There is not a lot of water in many streams during dry season, though springs provide some, and this Waterfall #5 is the biggest one during the rainy season, but not much to look at on my last morning hike down the steep path to see it. Of course there is a much larger and nicer falls at Arenal Observatory Lodge and even better are the 3 giant falls at El Silencio Lodge in Bajó del Toro, but still I like all waterfalls, so here’s 4 shots of a little one from this morning. 🙂
From the top of a volcano to the mangroves at the ocean’s edge and even in the tiny garden behind my casita, I’ve daily photographed nature for 8 years here and called that photography “Nature as Art!” and shared it in this blog. 🙂
I like this Collins Online Dictionary definition:
Nature is all the animals, plants, and other things in the world that are not made by people, and all the events and processes that are not caused by people.
Thus in nature I worship God and find my peace & inspiration from Him, the creator of it all!
Each year I find it difficult to select only 12 photos from the year and I first tried to come up with 12 “categories” of nature to make sure I selected a variety, but that became as cumbersome as trying to have a “photo-a-month.” So I decided to just stick with “12 favorites,” even if more than 12 are favorites! 🙂
So, however labeled, here’s 12 photos I made in 2022!
Happy New Year and Pura vida! 🙂
To the nearly 500 email subscribers: I hope you read on for the other 11 favorite photos . . .
As a waterfall lover, I don’t miss any waterfall that a lodge or park has and this “main” falls at Arenal Observatory Lodge is one of the nicer ones, and it’s my third time to visit it! There are other “seasonal” waterfalls here for when the rain is heavy, but the longer trails to them are more dangerous when wet for this old man who falls easily, so I haven’t tried any of them. 🙂
The people who were at the falls the same time as me were all Europeans from England, Holland, Germany and maybe one more country. We also have other countries represented at the lodge this week including Canada, Japan and China and though I haven’t met anyone from the states yet, there are most likely some here. The ones playing in the waterfall plunge pool are Europeans – 4 shots including this first scenic one for the email notice . . .
Well, it was just two nights away, one of my shortest overnight trips yet in Costa Rica, and I was planning on a blog post each night. But first it was Google Chrome, then MS Edge and finally Firefox browser that all refused to let me into my own website to post (and one other site) saying I was on an “unsafe connection (hotel Wifi) and that someone at my own website might steal by personal information including credit card numbers.” 🙂 Grrrrrrrrr.
So I just took a respite from the blog. No big deal. And here are the photos I was going to post that first night there (Wednesday) simply showing my room. The large rooms, or really spacious villas, plus the overall architecture is the highlight of Xandari Costa Rica for most guests, that and also the original art and statuary in every room and in the gardens. Then the first class restaurant and for nature lovers like me, a protected rainforest with 5 waterfalls and beautiful gardens around the buildings plus for other people, 3 pools and a Spa! It was a good respite and even though fewer birds this time (fewer all over Central Valley because of the strange weather this year), I photographed 5 or 6 birds plus more that 25 species (still counting) of butterflies with about 6 new or first-time seen species for me! Here’s one photo of one of the butterflies for the email version of the post, followed by a gallery of 6 shots from my room . . .
It’s finally completed! And now I can focus on more photos here in Atenas and my garden, though I might still blog some more from Cativo that I haven’t shared yet 🙂 since probably few of you will actually go to this trip gallery linked below. 🙂
This was a better than usual trip and rainforest lodge, though maybe not in my #1 choice yet 🙂 — it’s so hard to compare nature lodges when all of them are so good and each have their own unique things that the others do not! 🙂 If you want to learn more about this lodge, check out their website with this link: Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. And note that the night-shot of a cabin at the top of their first page is of the cabin I stayed in for a week. 🙂 One of my best cabins ever, anywhere!
This was the third of the 3 “new” lodges I tried this year and was definitely the best cabin of the three and possibly the best overall experience than those at Chachagua or Guayabo, my other two “first time” lodges this year, both of which I loved and enjoyed very much! And I would consider returning to all three! The Cativo food was gourmet like Chachagua’s and the girl guide I had, Alejandra, was one of the best I’ve had anywhere plus the dining room staff gave me one of my best birthday celebrations yet in Costa Rica when I turned 82 there! So, overall a very good experience! 🙂 But I recommend both of the other new lodges also plus my only new lodge of 2021, Bosque del Cabo near Puerto Jimenez, which rivaled this lodge in many ways though I was still to weak from cancer treatment to fully enjoy it.
To see my Playa Cativo Trip Gallery, click that linked title or the image of the first page below. Photos tell a lot about a place if you are considering a visit there! 🙂 And remember that you must travel to either Golfito or Puerto Jimenez and then the hotel arranges a taxi from airport to dock for a boat ride to the lodge. Or if you drive a car, like my Tico doctor friend did, they will suggest where to park it safely before your boat ride to the lodge.
Trips like this are one thing that make my simple retirement a constant adventure along with the wonderful people and tranquility of the little coffee farming town I live in between these trips. I own no car or house, living happily in a rental house and walking or using public transportation, including for these trips.
You can virtually experience all my trips and tranquil home life through this blog “Retired in Costa Rica” and/or the past trips in my Costa Rica TRIPS Gallery which of course has a sub-gallery for each of the 96 trips I’ve made to every corner of Costa Rica plus 2 to Nicaragua and 1 to Panama since moving here in 2014. This number of trips does include several day-trips but mostly multi-nights lodge trips which are the best of course! And for me, 6 nights somewhere is needed to both relax and experience everything! 🙂
I included “coastal” because it is a little different from an inland rainforest like I was in in May at Chachagua Rainforest Lodge – both with lots of rain and streams & ponds but the ocean front has more severe weather and a global warming rising ocean that is washing away the land and the trees one row at a time as shown in one of these photos. Further into the forest is dark and thicker trees and potentially more dangerous wildlife. I did not go too far! 🙂
My birthday morning was sunny with lots of birds singing and the Howler Monkeys closer than they were the previous morning! 🙂 The monkeys serve as the roosters to wake you at 5 am when you’re in the rainforest. After a great breakfast I walked the half-kilometer all uphill to the waterfall closest to the lodge. It is left natural as it would be if no humans were around, thus vegetation hides part of the upper falls and a tree fell in the lower falls and they will let nature take its course, as the tree will eventually rot and be washed away, but now the only human “improvements” are the trail to get there and that could use some more improvement! 🙂 (I will include photos of the trail in my trip gallery later.)
Note that in the above photo you can partly see the upper falls while in the next two from the bottom, it is mostly hidden by vegetation.
Though I still have another week’s worth of blog posts about my visit to Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, I have also completed the photo gallery on this trip for anyone who wants to see all the shots from this trip together in one place. 🙂 CLICK on the image of first page of gallery below which this time is all in just 3 folders: Birds, Other Wildlife and Hotel Grounds.