Esmeralda Longtail Skipper

This little blue-tinged skipper butterfly died in my house the other day and as frequently happens, was another new species for me. I’ve seen a lot of Skippers, as you can see in my Butterfly Gallery of over 100 species now, but never this one before. He can be seen from Mexico to Peru one website says, though I can’t find much detailed information on the species. I identified him through my trusty guide book:  A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America, second edition. 

“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel.”
— Claude Bernard

¡Pura Vida!

Rain Pigeons

Well . . . actually Red-billed Pigeons, in the rain! But after a great response on my “Rain Trees” post, I may do some more rain-themed posts.  🙂

I was on my terrace waiting on the delivery guy to bring my once-a-week “meal out” now “meal delivered” from Parrillada Androvetto. I usually have a grilled rib-eye steak but tonight (Friday) I tried their grilled Chorizo sausage which was very good and not too spicy. Well, anyway . . .

It was raining pretty hard with all the birds hiding in the big trees under leaves and limbs except this one loving couple, sitting on the power line like it were a nice sun-shiny morning! Of course their overlapping layers of feathers keep their bodies dry, but it still seemed a little unusual to me. Not singing in the rain, though one was grooming. Blurry raindrops are ugly but the birds are kind of cool! Pura vida!

Red-billed Pigeon

Red-billed Pigeon

Red-billed Pigeon

“Umbrella is comfort, rain is life! You must often leave comfort to touch the life!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

¡Pura Vida!

And my Red-billed Pigeon Photo Gallery

World Turtle Day

Whether you are thinking of one of the ocean giants or a common river turtle, today is the day to remember the fragility of our decreasing turtle population and to do your part in the conservation of turtles!  Read more about WORLD TURTLE DAY and consider getting involved.    Https://

The feature photo is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle I released Christmas 2017 in Tambor Bay. Read more about their program at Tambor Turtle Rescue. Costa Rica has the protected birthing beaches of thousands of ocean turtles every year. Did you know that . . .

Five species of sea turtles and eight species of freshwater turtles have been recorded in Costa Rica. All sea turtles are endangered and two of the freshwater species populations have been reduced, mainly due to poaching, being caught as pets, illegal trade, and the destruction and pollution of their habitats.   ~Freshwater Turtles of Costa Rica & Sea Turtles of Costa Rica, an NHBS Field Guide available online. 

See also my Costa Rica Turtles Gallery for more photos of turtles here.

Today, May 23, 2020


¡Pura Vida!

And 2 days later I find and add the short video Nashville Zoo Celebrates Turtle Day  which is cute and mostly for children.


When I watch an animal gazing like this I cannot help but wonder, “At what does he gaze?” Us humans tend to think he is looking for food, and maybe he is – but could he not also be gazing at some beauty unseen by me? A Rufous-naped Wren in my Guarumo Tree during my breakfast.

Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul.

My BIRDS Galleries
or All of my GAZINGS in Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!

Green Orchid Bee

He’s revisiting my garden and thus I’m posting some new photos of a favorite bee here. See my Bees Gallery for some better photos made earlier or posted on earlier blog posts linked below. And if interested in reading about this Central American bee, there’s a good history on Wikipedia.  (People in Florida are trying to introduce them there.)


¡Pura Vida!

Yellow-Green Vireo

This is one of several birds I saw at breakfast this morning including a Lineated Woodpecker, Blue-gray Tanager, Clay-colored Thrush, White-winged Dove and some unidentified flyers. But this is the only one I got a photo of and my second time to see this species here. One of my guide books says they come as breeding visitors Feb to Oct. It is a sparrow-sized bird very much like the Red-eyed Vireo which is less common here.

I saw the other one March 28 on Calle Nueva with not as good a photo, but you can see it in my Yellow-Green Vireo gallery. Or read about them on eBird with a map showing where they are found. Happy birding!


Yellow-green Vireo, Atenas, Costa Rica


Yellow-green Vireo, Atenas, Costa Rica


“Not humans, but birds often witness the most beautiful mornings in this world!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

¡Pura Vida!


