From expansive beaches to overpowering vistas and sunsets dotted with colorful tropical birds – my newest photo book captures the magic of where I live as well as any! With it my photos show the adventure of birding in three hotels just an hour from Atenas — Punta Leona Resort, the Macaw Lodge and my recent visit to Villa Caletas, all with easy access to beaches, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River plus each having their own private forest reserve and trails. Nature at its best! All in one beautiful photo book!
You can preview the entire book electronically online at:
These three butterflies are all frequent visitors to my garden and even inside my house, but when I photograph one I often try to double check the identity which is so difficult on butterflies, even with two books and a third one on order, plus some internet help.
Well, the featured photo today is one I have been calling a “White-striped Longtail” and after more research, I have determined that he and the others like him I’ve photographed here are actually “Brown Longtail” (link to their gallery).
Sorry for the incorrect identification earlier! The other two here today are still labeled the same and I’m confident correctly! 🙂 But you will see two shots here of the Polydamas Swallowtail because the top and bottom are so different. The same is true for Blomfild’s but I was unable to get a good top view today (wings closed most of time) – there are several top shots of him in my gallery
All of these were shot in my garden except the Blomfild’s Beauty on my kitchen window before I opened it to let him out. 🙂
Butterflies are fun to study and observe (photograph) and are one of the most colorful creatures of Costa Rica. With 1500 different species of Butterfly and 12 000 different species of moths, the numbers are staggering! I will never finish photographing them! 🙂 Possibly the best “butterfly garden” to visit in Costa Rica is Butterfly Conservatory near Arenal which I hope to see when I’m at Arenal Observatory Lodge in November, though not the high month for butterflies! 🙂 In Atenas we have more butterflies in June-July-August.
See my newly revised Butterflies of Costa RicaPHOTO GALLERY that is better organized for your viewing pleasure! 🙂 Easier to find a specific butterfly but if using it to identify your Costa Rica butterfly photos, the sub gallery for each species usually gives you multiple images to compare! Though prejudiced, I think I have the best Costa Rica butterfly photo gallery online now! 🙂 80+ species! Check it out!
I also have a little 7X7 inch photo book titled My First 50 Butterflies in Costa Rica. You can preview all pages electronically for free at this link. Best viewed full screen for bigger photos.
Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.
I’ve been back from Villa Caletas for a couple of days and my most obvious wildlife observation has been the butterflies, some repeats here from earlier posts but the Yellow-rimmed Skipper is a new one for my gallery and blog. There are soooo many different skippers! 🙂
Remember to CLICK an image to see it enlarged plus see the link to my butterfly gallery below the images.
For friends in Costa Rica, I have found that the best book for identifying butterflies (though still not 100%) is A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of Mexico and Central America by Jeffrey Glassberg. I’ve been using the first edition but just ordered the Second Edition which is improved and for those who prefer electronics, it is available in a Kindle Edition. I’m still a little partial to paper wildlife guides, though I do use Merlin on my phone for birds!
For just Costa Rica Butterflies there is a little less extensive book by Carrol Henderson titled Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Ricawhich is also available in an electronic Kindle Edition. It is good for the most common butterflies & moths here and okay for maybe most people, but I like having many more butterflies to choose from in the Swift Guide, though I actually use both books. Because it is also more work digging through more choices! 🙂
Slowing down a little – here’s my shots from the last full day at Villa Caletas and a very relaxed 4 days. The featured image is of a hotel worker walking up the street in front of my room towards the Zephyr Palace.
The prettiest things here along with the vistas . . .
No gardens, just pots and plantings around buildings.
Such as there were today . . .
This is not the very best birding place even though you do see toucans and macaws. The concierge never worked out my two requested birding hikes because no others here wanted them and they don’t do for one person. No problem! I’ve already been to Carara NP 4 times and Rio Tarcoles about 8 times! Hanging out here was more relaxing and it was a good time on the mountaintop!
CLICK image to enlarge.
All shot from my room before dinner.
“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.”
The little trip to the beach gave me some different birds than the many toucans & macaws around the hotel, plus I saw a new type of Euphonia today in a tree off my room terrace, just not a good photo, but a “lifer” for me! (First time to see that species.) Only 6 birds but interesting ones:
CLICK image to enlarge.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
Well . . . my goal for today was to photograph a toucan and a macaw. Goal accomplished! Plus some other colorful creatures before, during an after breakfast, with several butterflies included and a most interesting blue-winged insect on my breakfast table! Remember, nearly all restaurants in Costa Rica are alfresco! Enjoy my photos from Villa Caletas today.
“Guarumo” is the Spanish name Ticos call a Cecropia Tree (English name) and about 4 years ago I asked my gardeners to plant one in my front yard because I had heard that they attract toucans for the easy perches and the food of the flowers. I would be patient, not really knowing how fast they grow!
In just 4 years it is the tallest tree in my yard, more than twice the height of my little house and my favorite “Bird Gallery”or place for birds to land so I can photograph them because it is such an open tree with a limited number of large leaves. See in the tree photos below what it looked like when we planted it and how big it has grown.
No telling how many birds I miss that land in the top of the tree! 🙂 But the lower limbs are what I watch while eating breakfast every morning and where I photographed from my terrace the birds in the birds photos below, including two kinds of toucans! I love nature’s gallery of birds that helps me grow my own photo gallery of birds! ¡Pura Vida!
Birds in Tree
CLICK photo to enlarge or start manual slideshow.
CLICK photo to enlarge or start manual slideshow.
Easy to See & Photograph Birds
The Tallest Tree at End of House
A Skinny Little Tree When Planted
Top When First Planted
Open Limbs, Few Leaves
Gardener Trims Limbs from House
“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”
This morning a quick walk through my garden gave me photos of these four butterflies plus I kept seeing a bright yellow one (probably one of the Sulphurs) who would never slow down enough for a photo. But here’s the four I got (CLICK to see larger):
Cloudless Sulphur (pale)
Southern Broken Dash Skipper
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.
Yeah, I have these Black Witch Moths visit my house almost every year and you can see at least 4 others in my Butterfly & Moth Gallery, found alphabetically as “Black Witch Moth.” And I obviously don’t believe the Latin Folklore that the appearance of one means death is coming to that house soon.
This one was on my bathroom wall at the ceiling last night and gone by this morning. To the naked eye it is very dark as this photo on my Canon SLR without a flash shows (only bathroom ceiling light on in the night). In February I shot one on my brown shower curtain with my cell phone and flash and if you go to that link you will see how much more colorful they are with more light or in the gallery there is also one with the Canon using the flash. Big difference! As light always brings!
As one visitor to my house said “I always see something scurrying away when I turn on the light during the night.” Well, living with strange wildlife is not for everyone, but I find it quite interesting and kind of fun when one is named a “Witch!” 🙂 Why, it even calls for a Halloween Cartoon I think: