Beginning with this post the birds are being presented alphabetically by name and I never intended for them to be in order of my favorites, though the first two, Quetzal and Sunbittern, were chosen specifically to begin the series as maybe the two most dramatic of my bird photos! 🙂
This Crimson-collared Tanager (eBird description) was actually photographed in Nicaragua on one of my two birding trips to this next door neighbor of Costa Rica, though I do have photos of this bird made in Costa Rica with one included below, just not as strong an image as this featured photo. Read The Backstory below for where and how I photographed this seldom-seen bird in three different locations.
The fear of the Police probably stops most graffiti and street art in Nicaragua, especially in Manaus, but in the little tourist town of Colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua I found these two works of street art on the sides of buildings. See my Gallery of other shots in Granada, a beautiful, photogenic, colonial town or at bottom of post, links to all of my two trips photos.
DISCLAIMER: “Street Art” for this series is paintings and tile work along streets, usually on buildings, that may or may not have been commissioned or done “illegally” without permission. I have no way of knowing. I purposefully did not include public statues, fountains, etc. obviously sanctioned by the government.
“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint.”
If interested in Nicaragua, see all of my photos from two trips there in 2016, mostly for birding, but other local photography included:
Members of the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica), an organization formed to help expats get to and live better in Costa Rica get a subscription to the bimonthly magazine El Residente and I hope this link to the March/April 21 issue works for non-members! 🙂
The first main article in this issue is titled “Adventure by Chicken Bus” which is actually one chapter of a book by the same title, this chapter about the Canadian family traveling Central America while homeschooling is specifically about their efforts at helping Costa Rica save the endangered sea turtles on our east coast. A great story for nature lovers and wildlife preservers that will make you want to visit Costa Rica.
And in case you don’t know, “Chicken Bus” is the nickname for the small, rural, cheap buses (Used U.S. school buses painted bright colors) found all over Central America for cheap rural or out of the way places of travel. We do have big, modern buses in Costa Rica between major cities and towns and major tourist attractions, but these are common all over rural Central America and yes, they do carry their chickens on these buses. 🙂
For 4 days and nights it has been raining almost constantly in my Central Valley town of Atenas, while some lowland areas that typically flood or have landslides are being effected much more than we and our just wetness.
Most of us in Costa Rica are fine with no landfall of Hurricane Eta here, it has made landfall in Nicaragua and Honduras and I understand will just scrape Guatemala and Mexico as it heads for Western Florida and Alabama.
And the rain just makes us greener and more beautiful for when you tourists come here in the next few months! 🙂
Yes, this blog and my connected Gallery are both much about my travel photos, mostly in my retirement home of Costa Rica with an occasional foray into neighboring countries. But hey! I lived a life before Costa Rica and the “static pages” (non-blog) of this website and gallery continue to grow as I tell that past story, slowly, one page at a time. And the feature photo is of Sayaxche, Guatemala.
You might remember that in this fairly new Photo Gallery a few months back I added galleries for the photos I have from trips to Africa, Canada & Mexico and the TRAVEL web pages that tie the photos together are on the Africa,Canada & Mexico pages, with a narrative of some of my earliest international travel adventures – not far from home, but international nonetheless! And as I soon add pages on my U.S. travels it will complete my NORTH AMERICA section of travel pages, though there are really a lot of travel galleries to make for that!
In the last two weeks I have basically finished this travel page with links to all of my Central America travel galleries included, most in Costa Rica of course! 🙂 That will continue to be the biggest part of my photo gallery.
There are sub-pages for the four countries within which I have traveled in Central America with narrative and links to the photo galleries:
The 2006 11-day trip to Guatemala was one of my biggest adventure yet at the time and it just continues as I travel more here in Costa Rica and Latin America. Then since moving here the side trips to Nicaragua and Panama were both spectacular experiences! As the quotation above says, “To Travel is to Live.” The linked pages above take you to the various trip photo galleries ORif you prefer to just browse galleries, go to Pre-Costa Rica Travels where I intend to continue adding galleries of older trips when not traveling here! 🙂 Next up is South America and the Caribbean Islands trips, then I work on the good ol’ USA! 🙂
My favorite view from the mountain trail in Lost Canyon Nature Reserve. There are volcanoes way over there!
The new reserve’s nice, small sign at the farm house where we ate lunch. Like most private reserves it is operated by a foreigner.
Our van driver finds the hammock at Lost Canyon!
From the reserve and enroute there we saw several volcanoes.
One volcano from the van window. Yep, I had a whole van! Me, a driver and my guide. That is the transportation for all tours with Tours Nicaragua. By the way, I highly recommend them if going to Nicaragua for any reason!
My earlier post did not include names plus I have added one more for 6 out of 9 colonial churches in León. I think the names are important!
Recolección Church León, Nicaragua
Cathedra Basilica of the Assumption of León León, Nicaragua
San Juan Church León, Nicaragua
El Calvario Church León, Nicaragua
San Francisco Church León, Nicaragua
La Merced Church León, Nicaragua
I walked to the ones I could find within walking distance of the town center where I stayed. The other 3 colonial churches might have been within walking distance, but I could not find them. The San Juan Church our van stopped by on the way out is how I got it. León is a much larger city than Granada with many more people and churches. It is a nitty gritty working city much more alive than Granada and much less tourist-looking. Next time I hope for more time to explore it further.
The Island of Venado is a strip of land running close to the mainland near Leon. Much of the island and the channel of water between it and mainland is Mangrove Forests which is good for birds, other nature, crabs, fishing, etc. We got our boat in this little bay.
When you pay for a private float trip you get to sit in the front of the boat! 🙂 Here near end of trip we approach the rookery or nursery in earlier post.
Even when working, young people have fun on the water!
This is one of the government nature reserves. I think there may be more private reserves than public right now.
It is currently legal for locals to collect firewood in the reserve as long as it is already dead wood. In Nicaragua most people still cook on wood fires.
Non-commercial Fishing is allowed in the reserve.
and “Nature Tourism” is growing here!
My guide Freddy had new hiking shoes he did not want to get wet, so boatman carries him across stream. I got my old shoes wet – no big deal anymore! 🙂 And why didn’t he take them off and go barefoot? Good question! The boatman is barefoot!
Where we got our boat was a little “Comedor” which is the same as a “Soda” in Costa Rica, a small Mom & Pop restaurant for cheap local food. We did not eat here but got sandwiches at a little local bakery.