to another adventure is joy! I flew on 5 of  my 12 trips in 2019. For longer distances it is usually quicker and cheaper than my hired driver and with fun photo-ops! See gallery of all my airplane shots since 2009! Costa Rica from above!   🙂

Amphibian

Red-webbed Tree Frog, Maquenque Eco Lodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, January 2019. See my gallery on this frog (including one at another lodge) or my total Amphibians Gallery.

Art & Architecture

A worker arriving in the morning at Zephyr Palace,Villa Calletas Hotel, Jaco, July 2019 or maybe find other architecture in my Places & Things Gallery or more art in my People, Fiestas and Art Gallery

Bird

A Pale-billed Woodpecker building a home at Arenal Volcano National Park, Arenal Observatory Lodge, November 2019. See my Costa Rica Birds Gallery.

Butterfly

A Dina Yellow Butterfly at Villa Calletas, Jaco, July 2019. See my CR Butterflies Gallery.

Flower

Orchid at Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada, January 2019. And my Flowers Gallery.

Forest Sunrise

Sunrise at Macaw Lodge near Carara National Park, June 2019. See also my Sunrise/Sunset Galleries.

Insect (not a butterfly)

Dragonfly at Macaw Lodge near Carara National Park, June 2019. And my More Insects Gallery.

Jungle Sunset

Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita, September 2019. Or see other Sunset galleries.

Monkey

Mantled Howler Monkey, Maquenque Eco Lodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, January 2019 and shot from my Tree House Room!   🙂   See my CR Howler Monkey Gallery.

Mountainscape

The tip of Arenal Volcano seen From the Continental Divide, Santa Elena Reserve, Monteverde, April 2019 or check out my Vistas Gallery.

Oceanscape

Pacific Coast Mountains near Uvita & Dominical, September 2019 or check out my Vistas Gallery.

Ocean Sunrise

At Banana Azul Hotel, Puerto Viejo, Caribe Sur, August 2019. Or see other Sunrise/Sunset galleries.

Ocean Sunset

Villa Caletas, Jaco, July 2019. Or see other Sunset galleries.

Rainbow

Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, November 2019 or check out my Vistas Gallery.

Rainforest Animal

Tapir at Tapirus Lodge Costa Rica. See also my Other Wildlife galleries.

 

 

 

 

Rainforest Bird

Sunbittern at Tapirus Lodge, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica.  See my other photos from earlier in my Sunbittern gallery.

Sloth

Sloth Rescue Center, Cahuita, Caribe Sur, August 2019. Or see my Three-toed Sloth Gallery.

 

Waterfall

Nauyaca Waterfall near Dominical, September 2019 with my Portuguese friends in the photo. See all my Costa Rica Waterfalls Gallery.

 

And yes, I realize that I kind of stretched the landscape category with other “scapes” which I won’t do next year but maybe try for my top 12 favorite photos (17 here) which had I done this year would have been mostly birds. But hopefully these “favorites” will give you an idea of what it is like being Retired in Costa Rica!   🙂   And 2020 will have a lot of great new photos!   🙂  I’m sure!

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”

~Criss Jami

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

¡Pura Vida!

 

 

 

Waterfall & Tower Hikes

Today I had a morning hike to the Danta Waterfall and afternoon hike to the Observatory Tower they call “The Nest.” Both were good, see photos below. And though still rainy today (I had to leave tower before most toucans arrived), there was almost a sunset tonight or the nearest we’ve had this rainy week and of course what little I got was mostly behind the clouds.   🙂

Waterfall Hike

 

Tower Shots

 

An Almost Sunset

 

Arenal Observatory

¡Pura Vida!