Last Shot from the Pacific

Of course there’s more photos and even more wildlife I haven’t shown like the White-nosed Coati and more butterflies, but I have them in the Christmas Trip 2021 Gallery, so check it out if you want more! 🙂

This was another favorite rainforest shot from Cristal Ballena that also includes the sea, so I just had to add it as my last post on that trip. As you can see, the rainforest not only surrounds the hotel, but flows all the way down to the ocean and the national park beach. It’s a beautiful place that I enjoy visiting and will probably go again someday. Now back to shots from my garden, the neighborhood and the little coffee farmers’ town of Atenas. For awhile anyway! 🙂 I’m trying to schedule a one-day waterfall trip and then in February I’m back to a tree house at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada. 🙂

Rainforest & ocean view, Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita, Costa Rica.

“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”

~Peter Benchley

Tico Times article: Costa Rica Tourism in 2022: Demand is back

Most Read Blog Posts 2021 is Humbling

I finally figured out how to get to historical statistics on my WordPress Blog/Website, wanting to see what kind of nature photos more people are interested in. Well, it was not my nature shots in 2021 but the posts labeled “Cancer Update” that all had over 200 readers or “hits” with none of my nature posts over 200 except the weird exception of an old one on a Truck Centipede. So THANK YOU for being interested in my health! It has been a long slow recovery still in process but I am so much closer to “normal” now and I was quite active on the last trip. I see my oncologist tomorrow and hopefully not many more times needed after that. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Indigenous People in Garden Art

Some manufacturer here is depicting Central American Indigenous People in concrete garden art that is not necessarily accurate of what the early people looked like or blessed by the few indigenous people still left here in Costa Rica. And I’m pretty sure not made by the indigenous people. Yet I like the historical or almost archaeological “look” of this garden art found in several hotel gardens like these 4 photographed at Cristal Ballena Hotel in Uvita which are similar to what I saw at Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula in July and even the one piece I’ve added to my garden. They remind me of what you see more of in Guatemala and Mexico where the indigenous had bigger cities and left more archaeological ruins & art than the simpler, early agricultural peoples of Costa Rica who are still very important to the history of this country. I will be visiting one of the indigenous people city ruins in April as noted in yesterday’s post, Guayabo. And in my earlier writings you can find several articles on visits to different Bribri villages on the Caribbean Slope or see links at bottom of post.

Uvita is in the South Pacific area which is where the Boruca People lived and still have at least one traditional village. Their Boruca Artisans are famous for the brightly colored animal masks available in all the souvenir shops. They are too bright and unrealistic or “touristy” for me, but I like the “antique” or archaeological look of these concrete depictions of indigenous people, especially when older and weathered or covered in moss. Here’s 4 such “statues” in the gardens of Cristal Ballena Hotel in Uvita . . .

Indigenous People Garden Art
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2022 Adventures Planned

As of today, I have only five of my typical six-night trips planned, less than the every two months goal, but I expect to add some 1, 2 or 3 day trips in-between! In fact, in January there is a day-trip planned for north of where I live to photograph 2 more waterfalls! That will be the last two photos I need to complete my next photo book on the Waterfalls of Costa Rica which I’m titling “WATERFALLS: The Music of Costa Rica.” 🙂

This year’s schedule includes two totally new places along with three repeats of Favorites! Below each of the 3 favorites I’ve added links to my photos from previous trips there. I can’t imagine having a better retirement than I have in Costa Rica! 🙂 There’s always something to look forward to in nature! And a growing Photo Gallery that I’m proud of! 🙂

Captivo Lodge, one of my two new places this year. (Photos from Captivo Lodge)

And the “Feature Photo” at top of Post is also one from Captivo Lodge Website, the view from my room there – supposedly! 🙂

February in Maquenque Eco-Lodge Tree House

This is the lodge where I’ve photographed the largest number of bird species and where I get to sleep in a tree house near the birds and monkeys! 🙂 Photo at right is the “Tarzan” tree house room on my 2020 visit there. See the Lodge Website or my photos linked below from two previous incredible trips there:

