Just a few sample shots of the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica which I’m sorry I did not pay more attention to in my photography this past week. Every tree is a beautiful work of art and some are old growth or a part of an ancient virgin forest. I was particularly surprised to see how close we were to Arenal Volcano and what a beautiful view we had from the continental divide in Santa Elena Reserve shown above in the feature photo. I plan to go back to Arenal in November! So many beautiful places of nature here!
Monteverde Forests & Vistas
An Old Growth Ficus Tree in Monteverde Reserve
An Unusual Tree that Got My Attention in Curi Cancha
Forest Trail in Selvatura
Looking Down on Forest from a Hanging Bridge, Selvatura
Another Vista from Santa Elena
Arenal Volcano Seen from Santa Elena
Selvatura Tree Tops Hanging Bridge
My Guide Rodiber Finding Tree Information
Cloud forest is quite different from lowland tropical rain forest. The name comes from the observation that the forests are nearly always shrouded in clouds. These forests are situated at high altitude along the continental divide down the spine of Costa Rica. As the warm moist air from over the Pacific or Caribbean is pushed up the sides of the mountains, it cools, and the moisture begins to condense forming clouds. ~Costa Rica Guide, https://costa-rica-guide.com/nature/refuges/monteverde-cloud-forest-reserve/
I just realized that I have started to repeat some photos, so this will be all of my reports on a wonderful week in Monteverde. My “Trip Gallery” will be coming to my online photo gallery soon at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde Lodge & Gardens – just need a few more days for that and then “The Book,” my first on Monteverde even though I was there one other time. Watch my Bookstore for the Monteverde photo book! This trip alone yielded photos of 44 species of birds!
And check out some of my other trips in theCosta Rica TripsPhoto Gallery! Almost every location is as beautiful and exciting as this one.
Bajo del Tigre Reserveis the smallest of the nature reserves within Monteverde even though it is a part of the largest total Nature Reserve in Costa Rica called Children’s Eternal Rainforest or better known here by its Spanish name Bosque Eterno de los Niños. The better part around Monteverde is outside of town in the forests where you must stay in cabins to see many birds or other wildlife. And the very best area of the bigger reserve for birds is east of here near Arenal which I hope to visit sometime.
Here’s my better photos of wildlife seen in about 2.5 hours on the Bajo del Tigre Trail. The close-up of a Three-wattled Bellbird was when he came down near us (me & my private guide) feeding or looking for fruit to eat. Wild avocados are ripe right now. 🙂
Bajo del Tigre Wildlife
Lesson’s Motmot (formerly Blue-crowned)
“Away, away, from men and towns, To the wild wood and the downs, — To the silent wilderness, Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Selvatura Parkis (or was) a great combination Nature Park next door to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve AND an Adventure Park (which part is now taking over). It was a super place when I visited 3 years ago with the biggest and most impressive Butterfly Garden I had ever seen and they claimed it to be the largest in Central America. Well this time the butterfly garden had only two species of butterflies – my hotel has more in their tiny butterfly garden! Their Hummingbird Garden is flowers & feeders attracting wild hummingbirds, so what seemed like fewer this year may just be what is happening in the wild (or what they are feeding them and fewer butterfly-attracting plants). I refused to pay extra for the serpentarium or insect exhibit, expecting they had gone down like the butterfly garden.
The hanging bridges seemed to be about the same and like before I saw one Bellbird and one Quetzal. So they are more about the forest than birds and I enjoyed the bridges the most, but I do not recommend spending the high amusement park prices if you just want a nature visit. The adventure business of zip lines, tram ride, a new “Superman” zip and other such has taken over here. For nature lovers and birders I recommend sticking with the four nature reserves in Monteverde. Here’s 4 slide shows of what I saw there which was still nice as I hope the photos show.
A day late because I had so many photos and so little time yesterday. Curi-Cancha Reserve is probably my favorite reserve in Monteverde, not only because I photographed more birds there but because I think it is the most beautiful and I apologize for no scenery photos except this one unusual tree below. I use my cell phone for scenery shots and had let Rodiber, my guide, carry my phone because he gets great bird shots on it for me through his high-powered scope.
In 1970 the Lowther family purchased the property of Hubert and Mildred Mendenhall and named it Curi-Cancha, the name derived from “Golden Enclosure” in Inca. At that time the property was approximately 1/2 pasture and 1/2 virgin rainforest. In the ensuing 45 years the Lowthers cleared no areas and allowed the majority of the pastured areas to re-grow into forest.
