Brahman Portrait

Almost all cows in Costa Rica are Brahman Mixed Breeds with a European breed that gives better meat than Indian Brahmans and similar to but a little different from the North American Mixed Breed Brahmans. Brahmans are used because they are heat-tolerant and do better in the tropics than any other cow. A lot of American tourists ask “Why are Costa Rica cows skinnier than ours up north?” Simple reason, they are all grass-fed here while most in the States are grain-fed to fatten them up for more more profit when sold. Costa Rica’s are healthier. 🙂

This is one of three in the field across the street from my house and owned by a developer living here who intends to develop that cow pasture into a bunch of houses someday. I may want to move then! 🙂

“Cows are gentle, interesting animals.”

– Ingrid Newkirk

¡Pura Vida!

And YES! I have a Costa Rica Cows Photo Gallery! 🙂

With a few interesting photos – really! 🙂

Nest Abandonment?

For the last week or so the winds have been really strong here whipping those palm fronds around like giant fans! Note that we have high winds in the Central Valley of Costa Rica every January-February, so not unusual. It’s how our summer begins.

I’m sorry that the White-winged Dove had her egg-laying time come now and chose to make her nest in a palm frond, less secure from wind than any other tree limb would have been. The third photo below (and feature photo) is her on the nest the morning of the 29th after sitting there nearly a week and I have yet to see an egg. But by the afternoon of the 29th she was gone from the nest and not seen there since and I checked all day the 30th. If she lost eggs it must have been to predators (here Iguanas or a large bird or snake) because I’ve seen no egg on the ground under the nest which would be broken if it fell. The second empty nest photo was made from my step ladder (higher up) but still not showing any egg(s). So I don’t know what has happened. If she lost eggs, it will be the second time a dove has lost eggs from my palm fronds. Sad.

Dove Nest Appears Abandoned.
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A Really Big Tree!

Though not included on the web page of Monumental Trees of Costa Rica, it is a very wide tree that Walter knew about and we stopped for it along Highway 1 near San Ramon Canton. You can best understand how wide it is in the photo of me standing by it. It is obviously not anywhere close to the tallest with what appears to have been it’s crown broken off, maybe in a storm. But it’s still a nice big Ceiba Tree to stop for! And too wide to put your arms around! 🙂

A very wide Ceiba Tree – see comparison to a person in 3rd photo.

It was probably very tall before the crown broke off, maybe in a storm?
All Ceiba Trees are wide, but you can tell that this one is really wide!

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”

― Hal Borland

¡Pura Vida!

And of course I have a Trees Gallery! 🙂

“Country Lane” – The Road

“Country Lane” is in quotes because it’s my personal name for the extension of 8th Avenue Atenas through what has been farm land but getting more houses. It ends as a gravel road at Radial 27 Highway across from the Farmer’s Market. I’ve shared photos of many things along this road but maybe not just the road itself, so here are my shots of the actual road in different locations. For more photos of one of my walking places, see the gallery titled: “Country Lane” – Avenida 8. Walking is sweet! 🙂

“Country Lane” – 8th Avenue, Atenas

And a slide show of the road from Saturday’s walk . . .

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“The Best Art”

“Land really is the best art.”

—Andy Warhol

“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”

– John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

The four photos today were made on the last two mornings, 2-each, from my terrace of some of the hills surrounding Atenas Pueblo in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. You can see more of my Terrace Vistas in that linked gallery or go for all the many different CR Vistas. 🙂

Cows Upon A Hill

To describe part of my walk last Saturday morning early, I found this nice poem:

Cows Upon A Hill

There is nothing I like better
In the sunrise of the day
To see cows on the hill
It’s the perfect time to pray

~Marilyn Lott

The Costa Rica University Systems has a special agricultural university campus on the edge of Atenas and these cows I frequently see and like to photograph are a part of that student farm on the next hill over from mine. 🙂 Students study here from all over Central American as the best of Latin American agricultural schools! And they learn a whole lot more than just our local coffee farming! 🙂 And next door to where I live!

Cows Upon A Hill, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

See all four Photos . . .

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My CANCER Adventure Book

Mostly my real time journal and blog posts plus photos and other information that is meant to be inspirational for someone else going through cancer, especially my specific Parotid Tumor Cancer with 68 pages and 87 photos, including a few of my nature posts during that time. 🙂

I also emphasize the value of nature in healing for me. And the title “True Grit” is explained in the book and on back cover, kind of funny! 🙂

You can see a free electronic preview at Or click the cover image below:

Me in front of Radiation Machine on book cover.

You can also browse through all my nature photo books while in the bookstore or click on Bookstore on the menu bar above.

¡Pura Vida!

Banded Peacock Butterfly

This one is not only a regular in my garden but I’ve photographed him all over Costa Rica as you can see in my Banded Peacock Gallery. Read more about this Banded Peacock, Anartia fatima on Wikipedia. Note that there is another butterfly with this English common name, but this Anartia fatima is found only from South Texas through Mexico and Central America, though most common in Costa Rica.

Banded Peacock, Anartia fatima, Costa Rica

Two more photos today . . .

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Giant Swallowtail

Another common butterfly in my garden here in Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica is the Giant Swallowtail, Papilio rumiko (Link to Wikipedia) and I just noticed that ones here in Central America and Western U.S. have been re-classified, while the ones in Eastern U.S. are called Papilio cresphontes, for those really into insect ID! 🙂 Many websites not updated still have them all as cresphontes, including my trusty Swift Guide to Butterflies. So you may have read it first here! The Giant Swallowtails in Costa Rica are Papilio rumiko! 🙂

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio rumiko, Atenas, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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These Berries are Ripe . . .

. . . and so am I, almost! I’m redder or pinker now on my face from the radiation 🙂 and also ripe at the point of being almost finished. Today, Tuesday, I lack only 2 more radiation treatments, meaning I’m finished by noon Thursday! Yay! Starting Thursday afternoon I’m home to stay for at least 5 weeks before I have a trip planned. And hoping I have some taste and swallowing ability back by then (the lodge food is said to be excellent!), though my doc says to not count on the taste totally returning that soon. She says it can take up to 6 months for some people to have it totally but gain it little by little, week by week. Since my radiation was only on the left side of my mouth, maybe I will get it back sooner. Hoping! 🙂

The red berries are on the big tree at the hotel that had been yellow berries for weeks but now red, ripe and ready for the birds and other creatures! The blue or black berries below are in a yard I walk by everyday to and from the clinic and Walter, my driver, says they are sweet and if people can pick them before the birds and animals, they add them to dishes for sweetness or just eat as berries.

Continue reading “These Berries are Ripe . . .”