Column by E.J. Dionne, Jr. in yesterday’s Washington Post, March 12, 2023. It helps describe who I am and why I think most “liberals” (as either an adjective or a noun) are more like Jesus than most “conservatives” (as either an adjective or a noun). What I believe spiritually and politically is based on me being a “follower of Jesus” first and foremost and why I can no longer identify as a Southern Baptist or Evangelical (my former life) and even more certainly not as a Republican in the states.
I see them everywhere I go in Costa Rica, even occasionally in my yard, but I still continue to be amazed by the prehistoric looking, dinosaur-like creature! On the Caribbean Coast, where Tortuguero is located, you find only the Green Iguana; while on the Pacific slope you can find both the Green and the Common Spiny-tailed Iguana, and that includes Atenas where I live,s which is on the Pacific Slope. All four of these photos are Green Iguanas and if you don’t already know, the orange colors come to only the males during mating season, which supposedly attracts the females more than the green or brown colors. 🙂 I shared a face-shot of the all-orange one in an earlier blog post.
I usually get more frog photos in wet places like Tortuguero, but most frogs are nocturnal and it was very dark & cloudy on our night hike in deep mud (wearing required high boots they provide) and thus I was doing good to just keep up, not to mention trying to make photos, of which I got few! 🙂
We did see a lot more frogs than this, just no photos! Our guide on that hike was a very good spotter named Elvis! 🙂 I can’t use my 600 mm zoom lens in the dark successfully, but did try an older camera with a “normal” lens, but it was no better than the cellphone camera at night, which is what most of my good frog photos have been made on in the past.
See my galleries of Costa Rica Frogs with more than 40 species, though the “unidentified” sub-gallery is the largest. 🙂 I got a new CR Amphibians field guide, but they are still difficult for me to identify. 🙂 But still, I’m proud of my large set of frog photos, especially several great shots of the Red-eyed Tree Frog over the years! He is one of several unofficial symbols or mascots of Costa Rica like the below shot at Danta Corcovado Lodge. 🙂
In case you thought there are only water birds at Tortuguero (Wetlands) National Park, remember the three species of toucans I’ve already posted and here are 5 species of small land birds I managed to catch, mostly at the lodge, and tomorrow I will share 4 more larger land birds including the endangered Green Macaw to finish out the 33 species of birds I photographed at Tortuguero, a really good birding spot! And there are several birds I photographed on other trips there that I did not get this time, plus much other wildlife like the River Otter on two other trips but not this time. Next to Corcovado NP, Tortuguero may have the highest concentration of wildlife of any other national park in Costa Rica (except maybe that inaccessible park that straddles the Panama border) with no public roads into it. You just have to work at getting photos of mostly elusive wildlife! A few lucky people have even seen a Jaguar there! 🙂
Not good quality photos, but they show what you can see at Tortuguero and then tomorrow I will have some more small “land birds” to share. But here are my efforts to catch these last 4 water birds . . .
Three days ago, March 2, I published a blog post on the Snowy Egret, an all-white bird, and here are the other 2 all-white birds at Tortuguero: the Great Egret and the Cattle Egret.
You can tell the Snowy Egret and Great Egret apart by the opposite colors of their beaks and feet: Snowy has black beak and yellow feet, while Great has yellow beak and black feet. 🙂 The Cattle Egret is much smaller with shorter neck and beak and often with pale salmon coloring on head and chest. After this introductory photo, there is a 3-pix gallery for each of these two new all-white birds . . .
It’s the same photos I’ve reported with on this blog and are in my trip gallery, but it is another creative opportunity for me that I find fun and will enjoy having a copy of the book and sharing a couple of copies with the lodge which they will share with other guests, so a nice creative use of my photography from a trip like this and the first trip book I’ve done in a year or two.