Other Wildlife at Arenal

Okay, I thought I was nearly through with the birds gallery, but still needed to process these other wildlife and the trip gallery’s Other Wildlife Gallery (linked to it) or you can click the below image of the first page of that gallery to go there!

CLICK the first page image of the galley above to visit it.

The featured image at top of post is of a White-nosed Coati which is pretty common all over Costa Rica. The other 10 species are also fairly common and I really hate that I missed the three species of monkeys found at Arenal, but my favorite place to photograph them is from about halfway up “The Nest” bird-watching tower at about 4:30 to 5:00 each evening as they return through the trees from feeding to their bedding down location, and it was raining every afternoon I was there and I did not want to get out in the rain! Sorry!

In the past I’ve gotten some good photos of both Mantled Howler Monkeys and the Central American Spider Monkeys at Arenal. The two monkey names above are linked to my species galleries which include photos from Arenal. The third monkey in Arenal, the White-faced Capuchin, I have never seen there, but I’ve linked them to my species gallery also, which includes photos from other places in Costa Rica I’ve seen them. All three are fairly common all over Costa Rica and I’m sorry I did not make more of an effort to photograph this trip! 🙂

I will clean up a few more lodge photos and then announce this total trip gallery soon I hope! 🙂

The next big trip is for my July 4 birthday to Maquenque Eco Lodge which has been my favorite lodge in Costa Rica, even though I don’t stay in the tree houses any more, one of my reasons for loving it. Then another favorite lodge good for butterflies is Xandari near Alajuela and I’ve sneaked in a 2 nighter there the in the middle of June. 🙂 But I really am slowing down on the travel as I am physically tiring more now and after Maquenque, nada mas until my annual Caribe trip in September. And in the meantime, I’m actually starting a process to look at and compare senior adult living facilities nearby, which surprises even me! 🙂 I’ll keep you blog readers posted on that and of course any future travel along with photos from my garden!

¡Pura Vida!

Guans on the Trails

One of the largest and most seen birds on my morning walks on the trails of Arenal Observatory Lodge was the Crested Guan, Penelope purpurascens (eBird link) for more info on this large turkey-sized Central American bird found from parts of Mexico to parts of northern South America and all over every Central American country. For more of my photos, see my Crested Guan Gallery. The male & female look alike and are difficult to differentiate with both being either all black or sometimes brownish. 🙂

Yes, you can see some of these at the Observatory feeder by the restaurant deck, but I prefer to find them in the wild and did on almost every one of the Arenal Observatory trails where all of these photos were made. Unlike the other large bird at Arenal, the Great Curassow, they fly a lot and spend as much time in trees as on the ground, foraging for food of fruit, berries, seeds, insects and small invertebrates. While the Curassow spends most of his time on the ground and doesn’t seem to be able to fly as well. I’ll try to do a post on the Curassow tomorrow since I’m a long way from finishing my Arenal ’24 Birds Gallery! 🙂 And I’m no longer doing blog posts a week ahead, but day by day! 🙂 Below this introductory photo is a gallery of 6 more Crested Guans I photographed in the rainforest on Arenal Observatory Trails.

Crested Guan, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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Arenal Butterfly Gallery Complete

and with 3 new moth species for me and at least one new butterfly species. First, to see them all in the sub-gallery of my developing trip gallery, go to Arenal ’24 Butterflies & Moths Gallery with 15 species . . .

Click Image of 1st page of Gallery to see gallery.

Since I did a post on most of these from Arenal, I will let you look for the last minute photos in the gallery! 🙂 Though one is the featured image at top of post of a Hecale Longwing shot on my last morning there. And the birds gallery may take much longer with a lot more photos to sort through! And I think that I’m just getting slower at everything I do now. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Flowers at Arenal

Since I chose 30 different species of flowers to present, I decided not to put them all in this blog post, but start my 2024 Arenal Observatory Trip Gallery with the Flowers sub-gallery. Thus showing only two flowers in this blog post. The Featured Photo at the top is my favorite, an unidentified little wildflower that looks to me like a cute little purple-eyed forest creature! 🙂 And the shot below is not a first time flower for me, but finally I have a name for it, the Blue Ginger (with a Green Orchid Bee approaching it!) . . .

Blue Ginger, Zingiberaceae, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica (+ Green Orchid Bee)

Now see all 30 cool rainforest flowers in this trip’s Flowers Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

No 2 Sunsets Alike!

One of my main reasons for going to Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails in May this year is because it is one of the few months you can see the sun setting over Lake Arenal. Well, we had more rain this year than the last time I went in May and thus the last four of the five were in rain or semi-rain, yet only the last two nights were gray, with no color. Here’s my 5 nights of sunsets over Lake Arenal with three colorful and two gray, though each are beautiful in their own ways! 🙂 Here’s the first night’s for the email and the other four follow in the online blog . . .

Monday Sunset, Lake Arenal
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“AND Trails”

You who live in Costa Rica or visit here often may not have noticed, but the Arenal Observatory Lodge (the undisputed #1 for nature in the La Fortuna/Arenal area) has recently changed their name to Arenal Observatory Lodge and Trails, sometimes using the ampersand & or spelling out the “and.”

And I, for one, like the name change because it better describes what you come here for; whether looking for birds, butterflies, monkeys or frogs; there are trails that take you from the “Nest” birding tower to the Frog Pond or through the cultivated gardens on through the rainforest to the waterfalls or the continuing farm still on the property and of course the “Los Monos (Monkeys) Trail. And the map is, like much of my language here in Costa Rica, in “Spanglish!” 🙂 For example, the just mentioned “Los Monos Trail” uses the Spanish word for monkeys but the English word for trails, while “River Trail” is all English, as is most of the map, so you Americans don’t have to worry, you can read it and all of the signs! 🙂 Here’s my cell phone photo of the big map first, of the whole reserve, and then of the reverse side, an enlarged map of just the areas close to the rooms and most cabins, where most people do their most walking. If you come here, you must explore the trails! 🙂

All the Reserve Trails on one side of Map . . .

All the trails at Arenal Observatory Lodge

See the enlarged map of close trails on the reverse side, plus a gallery of actual trail shots by continuing online . . .

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Giant Grasshopper Nymphs

Tropidacris cristata (linked to Wikipedia) is the scientific name of the Central & South American “Giant Grasshopper” or “Red-wing Grasshopper” and the plague we had at Arenal last week on a few plants was just their “nymphs” or babies! Interesting, colorful and amazing to see! See some of the giants in my Grasshopper Gallery. They are generally called “Lubber” Grasshoppers and these are just one of many species under lubbers. All grasshoppers together in Costa Rica number over 11,000 species. So it is difficult to get IDs of very many! 🙂 Here’s four photos including a close-up of these ‘nymphs” at work in Arenal.

Giant Grasshopper Nymphs devouring a leaf at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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More Butterflies, Last Morning

Saturday morning, both before and after breakfast, before leaving around noon, I got shots of the beautiful Hecale Longwing (Heliconius hecale) and a couple of moths with one quickly identified, using my Costa Rica Rainforest Moths book! 🙂 The other moth is unidentified, though I think he is in the Tiger Moth family. Here’s 2 shots of the Hecale and one of each moth . . .

Hecale Longwing, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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Rainforest Butterflies

I only photographed 12 butterflies here this year and the photos of 3 are too bad a quality to share, but I will share the other 9 which are all but one repeats of species I’ve seen before, unless that unidentified one becomes a new species. 🙂 I did not go to the Butterfly Conservatory this year in nearby El Castillo-Arenal, or I would have more species photographed. And by the way, I consider it the best butterfly garden of the many all over Costa Rica, in case you are ever nearby. Here’s one shot for the email announcement, followed by a gallery of the 9 species . . .

Ghost Yellow, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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Waterfall Hike Today!

It was just 3 miles, but there were several hills and a lot of steps going down into the canyon to see the waterfall, but worth it to this childlike old man who is still in awe of such things! And I’ve been to this waterfall 4 other times before! But never get tired of it! 🙂

I always hesitate to include a selfie photo, but here I am as a nearly 84 year old survivor of cancer whose left eye can no longer blink and thus waters and fogs of my glasses :-), in a wide-brim hat and SPF-50 sunscreen that my Costa Rican doctors expect of me! 🙂 While I still enjoy all the little awesome things in life like this hike through a rainforest to a tropical waterfall! It’s my pura vida! 🙂 Here’s 5 photos, including one of the two sets of moss-covered steps I climbed down with my trekking pole and camera!

Charlie at Danta Waterfall, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica!
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