Not only did the mother Spider Monkey decide to eat some plant parts near my tree house but she brought her “toddler” who was more interested in playing than eating, and if that was not enough for the monkey mother, she was also pregnant – quite obviously! Here’s a few shots – just click to enlarge an image.
Watching things like this is just one of the reasons I choose a tree house here and they now have 8 tree houses along with their regular cabins on the lake. See their website at:
Can you believe that the tree house they assigned me to this year is named “Tarzan?” And I love it! Like they knew the little boy Charlie wanted to be Tarzan! Why it even comes with grape vines (see outside views) though I will not be swinging on them! And I was welcomed to my room by a visiting Keel-billed Toucan! See photo below.
And I doubt that Tarzan had a King sized bed or screens and ceiling fans, but I’m sure glad I do! It is hot and humid here like where I grew up in south Arkansas near the Louisiana line – hotter and more humid than Atenas which is in the hills.
CLICK a photo to enlarge it.
Our 3 hour drive took 4 hours with a lot of trucks on the roads today and the gravel road portion of the drive was in pretty rough condition – what it costs to get to real wilderness! 🙂 And yes, we are all wearing masks here, Costa Rica is smart enough to require it and everyone working here is in the same family – cool! And so nice! I’m the only guest until Friday when there will be 8 to 10 other guests for the weekend.
“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace
This morning I leave at 8 AM with Walter, my local transportation for out-of-Atenas trips, on a 3 hour drive north of here but still in our Alajuela Province. It’s on the San Carlos River near the Nicaragua border as a private nature reserve and eco-lodge that is one of my favorites in Costa Rica, where I’ve photographed more species of birds than any other one place and where I can sleep in a tree house room, watching howler monkeys and spider monkeys from my room. See my 2019 experience there and this short video of the virgen rainforest reserve says it all:
I will be here through next Monday – 6 nights in the tree house to celebrate my 80th birthday on Saturday the 4th of July! And, as long as the WiFi in their main building works, I will be posting blog reports every day! Maybe one tonight.
Because of world-wide increasing Coronavirus, the borders of Costa Rica remain closed to non-residents where we have the lowest infection rate in Latin America! But hotels, lodges like this one, and restaurants can open at 50% capacity to local residents only with required social distancing and masks, making places like this more pleasant (no “Ugly Americans” or “aggressive Japanese”) and less crowded. Two weeks ago they told me that in addition to me they had two couples coming for part of the week with me alone the other days, though that could change with late registrations! 🙂 Many Ticos are just now discovering the great tourism in their own country.
I will wear a mask when not eating and around other people, including my birding guide just to be extra cautious. I will not take their delightful boat trip to a little jungle village with great people that I enjoyed but will avoid this time due to COVID19 possibilities. I will mostly traipse through the jungle solo and stay safe from the virus. There have been NO CASES among the lodge employees (mainly one family) nor in the nearby town of Boca Tapada. But I will still be cautious because it is close to Nicaragua where the virus is more rampant and we are still getting new cases in Costa Rica.
“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne
My BIG BOOTS Adventure . . .
Yep! I’m taking my big boots this trip because I’m going in a car and can! 🙂 Plus they fit me and the lodge loaners don’t always fit . . . and I’ll be in a rainforest during the rainy season so they are needed! And my poncho!
I know . . . the boots are dusty, but why clean when they will get muddy this week! Plus I had to empty out the spiders and spray with that bug spray before I consider putting my hand or foot inside! 🙂
Today I spent some time in the garden trying to be Georgia O’Keeffe with her oversize flowers, curves and colorful shapes in leaves, mountains or whatever she painted. I love her work! Here’s 10 of about 100 photos I made today in the garden.
It was also a “practice” for next week when I will be at Maquenque Lodge, not only photographing lots of birds, but hopefully some “Nature as Art” photos of many other natural creations in that beautiful wilderness setting, partly from my tree-house room! 🙂 Click an image to enlarge it or start manual slideshow.
Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
Some time ago I canceled my cable TV subscription and used the money for stronger internet service through which I occasionally watch a documentary or older movie from the Costa Rica version of Netflix (fewer titles than in the U.S.). Tonight (Wednesday) during my dinner of a pulled pork sandwich and cole slaw from Atenas Poco Loco (“To Go” or “Para llevar” here), I watched the BBC/Netflix movie The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, based of course on the book by the same title available from Amazon.com Books. I was so touched by the movie that I felt compelled to recommend it or the book written by the boy himself as a now adult engineer.
Having lived in The Gambia West Africa for three years, I of course related to almost everything in this excellent true story of a 14 year old boy in Malawi who had to drop out of school and help the family farm because they could not afford the school fees. In the midst of a common African drought the boy sneaked into his old school library and learned about windmills and thanks to his old science teacher’s device to generate electricity with the moving bike wheel he adapted it to a homemade windmill that generated enough electricity for a small pump to pump water from the well and irrigate the drought-stricken farm. I saw the life-changing effects of windmills in The Gambia too.
A moving family story with authentic African culture, scenery, and hardships. When I returned from The Gambia I often said that every American should live for 3 years in Africa to see what the real world is like. Well, this movie or book will give you a taste! I highly recommend it.
“Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.”
Earlier I shared two videos of virtual night & day rainforest hikes with one of the young female guides at Selva Verde Lodge, Melany Ocón. The kind I experience on my trips, though we see more on our live hikes than these short videos . . .
Today is a hike with one of the young male guides whom I have been hiking with before when there (an expert on frogs). We saw a lot more than they see on this video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like to hike at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve, one of my many favorite places in Costa Rica. You will see a couple of frogs, a helmeted lizard, a pit viper and an anteater, so worth your effort to watch for 20 minutes and see just a little of why I love to explore the forests of Costa Rica with guides like Iván and Melany. June 30 I head north of Sarapiqui (location of these videos) for a week at Maquenque Lodge with other guides but similar experiences. And remember that English is not their first language! They do much better with English than I do with Spanish! 🙂
“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”
And for my photos of two visits to Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui:
It’s been awhile since I’ve reported since not much obvious work has been going on except for 2 to 4 men most days working on this one radial sidewalk from the central kiosk to the northeast corner of the park since January. It has taken much of 5 months with 7 more sidewalks to go, it may be awhile before the renovation is complete! 🙂
At least I’ve learned that the sidewalks will be concrete rather than the old brick sidewalks, which at first was disappointing for the historical look, but they are definitely going for a modern look and concrete will also be more practical and cost less I would imagine and the younger generations everywhere definitely prefer modern. There is a trough down the center of the sidewalk which will probably be used to hide electrical wires, since the storm drain is a bigger pipe already buried under all this.
I like the two half circles off this walk with built-in seating for groups to assemble or people in general to visit. And not only are there built-in seats in the circle, but all the sidewalk walls are at sitting level, meaning there will be a lot more seating than the old park benches have provided. And that fits the purpose of bringing people together and the new modern look of the park too! I like it! When finished, the Central Park will really be the center of life in Atenas!
“Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.”
― Marty Rubin
The Architect Plans Facebook Page has been taken down or the old link doesn’t work now. Sorry.