2023 Independence Day Parade, Atenas

This past Friday was the 15th of September, Independence Day for Costa Rica, when in 1821 it shed the colonial rule of Spain. In this small but very significant little developing country, patriotism is big and almost everyone wears red, white & blue and many decorate their houses with banners and flags. I wore my national futbol (soccer) shirt, red, white & blue! 🙂

And almost every town of any size has a parade, usually featuring their local schools, and Atenas is no exception! 🙂 I have for several years now been photographing it most years (when not traveling) with galleries for those years included in my super-gallery: PEOPLE, FIESTAS & ARTS Costa Rica. Which of course now includes a gallery for this year’s 2023 Desfile del Día de la Independencia, Atenas. And here is a sample photo from each of the 7 sub-galleries in this year’s parade gallery . . .


Flags are a big part of this parade. Click image to see more flags.
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A “Lifer” Bird for Me!

The other morning I had about four species of birds feeding on the flowers of my Cecropia or Guarumo Tree and one of them was a new species for me! A White-winged Becard, Pachyramphus polychopterus (linked to eBird). He is smaller than the Rose-throated Becard I’ve seen several of here and like that one is less colorful as a male. In this species the female is a golden orange or tan and more colorful than this male photographed here. Here’s three shots including one of him eating a caterpillar:

White-winged Becard, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Zilpa Longtail

Another new species for me! Zilpa Longtail, Chioides zilpa, found from the Southwestern U.S. throughout Central America and in Ecuador. It is kind of amazing that in this hotter and drier year of fewer birds and butterflies for me, I am still getting about as many new species of butterflies as in a more “normal” year! Of course they are mostly new species of Skippers with definitely not as many of the more colorful butterflies, but hey! A butterfly is a butterfly! 🙂 And I am happy to be finding these new brown ones in my garden this year. And just maybe, when I go the the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in the middle of September, I’ll be blessed with a lot of new varieties of butterflies over there in a totally different climate than the Central Valley where I live. But realistically the whole globe is being affected by the extreme weather this year, so, we will see. 🙂 Here’s three photos of this one . . .

Zilpa Longtail Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Tallest Agave I’ve Ever Seen!

For years this has been on the hill above my house in the yard of “the big house,” where my former landlord lived and is now rented to a wonderful young couple. And I’m pretty sure it is one of the several species of Agave and my gardener called it an Agave. But it could be something else. I first called it a “yucca” which the garden says it is not. 🙂

Over more than 8 years here the flower has never gotten that tall! Sorry I didn’t ask someone to stand by it for comparison. It is taller than two men or more that 12 feet (3.7 meters) I’m sure! And maybe even equal to tree men or 18 feet! Shooting from my yard down the hill it took 4 photos to make this vertical pano! 🙂 Another fun tropical anomaly! 🙂

An amazingly TALL Agave Flower
in my backyard reaching for the sun! 🙂

I tried to identify it online and the closest match (not exact) was to the Tequilana Agave, grown mostly in Mexico and used to make Tequila! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Local Art Gallery is About to Happen!

The registered name & logo.

Lots of meetings, government regulations, fees, expenses, rental space, requirements and limitations, plus how a cooperative will work together as one, all seem to make it complicated, but it is slowly coming together! 🙂 Thanks especially to Elisa & Margaret, the leaders of the group! We communicate with each other on a private WhatsApp page and now have a gallery FaceBook page (public) with not a whole lot for the public yet. 🙂 And we will be the location for this year’s JIT – Just in Time for Christmas Art Fair which uses the same FaceBook page as last year and is now set for December 8, 9 & 10, 2023. In Calle 2 Plaza Atenas!

TENTATIVE OPENINGS are a “soft” opening on October 4 and a “Grand Opening” on November 9 with the Christmas Art Show a month later, December 8-10. BUT, note that there are many things that could delay the first two dates, though Christmas Show is pretty solid! 🙂

The registered name & logo.
The registered name and logo.
7 of the 10 to 12 participants we can never get all together! 🙂 By one of the flower murals outside our gallery space in the new Calle 2 Plaza, next to Linea Vital Clinic.
A shelf set up by some of the ladies as an example of how pottery may be displayed in the gallery.

Please Remember that Everything is Flexible now . . .

Meaning that the opening dates and the participants could change in the next month or two as we struggle to put everything together. But a very fine art gallery is coming to Atenas soon! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Another Unidentified Skipper

In fact, I have a whole GALLERY of Unidentified Skippers. And hopefully I will eventually get all of them identified, but until then, it is a large category of my photos! 🙂 Just one photo of this one today!

Unidentified Skipper, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Intel Costa Rica Helping the USA!

And Tico Times online has Good News for both the U.S. & Costa Rica with this article yesterday: Intel Investing $1.2 Billion in Costa Rica which means there will be an increase in the 3,000 employees and over 5,000 contractors already working on the research & development plus manufacturing of semiconductors here! And a lot better product than what the U.S. gets from China! 🙂 Costa Rica continues to be the technology hub of Central America and for much of all the Americas. ¡Pura vida!

Bright Scintillant or Rounded Metalmark?

In the Glassberg book, this matches what Jeffrey Glassberg calls the Bright Scintillant, a Calephelis Species, but my butterfly websites don’t list it as an official species, so I continue to list it in the next closest match, Rounded Metalmark, Calephelis perditalis, though I think it should be listed as a separate subspecies. Most of the characteristics of these two are the same with the Bright Scintillant obviously being brighter and also the border fringe is brown and white checkered, while the Rounded is one solid color. But I’m not in charge of naming butterflies, so I label them the best I can with what information I do have. 🙂 Here’s four shots of one recently in my garden and be aware that he is tiny, only a little larger than my thumbnail . . .

Rounded Metalmark, Atenas, Costa Rica
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That’s not a carnival ride or some crazy new dance, but the common name for a Skipper Butterfly with the scientific name of Polites vibex, Whirlabout. And I know you probably think these two photos are of different butterflies, and though they are of different individuals of different sizes, they are the same species, with the folded wings the lighter color and the open wings orange and dark brown for males and all-brown for females. The other times I have photographed one in my garden, he looks a little darker or brighter orange than these, as you can see in my Whirlabout Gallery, but I’m fairly confident of my ID each time. There is no end to new discoveries with butterflies! 🙂

Whirlabout Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica
Whirlabout Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!