“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” 
― Jo Walton

I haven’t been sharing as many of my terrace sunsets lately, which of course are different every night. The featured one above is from over my roof, which I often like better than from terrace below. Both last night. And I imagine that many of you saw the same beautiful sunset in your own world!   🙂   A beauty we all can behold!

Sunset Last Night from My Terrace Looking North – Top photo looks West over my roof

And see my photo gallery titled Vistas, Beaches, Sunrises & Sunsets for more beautiful sunsets than these!



SOCCER: 2019 Gold Cup field finalized; Costa Rica will host two matches

CR Stadium-1000x582
Costa Rica Soccer Stadium in San Jose  (Tico Times Photo)


On the Ecology Front:

And while Soccer is on your mind, did you know that

The planet loses 40 soccer fields worth of forests every minute   (Read it!)

Rich industrialists are literally destroying the world while we ignore climate change and the destruction of trees, our source of oxygen, wildlife and beauty. And did you read that a Deadly frog fungus has wiped out 90 species and threatens hundreds more.   How much time do you think we have left before the human species is wiped out?

Quetzale National Forest-WEB
My photo of Quetzale National Forest, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

The Mysterious

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. 
It is the source of all true art and science

— Albert Einstein


I felt the wind move across my face and arm, knowing nature’s way of showing its power and sensitivity would soon end – then a Yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush) sang its beautiful song that Costa Rica custom says calls in April and May rains that will replace the wind and dryness of our summer. I look forward to the “Green Season” and the freshness my explorations will bring – experiencing the mysterious in Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Experience more of the mysterious in my gallery: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Fiery-billed Aracari

For more than 4 years I have been trying and hoping to get a good photo of a Fiery-billed Aracari (Neotropical Birds Link for description), one of the unique and more rare smaller toucans found only on the Pacific slope of southern Costa Rica and western Panama. I really expected to photo one at Punta Leona last week but the only one seen was at a great distance up a mountain and impossible to photograph.

In 2016 I got one shot of a Fiery-billed in a high tree at Los Campesinos Ecolodge, Quebrada Arroyo, Naranjito, Costa Rica, up the mountain from Quepos on the Pacific (Not a very good photo.). I also got one shot of an injured Fiery-billed at the ZooAve in La Garita, but it is wild birds I want!

Thus I was surprised and thrilled Tuesday morning when on my terrace for breakfast around 7, five young Fiery Billed Aracaris flitted between my Strangler Fig Tree and my Guarumo or Cecropia Tree. They were socializing and eating what appeared to be leaves on the fig tree. Here’s 20 of nearly 200 photos I quickly snapped before they left. As Alice said, “There’s no place like home!”  and though our part of Central Valley is on the Pacific Slope, it is mid-Pacific and not southern Pacific where they say these aracaris are. So I consider myself quite fortunate! I think they are juveniles and probably siblings or one might be the parent. 

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Being in the right place at the right time!


¡Pura Vida!


See all my Fiery-billed Aracari photos or all of my Costa Rica Birds.

What If I Die in Costa Rica?

OK – not a happy thought! So for those who don’t want to think about it, I have another post today on why we are happier in Costa Rica!   🙂 This is one of those articles for readers planning to retire here.   Since I expect to spend the rest of my life here, I should plan for death here.

First, most expats living here will need two wills, one in Costa Rica and one in their home country. I already had a very detailed will in my home country, the United States, but now I am in the process of a slight update of it (I got rid of all my stuff.) AND creating a Costa Rica Will (which I should have done earlier). Since I own no property or even a car here (just personal effects in my house), my will is simpler than most expats living here. A house, a piece of land, a car, etc. located here must be covered in a Costa Rica Will, not your stateside or home country will. As the Boy Scout motto says:

“Be Prepared”

I keep a notebook in my house with all the instructions for what to do when I die or am disabled with copies of my 2 wills, powers of attorneys and other important documents. If someone finds me dead in my house, they will hopefully also find this notebook and follow the instructions.

MY COSTA RICA WILL covers everything in this country including:
FIRST, MY BODY which I am donating to science at the University of Costa Rica Anatomy Department (easy for everyone else).   🙂
SECOND, ANY BANK ACCOUNTS here which for me is just one where my SS Check is deposited for housing expenses. A Costa Rica Bank account needs a Costa Rica Will. Any other money accounts a person has here would be the same.
THIRD, MY PERSONAL EFFECTS here will be handled by Costa Rica law and I’m giving my son or sister 30 days to come here and claim anything they want (computer,  cameras, artwork, photos, books, clothing & very little furniture). Hogar de Vida (a local children’s home) gets what my family does not claim (in person here) and/or Hogar de Vida is 3rd in line for all personal effects. They can use the stuff or sell in a yard sale as they wish.
FOURTH, AN APOSTILLE DEATH CERTIFICATE(S) will be sent by my CR Attorney (or in some cases by the U.S. Embassy?) to my attorney in Nashville who will need it to execute my will there. Standard procedures.

MY UNITED STATES WILL covers everything related to me in the United States:

If I owned property in the states, it would be included above also. I don’t. I have greatly simplified by life in my final years. I have two attorneys (Costa Rica & Nashville) in touch with each other now so they have a plan to handle my death. When I die, it is all up to them in their respective countries. In my case they are also Executors of my two wills and Powers of Attorney, for me in their respective countries.

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
~Leonardo da Vinci

¡Pura Vida!   —   Even in death!

I Showered with a Witch?

