In the post “On the Road” I mentioned that on our way back from Maquenque we stopped for coffee at Cinchona, and even though in the middle of the day, I photographed 6 species of birds while drinking one cup of coffee (10-15 minutes) AND 2 of them were lifers! That’s new birds for me! The new ones were the Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer and the Prong-billed Barbet. Every time I stop there I hope to get a shot of the Red-headed Barbet and after 3 stops, nada! But this time I got his uglier cousin. 🙂 CLICK to enlarge an image.
As common after trips, I’ve been overwhelmed with things to do since I returned from Maquenque Eco-Lodge and with so many bird photos to process (70+ species) it may be awhile before I share those, so here is a small collection of 7 species of butterflies. Every living thing loves Maquenque! 🙂 CLICK an image to enlarge.
It’s very tough for me to focus. I’m like: ‘Look, something shiny! No, focus. Oh, there goes a butterfly!’ ~Gabby Douglas
There are 4 kinds of Kingfishers here at Maquenque and so far I’ve photographed 3 of those species. I’ve seen Green Kingfisher here before but not this week so far. Here’s the three species I’ve got with two shots of the Amazon because he looks different in each shot. CLICK image to enlarge.
Instead of traditional 4th of July fireworks I am enjoying the colors of parrots and toucans this weekend. I’ve photographed over 65 species of birds so far, so still way behind on presenting them all and decided to show just the two categories most foreigners consider the most colorful here! Enjoy my tropical fireworks show as a slideshow of 10 photos.
Not only did the mother Spider Monkey decide to eat some plant parts near my tree house but she brought her “toddler” who was more interested in playing than eating, and if that was not enough for the monkey mother, she was also pregnant – quite obviously! Here’s a few shots – just click to enlarge an image.
Watching things like this is just one of the reasons I choose a tree house here and they now have 8 tree houses along with their regular cabins on the lake. See their website at:
This morning I leave at 8 AM with Walter, my local transportation for out-of-Atenas trips, on a 3 hour drive north of here but still in our Alajuela Province. It’s on the San Carlos River near the Nicaragua border as a private nature reserve and eco-lodge that is one of my favorites in Costa Rica, where I’ve photographed more species of birds than any other one place and where I can sleep in a tree house room, watching howler monkeys and spider monkeys from my room. See my 2019 experience there and this short video of the virgen rainforest reserve says it all:
I will be here through next Monday – 6 nights in the tree house to celebrate my 80th birthday on Saturday the 4th of July! And, as long as the WiFi in their main building works, I will be posting blog reports every day! Maybe one tonight.
Because of world-wide increasing Coronavirus, the borders of Costa Rica remain closed to non-residents where we have the lowest infection rate in Latin America! But hotels, lodges like this one, and restaurants can open at 50% capacity to local residents only with required social distancing and masks, making places like this more pleasant (no “Ugly Americans” or “aggressive Japanese”) and less crowded. Two weeks ago they told me that in addition to me they had two couples coming for part of the week with me alone the other days, though that could change with late registrations! 🙂 Many Ticos are just now discovering the great tourism in their own country.
I will wear a mask when not eating and around other people, including my birding guide just to be extra cautious. I will not take their delightful boat trip to a little jungle village with great people that I enjoyed but will avoid this time due to COVID19 possibilities. I will mostly traipse through the jungle solo and stay safe from the virus. There have been NO CASES among the lodge employees (mainly one family) nor in the nearby town of Boca Tapada. But I will still be cautious because it is close to Nicaragua where the virus is more rampant and we are still getting new cases in Costa Rica.
“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne
My BIG BOOTS Adventure . . .
Yep! I’m taking my big boots this trip because I’m going in a car and can! 🙂 Plus they fit me and the lodge loaners don’t always fit . . . and I’ll be in a rainforest during the rainy season so they are needed! And my poncho!
I know . . . the boots are dusty, but why clean when they will get muddy this week! Plus I had to empty out the spiders and spray with that bug spray before I consider putting my hand or foot inside! 🙂
According to a report in Semanario Universidad, there are 650 species of bees in Costa Rica and all are endangered by the powerful insecticides neonicotinoids used to protect fruit from fruit flies and other insects. I have been unable to identify this particular bee in my garden today along with many butterflies. I cannot find books or websites to accurately identify which one of the 650 species this one happens to be. 🙂 Click image to enlarge.
As noted earlier, one of the things I’m doing more of during the “lock-down” time is trying get all of my old photos culled through and posted in one place.
One of the biggest collections is from my 10 years of volunteer work at Nashville Zoo and my Nashville Zoo Gallery is now completed. It includes one of my biggest collections of bird photos along with so many other animals and a really large number of people photos which was what the Zoo PR Dept. wanted a lot of. It was a nice re-living of many great memories at Nashville Zoo. And as I go through other photo files I expect to find more of Nashville Zoo, like when friends and family visited, I often took them to the zoo but haven’t gotten to those photos yet! 🙂
Today a cloud of mostly Yellows was in my garden plus one brown Skipper I didn’t try to photograph. They don’t stay still, thus very difficult to photograph and with the book full of Yellows & Whites the identification is not always exacting, but my best effort with a few “either/or” IDs! 🙂
And the grasshopper only eats the leaves, while the butterflies go for the flower nectar, so no competition! They share a flower! 🙂
Earlier I shared two videos of virtual night & day rainforest hikes with one of the young female guides at Selva Verde Lodge, Melany Ocón. The kind I experience on my trips, though we see more on our live hikes than these short videos . . .
Today is a hike with one of the young male guides whom I have been hiking with before when there (an expert on frogs). We saw a lot more than they see on this video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like to hike at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve, one of my many favorite places in Costa Rica. You will see a couple of frogs, a helmeted lizard, a pit viper and an anteater, so worth your effort to watch for 20 minutes and see just a little of why I love to explore the forests of Costa Rica with guides like Iván and Melany. June 30 I head north of Sarapiqui (location of these videos) for a week at Maquenque Lodge with other guides but similar experiences. And remember that English is not their first language! They do much better with English than I do with Spanish! 🙂
“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”
And for my photos of two visits to Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui: