Hotel Banana Azul is my #1 source of butterfly photos and thus they get another book just for butterflies found on their property and nearby reserves. If you are going to the Costa Rica Caribbean and love butterflies, then you will want to take a copy of this book with you, featuring 61 species of butterflies photographed there! One of a kind book! 🙂 And why I’m introducing this week? Because Blurb is offering a “Black Friday Sale” of 50% off photo books! And I’m about to do another book also, for the same reason! 🙂
And of course there are many more blog posts I intended to write on this almost annual trip to the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica, but the opening of a new art gallery is demanding all of my time now! Maybe more later. In the meantime if you are interested in Costa Rica’s Caribe South, I hope you will check out this quite extensive “Trip Gallery” with all of my decent photos included in category folders by clicking the Page 1 Gallery Pix below or going to this address: https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2023-September-18-24-South-Caribbean-Costa-Rica
I finally got through all my butterfly photos made on the property at Hotel Banana Azul in Costa Rica’s Caribe South and they total 34 species! Unfortunately I have 11 different Skippers labeled “Unidentified” and I really need some better sources to help with identification. I am including two photos here and one is an unidentified Yellow or Sulphur. You can see all of the 34 species in my Banana Azul 2023 Butterfly GALLERY. And this is in addition to all those already reported on from Gandoca-Manzanilloand Cahuita reserves making a total of 54 species! 🙂
And oh yeah, the feature photo at the top of post has been identified as a Pompeius Skipper, Pompeius pompeius.
¡Muy ocupado! — Very Busy!
Read on for why I am behind on my blog posts now and what is happening in my personal life, from my new “free” doctors to helping open a new art gallery in Atenas . . .
The wildlife refuge was Wednesday and the best report on that is my Gandoca-Manzanillo GALLERY. And as a sample, here’s one bird, one butterfly and one “other” wildlife pix! 🙂 PLUS one shot of the cloud covered sunrise this morning. At 8 am today I’m going to Cahuita National Park with a report on that later and tomorrow (Saturday) will be my last day for nature around the hotel which will be reported on even later. A good week! Here’s 4 sample shots from Gandoca and one of sunrise today.
Today begins what has become almost an annual tradition of spending a week in the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, during September when this rainy rainforest has the least amount of rain. After trying a few other hotels, I’ve settled on Banana Azul as my favorite and it is right on the beach (one of the few!) in a favorite room with balcony overlooking the beach and hotel gardens. It is one of my most relaxing weeks of the year! This Puerto Viejo area is south, near the Panama Border and quite different from my other Caribe fave which is north of the port of Limón and in a great wetlands wildlife national park called Tortuguero.
I have just two morning bird hikes scheduled, one in the Cahuita National Park and the other in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Otherwise I just “hangout” at the hotel and beach, walking both the beach and a forested beach road where last year I found a bonanza of butterflies! 🙂
Read on for some of my past creative endeavors from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica . . .
There are so many more photos from my trip back to Banana Azul in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica that I intended to share on the blog, but other things are happening now, thus I refer you to the just-finished Trip Gallery for my 2022 Banana Azul Week, click that link or this image of the first page of the gallery for many more photos from nature . . .
And About Hurricane Julia . . .
Yesterday (Saturday) Tropical Storm Julia strengthened into a Category 2 Hurricane over the Caribbean Sea and headed toward Nicaragua where it is expected they will receive extensive damage through today (Sunday) from coast to coast as Julia goes across Nicaragua and El Salvador and parts of southern Honduras to finally dissipate in the Pacific Ocean tomorrow. Nicaragua is on the northern border of Costa Rica but we are not expected to receive much of the wind damage, just a lot of extra rain which could mean some flooding and here that also means mud slides and rock slides in the mountain areas. Otherwise we will not be affected drastically by Hurricane Julia. It was just a mild rain last night (Saturday) as I wrote this. But hurricanes have been known to change course.
This morning’s rain not only interfered with a beautiful sunrise but also dampened my birding expedition with a great guide this morning. I try not to give up too quickly on such efforts, but did cut our hike a little shorter after my camera fogged up on the inside. All 12 of the following birds were photographed in the rain even if not obvious! 🙂 And we saw more birds and other animals, even in the rain! 🙂 Just imagine what it would have been like with a clear morning!
Most years in September I make a week relaxation adventure in the “Caribe South” which refers to the southern half of the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica around Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and the smaller town of Manzanillo where I explore two national parks/refuges (Cahuita & Gandoca-Manzanillo) for birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths and other nature, visit some of the Bribri indigenous villages, botanical gardens, and maybe this year a new butterfly garden (if my tour people say it is okay). 🙂
And not to ignore the northern Caribbean side of Costa Rica or Limón Province; that’s where the provincial capital and port city of Limón is located and then above that a favorite national park, Tortuguero, which I hope to return to in 2023! It’s “The Amazon of Costa Rica” or a river and beach based jungle rainforest full of incredible wildlife and other nature! I can’t wait to get back there! 🙂 So much to see and do here!
