“And now you know…the rest of the story.”

Only people my age remember Paul Harvey and his feature news stories he called “The Rest of the Story.” And just like then, sometimes there is more to a story than what you first read . . . including my stories and blog posts.

On October 9 I had a post titled Progress? (my second time to use that title I realized later.) And the premise both times was that big business is coming into our quaint little farming town, tearing down family houses to build modern, commercial buildings, ruining the character of our little town. Well . . . I deep down know better than to make assumptions like that when I don’t know all the facts, but trying to be idealistic I did it anyway and was wrong.

WHAT I DID WRONG: I posted my photo of the nice new modern office building between two family houses and declared that the house that had been there probably raised several families and now that family thing is gone and made more difficult for the two houses left on either side of the big new modern office building. Much of that I just implied.

MY HAND WAS CALLED: A few days later I received a friendly but firm correction to my story from a lady whose husband was in the second generation of children to grow up in that house they just tore down to build an office building for the business she and her husband started when they were married. She explained that the house was old and riddled with termites and was going to have to be torn down anyway, plus (as I did say in my story) that whole street is rapidly becoming commercial anyway. She went on to say that if the grandparents were still living they would be very pleased with what their grandchildren decided to do with the old house they had built and keep the property in the family.

After I apologized, she gave another very kind response to my response. But the best way to see is read the comments at the end of the post Progress?

Me and my big mouth! Maybe I will be more careful in the future, at least for awhile! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Another Look


On today’s walk I decided that the above view of my “Country Road” from a few days ago is a much more pleasing view, and I also discovered a red Canna that captivated me . . .


And you may have noticed that I returned to my earlier efforts of writing Haiku Poetry – the Americanized 2-3-2 syllable version rather than the original Japanese 5-7-5 syllables for two reasons: (1) You can describe more in fewer syllables in English than Japanese and (2) It is easier for this old man! 🙂 But I do stay with the Japanese original purpose of simply describing nature, as I also try to do in my photography. It is a FUN part of my retirement and keeps my elderly brain alert! 🙂 Though it will not always be possible to also make them into alliterations as I did today! 🙂

And if you like Haiku or poetry in general, check out my Haiku Photo Gallery or see a free online digital preview of my 2018 book Costa Rica Haiku, Describing Nature in Paradise.

And my Atenas Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!

Retiring in Latin America – Compare Countries

The “Live in Costa Rica” Blog and Tour website does a comparison article every year or two in different ways with today’s article summarizing each country in a couple of paragraphs or so . . . Latin America Countries Where You Can Retire on Less than $2,000 a Month.

Of course he pushes Costa Rica because his relocation tours here are his business, but it is a fair look at the popular retirement destinations in Latin America and the costs of living in each with many or most having a cheaper cost of living than Costa Rica. I hope it will be helpful for those considering retirement “South of the Border!” 🙂

My personal advice is to visit each of the countries that interest you first for a general comparison, then visit the country you zero in on at least 3 or 4 times before actually moving there, plus doing all the relocation detail studies concerning housing, healthcare, insurance, language, etc. And for Costa Rica the ARCR is probably your best help on details.

The Featured Photo is one of mine of a sunrise on the Caribbean or Atlantic Coast at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Hotel Banana Azul. That side of Costa Rica is probably the most affordable or lowest cost of living and rent because it is the least developed. For example, living on or near a Pacific Coast beach could cost you twice as much as on the Atlantic, while the Central Valley where I live costs somewhere in-between. And remember that both beaches are hotter and more humid than the hills in-between. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Country Road

Gravel & dirt roads with chickens, cows, and other animals – its universal in all countries and is romanticized, sung about, or just remembered from childhood maybe. But in a developing country like Costa Rica it’s very common everywhere and yesterday morning I walked again on this one that is so near, yet not a regular part of my walks yet. When you leave our paved-road gated community, most people turn left on paved Avenida 8 which takes you to Calle 3 or Calle 1 for a direct shot downtown, to supermarkets, pharmacies, the bank, etc. and it’s the way I walk most often (and share photos from) when not walking around in the housing development, and we have our own “country road here,” Calle Nueva, that I’ve shared about several times and that link is to a gallery.

