Pre-Easter Yellow

And for one week only – this particular tree.
Seen from my terrace as is the photo below.
Atenas, Costa Rica


Behind my “Cow Pasture Neighbors” Houses
Atenas, Costa Rica


Even the silhouetted Chachalaca seems to be admiring the yellow flowers.
In my Guarumo/Cecropia Tree
Atenas, Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!

A Day in Corcovado National Park

These are the general or scenery photos. For the main events see my photo galleries on Corcovado  Birds   –   Other Wildlife   –   Los Patos Waterfall


The Lodge converted a farmer’s tractor & trailer for hikers/tourists 
This took us the 6 km from lodge to ranger station where others must hike along river
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Rio Rincon or the Rincon River 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


I was the old man traveling with two young couples from Europe
as here, we sometimes drove in the river bed.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


And about 15-20 times we forded the river
When walking or riding a tractor, it is slow, even 6 km!
Plus we stopped for birds a few times, so an hour or so each way on tractor.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


River is park border, thus one side is private property like this house above.
When I got back I was showing the waiter/bartender David Venegas these photos and
he said, “Oh! That is my grandfather’s house!” Small little world down here!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


This young man couldn’t use his bike along river but was headed to the graded gravel road 
And note the machete strapped to his side, a basic tool all over Costa Rica!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We finally leave the river and enter the woods to the ranger station. 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


At our hiking trail entrance near the ranger station 
After we registered and signed in at the station, we hike rest of the day.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


“Velcro Plant” is what Jairo called it!
See next photo for why.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


School children cut pieces of the “Velcro Plant” leaves and stick on their shirts to make lots of images!
 Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We are quickly in a thick virgen forest.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


There are still plants here not identified. 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


More species in this park than in any other one place in the world! 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


I want to photograph everything I see – but simply can’t! 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


“Monkey  Brush” 
Jairo explains how monkeys use this fruit/seed of a tree to brush insects out of their fur.
Then one of our two girls demonstrated by brushing her hair. Incredibly good brush!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We stopped to see this “Stink Flower” 
which smelled awful! Like a dead animal!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


And here Jairo collects some “Red Beans” 
He gave each of us 3 of the red beans or seeds and said
that tradition is they will bring us good luck if carried in pocket.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Meanwhile David is looking for birds & found many! 
See the trip Birds Gallery for some I photographed.
And the trip’s Other Wildlife Gallery for other animals
photographed both in the park and at the lodge nearby.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Passion Flower as one of many wildflowers seen 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


About 4pm we were back to ranger station and on slow tractor drive back to lodge by around 5pm
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

This was just a brief overview of an all day hike that included the beautiful waterfall in a separate post yesterday and many birds and other animals shown earlier. Corcovado is truly an incredible place! See the bigger picture through my TRIP Gallery 2018 March 13-17 – Danta Corcovado.

Note that this trip was on the northeast side of park labeled “Los Patos.”
My trip last year was in northwest corner labeled “San Pedrillo” near Drake Bay.
And in 2009 I visited the south side of park at “La Leona.”
¡Pura Vida!

Starting Orosi Visit

Extremely slow internet service where I am staying, so only one photo a night after this. Sorry!

Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi 
This is the oldest continuously functioning church in all of Costa Rica, colonial built.
Orosi, Cartago Province, Costa Rica 
I got off the bus a block from this church across from the soccer field, the two things every town in Costa Rica has. 
Friday I plan to see the ruins of the very oldest church ever built in Costa Rica, the Spanish Colonial church grounds are also here in Orosi as a national park, Las Ruinas de Ujarras. 
Poro Tree
These beautiful trees are blooming now all over Costa Rica, but I saw more here today than anywhere.
They are usually growing in coffee farms for some particular reason I don’t remember.
This one I can see from the road in front of my little B&B 2 miles outside the village of
Orosi, Costa Rica

I will do more posts and many more photos when I get back home after the trip or next week. This one was a three-bus trip, one from Atenas to San Jose (1:30 in rush hour), one from San Jose to Cartago (50 min still rush hour) and the third from Cartago to Orosi centro (45 min) where I got off and had lunch and saw the oldest still functioning church, then a taxi to my little cabin for four nights. And learned that the bus goes within the equivalent of 1 block from my little hotel. But I saw the church and had a good Tico lunch or “casado.” I also met a couple from Canada in town who are here for a Spanish immersion school for several weeks.

I’ll tell more about the B&B when I post photos later, but it is small with it looks like only 3 or 4 little cabins in the country 2 km outside Orosi, operated by a very congenial multi-lingual French girl, thus the name Chalet Orosi. But the funny thing is that Costa Ricans or maybe all Spanish speakers don’t pronounce it the French way, “chal-lay” but “chal-et” just the way it is spelled!  🙂

Maelle arranged my two birding trips for Wednesday and Thursday and I am going to use the nice taxi driver I met today for seeing several other sites in Orosi on Friday, like the ruins, a couple of miradors (vistas). gardens, and maybe something else. So my time is planned. The best seafood restaurant in town is just a block away and a pizzaria a little further. The full-service hotels and lodges I usually stay in have spoiled me to onsite services, but this is already turning out to be a good different experience. The only other guests here tonight are a couple of 20-something guys from France, “seeing the world!”

