Preserving the Vista

I asked the gardeners to “take a little off the top” of my remaining Yellow Bell Tree up front that this winter’s (yes, rainy season is called winter here) rain had caused to shoot up rapidly and high, blocking my scenic view. And typically Tico, one of the young men scurried up the tree with his machete and whacked away! I would not have left that bare branch, but it will soon have new branches and leaves. And my view is opened up again. I love my gardeners!

Click image to enlarge.

See more vistas in my   VISTAS    Photo Gallery from all over Costa Rica.

Two Species Share Perching Space

Red-billed Pigeon

I watched these two at breakfast this morning as they perched together on that cable for the power lines. Maybe this dove and pigeon are role models that some North Americans need today. 🙂 Very different but happy together.

(Sorry, but I could not get a photo of them together with both in focus at my distance. They were like 6 to 10 inches apart but down the hill and across the street from me.)

White-winged Dove and Red-billed Pigeon are both common and plentiful here. Their name links are to online articles about each bird on the excellent Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds site. Also see these two and other tropical birds in my BIRDS Photo Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!


Some tribes of birds will relieve and rear up the young and helpless, of their own and other tribes, when abandoned. 

~William Bartram


All round my cottage it’s still,

Rain clouds gather over the hill.

Evening brings another eureka,

As I thank God for Costa Rica!


See my gallery of HAIKU Nature Poems 

(though the above is not a haiku!)


And for evening sunsets, see my Vistas gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Pink-spotted Cattleheart Butterfly

Pink-spotted Cattleheart Butterfly

This is a rarer find today! This butterfly only exists from Mexico south as far as Costa Rica and is more common in Mexico and Guatemala. Read about the pink-spotted cattleheart, Parides photinus on Wikipedia or Google for other sites and articles.

Clay-colored Thrush or Yiqüirro


The National Bird of Costa Rica is known for singing in the rainy season in April and May, thus his honored position in Costa Rica, yet a simple bird. Seen here in my back garden, hiding behind a limb he thinks.

Change the world by being yourself. – Amy Poehler

Patience is Costa Rican!

Your have heard me brag about the tranquility and great weather of my little farming town of Atenas – and the “muy amable” or very kind people here. But one thing that many hyper and efficient Americans don’t always realize when they move to such an easy-going society, is that to be that way means everything and everybody moves slower here! No rush! ¡Pura vida! To not adapt to this slower way means you will not be happy here. Always frustrated at the inefficiencies!

My example of this today is my efforts since Monday to pay my surgeon for the work he did. (No pressure from him.) I made arrangements in advance with my Credit Union in Nashville to move the needed money from Savings to Checking so I could easily pay with my debit card. Hospital payment was quick and easy as I had planned, but the doc requested to be paid separately. Okay.

The doctor comes in my room with his little portable credit card machine, saying he doesn’t like to wait for the hospital to reimburse him if I pay through them (the most efficient way), saying they sometimes take a full month to forward the money to him. Okay. He tries repeatedly and his machine doesn’t work or at least he blames it on the machine and not my card which had just worked for the hospital. He leaves and returns in a little while with a bigger machine he plugged into the wall (still dependent on hospital WiFi). And it did not work. He then says we will take care of it when I see him at his office later this week (Wednesday). It still did not work there. He then gives me his account number at Banco Nacional and asks that I just transfer the money to his account from my account – but that account (my SS check auto-deposit) is just for housing costs, so I still have to get the money from Nashville.

Thus Wednesday afternoon I go to the bank with my CU debit card and ask them to get the needed money from it and put into my local account so I can transfer it to the doctor’s account. Sure! The teller aims to please, and tries repeatedly (7 times – service is important!) and he continues to get “denied” or “acceso denegado.” I call Nashville and they raise the cash advance limit (I thought they had already done) and say everything else is cleared – it should work! It did not! I told the patient teller (not the long line of people behind me) that I would return tomorrow and try again. Lo siento señor, mañana es un día festivo, no estamos abiertos. And I reply, Hasta el viernes.  Tomorrow is a holiday and we are closed. See you Friday.   🙂

Well, Thursday was Virgen de los Angeles day, (patron saint of Costa Rica) with only Christmas and Easter being bigger for Catholics here, when thousands make the pilgrimage to Cartago Cathedral to touch the black stone Maria. So nada yesterday! (Click above link to learn about the holiday.)

This morning I call the Credit Union again and make sure the card is good for a large amount of cash on this day and I’m assured it is. I go to the bank with teller lines going outside onto the sidewalk and street, more than an hour wait for a teller, so I tell the guard I need the “special services desk” and go wait nearly an hour for it, but those persons are more accustomed to “different” transactions like mine and I figured they could handle it better, maybe quicker, and once I finally got to a desk, it worked very smoothly, though taking another 25 minutes to do it! Remember – everything is slower here! Why rush? But she did go ahead and let me pay my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) with her and not have to go wait for a regular teller to do that.

Sooooo . . . an hour and a half at the bank, another chapter read in my latest book (which is so, so), my doctor bill is paid AND my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) bill paid! I breathed a sigh of relief and headed home for a more relaxed weekend! Pura Vida!

And, if you are wondering, the reason I didn’t use CAJA for the surgery, is that I would still be waiting to see a surgeon and I chose not to have patience for that!  Choices and Patience! Retired in Costa Rica!   🙂   ¡Pura Vida!



Inside Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles Church

Giant White Butterfly

Another Giant White Butterfly – the only species slowing down enough to photograph in my garden right now and I’m not going beyond my garden these days with a sore shoulder. This is a repeat butterfly within a week, but a different view.  🙂  The chachalacas and rufous-naped wrens are active but I’m tired of photographing them. So a repeat butterfly today!

My shoulder is doing fine, the incision healing well and I start with a physical therapist Saturday. Pain only bothers me at night and the pills help with that.

Gulf fritillary or passion butterfly

The Gulf Fritillary Butterfly is found in the states touching the Gulf of Mexico, especially Florida and South Texas, all the way south through Central America and the northern edges of South America. They love to feed on my Lantana (Porterweed) plants shown in these photos in my garden and also love the Passionflower when available (I have none), thus its secondary name of Passion Butterfly.

The above average rain this year has helped my flowers which seems to bring more butterflies and maybe more varieties. June and July are the peak months for butterflies here, meaning they may decrease in number soon. I include two photos to show the difference in the bright orange top of wings and the underside with silver/white spots. Beautiful!

Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly


What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.    ~Richard Bach

See also my Photo Gallery Butterflies and Moths with more than 70 species photographed here in Costa Rica.

I also have a little 7X7 inch photo book titled My First 50 Butterflies in Costa Rica.  You can preview all pages electronically for free at this link. Best viewed full screen for bigger photos.

Report on Tonight’s Surgery will come in tomorrow’s post, Tuesday.

¡Pura Vida!

Butterflies in Home Garden

“There’s no place like home” for garden and butterfly photos, well . . .  some of the time. 4 simple shots right out my door, one morning. Click to see larger.

See my Butterflies & Moths Photo Gallery for a lot more butterflies!

¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica