I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Psalm 19 The Message (MSG) A David Psalm
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.
(Emphasis is mine.) Sharing what struck me in my devotional reading 3 mornings ago as I read this Psalm. And really, everything in nature has God speaking to me whether in a Bible passage or a famous quotation or not. I am in closer harmony with God in the natural places of Costa Rica than anywhere I’ve been before – like an anteroom to Heaven! 🙂 No predictions intended, but I’m ready! 🙂 Being close to nature is one of my ideas of heaven!
The book is now finished with photos from 3 different trips to Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica and I think it is pretty interesting. You can go to the book online and Preview it electronically free! And of course best seen at fullscreen since it is all photos. Click this link or the book image below for the preview:
Knowing from past experiences that the return trip by boat and bus to San Jose is more tiring and less of an adventure, I chose to try flying back this time and not that early 6am flight! 🙂 But rather I took the 12:40 afternoon flight – and here is
The Story in Pictures
The Tortuguero Airport Terminal. 🙂
Sometimes I think I live a charmed life getting to see such beautiful sights! (Even though my suitcase did not make it on our overloaded flight and is suppose to be delivered by taxi sometime this evening.) I love being “Retired in Costa Rica” and I’m still processing the bird and other wildlife photos from this Tortuguero trip – but coming soon!
Getting to and from anywhere in Tortuguero is only by boat with outsiders able to use the Tortuguero Landing Strip to fly here by small plane. All week I have been traveling around this rainforest park by boat including my private birding trip in a canoe this afternoon with Ricardo doing the paddling and me making photos! 🙂 One photo below is from that canoe trip. It is a different world, a water world! Tomorrow the lodge takes me by boat to the Tortuguero Landing Strip for my flight out which is a relief since the gravel roads between Guapiles and the boat dock are in bad condition right now. It is only the second time I’ve gone to an airport by boat with the other being at Drake Bay.
River Scene Shots
My dusk canoe birding today.
Palms remind you that this is a tropical paradise!
Tours, birding and general transportation is all by boat.
On tours we pull up under birds, monkeys and other sights along the way.
We passed all kinds of other boats.
Tranquil and green!
As the sun goes down it gets dark in the canals and river, but you can see all the stars! 🙂
From the main river a sign marks the canal to this lodge.
Wilderness is a necessity there must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls.
Of course “Big” is relative, but these are probably the 7 biggest birds I photographed at Maquenque Lodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica – with yesterday’s toucans and tomorrow’s parrots tying for second largest, then we get to smaller ones–lots! I photographed more than 50 species of birds at this lodge which I think only Esquinas Rainforest Lodge has equalled and maybe Selva Verde, Sarapiqui. I highly recommend Maquenque for birding!
See also my earlier post on just the King Vulture with more shots of him/her plus a juvenile, and yesterday’s post on the three types of Toucans at Maquenque Lodge. The gallery and then a book are both coming soon! All about the wonderful Maquenque Lodge & Reserve! 🙂
This week’s death of Nature Poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019), and article about her in Washington Post, plus reviewing her poems led me to her “Journey” which in some ways describes what I was unable to describe in my 2014 “Decision Process” I called it then, of getting away from the depressing world of conservative Middle Tennessee, the clouds of a failed marriage and subsequent loss of family, branches and stones in my path of a vocational “calling” manipulated by power-hungry “rulers” ending unceremoniously first in 1999 and finally by 2002 in unplanned early retirement. In a daze . . .
I’ve always tried to “make lemonade out of lemons” and I turned my retirement into an adventure of nature travel and photography as much as I could afford, including visits to all 54 state parks in Tennessee with a book about that, A Walk in the Woods, along with many other nature/travel books and my growing nature photo gallery. But I was still looking for something else.
Moving from the vibrant life of rowhouse living in downtown Nashville to a suburban “Independent Living Retirement Home” was still not what I was looking for.
It was to commune closer with nature, to travel in natural exotic places that my limited income could not afford, then suddenly it hit me, why not move to one of the nature places in which I love to travel and just live there?
With only 2 family members left and no grandchildren, it was easier for me than some people to make such a life-changing move! And now I see it described in a new way in this poem by Mary Oliver:
As I continue to build my website “Retired in Costa Rica” I continue to add blog posts, photo galleries, and “static pages” (undated) about Costa Rica and about me, my travels and stories. This week I’ve added under TRAVEL a new NORTH AMERICA page, Canada and a new CENTRAL AMERICA, Costa Rica sub-page, Atenas.
A different hotel/lodge every month except April when a gang from Nashville come to volunteer in the children’s home here in Atenas. 4 lodges are repeats but such great places they will be totally new experiences! I start this month near the Nicaragua border sleeping 5 nights in a treehouse and from there it is everything from Whale Watching to Tapirs and of course lots of birds! There will be new wildlife this year and also its the year I expect to top 300 bird species that I will have photographed in Costa Rica! What a life! 🙂
And you may wonder why I am planning so far ahead? Well, it was not far enough for some places I wanted to visit, especially for next Christmas when my first two choices were already booked. Costa Rica and its best lodges and hotels are very popular and stay booked more than a year in advance.
The links on the hotel/lodge name is to that hotel’s website, if you are interested. And the map gives the approximate location of each visit this year using the month number for when I visit that spot and listing indicates lodge or national park visited that month.