The fact that some pastures still remain there as meadows is part of the beauty and that openness makes it easier to photograph birds. We saw a lot more birds, but here are 17 that I got decent photos of:
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton
I haven’t been sharing as many of my terrace sunsets lately, which of course are different every night. The featured one above is from over my roof, which I often like better than from terrace below. Both last night. And I imagine that many of you saw the same beautiful sunset in your own world! 🙂 A beauty we all can behold!
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science
— Albert Einstein
I felt the wind move across my face and arm, knowing nature’s way of showing its power and sensitivity would soon end – then a Yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush) sang its beautiful song that Costa Rica custom says calls in April and May rains that will replace the wind and dryness of our summer. I look forward to the “Green Season” and the freshness my explorations will bring – experiencing the mysterious in Costa Rica.
One section of my photo gallery was recently added as Pre-Costa Rica Travel. I am slowly adding one trip at a time until it is finished, starting with my Latin American travels since that is where I live now. 🙂
But one couple living in snowy New Hampshire just left their winter visit to Atenas to return home until their trip next January which will be longer or two months next year. They are not sure yet about retiring here, but wrote to say that my blog keeps them looking forward to their annual trek here.
Well, their message reminded me of my only trip to New Hampshire which was a fall color photography trip in 2004. including lots of vistas and 22 covered bridges along with many of my other interests! So I just got motivated (by new friends) and added this photo gallery ahead of schedule with some of my favorite fall color shots. See this “New” old travel gallery now included here – CLICK Linked Title Below:
A part of the joy of being “Retired in Costa Rica” is occasionally remembering old times and places which is something my photography and Gallery provide, along with the personal pages of my Blog/Website on the top menu above (still being developed). And of course I continue my regular reports on Costa Rica! 🙂 My first love now!
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
One of the reasons I chose to stay five nights in the Jaco Beach area of Costa Rica (a heavily visited and touristy area I usually avoid) is because I read about the Scarlet Macaw Project and Hotel Punta Leona’s installation of Nesting Boxes. All Macaws are somewhat endangered because they require a large hole in a big old tree to nest and most big ol’ trees have been cut down. Thus mankind has found a way to help replace what we destroyed by installing nesting boxes for the Macaws to nest in, thus continuing the species. It is a bigger problems on the Caribbean side of CR with the more endangered Green Macaws as helped there by the Manzanillo ARA Project . I visited it in 2016 near Manzanillo. The ARA Project is also on the Pacific side focused on the Scarlet Macaws at Punta Islita which I have not visited yet. Another hotel on the Pacific side that has Scarlet Macaw nesting boxes is the Tambor Tropical Resort, Tambor Bay, I visited in 2017. So I’m happy to see this, another project that helps save an endangered species!
Hotel Punta Leona has many nesting boxes installed over their heavily wooded property and a new exciting thing is that about 5 boxes have REAL TIME CAMERAS where you can watch the babies in the nests. Cool! Just click the real time link. In the photos below you will see a wire running into one of the nests – that’s the camera! 🙂
Here’s a few shots of Scarlet Macaws I made at Punta Leona:
Learn more about this beautiful but endangered species, the Scarlet Macaw at Neotropical Birds
I have often said I would leave Costa Rica only to visit other nearby countries birding and thought that Ecuador would be next – but I just saw the following video (short movie) from E-Birds that has now turned my attention toward Columbia. To see why, watch this little movie called BIRDING: A Musical Journey through Northern Columbia — I love living in this incredible region of the world! So much to see/do!
Punta Leona is big and hotel rooms are in different clusters – mine in Selvamar, Haiti Sidewalk (Between Cuba & Jamaica Sidewalks) where each group of little cabins is named after a Latin American country. So I was Selvamar, Haiti 852. It seems newer than some other areas of hotel rooms and has its own restaurant called Carabelas which is suppose to be Peruvian food, all three meals served buffet style. That is typical of a place that caters to tour buses of which there were a few here. And how Peruvian is debatable, though almost everything was good. I ate at the Mantas Beach restaurant Marinos twice and the Playa Blanca Restaurant once a la carte. Both featuring fast casual food. I don’t rate Punta Leona very high for food, but okay. The room was very nice and by putting the little sign on my doorknob “clean now” it was clean after breakfast every morning! Nice!
Like all of the many buildings at Punta Leona, they have tried to save the old big trees with these cabins nestled in among old trees and new trees and other plants added. Nature is central here which I appreciate.
Restaurant & Pool
All we need, really, is a change from a near frigid to a tropical attitude of mind. ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas