Amazon Kindle had a special on the electronic Tarzan books, all 10 of the original stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, for only 99¢ (1.08 with tax) and I grabbed them! 🙂 The early Tarzan movies had
a big effect on me as a child, while most of the later ones I did not consider as good and since books are almost always better than their movie counterparts, I decided for the first time in my life to read the original stories by the author. Glad I did!
I have finished the first three books and boy is it true that, in this case, the books are so much better than the old or new movies. It is hard to believe how cheesy some of those old movies were that I remember liking so much as a child! 🙂 You can watch most of the old Tarzan movies free online now. And the newer movies made up their own stories, ignoring the books!
Then last week I read a climate change article in The Washington Post that really “clicked” with me and merged with my book readings caused me to decide there was a definite “Tarzan Effect” on me in my childhood of Saturday matinee Tarzan movies and that motivated me to start writing again. I now have a new set of web pages under ABOUT on my website simply titled The Tarzan Effect. They share some of the ways I think Tarzan affected me for the better and at one point I even link to stories and essays on how he affected several other people including Jane Goodall who is reported to have said “I fell passionately in love with Tarzan — this glorious creature living out in the jungle doing all the things I wanted to do, and what did he do? He married the wrong Jane.”
My Costa Rica Bird Galleries by Species have many helpful characteristics for birders or anyone interested in Costa Rica birds that no other online gallery has nor does any book other than maybe Aves de Costa Rica by Garrigues & Dean and it, like its English version is out of date with many incorrect bird names.
My bird galleries have:
Photos of 360+ species of birds in Costa Rica arranged by taxonomy families as in the Princeton Field Guide: Birds of Central America, the most up-to-date birding book for Costa Rica at this time.
Up-to-date official English Names (constantly changing) based on the latest from eBird
Spanish Names as given in the only Spanish bird book for Costa Rica, Aves de Costa Rica. Note that these have not been changing like the English names and thus often parallel the old English names. PLUS I include the Otros nombres en español that are included in the above Spanish bird book since different regions of the country use different names.
The Latin Scientific Name of every bird has recently been added to my gallery of Costa Rica Birds.
And as I try to do with all my photos in all my galleries, I have included the specific location in which each bird was photographed. That can particularly help birders who are looking for a specific species they have not yet seen or photographed.
All of the above information is included on each photo in the galleries as Keywords making searches easier.
Downloading photo files is free from any of my galleries. Just look for the downward pointing arrow below an enlarged image or use the old fashion way with a right click.
You can order quality prints or wall arton metal or canvas of any of the images you consider good enough for those purposes. I have some bad images just to show that a bird was seen in a particular place, but some of my images make great wall art and I personally prefer the ones printed on metal. This is a service of SmugMug Galleries with Bay Photos. This is not a source of income for me and thus my markup is only $1.
There is also a link at the top of every page to my Bookstore where you can find find my books of bird photos and many other Costa Rica subjects!
If you love the birds of Costa Rica, I hope you will find my photo galleries helpful to you in studying and learning the locations of these many birds!
And as a nature lover, I do not always embrace “progress” that henders nature, but as always, I learn to live with it! 🙂 This old dirt country road called “Calle Nueva” winds over three or four hills through the woods and farms on the western edge of Pueblo Atenas running from the western side of town to the nearby village of Rio Grande at the entrance to Ruta 27, our controlled access highway between San Jose and Jaco Beach. This narrow country dirt road has been considered an emergency exit road in case of a disaster requiring evacuation. Now it is about to become a major street or road to enter or exit Atenas. They first graded and widened it to 9 meters taking a few trees and lots of wild flower with their backhoes, graders and chainsaws. Now they have started at the Rio Grande end widening it to 14 meters and paving it! Working this way! And more than half finished! Already traffic has increased and when all is paved it will stay busy!
Of course I am disappointed that I am about to lose my little “shady lane” country road for birding and butterflies along with other nature photography, but even with pavement and more cars it will for a while have more birds and other nature than city streets, just gradually the farms along this road will be turned into housing developments as more foreigners move here in both retirement like me AND now so many younger adults who work on the internet and can live anywhere are choosing to live here! 🙂 It’s all part of our big changing world! At least I’m already living in one of those more desirable places in the world to live! 🙂
I will continue to walk this road for its nature until there is no more nature. The additional people, traffic and greater speed of vehicles will discourage the birds and other animals in time, but for now it is still a nature path, even when the pavement goes down. And I will continue to document here the birds and butterflies I find through these woods and farms, but for you who live here, be aware than “progress” is coming! 🙂
More photos of the road below from my March 10 sunrise walk . . .
My favorite hotel in Costa Rica’s Caribbean South is Banana Azul and I just completed a new book which I will take copies of on my next visit there in September for other patrons to enjoy in the lobby along with others of my photo books about the area that are already there.
This new book has photos of 28 species of butterflies photographed on the Banana Azul property or at nearby locations. Enjoy thumbing through it for free electronically at my bookstore by clicking the cover image below or just going to this web address:
I have kind of quit evaluating lodges and hotels on TripAdvisor like I used to do after every trip and in some ways I’m finding it more difficult to “rank” lodges, like I did earlier by just the number of birds I photograph there.
