Youth Service Project

On one of my walks to town the other day these high school aged kids did not see me snap a photo of them with my phone. They were evidently doing a service project, possibly through the school, painting this public picnic table at the City Sports Park next to the covered Basketball Court. Hopefully they are painting all of the several at this park which are always full at lunch time with a very popular empanada shop across the street in one direction and fried chicken (el pollo frito) a block the other direction. 🙂

Teenagers painting picnic table in a public park, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Dusky-blue Groundstreak

Another “First Time Seen” butterfly for me, so I’m doing a second post today! 🙂 One of the “Hairstreak” butterflies, the Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Calycopis isobeon (link to butterflies & moths.org), is all over Costa Rica and another fingernail-sized butterfly! 🙂

I’m posting more butterflies than birds now partly because I haven’t had many birds in my garden and this is the time of year for more butterflies in Atenas is one reason. Another is that my interest in butterflies is going up and I have just become the “Costa Rica Coordinator” for the website butterfliesandmoths.org and since they haven’t had a CR Coordinator for 7 or more years here, I inherited a backlog of 450 submissions which will take months to go through, identify and approve while I’m anxious to submit my own 150 species photographed here. 🙂 I seem to always have plenty to keep me busy! 🙂 Enjoy this cool and different tiny butterfly and go outside and look for some where you live!

Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Atenas, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Dusky-blue Groundstreak”

Orange Yellow Haiku & Next Week Plans

Still playing around with Haiku!  And my garden!   🙂  
-o-
Tomorrow is the annual oxcart parade in Atenas. I plan to be there again and post a few photos from it tomorrow night.

-o-

http://www.greentiquehotels.com/

NEXT WEEK:
Then Monday morning I plan to take off for Corcovado National Park (largest rainforest preserve in Central America) & Drake Bay for 6 days of nature adventure & photography. I will have three trips into the park and one to an island out in this bay of the Pacific. I’m ready!

And I’m staying in what looks like a really nice lodge, Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge with all meals included and all trips/guides pre-scheduled. This is going to be one of my better trips!  🙂  Boat & hiking in the rainforest, explore a little tropical island, snorkle in the Pacific, and hopefully photograph a lot of birds!   🙂  I fly down.

http://www.aguiladeosa.com/
¡Pura Vida!
Charlie Doggett
Retired in Costa Rica!

Panama Flycatcher & “Blue Boat”

Panama Flycatcher
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

For the birder readers, this is my first sighting of one of these here and in Costa Rica they are found only along the Pacific Coast. They are also seen in most of Panama. They look most like the Nutting’s Flycatcher which has more of a rufous tail and in Costa Rica is found only in the Northwest corner or Guanacaste Province and also in most of Nicaragua. 

Blue Boat
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Anytime I’m near water I look for what might be considered a “picturesque boat.” This one only barely qualifies, but really stood out against the brown water and bank with green trees. 

Anytime I have a guest who wants an easy half day adventure or birding experience, I take them to Tarcoles River, just a little more than an hour drive west of Atenas – if one of us has a rent car. My next post(s) will show more birds seen on this particular trip which I really enjoyed even if most of the birds are not new sightings. I can never get too many photos of a particular bird, only hopefully a better photo!  🙂
My BIRDS Photo Gallery, including the biggest sub-gallery of just Costa Rica Birds!

Tortuguero Fruits & Flowers

Just a few of the hundreds of fruits and flowers found in this rainforest:

Large Heliconia growing wild along the river banks, same as in my garden.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Small Heliconia also growing wild in forest and
here in the lodge garden, similar to my garden!
Cashew Nut is usually a surprise to people when first seen growing!
One nut per flower!

Hooker’s Lips or Hot Lips is another surprising plant.
I can’t find the name of this blue berried plant in the rainforest.
Achiote (bixa orellana) is used for food coloring red and sometimes lips
Robert holds an open pod of the above Achiote flower showing the seeds
It is those red seeds that have the red coloring for food or lips.
A couple of children let him put red dots on their skin to show how it works.

Papaya tree with a very popular fruit
This is same one with the Collared Aracari Toucans I photographed
Tortuguero Village, Costa Rica

Torch Ginger flower
Neat vine I just had to photograph!  🙂

Read more About Tropical Rain Forests on Wikipedia.

Pura Vida!

15th of September Post 3: FLAGS!

Colegio Liceo had the largest group of marching flags led by a Drum Majorette.

When they stopped they had a very intricate presentation of weaving the lines
in and out of each other to create a sea of red, white and blue – Colegio Liceo.

As usual I watched the parade from Gelly’s across from Parque Central.
Here Colegio Liceo is starting their presentation seen in second photo. 
Escuela Central Elementary School did great for younger kids!
And they had the coolest caps! Boys and girls marched in separate lines.
That’s elementary school for you!   🙂
Colegio San Rafael  was led by a drum major.

Though not as large as Liceo, San Rafael had impressive group & show!

Patriotism and color on 15 de septiembre is just as big as US 4th of July!
Just no mucho fireworks in Atenas. Another shot of Colegio San Rafael.
(There’s a big fireworks show in San Jose. But I like my little farm town!)
Unlabeled School (or I missed the sign) leave our area by the church.

15th of September Post 1: CHILDREN!

I’m still sorting the 600+ photos from a wonderful nearly 3-hour parade for Independence Day here with lots of bands and flags and children. Tonight I share just a few of my children shots, some in the parade and many watching it. This satisfies what I wanted to photograph in last night’s lantern parade and did not accomplish. Children are so photogenic!

Watching the parade with me at Gelly’s

Representing one of the schools in the parade

Nicole, 6 or 7, is already a drummer in a band!
Son of my Spanish teacher, in band I raised $ for.

Some of the dancers weren’t so good, but
this group was great, with traditional dancing!

I watched this boy sneak under the railing to sit on curb for closer view!
The red, white & blue traditional dress is most
typical for Independence Day and I’ll show
adults wearing them another day.

And this is the typical traditional dress for boys and men.
I wore a hat like this but no bandanna, just a red, white & blue shirt!
Another traditional dress for 15th of September!
All of these are made by parents or a seamstress,
you cannot buy them in stores.

And finally, a father-son bonding moment on the parade route.
This may be my favorite photo from the parade.

I have lots of photos of a lot of bands and really a lot of flags I’ll share a few of, plus some adult costumes and some “different” things in the parade in future posts.

Iglesia La Soledad

Iglesia La Soledad, Alajuela
A Simple Elegance

And a young church for Costa Rica!
Many are dated to the 1500’s!

When I took Anthony for his going away lunch at his favorite restaurant in San Jose (Tin Jo), we saw this nearby church and made a brief visit. In Latin cities there is a church in almost every barrio or neighborhood. This is one of those. A simple beauty that I like and part of my “Costa Rica Churches” photo collection that is bound to begin soon!  🙂

I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
~Robert Louis Stevenson