This Week’s “Wildness”

“Wildness . . . has also been defined as a quality produced in nature, as that which emerges from a forest, and as a level of achievement in nature.”

I leave tomorrow morning for my third visit to a favorite rainforest lodge, Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve in Boca Tapada, which is in my province of Alajuela but in the far north near the Nicaragua border, a 3 hour drive for my driver Walter. 🙂 Read on for why this is a favorite lodge and check out the links to my two other visits there . . .

One branch of a very large lake plus they are on a big river.
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UPDATE to Chainsaw Massacre Post

I was contacted by one of the board members and assured that they did not approve the destruction of that beautiful big tree. It was the landowner’s decision and right to cut it down. You can see my updated or revised statement on the original post Chainsaw Massacre Across the Street or I am copying the revised statement here plus I edited a couple of other lines in the post:

I apologize that I blamed the Homeowner’s Association and the employees for allowing or doing this destruction of a beautiful big tree. A board member contacted me to say they were distraught also about the loss of this great tree and that the landowner is the one who decided to cut it down and he/she owns it and has the right to do so. So shame on whoever that is! Note that it was an employee that said it was cut down because of the water shortage here. I don’t know if that is why the owner cut it. Maybe I was right the first time saying they would probably build a rent house there.

The large  Higuerón Tree or Strangler Fig someone cut down to a stub.

Our board of directors work hard to make this a better place to live! Thank you!

I’m still sad! 🙁

Last Week – what’s left of the large Strangler Fig.

Chainsaw Massacre Across the Street

Last February I wrote a blog post titled “Tree by the Pasture” featuring one of my favorite trees, plus it is (was) across the street from my house in a vacant lot beside the houses on the edge of the cow pasture. Well I was quite troubled the other day when I heard a chain saw continuing most of the day Monday and continuing on Tuesday and went over to see what was happening, fearing they would take down that beautiful tree to build another ugly house, which is what they seem to be doing.

Well, below are my photos of the following 2 days of their chainsaw massacre. Will they leave the ugly stub or eventually level it?

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Cloud Cuckoo Land a Must-read for . . .

. . . lovers of stories, books and libraries – the 3 main characters in this multi-layered story of totally different people from the 1450’s all the way through 2020 and to the future in 2164, all impacted by this fictitious lost and found story by a very early Greek writer who called his story “Cloud Cuckoo Land” (in Classical Greek of course!). It touches on so many life issues and about our own future on earth that I won’t try to list them all. You move between the stories of totally different people (ages 12 to 86) affected by Cloud Cuckoo Land (the Greek novel) in Constantinople (1450’s), Bulgaria (1450’s), Idaho (1940’s to 2020), Korea (1950’s), and outer space (2164) so that like his “All the Light” book (just 2 overlapping stories) you can get confused at first (if not more so). Eventually the many complicated pieces of the puzzle start coming together and you too begin to get what all these others are getting from Cloud Cuckoo Land. It is more multi-layered than Anthony Doerr’s previous classic All the Light We Cannot See (Goodreads Reviews), but just as impactful (if not more so) and will certainly become another classic! I highly recommend both books! 🙂

Read some other Goodreads Reviews of this NY Times best seller, Cloud Cuckoo Land. Now I will simplify my reading escapes with another Agatha Christie mystery! 🙂 Rest my simple mind which is still spinning from this read. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

WALKING PATHS of My Ancestors

MAP By Saioa López, Lucy van Dorp and Garrett Hellenthal – López, S., van Dorp, L., & Hellenthal, G. (2015). Human Dispersal Out of Africa: A Lasting Debate. Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online, 11(Suppl 2), 57–68., CC BY 3.0,

All of us literally walked out of Africa at one time ancestrally and the paths taken greatly affect who each of us are. Because I participated in the National Geographic DNA Genographic Project I got a report on both my Maternal and Paternal paths out of Africa which are greatly different . . .

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Unique Insects

I didn’t actively search for insects on this trip, but as in any rainforest you can’t help but notice some unique ones! Here’s three:

¡Pura Vida!

How I Choose & Plan My Trips

The thrill of landing on a short strip by the ocean!