So . . . if you leave our gate and turn right, the pavement ends in the equivalent of 3 blocks and becomes a gravel road (my “country road” yesterday) and it curves up and over a hill and back down to “The Radial 27,” the connector between downtown Atenas and our nearest controlled access highway, Highway 27 that runs between San Jose and the Jaco Beach & Puntarenas Port area of our Pacific Coast, and is always congested. But I digress! 🙂

Avenida 8 in front of Roca Verde development turns into a dirt and gravel road with chickens, cows, an orchard, barbed wire fences, and over the little hill it runs right into Radial 27 directly in front of the entrance to our Farmers’ Market Pavilion, serving the area with fresh produce every Friday morning. It is a nice walk to the Farmers’ Market and for me yesterday I walked on into town on the highway making a big circle for a longer day’s walk with a nice image of “country roads” on my mind, thinking I was John Denver. Just one more joy of living “Retired in Costa Rica.” CLICK an image to enlarge it:

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong. 

~John Denver

¡Pura Vida!

My Favorite Tree

Maybe because of the big leaves, or their fast growth or even because they attract toucans and sloths – I’m not sure why – but I’ve always liked the Cecropia or Guarumo it is called here. And when their leaves dry up and fall off they become works of art in my opinion!

To find out, SEE my Cecropia-Guarumo GALLERY with several shots over the years from my garden and other places and I will in the future work on adding more photos for it. 🙂 Or if it is ALL TREES you like, I have also recently created a TREES GALLERY which you might like with tree shots from all of my Costa Rica travels – a lot! 🙂

For more facts on Cecropia trees see Cecropia Wikipedia or Cecropia Britannica.

¡Pura Vida!

One of 890 Species of Ants

Yep! That’s how many different kinds of ants we have in Costa Rica and I have no idea which species this one is, but not sure I’ve noticed him around my house before. The leaf-cutters are the most identifiable, always carrying a piece of leaf or flower, and I’ve shown them on the blog multiple times. This little guy was on the railing of my terrace two mornings ago. They are all interesting! Until they come in the house, I leave them alone and they leave me alone. 🙂

My GALLERY of Other Insects or of Leafcutter Ants

This one goes in the “Unidentified” Sub-Gallery there.

¡Pura Vida!

Nature Unfolding

In October or November every year my Strangler Fig Tree or Ficus Tree locally looses all of its leaves in a week or two and immediately, before the last leaf falls, starts the replacement with new leaves, making beautiful picture of rebirth. The last time I blogged about it was in November 2015, called FALL? The Interesting Strangler Fig.

This year I decided to just focus on the growth of new leaves, the literal “Unfolding of Nature!” In Spanish the word for growth is crecimiento, which just sounds like what this tree is doing. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Check out my GALLERY Flora & Forest

My Bird Count Today

The “Big Day” of Global Bird Counting was not extremely big for me. I chose the dirt country road alongside our development thinking it would have more birds as usual than around our houses, but . . . it was a little windy from 6 to 8 this morning and one of the bicycle clubs was out whizzing down our little country road which did not encourage the presence of birds. But I’m counting 12 species and a total of 50 birds, with three species not in photos below. Here’s my list for today with non-photo’d first and others alphabetically:

  • Gray-headed Chachalaca (3) not photographed.
  • Orange-chinned parakeets (12) not photographed
  • Melodious Blackbird (1) not a good photo to show here
  • A Finch or Grassquit unidentified (1)
  • Great Kiskadee (5)
  • House Wren maybe or Other wren (1)
  • Inca Dove (7)
  • Keel-billed Toucan (3)
  • Rufous-naped Wren (4)
  • Tropical Kingbird (1) – Featured Photo
  • White-lined Tanager (4)
  • White-winged Dove (8)
My little contribution to Global Big Day. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Bird Count Today!

Support nature which helps save the earth from the destruction of global warming — COUNT BIRDS TODAY and report them to eBird!  An account is free and you can also get a free app for your phone for easier reporting. Even if you see only one bird and report it – it counts and is important!

I will try to report later today which birds I see and report to eBird.








¡Pura Vida!

A Flower of Many Colors

The Hibiscus can be found all over Costa Rica except maybe in the higher mountains and it comes in many colors! This collection of photos does not include all the possible colors or combinations, like the one here with red and yellow swirled together. The feature photo of bright yellow with a red star center was photographed Tuesday on my walk to town in a yard 3 or 4 blocks from my house and it is the one that sparked the idea of this post. I will be looking for more colors on future walks & trips. 🙂

And then my GALLERY Flora & Forest

¡Pura Vida!