Surprise WhatsApp Message Today

MonteverdeThis morning I received a WhatsApp Voice Message with the above photo from Rodiber, my guide at Monteverde last month. He was thanking me profusely for the autographed copy of my Monteverde photo book for himself, Costa Rica Expeditions (who service this hotel) and the hotel Monteverde Lodge & Gardens. The girl in photo is one of the several front desk persons who were all very helpful to me during my stay. I sent two copies of book, one for my guide and one for the hotel to use at front desk, in lobby or in their little loaner-library of books for guests.

Since I make a book for most of my trips or the first trip to a lodge, I usually send two books like this. I just concluded my second trip to Selva Verde Lodge and right now not planning a second book. Their two guides on my first visit plus the front desk got copies of my 2016 Selva Verde trip book.

I really enjoy surprising my hosts in thanks for a good experience with the little photo books – not something they expect nor receive from other guests. This is the first one to send me a photo with their thank-you note. A surprise for me now! My response was the typical Costa Rican response to a “Thank You!” which is ¡Con mucho gusto! “With much pleasure!” Ticos are such beautiful people!     🙂

Art must take reality by surprise.

Francoise Sagan

¡Pura Vida!

Monteverde: The Book

IMG_9570-A-WEBI finished it last week but was waiting for Blurb to offer one of their discounts before I ordered my copies since I have to buy at least one copy to offer it for sale. That’s business!  🙂  I usually get about 4 copies, sending one to my host lodge/hotel and one to the birding guide I used and I’m saving a copy for some local library here in Atenas but I haven’t found the right one yet. Long story.

By including some photos from my 2016 visit to Monteverde the book has 123 photos on 78 pages with about 45 species of birds plus other animals and nature. I’m pleased with this photo book available in my bookstore at:

https://www.blurb.com/b/9427058-monteverde

FREE PAGE-BY-PAGE PREVIEW ELECTRONICALLY

Or click this cover image:

Monteverde

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”
~Claude Monet

Thanks to Monet for my subtitle inspiration!

¡Pura Vida!

Monteverde Gallery Completed

Finally, all the photos made during a week in Monteverde, Costa Rica have been sorted, culled, labeled and organized into the few best in each category as one of my “Trip Galleries” labeled as:

2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Rica

Now I will start working on the photo book about Monteverde and making more photos around here as I report on things in Atenas like the progress on our central park remodeling and the climate fair here next week with our annual oxcart parade – always something happening!    🙂

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

44 Species – 16 Lifers – Monteverde BIRDS!

Now that I am wrapping up the photos from my week in Monteverde last week, I’m better realizing how good a trip it was! It was one of my best birding trips in recent years with useable photos of 44 different species of birds, 16 were first-time sightings for me or what birders call “Lifers.” See the 44 birds in the gallery:

2019 Monteverde BIRDS

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Emerald Toucanet with an attitude!

My Lifer List This Trip

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Golden-olive Woodpecker
  1. Coppery-headed Emerald
  2. Magenta-throated Woodstar
  3. Ruddy Pigeon
  4. Buff-fronted Quail-Dove
  5. Golden-olive Woodpecker
  6. Paltry Tyrannulet
  7. Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
  8. Long-tailed Manakin
  9. Azure-hooded Jay
  10. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush
  11. Swainson’s Thrush
  12. White-throated Thrush
  13. Lesser Greenlet
  14. Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
  15. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  16. Black-thighed Grosbeak

The featured photo at top is of a Wilson’s Warbler. And I am now working on the other parts of my trip gallery like other wildlife, the hotel, flowers, etc. which will go much faster than my huge collection of bird photos!   🙂    It’s at  2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Rica  which the birds gallery is just one part of.

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Collared Redstart

I am thankful that when the Quakers came from the states and founded the little mountain farming town of Monteverde they also had the foresight to start preserving the virgin forest around the town and that other ecologists came and continued the effort with some of the largest forest reserves in the world! Nature is the main attraction of Monteverde!

My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.

~Claude Monet

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Three-wattled Bellbird close to the ground in search of food – A 1st for me!

 

¡Pura Vida!

Cloud Forest Scenery & Vistas

Just a few sample shots of the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica which I’m sorry I did not pay more attention to in my photography this past week. Every tree is a beautiful work of art and some are old growth or a part of an ancient virgin forest. I was particularly surprised to see how close we were to Arenal Volcano and what a beautiful view we had from the continental divide in Santa Elena Reserve shown above in the feature photo. I plan to go back to Arenal in November! So many beautiful places of nature here!

