Continuing to blog my butterfly sightings in families, here are the 2 Skippers or Hesperiidae butterflies from this past week’s visit to Xandari. You can see more of this type of butterfly in my Hesperiidae-SKIPPERS Galleries.
I’m still working on my photos and identifying species and just discovered another new species for me, the Wedge-spotted Cattleheart, a butterfly in the family with Swallowtails. Here’s three shots of this one, all with folded wings (he refused to open them). And for the students of butterflies, note that it is similar to or could be confused with the Iphidamas or Transandean Cattleheart, but there are small differences! 🙂
In my short two-night stay at Xandari Costa Rica I photographed 13+ species of butterflies with a few more still unidentified, so maybe more. 🙂 It is my #1 best location for wild butterflies so far! In this post I present the the only two “lifers” or first-time seen butterflies on this trip.
Chestnut Crescent – Anthanassa argentea
This one is easily confused with the Tulcis or Pale-banded Crescent and the Ardent Crescent (both in my gallery).
Gray-based Crescent – Castilia griseobasalis
And this one is easily confused with both the Mayan and Cryptic Crescents with only the Mayan in my gallery.
You can find more of the “Crescents” Butterflies in my BRUSHFOOTS FAMILY of galleries.
There is not a lot of water in many streams during dry season, though springs provide some, and this Waterfall #5 is the biggest one during the rainy season, but not much to look at on my last morning hike down the steep path to see it. Of course there is a much larger and nicer falls at Arenal Observatory Lodge and even better are the 3 giant falls at El Silencio Lodge in Bajó del Toro, but still I like all waterfalls, so here’s 4 shots of a little one from this morning. 🙂
I got 8 more butterflies today and at least one a “lifer” or new one for me, but identifying and processing hundreds of photos is just too much to share those today and the birds were just a very few! It is quite windy here this time of year.
So for today’s post, the easy way out, a handful of vistas from the hotel, many from my room and most of these are untouched straight out of the camera to facilitate my limited time for this post today! 🙂 One shot of last night’s sunset from my room just for the email announcement, and then all in a slide show that follows . . .
I arrived at Xandari in time for a little snack lunch and was assigned the same room, Villa 19, that I was in last August also for just two nights (they’re expensive is why short stays). See the room gallery for last year if you want to know what it looks like. All rooms are very nice here!
I walked the inner-circle trails photographing only these four butterflies and a whole lot more flowers and other nature which I will share later. It was bright sun and hot all afternoon, which is what butterflies like and there were a lot flying around but not stopping for a photo, especially the yellows and I saw some Julias too, but only these 4 landed where I could photograph. Tomorrow I will walk some deeper forest trails which have different butterflies and birds, though I got no birds this afternoon. Birds will be in the morning.
As much as I love traveling around Costa Rica with my camera, I am slowing down a little this year for multiple reasons, mainly health and money! 🙂 I’ve lived a long and exciting life already, mostly as a high-energy person, ready at all times for the next adventure! But with much less energy after cancer radiation treatments and having three pretty serious falls last year on trips, I must “start acting my age” in some respects. 🙂
Plus, my savings have been cut back a good bit with all the cancer treatments and I’m beginning to feel the tightness of money more, so fewer trips and shorter trips is part of my plan for this year with enough “wiggle room” to add a day trip at the last minute when I feel the need. 🙂 Like the 2-night trip this week just added to nearby Xandari Resort . . .
Here’s My 2023 Travel Plans
2 nights – Xandari Costa Rica Resort, Alajuela, my #1 best location for butterflies and one of the best for flowers! It’s this week! And you can see photos from 5 previous visits by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, 2022, 2020 (twice), 2019 & 2018. 🙂 I will be giving the resort gifts of two copies of one of my newest photo books, Butterflies! The Hidden Art of Xandari for them to add to the only complete library of all Charlie Doggett photo books!