I got photos of only two birds today, but the next two days are my birding days. Hoping for some new and different ones! There is a family of oropendolas living outside my cabin and a few smaller birds but the chalet owner has two cats, so not a birding residence!  🙂


Longest Zipline in the World (in UAE) Built by Costa Ricans

Includes a thrilling VIDEO – a must see!
And the Tico builder says a brief word in the video!  🙂

“Real” & Electronic Books

“Real” Book
Trees of Panama & Costa Rica
Electronic Book
Hercule Poirot: The
Complete Short Stories
I don’t buy many “real” or paper books any more with my Kindle Fire and the easy access to so many books electronically. And as an Agatha Christie fan, the Kindle has been a great joy for me with basically no storage space needed! And the best deal yet has been my current reading of The Complete Short Stories of Hercule Poirot. The cover says “More than 50” which of course means 51 stories, almost like 51 little books. I’ve loved every one as I’m now on the last 12 which are sort of related in their connections to the Roman mythology of Hercules, Hercule Poirot’s namesake! (Note that Hercules Roman mythology is similar to the Heracles Greek mythology.) And equally interesting is that this last series of 12 stories were all written in the year of my birth, 1940, and first published in magazines in both England and the U.S. Cool!
But nature reference guides are mostly easier to use in paper format, so my new “real” book on the trees of Costa Rica will hopefully help me identify more of the trees I see and photograph here. Experts know the names of around 3,400 trees here (more than all of U.S. & Canada combined and they still have not identified them all here. This particular book includes Panama which has a lot of overlap with Costa Rica and is produced by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Isla Barro Colorado in the middle of Lake Gatun, Panama which I visited Dec. 2013, making me confident this is the most authoritative resource available for now. And though I haven’t gotten into photographing trees like I do birds and other animals, the importance of trees ranks near the top as ecology indicators and value to us humans.
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” 
 Kahlil Gibran


Illustrated by my photo at Tambor Bay last Christmas:
If a tree dies, plant another in its place.   -Carolus Linnaeus

Added Bird from El Salvador to My Tree

“Peace Dove” by an artist in El Salvador
Now hanging on my year around Christmas Tree

In my living room last Christmas I added a tree on which I hung crafted birds from all over Central America. Some I bought locally and others came from UNICEF. Every purchase from them helps care for children all around the world! I encourage you to consider buying a new tree ornament or other hand-crafted Christmas gift from: 

Nesting Material

Rufous-naped Wren
Resting in a Cecropia (Guarumo) Tree
With nesting material from a Nance Tree
For the nest being built in my tallest palm tree.
Atenas, Costa Rica

And more birds in photo gallery:  Costa Rica Birds (238 Species)  

This particular wren is one of the most visible around my house and the most common one to fly inside my house as two did yesterday until I waved a towel for their exit.

¡Pura Vida!

From Behind the Big Rock: African Tulip Tree!

From behind the big rock at Roca Verde entrance
you see the red-orange flowers of our African Tulip Tree.
Atenas, Costa Rica

African Tulip Tree
Zooming in on another tropical tree that blooms for about one month.
Atenas, Costa Rica

I walk about half a mile up a steep hill to Chef Dan’s house 2 or 3 times a week for one of his gourmet meals for dinner. Monday I had Shrimp Alfredo with side salad and Italian bread. Tonight I walked up the hill for Curry Chicken Salad Wrap with side salad and mango chutney. I eat pretty well most of the time to be living in the rainforests of Central America!  🙂

I begin my ascent at this big rock near the front gate and of course come back by it on my way home for this view. The front side of the rock is often covered in moss, thus the name “green rock” (roca verde).
This big tropical flowering tree is by the guard house at the front gate but you see it better from behind the big rock! It is a native to Africa but planted in many tropical areas including Costa Rica as an ornamental tree. The scientific name is Spathodea campanulata or commonly called African Tulip Tree. What’s really neat about all the tropical trees with beautiful blooms here is that they nearly all bloom in different months, so that we almost always have some tree blooming somewhere in Costa Rica! What will I see next week in the Caribe?

For other blooming trees in Atenas, see my Walking Atenas photo gallery

Or for the whole country, see my larger Flora & Forest photo gallery

Rainy Season, el invierno, winter, or “Green Season” is at its peak in Central Valley in September and October when we get the most rain, typically 6-8 hours a day, mostly in late afternoon and evening. Great for sleeping! November is the “shoulder” month or when it tapers off and by December no rain for 6 months! Sad to me. I prefer the rainy season! Not only is it greener and cooler, but fewer American tourists!  ¡Tranquilo!   🙂

Another interesting phenomenon in rainy season is that while Sep-Oct are the heaviest rains in Central Valley, it is also the time when the Caribbean gets the least amount of rain! Thus I always plan my trips there in Sep-Oct!  🙂   Also note that both coasts are coastal rainforests which get rain year around, even when it is not rainy season here. I would like living there for that but not for the always hot and humid condition of the beaches. (Though the NW corner called Guanacaste is the desert area and pretty dry year around.) So I think the Central Valley is the best place to live with easy access to the whole country and the best overall weather! In fact the PR slogan of Atenas is “el mejor clima del mundo” or “the best weather in the world.”

One realtor’s take on it: 
And the Canary Islands also claim the best weather in this interesting video:
But that is the other side of the world! Different continent!

Rancho Naturalista – The Place

One of the friendly staff at
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My excellent young Birding Guide, Mercedes! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Main Lodge & Dining Room (office, kitchen, library, etc.)
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My Cabin for the Week 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Tile steps invite me down from my cabin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Observation Deck above the bird feeders and vistas
I had coffee at 5 AM each day here

One of the Vistas 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

“I never get tired of blue sky.”  -Vincent Van Gogh
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Early Morning Fog adds Mystery to the Forest! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And Recognition is Good!
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And their website: Rancho Naturalista

“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

George Santayana