And oh yes, if I haven’t said yet, “Rainy Season” or “winter” (my favorite time of year) is well under way here with rain or showers every afternoon. I love it! Cooler, fresher air and so much greener! My garden loves it too!    🙂

Virtual Night Hike at Selva Verde

Come join one of the guides at Selva Verde Lodge on a typical night hike in their Sarapiqui Private Reserve. Since people have not been able to visit them live, they put this”virtual night hike” on their YouTube Channel. One of the guides shows you the kinds of things I get to see live when I go on such night hikes at this and other lodges in Costa Rica. It is real and typical except for the short time of only 3 minutes! In real life there is more walking between the animals seen!   🙂

Featured image is from my Red-eyed Tree Frog Gallery and another night hike somewhere else (Danta Corcovado).  


And here’s the same guide on a DAYTIME TOUR of Selva Verde, Just be aware that in an hour or more tour you see a lot more wildlife than in these little 3 minute videos! But both are a taste of what I regularly see and photograph in my retirement in Costa Rica: 

¡Pura Vida!

My Bird Count Today

Today is “Global Big Day” of counting birds where you live to help science better see what is happening to the health of our planet. I was out from 5:30 AM to 7:15 AM along the border between our housing project, Roca Verde, and the adjacent farms on the border-line gravel road called Calle Nueva (literally “New Street”) that serves as one emergency evacuation road from Atenas along with being a great nature walk and road for bicycles.

I’ve had better days and worse days of birding on that road, so maybe “average” is what the scientists want!   🙂   I observed at least 60 birds of more than 12 species, which is the number of species I photographed. I only report on eBird what I get photos of, which is not the typical eBird user, but I feel more confident with my reports because of that and eBird has volunteer “checkers” to make sure I labeled a bird correctly. Of my 60 seen, 30 were one flock of parakeets!   🙂

It was overcast or cloudy almost the whole time I was out, meaning poor light and white skies as terrible backgrounds most of the time! Only one photo has even a semblance of a blue sky. That’s life! There were no “lifers” or first-time birds for me, though my first time in Roca Verde to see and photograph the Rufous-capped Warbler, and the photo included here is of him “warbling!”   🙂   The name link is to my gallery with shots of this bird from 4 other locations in Costa Rica and some are better shots. And then maybe a first for me at Roca Verde is the juvenile or “immature” Yellow-faced Grassquit which at that age does not have the bright yellow on his face.

Here’s my mostly weak photos against drab skies, but they show you what I saw today:

9 May 2020 Birds

On March 29 I got 19 species of birds on this same walk on Calle Nueva.

See all of my BIRDS galleries or go for just Costa Rica Birds.

¡Pura Vida!

Pandemic Birding!

Thanks to my friend Larry for catching this fine AP News Article:  Bird-watching soars amid COVID-19 as Americans head outdoors   Read the article linked to see what people all over the U.S. are doing more of now, then head over to eBird or just use your phone to download the free app Merlin to identify birds and start your “bird collection” online or in a photo gallery. My world-wide (10 countries) ebird count is over 530 now!    🙂    Thank you Larry for this great way to relieve one’s boredom from quarantine! And feel free to peruse my BIRDS photo collection that include 76+ species I photographed in the States before moving to Costa Rica.

Now, this quote from the article:

“The birds don’t know that there’s a pandemic. They’re migrating, building nests and laying eggs, just like they always have,”      ~Michael Kopack Jr.

¡Pura Vida!

Mini-Art in my Garden

All art is but imitation of nature.

Seneca the Younger
No new flower or wildlife in these photos, but each one is a new expression of “nature as art” as I walked through my garden Sunday with camera in hand. I love doing this occasionally and though maybe the same subjects, the art is different each time!

And that Yigüirro is singing his heart out every day now “calling the rains in” which happens every April in anticipation of the May rains or the beginning of the rainy season, our winter here. That is why he is the national bird of Costa Rica.

See my FLORA & FOREST Gallery for more flowers or Birds Gallery or Butterfly Gallery. 

¡Pura Vida!