Yesterday afternoon before I got ready to leave for dinner and write last night’s blog post I had a family of Mantled Howler Monkeys visit my treehouse – browsing for nuts and possibly other food in the trees on two sides of the tree house which is built around an almond tree. Here are a few photos I managed to get before leaving. Photographing up in the treetops is not as easy as you might think because of many limbs, leaves and shadows all around through which one must photograph, seldom getting a clear view of a monkey or bird! But here’s my effort! Click an image to enlarge it.
One favorite photo from each month of 2018 – And I had trouble picking just one! Thus the header photo above is an extra one from October and the only one here from Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, my #1 lodge this year.
Wow! This was too hard to do! My very best photos were probably all in 3 or 4 months, so I will try something different next year, like maybe my top 5 or so favorite photos. I think I will also try to rank the hotels/lodges/parks I visited this year.
Ranking My Top 7 Lodges in 2018
I rank for all aspects of the lodge for a birder and/or nature lover, not necessarily in this order: number of birds and other wildlife seen, quality of guides, quality of overall service, restfulness of room, quality meals, overall ecology consciousness and sometimes the extra services, depending on the place and situation. My 2018 Top 7 lodges and hotels in order of my preference or enjoyment:
My prayers go to the Bush Family in their loss . . .
. . . a truly great & humble man!
George H. W. Bush
Humility is not thinking less of yourself,
it’s thinking of yourself less.
~C. S. Lewis
REPORT ON MY BIOPSY: After removing the 10 stitches from my arm (where all that cancer was confirmed removed) and the two stitches from my face for the biopsy, Dr. Gamboa gave me the facial biopsy report:
In brief, it says I have another carcinoma cancer on my face which is a smaller and slower growing type than the one on my arm. No problem waiting until January to remove the rest of it (the biopsy took most of it). Because of the delicate and thinner skin location next to my eye, we will be doing a more complicated and more efficient (more expensive) “Mohs Surgery” with two doctors doing it with a pathologist standing by to make sure they get all of the cancer as he examines each layer as removed (continuous biopsy). It will not be in his office this time but in a clinic, hospital-like, operating room, but still out-patient. He is checking on availability of other doctor and the clinic for the week of 21 January – after my Boca Tapada trip. Remember — the doctors work around my trips! 🙂 Important! That is where I sleep in a tree house 5 nights!
Dr. Gamboa also “PRESCRIBED” wearing a wide-brim hat instead of the ball caps I’ve been wearing and of course sunscreen every day when out. I sure love sunny Costa Rica, just 673 miles north of the equator, but with the value of the sun also comes with some potential dangers for someone like me who loves the outdoors. I have already become more careful, even though the doc says these current growths and cancers were probably caused by sun I got as a child or teen, more sun now can make it worse, so I must be cautious.
On the hill above my little casita are blooming some brilliant orange African Tulip Trees (an immigrant or invasive species?) and above those the ever-present pink-to-purple bougainvillea which I see here through the limbs of my Guarumo or Cecropia tree. Having “colorful neighbors” can be a plus! And colorful flowers add to my happiness! 🙂
Just living is not enough…
one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Andersen
Flowers help boost happiness and I was just introduced to a new website that you might want to check out: Garden & Happyfor a little boost in your happiness, try gardening! 🙂
Many more photos from today to share tomorrow after I visit an indigenous people reserve village. Staying busy and loving it! Omar Cook, my guide today is pictured here and he was fabulous! I’ll share more scenery and animal photos tomorrow. I’m exhausted now! A lot of walking!
I’m making too many photos to keep up with while here, but when I get home I will continue sharing. This less popular and less visited tourist area of Costa Rica is still one of my favorites! Simple and natural!
And yes, there were red flags out today, meaning dangerous riptides or undercurrents, stay out of the water! Surfers are young invincibles who ignore such warnings. And the rasta guy falling above had nothing to do with riptides! Oh well, makes good photos for me and good fun for the kids! 🙂 And fortunately no one was swept away while I was there.
“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”
I asked the gardeners to “take a little off the top” of my remaining Yellow Bell Tree up front that this winter’s (yes, rainy season is called winter here) rain had caused to shoot up rapidly and high, blocking my scenic view. And typically Tico, one of the young men scurried up the tree with his machete and whacked away! I would not have left that bare branch, but it will soon have new branches and leaves. And my view is opened up again. I love my gardeners!
Click image to enlarge.
See more vistas in my VISTAS Photo Gallery from all over Costa Rica.
By using my new 600mm telephoto lens instead of my usual Samsung Phone Camera for a vista from the hilltop resort Xandari, I zoomed in on the Alajuela Cathedral with Central Park to the right and the bigger surprise, at top edge of photo is an American Airlines plane landing or taking off at the San Jose International Airport in Alajuela! Luck of the timing on the plane and sorry that the blog template crops off part of the plane, not so in my original photo (see in gallery).
Below is another shot in same direction from the same restaurant with my phone camera to help you see how much I was able to zoom in and crop a little! 🙂 The cathedral is on the left side of the city that you see between the restaurant and the mountains. My last day at Xandari, Wednesday, Walter picked me up and we got my internet order package 5 blocks east of the Cathedral, ate lunch 2 blocks north of the Cathedral, then drove 24 km (15 miles) west to Atenas where I live. My small world! 🙂