Muscovy Ducklings

Muscovy Duck & Ducklings, Chachagua Rainforest, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

On one of the small lakes or ponds at Chachagua Rainforest lived a family of Muscovy Ducks (eBird link) which are native to Central & South America plus Florida & the West Indies. For the second time I’ve been able to capture these resident ducks with babies. Everyone loves little ducklings! 🙂 See some more slightly older Muscovy Ducklings I photographed at Macaw Lodge near Carara National Park in my Muscovy Duck Gallery. Now here are 3 more photos from Chachagua Rainforest . . .

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Living in a Garden

In some ways that is what I do by living in Costa Rica, “Living in a Garden,” 🙂 but in traveling to visit the many wonderful lodges and hotels around the country I literally eat & sleep in a garden, and some of my hiking is in a garden with even the “wild” rainforest having flowers blooming year around! Chachagua Rainforest Hotel (their website link) in San Ramon Canton of Alajuela Province, Costa Rica had one of the largest and better gardens I have visited with all of their plants growing in a rainforest on the Caribbean slopes of the mountains (the rivers flow to the Atlantic Ocean or on the eastern side of Continental Divide).

I’ll place one photo here for the emailed version of post then a gallery of 20 flowers will be only in the online post. Just click the “see more” link! 🙂

Flower at Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, Costa Rica – across the sidewalk from my cabin.
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Rainforest Dragonflies & Damselflies

Here’s 9 photos of 7 or 8 different species of Dragonflies and Damselflies. After I got home I used my new dragonfly book to try and identify these guys, but the book has too many that are similar and yet not exact matches to these, so I still have a big ID job! 🙂

All were photographed on two of the many lakes at Chachagua Rainforest Hotel and one stream on the one day that was sunny during my week there. Be sure to see my photo gallery of Dragonflies and Damselflies (58 photos of 30+ species) and if you are in Costa Rica and interested in Dragonflies, the new book is titled: Dragonflies & Damselflies of Costa Rica. (Link is to Cornell Press, the publisher, but it’s also available on and some bookstores here.)

One photo here for the emailed version of post, then 8 more photos in the gallery that follows online.

MAYBE Thorn-tipped or Big Blue Dancer Damselfly, Chachagua Rainforest, Costa Rica.
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Living on Water!

Yes, the above water plants are floating on a lake in Chachagua and living on the nutrients they gain from the water as do the plants below call “air plants” that live on the nutrients from both the tree (or vine in this case) and the water in the very humid air of a rainforest. A gentle reminder for us to drink our 8 glasses of water a day! 🙂

Air plants living on nutrients from the tree and the water in the air.
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Two Egrets

The Great Egret and the Cattle Egret (both links to eBird) are very common all over Costa Rica around water and these two were seen at CATIE, the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Turrialba with both egrets nesting on an island in CATIE’s lake. And of course I have lots of photos of both in my CR Birds galleries:

Great Egret at CATIE, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica.
Cattle Egret at CATIE, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

More of this adventure in my “Trip Gallery” 2022 Guayabo Lodge.

Maquenque Trip Gallery

In case you did not see the links in the last few posts, I have my trip gallery up and ready to visit in my big photo gallery. In some ways my “Trip Galleries” are my main photo galleries with them feeding specific theme galleries like Birds, etc. Plus if you are considering a visit to one of the places included, the photos will give you a good idea of what to expect. Click the print screen image of the gallery below or use this address:

 “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”

– Katie Thurmes

¡Pura Vida!

SALE ON MY PHOTO BOOKS – 25% OFF March 4-6 only with discount code: BOOKFAN in Bookstore

Rainforest Vistas

Though I have mostly recovered from my cancer radiation treatments, I can tell from the quality of photos from this trip compared to the two other trips to Maquenque that I have not fully recovered in energy or creativity, but maybe these five shots will provide at least a glimpse of being in the rainforest here in Costa Rica.

Only on water or in a rare clearing can you see the sky which is often overcast as here.
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Mesoamerican Slider

They have been calling this turtle “Red-eared Slider” but it is actually a little different from the North American Red-eared Slider, so now they call it Mesoamerican Slider (Wikipedia) or the sub-species for Costa Rica & Nicaragua of Trachemys venusta uhrigi for you scientists. 🙂 I’m just sharing one photo of it from the lagoon or lake at Maquenque Ecolodge:

Mesoamerican Slider Turtle, Maquenque Ecolodge, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

See more in my Mesoamerican Slider Gallery.

And/or see the Maquenque 2022 Trip Gallery!

Maquenque 2020 Trip Gallery!

Maquenque 2019 Trip Gallery!

Maquenque Iguanas

I did not include the “Green” in the title, though according to the books this area of Costa Rica has only Green Iguanas and none of the the Black or Spiny-tailed Iguanas, but all four of these photographed below are so different from each other, making me doubtful, even though I know that Green Iguanas come in all colors, have spiny tails, and frequently look like the other Iguana found on the Pacific Slope of Costa Rica. Here’s 4 different ones with all of them photographed on the Farm Hike at Maquenque Ecolodge, 17 February 2022. Note that the lodge is located on the Caribbean (Atlantic) Slope of Costa Rica which has only Green Iguanas according to the books.

Green Iguana, Maquenque Ecolodge, Boca Tapada
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Bird Portraits 2

Maquenque Ecolodge is such a great place to get close to birds that the portraits approach seemed logical to me! 🙂 Here’s 5 more and I will try to hold it down to just one more “Portraits Post.” 🙂

I can’t say enough good things about Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve (link to their website). in many ways it is my favorite in Costa Rica and they made several improvements over my last visit – using their “Covid down time” to make many physical improvements plus they hired a new super chef with a menu that now competes with any lodge in Costa Rica! AND I still get to stay in a treehouse! 🙂

Here’s 5 more bird portraits that I liked . . .

Female Great-tailed Grackle at Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica.
And oh yes, she’s fluffing her feathers to dry them after a rain shower! 🙂
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