Those who know me well may not believe that title – and, well – what is happening in this period of few blog posts is that I am totally absorbed in the re-reading the Lord of the Rings books, all in one volume for me on my Kindle, a much longer read than The Hobbit I just completed! Plus I am still mostly tired from the radiation treatments and just not doing much else or getting out much.
Frodo and his buddies are just beginning as they got out of “The Old Forest” terrors and the magical “House of Tom Bombadil” and head for “The Prancing Pony Inn” and more “Dark Rider” or “Strider” encounters (who has been following them).
Eventually I may report on the story with some of my nature photos or I just may give you a break! 🙂
Soon after the Covid Pandemic started in March of 2020 the regular work on renovating the Central Park of Atenas slowed and then stopped in October 2020. I don’t know, but guessing they ran out of money or the pandemic caused a reduction of tax income or something like that for the city. There has been no work on the park renovation for more than a year. Well, this week it started up again!
First I noticed the tin fence around a small triangle of the park between two sidewalks at the corner opposite Olivera Pizza and between the City Hall and Banco Nacional.
As I walked around the fence to see what was going on inside the fence, I stopped at the very Northwest corner of park opposite Olivera Pizza:
Because I wasn’t running around on my usual side-trips this past week (in my over-80 slow mode now) 🙂 I got started on and have now finished the “CR TRIP GALLERY” for this 2021 Banana Azul Caribe South week (link is to the gallery).
There’s a lot more to photograph when not leaving a hotel than I thought. Now granted, there are fewer photos of birds and other wildlife and none from national parks, wildlife refuges, waterfalls, indigenous reserves, or wildlife rescue centers (all of which I’ve “toured” from this very hotel in the past). This week became my “quiet mode” focus. I just stayed put and photographed the little things in nature all around me on the hotel grounds, plus some fun shots from the small plane flight there! There are 9 sub-galleries! 🙂 Just click the first page of the gallery below and ENJOY! 🙂
“Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.”
– Ansel Adams
And if you are interested in some of those great “side-trips” I’ve made from this same hotel, check out the galleries from other trips to South Caribe:
“Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are.”
— Felix Baumgartner
One of my many joys of traveling across Costa Rica is occasionally getting to fly in the small planes for 20 to 40 minute flights and seeing this beautiful country from above and yes, learning how small I am as I look down! 🙂 I have so many photos from the plane this morning that it was hard to pare them down to just these 5 shots. I will use some of the other shots in the eventual photo gallery of this trip. We stopped in Tortuguero on our way to Limon. Enjoy the thrill of flying with me . . .
In many ways, YES! And in more than one place I have used the following Tolkien quote in relation to my nearly 7 years of continuous exploring the most magical place on earth to me – Costa Rica!
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
I just finished the Wingfeather Saga of four books where Andrew Peterson created his own imaginary world called “Aerwiar” and, like Tolkien before him, created this imaginary world before he wrote all the stories so that the places helped shape the stories. I don’t know if Lewis created Narnia before his stories, but as a best friend to Tolkien, he probably did! 🙂 And I can assure you that Costa Rica was created long before me and shapes all of my stories! 🙂
The Wingfeather Saga started off a little slow but ended with a powerful impact on me and probably most other readers. The many places within his world of “Aerwiar” not only influenced his story but also how we the readers react to it. You can easily say the same thing about Narnia and of course the most powerful sense of place in the make-believe world remains Tolkien’s “Middle-earth” that people still study and the fantasy of it keeps readers coming back for more!
But to me, the best fantasyland of them all is the real country of Costa Rica! It has greatly influenced not only my blog reported adventures here but how I’m living my new “pura vida” daily life in Costa Rica. In some ways I’ve tackled this country the way the Hobbit Frodo approached Middle-earth and how those children approached Narnia & Aerwiar; all with a sense of awe, adventure and purpose! I think it’s the way to approach all of life, wherever one lives! I just think it’s easier in a magical place like Costa Rica! 🙂
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
“Country Lane” is in quotes because it’s my personal name for the extension of 8th Avenue Atenas through what has been farm land but getting more houses. It ends as a gravel road at Radial 27 Highway across from the Farmer’s Market. I’ve shared photos of many things along this road but maybe not just the road itself, so here are my shots of the actual road in different locations. For more photos of one of my walking places, see the gallery titled: “Country Lane” – Avenida 8. Walking is sweet! 🙂
And a slide show of the road from Saturday’s walk . . .
Sometimes it is fun to look for something different as I walk through my garden, and yesterday I was looking for shapes, patterns or textures. Naturally, with different imaginations we all see different things, whether it be in the clouds or the plants! 🙂 So see what shapes, patterns or textures you find in these plant photos . . . (share in Comments if you wish) 🙂
One of the most recognized trees in the tropics of Central and South America is the Cecropia Tree or Guarumo in Central American vernacular. During my first year in this house (2015) I planted one not a lot taller than me. (Photo at right.) As one of the fastest growing trees it is now about twice the height of my house. I called it “magical” because in the early years it attracted so many different kinds of birds including toucans along with the resident squirrels and symbiotic ants.
But now the tree has grown so much that I’ve lost my magic! 🙁 Most of the limbs, leaves and flowers are now above the house! (Above photo.) That means the birds now land in the tree above my sight-line and I would have to climb up the steep hill above my house to see any birds that perch in it. 🙁 See photos below for the Terrace Views, then and now:
So with this post I’m saying goodbye to the easy magic of my Guarumo or Cecropia tree by sharing photos of birds photographed in it over the past years. Apologies if you remember a similar post back in 2019 on the birds in this tree, but this one is bigger and a sort of finale! 🙂
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
So what does an old man “Retired in Costa Rica” do with his time? Especially since cancer and the dreaded cancer treatment forced a slowdown? In short, I have slowed down! And those who know me well may find that hard to believe. 🙂 It is easier said than done for the hyper-active little boy who is sort of who I am. So this blog post will be My “Essay on Slowing Down” or more accurately on “what it is like for me to slow down.” I have now learned to “Enjoy the Moments” here in Costa Rica and hopefully I can share the joy of living slow in Costa Rica! 🙂
When I saw what the photos looked like printed on plain paper, I decided that I could not let my photos go out looking that bad. The other book is no longer available in my Bookstore, replaced by this more expensive book printed on Premium Lustre Gloss Photo Paper for a totally different visual experience! Generally the public does not buy any of my photo books, but rather I order them to give to the lodges or to individuals as gifts. But just in case someone orders one, I want my simple photos to look their best! 🙂 And yes, you pay for it! 🙂