Well, a Black Witch Moth I discovered on the inside of my dark brown shower curtain (thus camouflaged) when I showered late morning after my itchy haircut. In my Butterfly & Moth Gallery  (and below) you will see 3 others photographed in other parts of my house earlier. Note that their dark colors make all 4 of them look different in different light. I had to use the flash on my cell phone camera for above shot. Just another one of the colorful surprises almost every day in Costa Rica.   🙂

Other Common Names

In Spanish the name is Mariposa de la Muerte,  “Butterfly of Death”

The Mayan people call the moth Mah-Ha-Na,  “May I borrow your house?” An allusion to the moths frequently entering people’s houses.    🙂  Like mine!


The Black Witch has a fascinating cultural as well as natural history. Known in Mexico by the Indians since Aztec times as mariposa de la muerte (butterfly of death). When there is sickness in a house and this moth enters, the sick person dies. (Hoffmann 1918) A variation on this theme heard in the lower Rio Grande Valley (Southmost Texas) is that death only occurs if the moth flies in and visits all four corners of one’s house.

Merlin & Vasquez (2002) point out that the number four is important in Mesoamerica because of its relationship with the four cardinal directions (east, west, north and south). The moth was known among the Mexicans as Mic Papalotl, the butterfly of death. In Mesoamerica, from the pre hispanic era until the present time nocturnal butterflies have been associated with death and the number four.

In some parts of Mexico, people joke that if one flies over someone’s head, the person will lose his hair. Still another myth: seeing one means that someone has put a curse on you!

In Hawaii, Black Witch mythology, though associated with death, has a happier note in that if a loved one has just died, the moth is an embodiment of the person’s soul returning to say goodbye.

From website:

¡Pura Vida!



Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird is one of the more common birds in Costa Rica and I have seen him in my gardens several times before this photo. Yes, there are two other birds with similar coloring but clear distinctions can be seen between this and the Western Kingbird and Gray-capped Flycatcher. Click above name link for more information on the Tropical Kingbird.

Seeing and sometimes photographing birds like this in my garden is just one of the many joys I have in living here. Tranquilo is a favorite Spanish word used here to describe Atenas and translated to English that means “calm, quiet or peaceful.” Fellow residents like this Tropical Kingbird help make it so as do  other birds in my Costa Rica Birds Gallery.

“A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.”


¡Pura Vida!

Glowing Orange

Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine was the name of my article last April when my vine was at its best. This year it seems to be peaking a lot earlier or hopefully it will be for longer! As stated then, “Triquitraque” is the Costa Rica name of this profusely blooming and glowing vine while most Americans call it “Mexican Flame Vine” and now I read online line that in Florida they are actually calling it “Florida Flame Vine.”    🙂

As planned when I planted it around three years ago, it is mostly covering the stark concrete wall behind my tropical garden giving a blaze of color when traveling up or down the hill. My landlord likes it along his driveway! The butterflies & hummingbirds do too! Here’s a couple of views from above and one from the kitchen window through its glare and reflection of my hands and the kitchen sink. When not traveling, I enjoy my gardens!  ¡Pura Vida!

Orange is the happiest color. 

Frank Sinatra

Click image to enlarge:

This sun-loving, evergreen vine is also known as the flame flower or the golden shower. It’s native to Brazil and Paraguay, where it flourishes in rocky scrub habitats and forests that are seasonally dry. It grows quickly, spreading with tendrils; a single stem can be 80 feet (24 meters) long! Its genus name Pyrostegia comes from Greek words for “fire” (pyr-) and “cover” (steg-), and when it flowers in fall and early winter, it is engulfed in spectacular, flame-colored blooms that attract hummingbirds.    ~San Diego Zoo

University of Florida Article on growing Flame Vine 

San Diego Zoo Article on Flame Vine

Report on My “Weekly Post” Survey

Basically everyone who responded to my request for comments are simply very kind and flexible people; meaning I did not get any strong opinions one way or the other and you readers are divided on your interests, so I am probably going to continue mostly the way I have been blogging, with no more pressure to have a daily post, feeling free to skip days every once-in-awhile, maybe several in a row.

I will not legalistically stick to my original theme of “Retirement in Costa Rica” though that is who I am, thus all related! Even the above flowers!   🙂    And I will always strive for better quality writing and photography! I live a “Pura Vida” life here and will continue to report on it, sometimes daily, sometimes every few days or weekly. Since it was flowers today, I’ll do a serious article tomorrow and then back into my usual groove!   🙂   And by the way, if you ever wondered, those 3 “Related” earlier posts at the bottom of each post are not my choices but something the WordPress blogging computer chooses based on subjects and key words. Interesting!f And usually very well related!


A Weekly Blog Post?

A Change in the Blog . . .

I am thinking about a purpose and need for this blog, my goals, and what the 20 to 100 actual readers per day want to see here.  (Tell me!)

As I re-evaluate the blog I see it in danger of becoming a personal journal, more about me than my original purpose of “How to Retire in Costa Rica” or now about “Being Retired in Costa Rica.” My retirement hobbies of travel, birding and photography don’t speak to all, but that’s a given.

Beginning this coming weekend, my new “trial approach” is to post only one weekly, quality article on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (flexible day).  I will seek to:

  1. Use fewer/better photos with a gallery link for those wanting more.

  2. Try for shorter, easier to read posts. This is already too long!   🙂

  3. Try to include some “inspiration” though not always my purpose.

  4. Try to improve my photography so one photo says it all!

Please Give Your Input  —  Reader Survey

Use the Comments box below or email saying:

  • Keel-billed Toucan on my Terrace

    What subjects you would like me to include?

  • What you think of a weekly approach?
  • Do you read this for information or photos?
  • Are your interests (1) Retirement in CR?  (2) Costa Rica in general?  (3) Nature photography?  (4) Travel?  (5) Birding?   or  (6) Keeping up with me?

If your prefer a private message click Contact on top menu to email me.

 ¡Pura Vida!