I’M HERE! — In the Rainforest!

I got here in time to dump my stuff in my cabin before a delicious lunch that I was able to eat all of! Yay! 🙂 It’s overcast with some scattered showers but I explored the trails a little and scheduled 4 activities this week with the rest of time exploring on my own! And the 4? Well, boring old-man activities compared to some available here: Morning & Afternoon Birding hikes in 2 totally different locations, a sunset/night hike looking for night creatures, and a morning Primary Rainforest 3-hour conservation hike. The rest of the week is photographing a lot, resting, and finally eating real food for a week! My radiation taste is not totally gone, but greatly improved and I’m eating just about everything now! 🙂

My thatched-roof open-air hut with a cool breeze off the Pacific now! 🙂
The Pacific Ocean View from my room porch on an overcast day.

I’ve seen a Crested Caracara (on the road here), and here: lots of Scarlet Macaws, lots of little birds not identified and a family of Spider Monkeys, all by my thatched roof cabin. And I’m looking forward to happy hour snacks before a great dinner. There are about 25 tourists in this lodge (from all over the world including children), which is not bad with Covid still raging around the globe! And it is a 45 minute drive (fording streams) from the primitive landing strip in Puerto Jiménez to the lodge or if you must, an 8-hour+ drive from the San Jose Airport. 

On the Road to Bosque Del Cabo.

Bosque del Cabo Website

And finally . . .

My Rainforest “Internet Cafe” for the Week!

The “Boa Bar” at Bosque Del Cabo Rainforest Lodge . . .

Your nightly report from the rainforest will be uploaded each afternoon from the above poolside location! And oh yes, the internet connection is great (at least today!).

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

New Ranking of Birding Lodges

On January 5, 2020 I did a Blog Post 2020 Ranking of My Birding Lodges, which is now out of date and it even included Nicaragua and Panama lodges, where today’s is only Costa Rica and I have included the multiple trips to places I repeat with each bird count, but only those with 10 or more birds photographed by me. Even on eBird I count only the ones I get a photo of. These are from my birding visits since 2015, my first year living in Costa Rica.

Montezuma Oropendola at Arenal Observatory

The Feature Photo at top is my Treehouse Room at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada.

And the 2021 Rankings by number of species are . . .

Continue reading “New Ranking of Birding Lodges”

“TRANQUILO” – My Favorite Spanish Word!

Tranquilo calm, quiet, peaceful, relaxed, laid-back, unfazed – are some of the English words the online Spanish Dictionary (spanishdict.com) lists as equivalents.

Above: Tranquilo Sunrise at Macaw Lodge, Carara NP
Feature photo at top: Tranquilo Sunset on Calle Barroeta, Atenas

At first I wrote a lengthy essay on my need for “tranquilo” and how it has changed me, then decided it was “too much.” 🙂 So I’ll just let the photos speak for . . .

A “TRANQUILO” life of “Retired in Costa Rica.”

¡Pura Vida!

Blog, Website, Gallery, Bookstore

Or Just the Photos

🙂

The Blessing of “Heart Treasures”

This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.

Morning on my terrace.

“The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”

~T. D. Jakes

Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .

Continue reading “The Blessing of “Heart Treasures””

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! 🙂 . . .

Continue reading “El Camino de Costa Rica – New Info”

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 . . .

Continue reading “Sparrow Brings Back Memories”

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!