Only great books deserve “re-reading” and The Hobbit (Wikipedia link), the 1937 published book by JRR Tolkien, is certainly one of those! I just finished reading it again on my Kindle and of course discovered “new stuff” not in my memory! He pretty much introduces a new character or creature in every chapter and then brings them all back together for the epic “Battle of Five Armies” at the end of the story.
I will not write a full or formal review but just share some first impressions and personal feelings on the re-read of a favorite book, which I followed by a re-watch of the 3-movies version of the book . . .
Friday morning I did my birding hike with guide Carlos and after breakfast he offered to take me to the King Louie Waterfall which said could take me all day hiking, so off we went on a golf cart by the roads, not the trails! When we got there the only marked trail is to get in the creek and hike over slippery rocks up hill to the waterfall. But, he said, someone made a land trail along the side of the mountain that would be easier! Not! Someone took a pick and chiseled out a very narrow path that was all crumbling rock or sand. With every step, part of the trail would slide down the side of the mountain and almost me several times. We finally gave up before we go all the way to the 100 foot waterfall. So goes life sometimes! 🙂
My newest photo book is my cheapest ($8.83), smallest ( 6×9 in, 15×23 cm) and shortest (30 pages) as an introduction to why I retired in Costa Rica with 47 photos demonstrating my nature photography here. It’s not exactly a portfolio because of the cheaper paper, but . . . it actually is a cheaper version of a portfolio 🙂 and it also describes the 5 ways I experience nature and share it. As with all my books there is a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages in the bookstore at:
This will become my “give-away” book to guides, lodges and others here in Costa Rica, since some of my other books are too expensive to keep giving them away as I have been. But I’m still not in the photo-selling or book-selling business. I’m retired! 🙂 I make my photos to share with others online and the books become ways to do that physically on occasions. Prints and wall art are available in my gallery with no profit for me, just a good service of (and profit for) my gallery host. 🙂
And while you’re in my bookstore, check out some of my other photo books! They have free previews too!
The “Trip Gallery” for last week’s 4 nights at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve in Bajos del Toro, Alajuela, Costa Rica is now completed and ready to visit by clicking the image below or this web address with many photos not yet shared on the blog:
And because I was there just 6 months ago, last September, and was not having a knee problem, I have even more photos in THAT FIRST TRIP GALLERY, especially more waterfalls! 🙂 Just click the gallery title below to see it . . .
One of my new favorite lodges in Costa Rica is El Silencio Lodge at Bajos del Toro in my own province of Alajuela, north of San Ramon in the cloud forest mountains where there are many waterfalls. I was there last September and as I frequently do, I made a little 7X7 inch photo book about my experiences there, sending them a copy plus one each of my general birds and butterflies books for their other guests to enjoy. When the owner came down from San Jose and saw the books he was so impressed that he told the staff to offer me two free nights in this luxury lodge.
Well, of course I accepted the offer and will add-on two more nights at my cost for a great 5-day visit the middle of February! 🙂 If you want to see a free electronic preview of the book online, click the title here:El Silencio, Touching Souls, inspired by a quote from Mother Teresa:
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Just in time! The night before I leave on another trip I finished my photos from the Christmas 2020 trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge with more than 50 species of birds! And 5 are lifers for me! Plus a whole lot of other photos from this favorite lodge. For now the birds are presented alphabetically by their English Common Name. Later I will make time to arrange by species families according to my birding guide book. Overall I’m pleased with this collection of photos and moving on to the next collection! 🙂 To see gallery CLICK above link or the image below:
I use Walter’s Transportation for all my surface trips with Walter driving sometimes and other times one of his drivers, Cristian, takes me. Because Walter had shoulder surgery Cristian took me last Monday and brought me back today (Sunday). He asked my permission to bring his wife and daughter with him on the return trip and I was delighted to have them! A child makes going to a waterfall even more fun! 🙂 And I know . . . I’m actually a child too! 🙂
The Feature Photois my driver Cristian and his family at the middle overlook. The gallery below has different views of the falls and the stream below the plunge pool which is safer for families with children to swim, while teens & young adults go into the plunge pool. Both too cold for me! 🙂 But many of the young seem to enjoy it, including Cristian’s daughter who is wading in last photo below. CLICK image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
This makes Waterfall Number 43 that I have photographed so far in Costa Rica and I will be adding it to my “Arenal Volcano Area Waterfalls” sub-gallery of my Waterfalls CR Gallery.
I have serval more “significant” falls I want to add to my collection before I publish a Costa Rica Waterfalls book, but maybe in the next year or two! 🙂
“Playing together in nature is as much about us as it is about the child. Children get to celebrate and be themselves, while we are reminded of our inner child – the essence of who we are.”
After seeing the monkeys but no birds, I hiked on past some beautiful scenery that I’ll share later and on down to the Danta Waterfall. It was a sunny day but evidently the wrong time for the best photographs. For better photos, see my gallery 2018 Danta Waterfall or even the 2019 Shot was better than these. Next time I will come here in April or May which seems to be better for photos. 🙂 CLICK image to enlarge:
The Japanese health system has developed the practice of shin-yoku, literally forest bath –
“spending mindful time in the woods. It is beneficial for soul and body as it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, aids sleep, improves mood, and increases personal energy. It has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japan.” ~from Chapter 7 of book The Future We Choose
I highly recommend this book to anyone concerned about climate change and the future of our globe. It is full of optimism in the human race, even though if we don’t start doing more to eliminate carbon dioxide, our earth will begin self-destructing by 2050. And the above passage reminded me of an older book I also highly recommend, especially if you are a parent or teacher: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv.
And lastly, encourage world leaders to do more to return earth to nature! Thankfully the U.S. will soon be back in the Paris Agreement with a real president coming into the White House! As the worse offenders, the U.S., China and India must do more to reduce carbon dioxide, but it is still a job for the whole world and the UN tries as seen in this latest summit agreement as another tiny step forward . . .
For relaxing photos of the forests, see my gallery Flora & Forest. or all my Costa Rica Galleries that include links to my nature photos in Tennessee, Africa, and many other places as well as all over Costa Rica! And the feature photo is of the Lower Falls of Nauyaca Waterfall, Dominical, Costa Rica.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.