El Camino de Costa Rica – New Info

A Hiker Guide

One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?

Available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle edition: El Camino de Costa Rica Hiker Guide

There’s also a newer video of the trail than the one I showed earlier plus more new info on the website and I found a good “Make the Leap” story I’m also linking! 🙂 . . .

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Dragonflies and Damselflies

Saturday morning in Atenas I checked with my new internet order-delivery service called “Atenas WebShop” and had two packages, one a new paperback book from Amazon.com, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica, A Field Guide by Dennis Paulson and William Haber (Link to Amazon ordering). It’s also available direct from the publisher, Cornell University Press.

It is a very thorough and scientific book and the first I’ve found anywhere here to help me identify these odonatan insects that I occasionally photograph. They have detailed descriptions and photographs of all 283 Dragonflies and Damselflies identified in Costa Rica with more being discovered frequently here.


I will use it to try and identify the ones I already have in my Dragonflies and Damselflies Photo Galleries, though it will not always be easy as there are some finely detailed differences between many species that all of my photos are not good enough to show, but at least I will have more labeled than before! 🙂


Now I just wish someone would develop as good a field guide for the butterflies of Costa Rica! A much bigger job! And until then I will continue to use the Butterflies of Mexico & Central America book for my IDs.


¡Pura Vida!

Sparrow Brings Back Memories

This Rufous-collared Sparrow (eBird link) is Latin American, found from the hills of Chiapas, Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including throughout the central hill country of Costa Rica. Every time I see one, I remember my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009 when I saw and photographed my first one at Savegre Hotel, San Gerardo de Dota. Memorable because it was a mother bird feeding her juvenile an earthworm. You can see that photo and others in my Rufous-collared Sparrow Gallery. Or in my travel gallery, 2009 Birding Tour. Pura vida from that very first visit here!

Rufous-collared Sparrow, Best Western Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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Hoping Rainy Season Started Early!

Of course it was right after I watered my gardens that the big downburst of rain came and just kept raining like one of those good rainy season afternoon showers. Yeah, we were hoping the same with our March 22 rain but it was not this big of a thundershower and didn’t have the Pacific Ocean storms we’re having now. I checked the Accuweather long-range forecast and, if accurate, we are beginning rainy season early (most typically it starts in May). It is also called “The Green Season” and is my favorite time of year!

Except for rain pounding down on the driveway, I haven’t been able to photograph rain around my house so it shows up very well in the pix, but here’s two from past trips that show up a little better. That one from Selva Verde (feature photo at top online) shows rain pouring off the roof of my cabin by the river, while my house here in Atenas has gutters all the way around, thus never having that same effect.

I Feel Most At Peace When It Is Raining For It Reminds Me That The Sky Is Alive.

– Taylor Ashley

¡Pura Vida!

Happy Easter!

Its a beautiful sunny day in Atenas, Costa Rica for Easter Morning with the Yigüirro singing his heart out for the rains to come (any day now) though I cannot photograph him or any birds for several weeks now because of the high winds. The birds are hiding in the thick trees for protection from the wind. Thus I resort to Easter Flower Photos! 🙂

And our online English language newspaper Tico Times also wishes you a Happy Easter with a photo of the oldest church in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful historical place that I have visited once (my gallery link) in the Orosi Valley. The Ruins of Ujarras (Wikipedia link) is the site of Costa Rica’s oldest church, the Spanish colonial church built between 1575 and 1580 . . .

One of my photos of The Ruins of Ujarras in Orosi Valley

Happy Easter!

He Arose!

¡Pura Vida!

Remembering 6+ Years in Costa Rica

A lot of American, Canadian and European retirees choose to spend their last years in the beautiful land of nature called Costa Rica. And I am amazed at how many of them get a house somewhere and just sit on the porch, leaving only for the many necessary functions including immigration paperwork, shopping, medical services, a few for church, etc. While some take an occasional trip to see other parts of Costa Rica, there seem to be only a very small number like me who have a passion for seeing every “nook and cranny” of this beautiful natural paradise. And wow! What most of these gringos are missing! 🙂

For more than two years of the past 6, I traveled to a different park, reserve, or nature lodge every month. Last year I decided to slow it down to one place every two months, then got even that slowed down with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While this year was scheduled for a trip every two months before the villain Cancer came into my life. Meaning only God knows how many more places I will get to visit or revisit as I have been going back to favorite places more lately. Either way I get to be immersed in nature, my passion!

One wall of my living room is covered with photos of birds I’ve photographed here and another wall behind my dining table has photos of me on adventures around the world from Africa to Tennessee with a metal print of my social media logo, meme, or “gravatar!” 🙂 And below that gravatar is a map of the many places I’ve visited in Costa Rica. I just updated that map including my anticipated trip to Bosque del Cabo on Osa Peninsula this July for my 81st birthday, the only “new” place this year. The rest of the year I have 2 or maybe 3 scheduled repeat visits to favorite places, assuming I will be able to travel: Caribe Puerto Viejo and South Pacific Uvita for sure with Tambor Bay a maybe.

Since I’m not sure how much more traveling I will get to do here in my final years paradise, I decided to share the updated map that is on the wall mentioned above. Here:

Places I’ve visited in Costa Rica over 6 years in no particular order.

And just for fun, here’s the Google map that shows where Google has tracked me going all over Costa Rica with the number of times. Of course the solid red blotch is the Central Valley where I live and they’ve tracked me moving around near home a lot! 🙂

Where Google has “tracked me.” This map is more than a year old. And I have no explanation for the dot out in the Pacific Ocean. A Google error I assume. I have not been that far away from land! 🙂

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”

~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

Watching Wildlife

Something I’ve always enjoyed is catching a bird with live food like this Anhinga with a fish at Caño Negro Reserva on that river in the feature photo at top.

Anhinga fishing in Caño Negro Reserva, Costa Rica

If all goes according to the doctor’s plans I am today at home still recuperating from surgery and hope to give more “live updates” in the next 2 or 3 days. Thanks for putting up with a week of “pre-scheduled” blog posts! I hope to be current again by the end of this week.

The Trip Gallery for the above two Photos:

December-2020 Arenal & Caño Negro

¡Pura Vida!

“It All Came Together!”

That is what I said about this particular pix when the way the Montezuma Oropendola perched in relation to the tree limb with both in focus is not always the way my bird photo come together! 🙂 But this one did!

And since this is the morning of my serious 6-hour surgery to remove a cancer from the left side of my head, I am praying that this surgery too “will all come together” for a successful removal of all cancer! Thanks for your prayers! No updated posts on my health for probably 3 days or more! 🙂 But here is where I will post it first!

¡Pura Vida!

This photo was made on my last December Trip to Arenal Observatory.

4 Emeralds of the Rainforest

By name and by color, the rainforest sparkles with these emeralds . . .

Emerald Tanager

Photographed by Charlie at Arenal Observatory Lodge, my only time to see one.

Emerald Basilisk

Photographed by Charlie at Tortuguero National Park. Called “Jesus Christ Lizard” as it walks on water.

My Gallery of Emerald Basilisks (lots of good shots!)

Emerald Toucanet

Photographed by Charlie at Cinchona Soda & Mirador.

My Gallery of Emerald Toucanets. (lots of good shots!)

Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird

Photographed by Charlie in his garden back in 2015, the only one ever seen (assuming correct ID).

EMERALD

Signifying nature and new beginnings,

Emerald stands for renewal and health,

its powerful attributes help to ground us,

refreshing and regenerating our minds.

from the internet

¡Pura Vida!