At more than 82 and 1/2 years old, I’m looking for comfort more than in earlier adventures and simply do not go camping anymore, not to mention backpacking. So a comfortable room and good food are more important to me now, even though photographing nature still comes first. 🙂
First, I Changed How I Get There & Back
Most of the lodges provide a free shuttle bus or van from any hotel in San Jose, including at the SJO Airport (where I have them pick me up at the Hampton Inn). Then van drives you to Guápiles for breakfast and then on to the La Pavona Boat Dock near Cariari, 22 kms (13.7 miles) north of Guápiles. Then you boat to your lodge in one of the lodge’s boats, an hour and a half to 2-hour boat trip which is a fun adventure the first time. I did that the first three times going twice to Laguna Lodgeand then once to Turtle Beach Lodge, though my return from Turtle Beach was much easier as I chose to fly back on Sansa from the tiny airport in Tortuguero. This time I chose to fly both ways at around $200 round-trip. Much faster and more relaxing plus I love the views and photo possibilities from the plane window! Plus small planes are their own kind of adventure! And it just happens that the lodge I chose this time is across the river from the “Airport” or little landing strip by the ocean.
I Chose For Better Room & Food This Time
The first two lodges I have visited in Tortuguero were just basic camp cabins (fine for me) and with average or maybe a little above average buffet-style food. But as I get older I want more comfort and better food.
So I chose the most expensive lodge there, Tortuga Lodge and Gardens, a BOENA Property with 4 upscale “wilderness lodges” in Costa Rica including Lapa Rio which used to be run by National Geographic and my favorite lodge in Monteverde (I’ve tried 3), the Monteverde Lodge and Gardens that I stayed in before it became BOENA. At over $400 a night including all 3 meals, this was my most expensive lodge yet, though I’ve been favoring other lodges more like it recently. 🙂
The room was the best yet in Tortuguero! So Tortuga Lodge won me over with the large, spacious room with private terrace overlooking the river and a back window looking into the rainforest. Very comfortable King Bed and large bathroom with huge rain shower. Strong WiFi capable of rapidly uploading my photos to the blog and even a nice desk for my laptop! So Tortuga Lodge & Gardens wins on room and excellent early maid service! In one or both of the other lodges I had to go to the lobby or restaurant for WiFi.
The food was also by far the best yet in Tortuguero! Though I had one complaint about the dry chicken and fish and tough, rubbery large shrimp at some dinners, everything else was absolutely delicious and well-prepared with a lot of choices for all three meals, including a variety of appetizers, salads, soups and desserts! It was generally the kind of fine, gourmet food you expect at their high prices.
Guides and Tours About Equal
Their Guides & Tours were as good as the other two lodges. Every guide I’ve had at all three lodges have been excellent as were their tours! So this reason for going would not make either of the three lodges a big winner exactly, though both Laguna and Turtle Beach are literally on the beach which is a big plus for me and would be more so in turtle season. Plus both are more back in the jungle than Tortuga AND Turtle Beach has its own private canals and a bigger property which is another advantage they have and I saw more wildlife there. In fact one of my tours this time was in Laguna 4 which is next to Turtle Beach Lodge and was this guide’s favorite place to go. Hmmm. If Turtle Beach had the higher quality rooms and food, I would probably prefer them.
I think Tortuga Lodge and Gardens is overpriced, but I enjoyed my 4 nights there and would consider it again for the comfort as I would consider the other two for the wildlife tours and I might even try a different place next time, like Mawamba Lodge which I’ve heard good things about, if I even get to go back to Tortuguero. 🙂
Column by E.J. Dionne, Jr. in yesterday’s Washington Post, March 12, 2023. It helps describe who I am and why I think most “liberals” (as either an adjective or a noun) are more like Jesus than most “conservatives” (as either an adjective or a noun). What I believe spiritually and politically is based on me being a “follower of Jesus” first and foremost and why I can no longer identify as a Southern Baptist or Evangelical (my former life) and even more certainly not as a Republican in the states.
I see them everywhere I go in Costa Rica, even occasionally in my yard, but I still continue to be amazed by the prehistoric looking, dinosaur-like creature! On the Caribbean Coast, where Tortuguero is located, you find only the Green Iguana; while on the Pacific slope you can find both the Green and the Common Spiny-tailed Iguana, and that includes Atenas where I live,s which is on the Pacific Slope. All four of these photos are Green Iguanas and if you don’t already know, the orange colors come to only the males during mating season, which supposedly attracts the females more than the green or brown colors. 🙂 I shared a face-shot of the all-orange one in an earlier blog post.
I usually get more frog photos in wet places like Tortuguero, but most frogs are nocturnal and it was very dark & cloudy on our night hike in deep mud (wearing required high boots they provide) and thus I was doing good to just keep up, not to mention trying to make photos, of which I got few! 🙂
We did see a lot more frogs than this, just no photos! Our guide on that hike was a very good spotter named Elvis! 🙂 I can’t use my 600 mm zoom lens in the dark successfully, but did try an older camera with a “normal” lens, but it was no better than the cellphone camera at night, which is what most of my good frog photos have been made on in the past.
See my galleries of Costa Rica Frogs with more than 40 species, though the “unidentified” sub-gallery is the largest. 🙂 I got a new CR Amphibians field guide, but they are still difficult for me to identify. 🙂 But still, I’m proud of my large set of frog photos, especially several great shots of the Red-eyed Tree Frog over the years! He is one of several unofficial symbols or mascots of Costa Rica like the below shot at Danta Corcovado Lodge. 🙂