But this trip is mostly relaxing in the beachside Hotel Banana Azul, walking a forested beachside road (for sloths, birds, butterflies) and walks or just relaxation on the beach (I don’t swim or surf in the ocean anymore) and this is the only place I’ve found that gives a “Relaxation Massage” that is actually relaxing. 🙂 So it is my only get-a-way that is not totally inside a dense rain or cloud forest (though Cahuita & Gandoca-Manzanillo are dense rainforests), yet still nature-centered and very relaxing. I missed it in 2020 due to Covid and no flights there, but here’s a couple of photos from last year’s post-cancer retreat in the “Howler Suite” or Room #1. 🙂
And just one more of the many things I look forward to each year that I’m “Retired in Costa Rica,” from rainforest and cloud forest photo trips to cultural activities and enjoying my little flower garden in Atenas! I have achieved my idea of pure life in paradise! And this December I will celebrate 8 years of living here! 🙂
And that linked title takes you to this week’s Tico Times article about a community-wide band and dance team from Zarcero which will represent Costa Rica a second time in the Rose Parade, Pasadena, California.
Zarcero is a town (called pueblo here) that is a little smaller than Atenas and north of us. It is known for topiaries in their Central Park, cheese-making and this large and professional community band of all ages. If you are one of those Americans who always watch the Rose Parade on TV, be sure to watch for the Costa Rica band! 🙂
They have been calling people for Covid Vaccination Appointments by age, starting with the many people here in their 100’s down through the 90’s and 80’s until they just got to me at age 80 for an April 1 appointment! Yaaaaaay! BUT . . . will it make a difference that I’m about to start radiation? I don’t know! But I will find out tomorrow when I discuss everything with the logistics person at Radioterapia Siglo XI. I hope there is no conflict, but with my second shot due during my radiation treatment, I’m wondering if they will conflict. If so, we will do whatever is necessary and get it when we can. Just another little bump in the road! 🙂
I know that people much younger than me in the states have already gotten both shots and they are just getting to my first shot here. Why? Because rich countries like the U.S. can get anything that money buys quicker! You are approaching 200 million people vaccinated in the U.S. and little Costa Rica just passed 300 thousand. I just read that another 300 thousand doses have arrived this week so we will slowly catch up with a very efficient system that had healthcare and other first responders first, then everyone else by age, oldest first. We all get it from our local public health clinic, with all shots provided by the government.
National Geographic Joins Tik Tok with First Post a Costa Rica Video
That’s according to this article in Tico Times Online. “National Geographic launches TikTok with video of Costa Rica” To view, click on the second video in this article. The first video is a Tico Times promo video. 🙂 You’ll know the difference! 🙂
You can be sure that Nat Geo knows where to find nature and adventure! 🙂 And of course Costa Rica is the best place in the world! 🙂
“When the destination becomes gracious, the journey becomes an adventure of beauty.”
One week from today I return to the Costa Rica South Caribbean (Atlantic Coast South of Limón) for my 5th trip there, not counting 3 other visits to the North Caribbean (North of Limón or Tortuguero NP).
I’ve been “mulling over” (That’s a late 1800’s English idiom meaning “to think about” or “to ponder.”) what my photography focus would be this time (see previous focuses below–mainly birds!). I originally thought I was going during Carnival week, but got the dates confused (It’s the last week of October not August) so Carnival is no longer the theme for my photos and ultimately a photo book. 🙂 Here’s my previous South Caribe galleries & books:
Browsing Blurb’s Bookstore travel and art photography books (for ideas) I came across the above quotation by John O’Donohue in a book and decided next week’s destination is such a “gracious” place (both the Hotel Banana Azul and the Caribe) that the friendly, loving, kind graciousness of the place will make it truly an “adventure of beauty!” So now my mind is running in a thousand directions of how I can photograph that gracious beauty!
Of course there’s the beauty of nature as my sunrise photo above from another year depicts. The graciousness of the people there presents opportunities for grand portraits or activity shots. While the graciousness of the sea, or the forest, or the wildlife, or the plants . . . oh my, oh my – the destination becomes so gracious!
Soon I start my next adventure of beauty!¡Pura Vida! 🙂
I arise today Blessed by all things, Wings of breath, Delight of eyes, Wonder of whisper, Intimacy of touch, Eternity of soul, Urgency of thought, Miracle of health, Embrace of God. May I live this day Compassionate of heart, Clear in word, Gracious in awareness, Courageous in thought, Generous in love.”