Lirio Caminante, Trimezia gracilis

Thanks to one of the volunteers on iNaturalist, I now have a species name for that “cute smiling” flower I photographed at Arenal last month. The scientific name is Trimezia gracilis and the most used common name is Liro Caminante, with a less-used common name of Falsa Orquidea. You can see a map of where they are found around the world and read more information about them on PlantNet.org. Here’s that one photo again and I’m proud to be first to share it on iNaturalist! 🙂

Lirio Caminante, Trimezia gracilis, at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak

This is my second time to see this rare butterfly, with the other time being in the south of the country near Golfito at Playa Cativo Lodge on Golfo Dulce at Piedras Blancas National Park AND I am the only person to have submitted any photos of it to butterfliesandmoths.org (Link to their page for this butterfly.) Or you can see the same photos in my gallery for the Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon megarus. 🙂 Here’s four shots from a recent sighting in my garden . . .

Male Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Waterfall Hike Today!

It was just 3 miles, but there were several hills and a lot of steps going down into the canyon to see the waterfall, but worth it to this childlike old man who is still in awe of such things! And I’ve been to this waterfall 4 other times before! But never get tired of it! 🙂

I always hesitate to include a selfie photo, but here I am as a nearly 84 year old survivor of cancer whose left eye can no longer blink and thus waters and fogs of my glasses :-), in a wide-brim hat and SPF-50 sunscreen that my Costa Rican doctors expect of me! 🙂 While I still enjoy all the little awesome things in life like this hike through a rainforest to a tropical waterfall! It’s my pura vida! 🙂 Here’s 5 photos, including one of the two sets of moss-covered steps I climbed down with my trekking pole and camera!

Charlie at Danta Waterfall, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica!
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My Arenal Room

This is my 5th time to spend five nights at Arenal Observatory Lodge and all 5 times in the same room because I liked it on my first visit! 🙂 It is close to the beginning of all hiking trails and just across a courtyard from the restaurant, and as a corner room, it has two great views! Looking north, I look up at the volcano and looking west I look out over Lake Arenal and this time of year at some magnificent sunsets. Here’s a shot of each of my two views and one of the courtyard between my building and the restaurant. As they say here, “Perfecto!”

One of the 2 views from my room, Arenal Volcano.
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From Mini-Jungle to Rainforest!

This morning my usual transportation of Walter Ramirez Tours and Taxis is taking me away from my home “garden” or “mini-jungle,” featured above, to one of my favorite forest getaways for 5 nights . . .

Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only hotel inside the Arenal Volcano National Park, where I will spend 5 days hiking the trails of a forest with a great variety of plants and animals! Tree Ferns to Toucans and more!

Below are four shots of my little mini-rainforest garden in Atenas that I am proud of and in which I photograph much for this blog! Then following that, another 4-shot gallery from my last trip to the Observatory in 2022. I chose to go in May this year because that is the month I got good sunset photos over Lake Arenal in 2018 and my most monkey shots that year, though anytime is a good time to visit Arenal Observatory Lodge! (lodge website link) 🙂 Looking forward to just being there!

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Garden Walk

Yes, I know, I’ve done this post before, several times, but every time the flowers are different and I see or photograph them differently. And this time it is a collection of favorite shots from the previous few weeks, late March and early April. Below this one shot for the email version is a gallery of 18 photos, all different flowers and species repeated only when each flower is quite different. Enjoy God’s beautiful jewels from my tropical Costa Rica garden 🙂 . . .

Anthurium
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A Rare Butterfly – Leuce Yellow

I’ve seen and photographed a lot of Yellows, but not only is this one new to me, there is only one other on butterfliesandmoths and it was submitted from the Dominican Republic, West Indies. I got several shots almost identical to this one on the tiny wildflower and then he was off, not to be seen again! 🙂

Leuce Yellow, Pyrisitia leuce, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Butterflies of America has photos only of the old-fashion pinned specimens while iNaturalist has several live photos from South America & West Indies, if you click on “View More” after their first little photos. Both of those sites have a little bit of info on the species though they don’t include it being in Costa Rica! 🙂 But that is okay because being in the geographical center of the isthmus between North & South America, we get migrants of all species from both continents! (And West Indies!) Maybe my photos will change the ranges for this butterfly on some of these “official” websites! 🙂 Right now they all say that it is only found in the West Indies (Caribbean Islands) and South America. I fooled them, didn’t I! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Juan Santamaria Day

Juan Santamaria was a young man from Alajuela who became one of the few ever “war heroes” in the only significant battle Costa Rica fought in the 1800s when a renegade army of southern Americans came down to claim Central America as slave states and a part of the confederacy. Well, they had temporary control of Nicaragua above us and so the Costa Rica army marched in to keep them out of Costa Rica. Young Juan sneaked behind the enemy line with a torch and set fire to all of the American tents and barracks that had been set up. They all ran and that was the end of making Central America a slave state!

Juan Santamaria Day is actually April 11 (once de abril) but like the U.S., government workers and bankers have moved most of such holidays to the nearest Monday, thus this year is today, Monday, 15 April 2024.

The hometown of Juan still celebrates it on the real day, once de abril, and I happened to be in Alajuela on April 11 getting a letter from Aeropost and on my way to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, Jalapenos, I had to cross the parade street and phone-snapped these two shots of the band from private Catholic High School, Colegio Gregorio Jose Ramirez Castro. Work that name into a ball game cheer! 🙂

High School Band in Alajuela Parade on Juan Santamaria Day, April 11, 2024.
High School Band in Alajuela Parade on Juan Santamaria Day, April 11, 2024.

The Mexican food was better than the parade, so glad I kept walking! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

More . . .

Lineated Woodpecker

The Lineated Woodpecker or Dryocopus lineatus (eBird link) is one of the more colorful woodpeckers found throughout Central America and in most of South America, standing out with their bright red head of hair! Here he is often confused with the less frequent Pale-billed Woodpecker, found only in Central America and southern Mexico, but his black face and the white neck line running all the way to his bill quickly distinguish him from the Pale-billed which cannot be identified by the bill because both have pale bills! 🙂 My Lineated Woodpecker Gallery shows that I’ve seen him all over Costa Rica including more than once here in my garden where this one was photographed in my Cecropia Tree last week, my favorite bird tree! 🙂

Lineated Woodpecker, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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