Butterflies & Other Insects at Manzanillo

Grasshopper (1 of 11,000+ species)
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Golden Orb Spider
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Whitened Bluewing Butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


Common Mytip Butterfly
Manzanillo, Costa Rica



Green Page Moth
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Isabella’s Tiger Longwing or Heliconianf Butterfly
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Sara Longwing Butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


Helcale Longwing or Heart-spotted Helconian
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


Almond Eyes Owl-butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


Emerald Patches Cattleheart Butterfly
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Blue Morpho Butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


Giant Skipper Butterfly
Restaurant Selva Tropical Butterfly Garden, Guapiles, Costa Rica
On the highway to the Caribe


My collections are growing! The adventure never ends!

Tortuguero Miscellaneous Photos

Okay. I’ll try to make this the last post from Tortuguero, then back to Atenas posts tomorrow!  🙂

Bus window view of Chiquita Banana Plantation, Costa Rica
Modern buses like this is how many tourists get around inside Costa Rica.
All the dozen or so lodges have boats making the 1.5 hours trip into park.

Our group on one of the Laguna Lodge boats enroute to lodge.
Robert Umaña, our guide, listening for a bird or other animal.

Robert using sand drawings to tell us about the life cycles of
the green sea turtles that lay their eggs on this beach and each
baby that makes it goes to ocean and returns years later to lay their own eggs.
One of the many river channels and canals we traveled looking for wildlife.

Another lodge’s guide pointing out a bird, monkey or other animal.

Unidentified butterflies/moths in our Laguna Lodge garden.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Pura Vida!

This trip significantly improved some of my photo collections in the PBase Galleries:
Later I will be adding a trip gallery in the travel section of my galleries, but not enough time yet!

Rainy Day in the Mountains

After a Tico breakfast at Casita del Cafe outside Atenas with a beautiful vista we drove up into the mountains with hopes of seeing Poas Volcano and the waterfalls of La Paz. Well, as we drove higher the rain increased and at the gate of Poas National Park we were told we could enter for $15 but we would not be able to see the volcano. So we turned around and headed for La Paz Waterfall Gardens where it was raining has hard but we could see most of the sights. Ponchos and a lot of dampness accompanied our tour of the gardens. But we did see quite a bit! And chose not to eat in the expensive La Paz tourist restaurants, instead driving to La Garita for lunch at Arroz Mango. Then home for sitting in sunny Atenas on my terrace until a little Mexican dinner at Donde Bocha Antojeria. An adventurous day!

I will try to label the animals the waterfall later. I guess it was as good of a way to spend an active day in the rain as we could find. I don’t expect any more rain until possibly a little at Tortuguero. It is the dry season, but the high cloud forests and the lowland tropical coastal rainforests can have some rain year around. Not a drop in Atenas!   🙂   Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of the visit here!

Black Witch Moth (Late for Halloween!)

Black Witch Moth, Atenas, Costa Rica
Outside of my bathroom window screen & photographed with flash at night

I know! It is not black! Though some can be black, gray, brown or other colors, this fits the description and matches photo in Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica by Carol L. Henderson. I’ve seen one other of these earlier. They appear from Florida to Brazil and in every part of Costa Rica.

I am not seeing many new creatures this month but enjoying a good rain every afternoon or evening like I had been expecting since May! Hope the rain continues into Dry Season/Summer, which often begins in November or December. We need rain greatly! It has been a drought winter in Costa Rica this year with our summer beginning in December it will mean no rain for 6 months, our dry season. I’m expecting to water my garden a lot.

Yeah, this is “just a moth,” but click image to enlarge, then look at that intricate pattern, those fake eyes near top to scare away birds, and the subtle colors. It reminds me of a favorite Scripture verse:

Take a good look at God’s wonders—
    they’ll take your breath away.
Psalm 66:5 THE MESSAGE

Labeling My Wildlife Photos

Some of the books I use plus the internet now.

Before the Yorkin Trip I had four books specifically for Costa Rica wildlife (in above photo) and the bird book, A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, was the best of those (seen in above photo by Stiles & Skutch, 1989). I am now replacing it with a 2014 book by one of the members of the birding club I just joined, Robert Dean, The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide. It is obviously more up to date and has more birds. This is the second edition of his book. I’ve ordered it from Amazon.com and it should be here by next week via Miami.

Our birding guide for the club and my first club trip, Pat O’Donnell, also recommends an app (he co-authored) which I got for both my phone and Kindle called “Costa Rica Birds – Field Guide” which is available from most app stores or directly from the producers at BirdingFieldGuides.com  It is very good with lots of photos of all the birds of Costa Rica and a filter to help you label your bird photo. I may end up using it more than the book. We’ll see! With my Kindle Fire I have gone to almost all electronic books anyway.