Monteverde Forests & Vistas

 

Cloud forest is quite different from lowland tropical rain forest. The name comes from the observation that the forests are nearly always shrouded in clouds. These forests are situated at high altitude along the continental divide down the spine of Costa Rica. As the warm moist air from over the Pacific or Caribbean is pushed up the sides of the mountains, it cools, and the moisture begins to condense forming clouds.       ~Costa Rica Guide,  https://costa-rica-guide.com/nature/refuges/monteverde-cloud-forest-reserve/

I just realized that I have started to repeat some photos, so this will be all of my reports on a wonderful week in Monteverde. My “Trip Gallery” will be coming to my online photo gallery soon at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde Lodge & Gardens – just need a few more days for that and then “The Book,” my first on Monteverde even though I was there one other time. Watch my Bookstore for the Monteverde photo book! This trip alone yielded photos of 44 species of birds!

And check out some of my other trips in the Costa Rica Trips Photo Gallery! Almost every location is as beautiful and exciting as this one.

¡Pura Vida!

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

My first of 6 different Cloud Forest Reserves this week (where trees, wildlife, water and air is protected) was this morning at Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve (right click on page for English translation). It is beautiful and less crowded than the one I will visit tomorrow. The above featured cell phone photo is from the highest point in the reserve looking East/Northeast at Arenal Volcano which I visited last year at Arenal Observatory and going again in November. The photo at bottom is looking the other direction at the mountains and clouds you are above in a Cloud Forest.

I had a wonderful guide through the hotel’s tour service, Costa Rica Expeditions, Rodiberi, and we saw 14 species of birds, several new to me. Here are my photos of 9 of those species, two of which are lifers for me:

Birds at Santa Elena Today

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 Cool birds huh? Most live only in the cloud forest.

Other wildlife will be a separate post for the whole week.

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One of the views from the highest point in the reserve, looking West/Northwest

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” 
― John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

Church Group Cancels & I Add Monteverde!

Anytime you are dealing with groups of people there are complications and changes and this happened with the First Baptist Nashville group that were coming back to Atenas to work again in the Hogar de Vida Children’s Home this April. Pam told me yesterday that it did not work out, so instead of a week with them I now have scheduled a week in the Quaker town of Monteverde in April and already scheduling guided birding hikes while there.   🙂

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Rare Three-wattled Bellbird I photographed at Selvatura Monteverde in 2016

I limit myself to one birding trip a month and somehow for 2 years now I have not been able to get back to Monteverde where I had only 2.5 days back in 2016 on a Birding Club Trip that I added an extra night to but still did not have enough time for all the reserves and other places for nature. I’ll stay 6 nights this time with my first priorities guided birding hikes in three reserves: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (or Official Site in English), Santa Elena Reserve (or Official Site in Spanish), and Curi-Cancha Reserve. That’s three days! Then a really good commercial nature reserve there called Selvatura that has the longest canopy hanging-bridges in the country plus a fabulous butterfly garden & hummingbird garden and more! That will be another full day, to which I will then add shorter trips like one of the best night hikes in the country, the excellent Monteverde Butterfly Garden, not to mention the trails and gardens at the Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where I will be staying. A full and fulfilling week!   🙂   So Nashville guys, I will miss you, but not be bored!   🙂

And I change my 2019 Trips Map with #4 (April) moved from Atenas to Monteverde.

Click to enlarge

 

 

¡Pura Vida!

Passion Flowers

Red Passionflower
On a vine covering a neighbor’s wall, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Note the three stages here, bud, open flower, and spent flower.

Passionflower
Monteverde, Costa Rica
This one is like the ones I used to photograph in Tennessee.

See photos of some of the many varieties of Passionflowers in Costa Rica


I never cease to be amazed at the huge variety of flowers here. Though not the main focus of my photography, you might want to see the few I have photographed in gallery Flora & Forests

Night Hike Shots

Sorry, I meant to post this last night before I left for Nicaragua. The last post from Monteverde.

Sleeping Brown Jay
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sleeping Orange-bellied Trogon
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Sleeping Keel-billed Toucan
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sleeping Skipper Butterfly
Monteverde, Costa Rica
A Strange Cloud Forest Fruit Eaten Only by Bats
Monteverde, Costa Rica

It Was Dark! Night Hike!
Monteverde, Costa Rica

We saw many other creatures that I could not get usable photos of, like a Margay cat, two snakes, army ants, leaf-cutter ants, other insects, and some other birds including a spectacled owl.

Other INSECTS at Monteverde

Golden Orb Spider

Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Costa Rica

 

Unknown Insect

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
At the entrance buildings

 

Walking-Leaf Katydid

Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Costa Rica

 

Walking-Stick Insect

Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Costa Rica

 

Unknown Insect

Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Costa Rica

 

Leaf Cutter Ants

Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Costa Rica

 

Butterfly Caterpillars in the Rainforest

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Monteverde, Costa Rica

There were of course many more insects seen and not photographed. Costa Rica has one of the largest selection of insect species in the world, more than all of the U.S. and Canada combined and yet it is the size of the state of West Virginia.

My Other Insects of Costa Rica  PHOTO GALLERY     OR   Costa Rica Butterflies

And I just finished the Monteverde Birding Club Trip 2016 TRIP PHOTO GALLERY

If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet, the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from the land. Within a few months.    ~E. O. Wilson
Land of Great Species Diversity