WALKING PATHS of My Adult Life

Had I not married, hiking would have been my avocation or how I spent all my time when not working to pay the bills. 🙂 But that’s not the way my life worked out. So I squeezed in as much as I could, though mostly before marriage and after the divorce with some during marriage, and the memories of all those times among nature are some of the greatest treasures I have. Most of my photography on backpacking trips and day hikes were of the scenery and nature, but I have a few of me on the hiking trails I will show below on the post-email section of the blog, plus even more of hiking groups I either led (most of them) or participated in group hikes. These will be galleries and you can click an image to see its larger full-frame pix and/or a manual slideshow if you wish.

For the 10 years I lived in downtown Nashville I walked nearly every day in Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

The feature photo at top is of my Vasque Hiking Shoes, the best hiking shoes I ever had!

Continue reading “WALKING PATHS of My Adult Life”

El Camino de Costa Rica – New Info

A Hiker Guide

One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?

Available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle edition: El Camino de Costa Rica Hiker Guide

There’s also a newer video of the trail than the one I showed earlier plus more new info on the website and I found a good “Make the Leap” story I’m also linking! 🙂 . . .

Continue reading “El Camino de Costa Rica – New Info”

Danta Waterfall

After seeing the monkeys but no birds, I hiked on past some beautiful scenery that I’ll share later and on down to the Danta Waterfall. It was a sunny day but evidently the wrong time for the best photographs. For better photos, see my gallery 2018 Danta Waterfall or even the 2019 Shot was better than these. Next time I will come here in April or May which seems to be better for photos. 🙂 CLICK image to enlarge:

¡Pura Vida!

Insect Bites on Hikes?

One of my regular readers asked about insects and bug bites on all the wilderness hikes I make with every trip and in a little-less wilderness around where I live in Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. And he asked what I did about them.

YES, in the tropics, and Costa Rica specifically, there are actually more insect species than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Generally they seem to me to be worse at hot times, our summer which is North America’s winter – ironically the time of year we have the most tourists! 🙂 But also location is a big factor, para ejemplo (for example) hotter lowland rainforests and year-around wetlands seem worse to me than mountain cloud forest like I was in last week. And that includes most beaches which have more mosquitoes for example than I have ever seen here in the central valley. But the government has done an excellent job of keeping down the population of mosquitoes all over the country because of diseases they carry and I seldom see one. But there are still many other bugs that bite all over the country! And spiders too!

And you birders remember than many birds eat insects, thus the places I have photographed the most bird species like Maquenque Lodge Boca Tapada and Rancho Humo Guanacaste are wetlands year-around and thus more insects than some dryer places. Here in the Central Valley I see more insects just before and at the beginning of rainy season (April-May) than I do during the daily rains like right now. Not sure why.

When hiking in the reserves and parks I usually spray with Deep Woods Off (a high % of Deet) before going out, and occasionally here at home when I see lots of insects. For treatment off bites I always take a tube of Allergel with me or a similar antihistamine gel/ointment /cream to relieve the itching (many brands here from Europe, U.S., etc). When you live in the tropics you must learn to live with insects! 🙂

Around my house I notice at different times of the year an influx of different flying insects that are pests more than biters, while at other times I get biten and don’t even know by what! 🙂 I just pull out the antihistamine gel and treat it and so far I have lived through all my bug bites! 🙂

Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them. ~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

See my Insects Gallery which is separate from my Butterfly Gallery or an earlier blog post titled “Living with Bugs.”

The Happy Wanderer

It was my favorite song growing up, or at least while in Boy Scouts and hiking a lot, which we sang as a group then (Boy Scouts love the “Ha, ha, ha, ha” part), now I only sing when alone. 🙂

“The Happy Wanderer” (“Der fröhliche Wanderer” or “Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann”) is a popular song. The original text was written (in German of course) by Florenz Friedrich Sigismund (1791–1877). It was made famous by the Obernkirchen Children’s Choir, in Germany named Schaumburger Märchensänger. ~Wikipedia (for more info) + Lyrics below.

Off and on I threaten to write a biography of just words – stories, feelings, and challenges (unlike my current photo biographies of mostly pictures) and when done I hope to call it “The Happy Wander” which describes much of my life (even during the difficulties) and especially now being Retired in Costa Rica! Tomorrow I will tell you about my next planned wandering – it’s to a new place for me next week, but for now enjoy the lyrics of my favorite song, then go hiking! 🙂

The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
“Come! Join my happy song!”

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green-wood tree.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home,
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o’er the world we roam.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back

My Boy Scouts pages tell you when and how my wanderings all began! 🙂 And more walking links on my Hiking & Camping Page.

Photo Galleries of my Costa Rica TRIPS (6+ years of wanderings here)

Photo Galleries of Pre-Costa Rica TENNESSEE Travel (Every state park & lots more)

Photo Galleries of my Pre-Costa Rica WORLDWIDE Travel (17 countries & most U.S. states)

“Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!”

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Bountiful Butterflies

This trip to Xandari I photographed more butterflies than birds, which I think is a first for anywhere I have visited in Costa Rica. Xandari has always given me a lot of butterflies, partly because of their lush gardens, but today I have photos of 16 different species, a new record! Multiple are new species for me, bringing my butterfly collection up to somewhere near 120 in my Butterfly Gallery. Check it out! Quite a variety!

The only WordPress inline Gallery that now allows labels, which I want to include, is their “regular” gallery which crops each image to same size/shape, meaning you need to click on an image to see the full-size presentation of each and I prefer my framing than their boxes. Clicking one also can start a manual slide show of all 16.

A part of the “Colourscape” of the place:

Xandari Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Johnny took me to the Rincón de la Vieja National Park today and we hiked 5 kilometers. My favorite part was the two waterfalls, one in the park and one outside near the entrance but on hotel property. Currently it is not safe to go look into the active volcano but we did see the smoke, hot water and bubbling mud which reminded me of Yellowstone. It is a tight forest so difficult to see birds but I did get some shots of a Crested Guan and some other wildlife.

Waterfalls

 

2 Hikers & the Park

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Volcanic Activity

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Wildlife

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And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.

– Shanti

¡Pura Vida!

Hacienda Guachipelín

More Than Birds This Morning!

The slideshow photos are in no particular order, just shots from my walk around the campus this morning with no rain! And almost no birds! There were a lot more birds on the rainy days! And now at about 3 in the afternoon the rain is starting for the first time today, so maybe the birds will return. Ahhhh! I just saw two Euphonias but not where I could photograph. Tonight is my last night here and near the end of the most wonderful food that someone else prepares for me. Its been a great week!

Morning Walk Photo Slideshow

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“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”
~Buddhist Sutra

 

And I am just now starting the “trip gallery” for this trip at 2018 Esquinas Rainforest Lodge  —  but soon that will be the place to see all my best photos from this week. I have gotten 10 new “lifers” or first-time seen birds this week! That is incredible! Possibly more than on any other trip at least recently.

Explored Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Today

Many more photos from today to share tomorrow after I visit an indigenous people reserve village. Staying busy and loving it! Omar Cook, my guide today is pictured here and he was fabulous! I’ll share more scenery and animal photos tomorrow. I’m exhausted now! A lot of walking!

I’m making too many photos to keep up with while here, but when I get home I will continue sharing. This less popular and less visited tourist area of Costa Rica is still one of my favorites! Simple and natural!

 

¡Pura Vida!