4 nights – Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero National Park.This will be my 4th trip to Tortuguero NP but my first time to this Lodge which is a sister lodge to the Monteverde Lodge and Gardens I visited in 2019 and considered a little nicer than the more rustic lodges I’ve visited here before, Turtle Beach Lodge in 2019 and Laguna Lodge in 2016 and with Caravan Tours in 2010. Tortuguero is often called “The Amazon of Costa Rica” with most nature hikes by boat and an amazing amount of wildlife from an occasional Jaguar to almost every tropical bird! 🙂
5 nights – Maquenque EcoLodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada. I sometimes call this my favorite lodge because of the large number of birds and other wildlife I’ve photographed there in the past and because they have treehouse rooms from which I’ve photographed both birds and monkeys in the nearby trees. But for the first time there I’m staying in a ground level cabin, one on the lake which may give me different wildlife photos from my room and I will be in less danger of falling down the 50 metal steps going up to the treehouse room. 🙂 You can see the photos of my 3 previous visits there by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, or directly to 2022, 2020, & 2019. 🙂
5 Nights – Esquinas Rainforest Lodgewhich I’ve visited only one other time, also in the rainy season with one of my largest collections of bird photos in a 2018 visit when I was the only guest most of my days there. It is a small, quiet jungle retreat in the rainforests of Piedras Blancas National Park on the opposite side of that park from the more touristy Playa Cativo Lodge I visited last July, also for my birthday! This year is will be my 83rd birthday! 🙂 This is run by Austrians in conjunction with their university-related rainforest research station there. Being the rainy season, it will definitely not be crowded and I could be the only guest again! That would be okay with me! 🙂
6 nights – Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Limón, South Caribe. This is my annual Caribbean Beach vacation, staying always in “The Howler Suite” room overlooking the rainforest property and beach where I get great sunrise photos each morning plus lots of butterflies and birds and other wildlife including Sloths. It is my most relaxing place to visit and I have no pressure to do anything, plus the food is good and I can walk to most places, though they have their own tour company to take me further if I want explore afar and of course to and from the Limón Aeropuerto. I always fly there as I will also to Esquinas in July, near Golfito. My only 2 flying trips this year. Walter will drive me everywhere else I go this year. You can see my photos of 5 previous visits to Banana Azul by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, or go directly to 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, & 2017.
6 Nights – Hotel Savegre Lodge & Reserve, San Gerardo de Dota. And this year I will spend Christmas in another favorite lodge, in the most beautiful mountains with the 5th purest/cleanest river in the entire world – Rio Savegre! And the best place in Costa Rica to photograph the Resplendent Quetzal birds along with many others! Plus terrific food, rooms and hiking trails! See my photos from there on my 2021 Visit, plus I was in the same hotel in 2009 (smaller then) and I have visited two other lodges in San Gerardo de Dota. Mariam’s Quetzales Cabins in 2015 and Trogon Lodge in 2014, all good experiences!
So fewer trips this year, but each one comes at a time I will emotionally need it and all in places I’ve been before and really love! I’m the luckiest guy in the world to get to spend my final years living like this in the most beautiful nature places in the world! Nothing could be better for my 83rd year of life!
It seems to be taking me longer to complete my trip galleries – just a slow old man! 🙂
But one reason was that it is slow identifying 32 species of butterflies (several new to me), 29 species of birds (1 lifer), and 13 species of other wildlife with lots of nice frog shots this time! These trip galleries are my main photo galleries to which I link for photos in the bird, butterfly and other subject galleries. If you are considering different lodges in Costa Rica as a visitor or one who lives here and travels like me, these trip galleries are a good source of real information about what you can see in a particular place. Enjoy!
And this will be the last of my Arenal posts for a while, realizing I’ve done more than 3 weeks worth! And this final post will be considered the weirdest one by some or what I used to call “Leaves and Nature Things” and now refer to as “Designed by Nature” or “Nature as Art” which is also my photography brand. I debated about naming each photo and then decided to let your imagination flow! 🙂 I will give physical identities to most items when I get them in my gallery – but for now, watch the slide show as a fairy tale! But first an image for the email! 🙂
I just can’t quit talking about all the neat things you can see and photograph at Arenal Observatory Lodge! And another one are trees, all of their trees, but maybe the most unique are their Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees that were a part of their early development reforestation program which you can read about in an article on their website: The Rainbow Trees of Arenal, Costa Rica by Shannon Farley, my friend and fellow Atenas resident! 🙂 You will be amazed as you read the article and probably want to visit this favorite lodge of mine too! Where I could spend months hiking their 7+ miles of well-maintained hiking trails and never be bored! 🙂