2020 June 30–July 6- Maquenque Eco-Lodge & Reserve

2019 Jan 14-19 — Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve

April at Guayabo Lodge for Birds, Indigenous History & 2 Volcanoes

This is the first new location for me this year that will have a lot of good birding on campus and in a nearby private reserve, along with a visit to the Guayabo National Monument, an Indigenous Archaeological Site; plus Turrialba Volcano and Irazú Volcano, two of the biggest in Costa Rica that I have not seen yet. See the Lodge Website or specifics on these tours I plan to include from the hotel:

Guayabo, Ancient Indigenous City Historical Site. (Photo from National Monument Website)

July Birthday at Playa Cativo Lodge

This is the other new location for me on the other side of Piedras Blanca NP from an earlier favorite, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, but this time on a beach on Golfo Dulce in an even wilder rainforest. See the Playa Cativo Lodge’s Website or YouTube has a lot of videos from there. The feature photo at top is the view I expect to have from my room and the dining room. 🙂

Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce (Photo from hotel website)

September Back to Quiet Banana Azul in Caribe

Check out the hotel’s website or see my photo galleries from 4 previous relaxing visits there:

Beach at Banana Azul, on the Atlantic Ocean’s Caribbean Sea. My photo from 2021 visit.

Christmas Return to Arenal Observatory Lodge

Check out the lodge’s website or my photo galleries from two previous adventures:

This is an all-around favorite for just about everything! They are 2nd only to Maquenque Lodge for the number of birds I photograph; one of best rooms & room visitas (I always get Room 29!) 🙂 ; excellent restaurant; fabulous forest trails; the tallest and best birding tower in Costa Rica; a beautiful waterfall; other wildlife besides birds; sitting at the base of the volcano; and close to multiple other great birding reserves and the biggest butterfly garden in the country! 🙂

Lake Arenal seen from the Lodge. Volcano is to the right. My 2020 photo. My Room 29 has views of both the lake & the volcano.

See my CR Trips Gallery for all the places I’ve visited here.

Expect some stunning new photos in 2022! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

2021 in Photos

This year was unlike any other in my life, not only because of the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic, vaccines, mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing everywhere, but even more so as my year of major cancer surgery and radiation treatments. Yet through it all I managed to keep nature central to my life most of the time and even make a few photo trips.

I will not try to do a photo-a-month but rather 12 favorite photos depicting major life events, trips, and different types of nature starting with the 2 wonderful trips before the cancer surgery in March. The links in the photo captions are to my photo trip galleries for those events. I even have a gallery for radiation therapy (not one for surgery) and include surgery in my cancer journal and the combined photo book on my cancer adventure. 🙂 And the featured image at top is a Tiger Heliconian Butterfly on a “Hot Lips” Flower on my just completed Christmas trip to Uvita. 🙂

Resplendent Quetzal from January trip to San Gerardo de Dota & Hotel Savegre (gallery link).
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Giant Grasshoppers

The last wildlife I saw and photographed as I left the hotel early morning with low light and clouds were a flock or family of these “Giant Grasshoppers,” which is what everyone calls them here, but I found no good website about them. I photographed one on one of my pre-move trips here, the Carvan.com tour, at the J.W. Marriott Resort in Guanacaste. See it. or for something really interesting, see my CR Grasshoppers Gallery for 13+ different species of Grasshoppers here! 🙂 Here’s three shots of the ones I saw this morning . . .

Giant Grasshopper, Costa Rica
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My Last Uvita Sunset

There have been 3 nice sunsets in a row now with the rain subsiding. This is the Dec.25 Sunset and early tomorrow I head back home in Atenas with an interesting flight from Palmar Sur to Drake Bay and then on to San Jose with lots of photo-ops! 🙂

Sunset 25 December 2021, Uvita, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

I will be sharing more photos from this Uvita visit over the next few days. There is so much photography inspiration in the rainforest! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!