Cecropia Leaves

I just can’t stop photographing this unique tree! But every photo is different! 🙂 This species lives up to 25 or 30 years, which is a short life for trees, but they perform many functions in the rainforest & cloud forest. Here are two blog posts on it’s longevity from the University of Georgia in Costa Rica Blog. (Lots of universities from around the world have campuses in Costa Rica! One reason is that we have more species of plants and animals than any other country its size in the world!) 🙂

Guarumo or Cecropia Leaves & Flower, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

My Cecropia Gallery.

¡Pura vida!

Postscript: Thanks to my Tennessee friend Larry Yarbrough for this link to an article titled Birding for the Soul, about how birding and other nature activities, like looking for butterflies, 🙂 not only lifts your spirits but is mentally and spiritually strengthening and it helps world research on saving nature. I hope you will get involved with nature in whatever way pleases you and enjoy the benefits! 🙂 ~Charlie

Summer Tanager Female

This migrant is appropriately named for Costa Rica since they are always here during our Summer or September to May. The males are uniformly red all over while the females vary from light yellow to a dirty yellow or gold with sometimes brown on the head and wings. Read about the Summer Tanager on eBird or see my Summer Tanager Gallery with photos from other areas of Costa Rica. They breed in North America during the North American Summer then spend Sept-May south from Mexico to northern South America, our summer! 🙂 Thus the name fits both regions during the times there.

Summer Tanager female, Atenas, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Summer Tanager Female”

My Magical Tree’s Gone

One of the most recognized trees in the tropics of Central and South America is the Cecropia Tree or Guarumo in Central American vernacular. During my first year in this house (2015) I planted one not a lot taller than me. (Photo at right.) As one of the fastest growing trees it is now about twice the height of my house. I called it “magical” because in the early years it attracted so many different kinds of birds including toucans along with the resident squirrels and symbiotic ants.

The Cecropia is the Center tree or left of the big palm. Most limbs now above the house.

But now the tree has grown so much that I’ve lost my magic! 🙁 Most of the limbs, leaves and flowers are now above the house! (Above photo.) That means the birds now land in the tree above my sight-line and I would have to climb up the steep hill above my house to see any birds that perch in it. 🙁 See photos below for the Terrace Views, then and now:

So with this post I’m saying goodbye to the easy magic of my Guarumo or Cecropia tree by sharing photos of birds photographed in it over the past years. Apologies if you remember a similar post back in 2019 on the birds in this tree, but this one is bigger and a sort of finale! 🙂

Continue reading “My Magical Tree’s Gone”

My Favorite Tree

Maybe because of the big leaves, or their fast growth or even because they attract toucans and sloths – I’m not sure why – but I’ve always liked the Cecropia or Guarumo it is called here. And when their leaves dry up and fall off they become works of art in my opinion!

To find out, SEE my Cecropia-Guarumo GALLERY with several shots over the years from my garden and other places and I will in the future work on adding more photos for it. 🙂 Or if it is ALL TREES you like, I have also recently created a TREES GALLERY which you might like with tree shots from all of my Costa Rica travels – a lot! 🙂

For more facts on Cecropia trees see Cecropia Wikipedia or Cecropia Britannica.

¡Pura Vida!

Guarumo Bird Gallery

“Guarumo” is the Spanish name Ticos call a Cecropia Tree (English name) and about 4 years ago I asked my gardeners to plant one in my front yard because I had heard that they attract toucans for the easy perches and the food of the flowers. I would be patient, not really knowing how fast they grow!

In just 4 years it is the tallest tree in my yard, more than twice the height of my little house and my favorite “Bird Gallery” or place for birds to land so I can photograph them because it is such an open tree with a limited number of large leaves. See in the tree photos below what it looked like when we planted it and how big it has grown.

No telling how many birds I miss that land in the top of the tree!   🙂    But the lower limbs are what I watch while eating breakfast every morning and where I photographed from my terrace the birds in the birds photos below, including two kinds of toucans! I love nature’s gallery of birds that helps me grow my own photo gallery of birds!   ¡Pura Vida!

Birds in Tree

CLICK photo to enlarge or start manual slideshow.

The Tree

CLICK photo to enlarge or start manual slideshow.


“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.” 

― Munia Khan 

¡Pura Vida!

Finally! A Toucan in My Tree!

I planted this Cecropia Tree (guarumo tree to Ticos) nearly 3 years ago having heard they attract toucans and in fact my photos of toucans in other locations are frequently in Cecropia Trees. Well, it grew fast but only one other time have I seen a toucan in it and before I could get my camera, he was gone! This morning at breakfast I had my camera with me when this Keel-billed Toucan AND a Montezuma Oropendola flew together into my tree. I got a few shots before they flew. So I’m happy with my Cecropia Tree now!   ¡Pura Vida!


Keel-billed Toucan on my Terrace, Atenas, Costa Rica

Montezuma Oropendola on my terrace, Atenas, Costa Rica

WHERE THEY LANDED:  The Cecropia Tree by my terrace, Atenas, Costa Rica      While I ate breakfast on that table.


Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day.

~Alexander Pope

Nesting Material

Rufous-naped Wren
Resting in a Cecropia (Guarumo) Tree
With nesting material from a Nance Tree
For the nest being built in my tallest palm tree.
Atenas, Costa Rica

And more birds in photo gallery:  Costa Rica Birds (238 Species)  

This particular wren is one of the most visible around my house and the most common one to fly inside my house as two did yesterday until I waved a towel for their exit.

¡Pura Vida!

The Missed Birds!

Many Pass Through this Dead Tree at end of my terrace.
Yesterday I had no camera when
two Keel-billed Toucans stopped momentarily & then up the hill!
and a few days ago
A Blue-crowned Motmot landed in this same tree, briefly!
Links are to one of my photos of that same bird made elsewhere.

I think the toucans were looking at my Cecropia Tree (Arbole Guarumo o Yagrumo) which is suppose to attract toucans. So far that is as close to the Cecropia as I have seen them yet. Eventually! Pura Vida!

The dead tree is soon to be cut down, so maybe that will make the Cecropia more appealing! 🙂
The Cecropia or Guarumo o Yagrumo Tree beside my terrace (a deck in the states).
And remember that I put Spanish words/names in red (when I remember).  🙂
Toucans love this tree, but mine is still young, so eventually it will get toucans.
And for the birds I did get photos of, see my BIRDS PHOTO GALLERY
Or maybe you would like more trees in my FLORA & FORESTS GALLERY

Watching it Rain

“I’m too busy to sit in the rocking chair and watch it rain!” Is what I used to say.
But I just did it! And have several times recently. So far it has been a good rainy season. And I’m slowing down!

Like Jewels!
Rain drips off a cecropia leaf.