Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Yes, this blog started as a “reporting” of my experiences of living “Retired in Costa Rica” and the first few years have lots of “how to” or sharing my experiences of the big transition to a legal resident of Costa Rica. Now that I’m a “Residente Permanente,” it is more of the experiences “flowing from my heart,” and the God I love, and his beautiful natural world that he created for us to enjoy and manage. I hope my current nature blogging motivates just a few people to help save the natural world all around this globe, to love it and to be inspired by it while much of the world’s humans are systematically destroying forests and all the nature within! Nature is the theme of my blog now! But I will not change the name because that is still who I am, a retiree in Costa Rica! 🙂
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
I remember as a child in El Dorado, Arkansas (14 miles from the Louisiana state line) walking the three blocks or so to a small city park with a little pond and being amazed at all the life and activity seen in just the shallow edges of the water and wanting to look at drops of that water through a microscope for the protozoa and other life a book had told me about.
WARNING: This is a longer than usual blog post but still with nature photos! 🙂
The three falls on the lodge property rival some of the big commercial falls in and around the little town of Bajos del Toro where there are 31 waterfalls you can visit! But these lodge falls are assuming that you are willing to walk 2km, mostly uphill to get to them and then they are fairly close together once you get to the first, which is Melody Falls. Then hiking back to your cabin is another 2 km, though mostly downhill and a lot easier and faster! 🙂 I was hiking solo, thus I did not wade into the stream for a better view of Melody Falls. Unfortunately I have history of slipping and falling on wet rocks! 🙂 So all of these photos were made from the dry trail or flat land by the three falls. Tomorrow I will share a few pix of the streams and other views along the trail to and from the falls which I think is almost as beautiful or interesting. But here’s one pix of each waterfall with it’s sign to identify it. And it works better if you go to the website to see them, so after the first one in emailed version, a link to the other photos in the blog post online . . .
I will always prefer that you order wall art directly from my online Photo Gallery which is hosted by SmugMug.com who uses professional printers to print each of these, whether on paper, canvas or my new preference of “Float-mounted Metal Print.” I ordered each of these from my gallery.
There are 11 new ones ordered especially for the new local gallery that did not get established, plus about that many more I already had. You can see them online in two places:
Or on this website at: Art Gallery at My House, but you have to scroll down past the floral accent pillows which I listed first with wall art second. Everything available is presented there on one page, while in the galleries there is a separate sub-gallery for each category.
The feature photo is one of the bigger images, a sunset from Cancun with Costa Rica on that horizon! 🙂 And below is one of the four Red-eyed Tree Frog photos available.
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 . . .