Walking Among Miracles!

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis

Just a few shots of walking around El Silencio Lodge & Reserve, Bajos del Toro Amarillo, Costa Rica.

By discovering nature, you discover yourself. ~Maxime Lagacé

¡Pura Vida!

See my other Costa Rica Vistas and very soon my El Silencio Trip Gallery, now under construction.

One More Bird!

After breakfast this morning walking back to my villa, I got one more species, not new to me, but upping my photo count to 16 here this trip. It is the Common Chlorospingus (link to eBird article) and he used to be called a “Common Bush Tanager.” There was a flock of them along the main road flitting from tree to tree.

I’m now packing and will leave around 10:30, back to Atenas!

¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes, my CR Birds photo gallery link!

Bajos del Toro Waterfall

This was my waterfall for today and the biggest of the week. If you go to their website Catarata del Toro you can tell that it is commercial and on private property with all of their “biggest and best” claims. The same people own the property that yesterday’s Las Gemelas Waterfall is own. So of course you pay admission to each.

Bajos del Toro sits in the shadow of Poas Volcano, next to the Poas Volcano National Park, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, and the Bosque de Paz Rain/Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Outdoor activities abound with rugged trail systems to explore the forest’s flora and fauna.

This is beautiful wilderness area and today’s guide, Daniel, another great new friend and excellent guide has done a cross country hike with friends over this trail-less wilderness using machetes to blaze their way through. There are plans to build trails connecting the two national parks and Bajos del Toro.

There were two of us from El Silencio Lodge to go with Daniel on this waterfall hike. I chose not to walk the 400 steep steps down to the bottom of falls, but the Tica young lady guest did walk down while I walked through the hummingbird garden. I do most of the things younger people do, but not all now! 🙂

For you history enthusiasts, the full name of the town and the waterfall is Bajos del Toro Amarillo, translated literally as “Low place (valley) of the Yellow Bull” and the story is that when the first settlers came it they saw a yellow bull that later historians say was actually a bison that did populate parts of Central America in the early 1800’s. It is always fun to get the history behind some of these place names. 🙂

I did my guided bird hike before breakfast this morning also with Daniel but have barely started sorting bird pictures. But with this morning hike + my solo hike in the Hummingbird Garden here + a noon-time experience I will be recording 3 lifer birds or 3 that are new to me. Not bad! 🙂

Today’s waterfall hike slide show:

And this is one more added to my CR Waterfalls Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari GALLERY #4 Published

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.
  • 2019 July 1-6 – My birthday week with them providing a cake and great celebration and me making another different set of nature photos all over. A very good week! Or see the Photo Book, Brilliant! My Birthday Week at Xandari!
  • 2018 July 14-18 – My first trip to Xandari and maybe my most photos as I was thrilled with the discovery in every way! Or see the Photo Book, Xandari – Enchanted by Nature

¡Pura Vida!

White-winged Dove

This is the most common or most frequently seen dove or pigeon in my garden. (The Inca Dove is the second most common in my garden.) To learn more about White-winged Doves, see The Cornell Lab “All About Birds” Article. Or White-winged Dove Gallery for more of my photos of this regular visitor to my garden. In this photo he is perched on the stump of a tree top where my Yellow Bell Tree was recently pruned so I can maintain my terrace vista.

¡Pura Vida!

Flowers Brighten the Walk!

After the birds and vistas I photographed only a few of the many flowers along my Sunday morning walk. I do enjoy the immense variety of plant life here in Costa Rica! And remember to CLICK to enlarge an image:

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

And for more, there’s my Flora & Forest Photo Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!

Through the eyes of a child . . .

The subtitle of my newest travel book is “When you look through the eyes of a child” describing how I tried to present this photo-travel book on Maquenque Eco-Lodge and Reserve. Yes – it is in Spanish this time but for you English-only people, don’t worry! All the photo captions are in both languages and the poem from which I got the subtitle is also in both languages, and here it is in English:

“Everything seemed possible,
when I looked through the eyes of a child.
And every once in a while;
I remember,
I still have the chance to be that wild.”

― Nikki Rowe

It’s a photo book with 141 photos, including photos of the 61 species of birds I got this visit. THE ELECTRONIC PREVIEW IS FREE, so go to this link or click the cover image below and you can see all 92 pages of the book for free! Of course full-screen is best for photos! 🙂

https://www.blurb.com/b/10228384-maquenque-m-gico

In English: “Maquenque Magic, When you look through the eyes of a child, by Charlie Doggett”

Or just for the downloadable photos, go to my “Trip Gallery” titled:

2020 June 30–July 6- Maquenque Eco-Lodge & Reserve

¡Pura Vida!

Morning Walk Vistas

Just the views are a reason to walk even if no birds or flowers! 🙂 The cow pasture is across from my house, included to show you how much higher the grass is in rainy season. All other views are from my street just up the hill from my house. And people have similar views all over Costa Rica! One of many reasons I retired in Costa Rica! Pura Vida! 🙂

And CLICK an image to enlarge it!

For more Costa Rica Vistas, see that gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Two New Galleries

I have completed two new photo galleries from my recent trip to Maquenque. Of course the Maquenque Gallery is the biggest with most photos, but we stopped for coffee in Cinchona on the way back home and in 15 to 20 minutes I photographed 6 birds with two of them “Lifers” (new to me)! And of course the San Fernando Waterfall! And since it is a totally different location than Maquenque and my travel galleries are about locations – two galleries! 🙂

You have been getting samples or teasers on the blog (with 4 more to go through the 22nd) while this is the real collection from my #1 birding lodge and photos of 61 species this trip! Plus photos of lots of other nature! Check it out! And similar to the blog, you click photos to enlarge or sometimes open a sub-gallery for that bird or topic.

Maquenque Eco-Lodge, July 2020 Gallery

And the separate gallery for our coffee break stop on the way home at Soda & Mirador Cinchona for a waterfall and 6 birds, 2 of which are “Lifers” for me!

And in the interest of Coronavirus Safety I have no more trips planned until the middle of September, my annual Caribe Beach trip to Hotel Banana Azul where I will again be a “loner” doing things “solo” for safety. This place is more about relaxation than serious birding but there will be birds! 🙂 And solo walks on the beach searching for nature gems! And always enjoying someone else’s cooking! And reading! 🙂

And FYI, because of some spikes in Coronavirus cases, Costa Rica has shut down again until maybe August with no bars and restaurants only for “take out” or para llevar! (Or delivery, called “express” here.)

And even the banks were closed this week! I hope not next week as I’m trying to renew my residency! And for two weeks at least, private cars are allowed on the road for only 1 day a week based on tag number. We take the virus seriously here! And most of us wear masks. The borders are still closed to everyone until announced otherwise. They had hoped for limited border openings in August but that is not looking likely now, especially for Americans, the most infected country in the world! (Love your money but not your virus!) 🙂

Stay safe everyone and wear your mask!

¡Pura Vida!