This may be too boring a topic for many of you faithful readers, but IF you are one of those considering retirement here AND you are a details persons like me AND you also want to see the whole country like me OR you are a birder or other kind of nature lover/collector, then this post is for you! 🙂 Otherwise it gets footnoted as another biographical page on my website! 🙂

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Costa Rica News Used My Photo

The only thing is that they didn’t use one of my many nature photos I love so much, but a selfie of me holding my new drivers license back in 2016. It has now expired. No problem! I don’t drive anymore! 🙂 That’s both by choice and now by requirements since I practically have only one eye, meaning little perception of depth of field which is not good for driving! 🙂

It’s illustrating an article about the new requirement for expats to get a DL.

That’s what can happen when you post a photo on your blog or online gallery. They did not ask me or give me credit, but I enjoy getting attention from people who see it! 🙂

Costa Rica is First Place Again!

That is on International Living Magazine’s list of BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO RETIRE 2021!

Read about it and see total list of all countries on Tico Times Article Costa Rica is #1!

And I tried to link you to the International Living Magazine article, but they only allow subscribers in. Sorry! But all the info is in the above article on Tico Times with the top 25 countries listed and ranked by 10 categories. Pretty impressive! I keep getting my “radical decision to move here” confirmed by all kinds of organizations. 🙂

And if you are a beach person and thinking of Costa Rica for living and/or retiring, Tico Times has an article Ranking the 5 Best Beaches to Retire/Live On. What are you waiting on? 🙂

And if that is not enough to convince you, check out My Costa Rica Photo Gallery


¡Pura Vida!

2020 Photo Smiles

2020 was more than COVID-19 – closed borders & businesses – lockdown – mask-wearing! Like all of life – it’s what you make of it! . . . So I continue my New Year’s Eve tradition of posting 12 photos representing my concluded year . . . not restricted to exactly one per month.


The feature photo at top is a vista from my room at Xandari Nature Resort where I had two weekend trips, one in January and one in August. It’s overlooking the great “Central Valley” of Costa Rica where I live to the far right in that photo on one of those hills or mountains. Then from March to July no travel for me beyond walks in the neighborhood where nature still smiles! 🙂

In March I started wearing a bandana for virus protection, then graduated to a layered cloth mask (called mascarilla here) made by a local seamstress, and by summer I added the additional plastic shield seen on me in this photo when completing my application for permanent residency . . .

I took off the mask and shield for the required face photo! 🙂 But I have stayed cautiously safe from the virus.

Since the above photo was made the government Health Ministry has ruled that the plastic shields alone are not adequate and everyone must wear a cloth or surgical mask when outside their home. So I quit using the plastic shield and ordered a cloth mask from my gallery with one of my sunset photos on it that I photographed last year here in Atenas on Calle Barroeta. The photo doesn’t look as great on a mask, but at least it is unique! 🙂

Selfie with an Atenas Sunset Covid19 Mask. Someday it will be strange to not wear a mask. 🙂

“Make everything an adventure. Otherwise, it will suck.”  

― Nita Morgan

When not traveling I found photo smiles in my own garden and neighborhood . . .

Above is a Passion Flower along the road, 100 meters above my house. 🙂
Princess Flower in my garden! 🙂
Nature playing hide and seek in my neighborhood! 🙂

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. —Standing Bear

My last trip before lockdown was to Heredia in February for Spanish Immersion plus . . .

. . . I photographed a Roadside Hawk at Toucan Rescue Ranch, Heredia. 🙂

At the heart of everything there lies a stillness and a light.”

― Lynn Thomson

I had several “Lifer” (1st time seen) birds this year including this one literally “handed to me” while at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve in September . . .

Chestnut-capped Brushfinch at El Silencio Lodge in September. 🙂 He flew into a window of the lodge office and this girl was comforting him until he eventually flew away.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. —William Shakespeare

And also at El Silencio were 5 great waterfalls with my favorite . . .

. . . Catarata Los Gemelas Waterfall, Bajos del Torro Amarillo, Alajuela Province. 🙂

And many flowers . . .

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

~Leonardo da Vinci

Baby Green Iguana at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

~Lao Tzu

Happy New Year 2021!

Flower at Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela, Costa Rica 🙂

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

¡Pura Vida!