The Panama bird book (in first photo)is very good, more recent than my first Costa Rica book, and can be used as a backup for identification. We almost have the same birds with a few exceptions. It is our southern birds and their northern birds that overlap. Likewise our northern birds overlap with Nicaragua.

The Costa Rica butterfly book in the top photo is very limited, so I also use the U.S. National Audubon Society guide (glad I kept it!). The only more thorough butterfly book for Costa Rica I’ve found is a college textbook for $80+ and I haven’t gone that far yet! Plus it is probably more technical than I want. I just want images to help me identify my photos.

The internet is good for some creatures, but not all. I still have unidentified butterflies and birds in my photo collection! I have also joined some websites or online organizations to help with birding and bird identification, but not a lot of help yet. So please know that when I label something “Unidentified,” it is not because I didn’t try!   🙂

Likewise I have one book on Costa Rica plants and it is about as limited as the butterfly book. So plants are sometimes even more difficult to label and I’m learning that the common Spanish names and English names are not simply translations of each other. Maybe I should go with the Latin!  🙂

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
~Wernher von Braun

“Costa Rica Extra” Sports Tidbits:

Was Recreational Ziplining Really Invented in Costa Rica? Yes indeeeed! No data on whitewater rafting which is also big here.

The most popular sport in the little farm town of Atenas is el voleibol (volleyball) with one high school the national champion most years! We have a park with a beach volleyball court, all sand! I don’t know how it ranks in popularity in the country of Costa Rica, but is definitely popular, especially on the two coasts along with surfing there.

Though el futbol (soccer) is the most popular spectator sport in Costa Rica, el beisbol (baseball) is a close second as is el practicar surf (surfing) and el ciclismo (cycling) where we were just ranked high in the El Tour de Francia. And Costa Rica has the Latin American Champion Surfista (surfer) almost every year!

The happiest people on earth love their sports and recreation and smart gringos avoid driving to the beach on weekends when the highways are literally packed bumper to bumper with Ticos at the beaches! Pura Vida!


“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” 
― Heraclitus, Fragments

Bill Watterson

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” 
― Bill Watterson

Hummingbirds & Butterflies!

This is one reason I made my garden. Glad they like it!
Male Cinnamon Hummingbird on a Plumbago plant
Atenas, Costa Rica
Yellow & Black Swallowtail Butterfly on a Plumbago plant.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Crescent Butterfly or maybe a Peck’s Skipper on Tutti Frutti Lantana
Atenas, Costa Rica

Peck’s Skipper on Tutti Frutti Lantana
Atenas, Costa Rica
Mustard White on Tutti Frutti Lantana
Atenas, Costa Rica

I’ve seen two other hummingbirds in the garden but without a camera. Also some other butterflies.

Today my boxes were delivered – mostly scrapbooks and artwork that I shipped from states before leaving in December. More about that tomorrow! And here is tonight’s sunset:

A different view tonight! I walked up driveway and shot over my roof looking west instead of usual north.
Also it is a 5-shot panorama. 

Garden Almost Finished

Seen from driveway

Seen from house door

Looking from garden back to driveway and Don & Linda’s house
The back sidewalk with red palm at end
Pot plant in Living Room

One pot on patio/balcony

The other patio pot to help screen neighbors
It will get much larger

Sorry, I took most of these photos before sweeping and mopping the tile walkways because I was in a hurry to go shopping in Alajuela. And note that the vines are planted at top of walls but will take a few months to trail down, maybe looking good in August. Still to come next Saturday:

  1. I have been debating whether to use mulch or ground cover and think I have decided on ground cover. He said he would give me two choices, so we will see what happens with that. 
  2. Plus the Maraca or Shampoo Ginger plant is still coming next week. A prize plant!
  3. I’m adding a Guarumo Tree in the front yard, a member of the Cecropia family that has a fruit toucans love, so you know why I am planting it. Sloths like to eat the leaves too, so who knows, it might even attract a sloth. 
  4. Also we are adding another red palm to hide the balcony post and give more balcony foilage. 
  5. In front of my bedroom window he will put some fish-tail palms to add to my privacy from the street and also . . . 
  6. banana plant for my breakfast fruit as well as a screen! 

This is fun! And the landlord is paying for some of the above additions as I improve his property. I plan to stay here a long time! 🙂 I love the house and yard, my neighbors, and a great landlord who also a good neighbor! (And reads my blog some!) Pura Vida! This is more what I envisioned in Costa Rica than the apartments, though there were some good things about them and I enjoyed my time there as a good place to start.

I highly recommend J&C Gardens if you live anywhere near Atenas or La Garita. You can email Cristian (who speaks English) at jycgardens@gmail.com or call him at 8873-7483 cellular. Tell him Charlie sent you!