WALKING PATHS in My Life Today

Next to maybe “Nature” in general or “Birds” specifically, nothing describes my life of being “Retired in Costa Rica” better than “WALKING!” For seven years now without a car I have learned to get to most needed places on foot; walking to town, to the supermercado or farmacia, to a restaurante; and even better, walking for fun or the discoveries of nature on city sidewalks, my “Country Lane” or “Country Road” walks for photos of birds or other nature and best of all the many wonderful wilderness trails I’ve discovered in national parks and reserves across this beautiful, natural country of Costa Rica. My life here has made experiencing nature and walking (hiking) almost synonymous! The feature photo at top is one of the horizons I experience on “Country Lane” and other paths in Atenas with one of my trip trails below . . .

Titi Trail, Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Continue reading “WALKING PATHS in My Life Today”

Mid-day Walk “Leaf Collection”

Tuesday I had a morning doctor’s appointment in San Jose, getting back a little before noon and took a walk on my nearby “Country Lane” extension of 8th Ave. As I entered the road I asked myself, “What can I photograph today?” Almost immediately my eyes fell on a leaf! And so I tried to see how many different leaves I could make photos of with my cellphone. Here are 13 that were accessible and I purposely did not include fern fronds since I did a post on them last week, nor palm fronds because most are too high to reach with my cellphone! 🙂

Here’s one for the email and then you go to the full post for the gallery of 13 leaves!

A leaf growing alongside a country road.
Continue reading “Mid-day Walk “Leaf Collection””

Rain Pigeons

Well . . . actually Red-billed Pigeons, in the rain! But after a great response on my “Rain Trees” post, I may do some more rain-themed posts.  🙂

I was on my terrace waiting on the delivery guy to bring my once-a-week “meal out” now “meal delivered” from Parrillada Androvetto. I usually have a grilled rib-eye steak but tonight (Friday) I tried their grilled Chorizo sausage which was very good and not too spicy. Well, anyway . . .

It was raining pretty hard with all the birds hiding in the big trees under leaves and limbs except this one loving couple, sitting on the power line like it were a nice sun-shiny morning! Of course their overlapping layers of feathers keep their bodies dry, but it still seemed a little unusual to me. Not singing in the rain, though one was grooming. Blurry raindrops are ugly but the birds are kind of cool! Pura vida!

Red-billed Pigeon

Red-billed Pigeon

Red-billed Pigeon

“Umbrella is comfort, rain is life! You must often leave comfort to touch the life!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

¡Pura Vida!

And my Red-billed Pigeon Photo Gallery

Life Essentials

I encourage you to watch this brief 1 minute video ad that will be appearing in larger city TV markets in the U.S. and Canada this year. Then plan your trip to Costa Rica for the “Essentials of Life!” in Costa Rica!    –    🙂    –    ¡Pura Vida!

And/or be inspired by my photos in Charlie’s COSTA RICA! photo gallery!


And for the bird-lovers & nature-lovers up north, are you aware of the tragedy of our lifetime? Nearly 3 Billion Birds Gone from U.S. & Canada – staggering! Link is to article from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We are destroying the earth little by little. I’m thankful to live in a small haven of nature, Costa Rica!

Retired in Costa Rica


Floating Free of Time

The following statement about hummingbirds was included as an insert in a Papyrus Birthday Card I received from my sister Bonnie who said the card reminded her of me “getting the most out of life!”  (Thank you Bonnie!) And the above photo is a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird photographed this past week at Xandari Nature Resort, Costa Rica, “floating” above a flower just outside my room.

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying out hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.     ~Papyrus

The card itself continued the theme with . . .







Enjoy every extraordinary moment! Happy Birthday!     ~Papyrus

And so the hummingbird inspires us to get the most out of life! I hope that is what you are doing! Enjoy life!    🙂

And here is another hummingbird that seems to be “floating” a little more than the above one. He is a Green-breasted Mango Hummingbird female at Dave & Dave’s Nature Center of Sarapiquí, La Virgen, Costa Rica shot on my 2016 Trip to Selva Verde Sarapiqui.

Have another great day!

Charlie — Retired in Costa Rica

And see more hummingbirds in my BIRDS photo gallery.

¡Pura Vida!


My House is Untouched By Fire

The fire was much closer than I like, the next hill over. It could have climbed our hill, but firemen stopped it.
And that house in photo I think is okay, though probably got a lot of smoke even if windows closed.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

After the scary post yesterday afternoon I wanted everyone who reads blog to know that the wonderful firemen (bomberos) put the fire out with rakes, hoes, machetes and shovels (had no water).

I came back after dark and all was okay last night. Most of the smoke was blown away by the high winds but still no internet, thus delay in report until this morning (Tuesday). Then internet was out again before I could add the above photo until afternoon. Both the electric company and the cable company have had several trucks out here all day. Right now all is good

This is the bad part of the “Dry Season” that the tourists like so much – fires! Rainy Season starts in May and some of us call it the “Green Season” which to me is prettier and more enjoyable!  And I don’t have to water the gardens!  🙂

Now 4 cropped, improved cell phone photos from yesterday that show fire better than shots posted yesterday:

My First Sighting from My Terrace – Scarry! 
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

Firemen Were on it Pretty Fast, But Had No Water 
They used rakes, hoes, machetes and shovels to fight fire.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

At One Point Here It Seemed to be Coming Up Our Hill! Strong Winds! 
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
And the Bigger View From a Distance
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!
Living with life as it comes!

I Have Lived in Costa Rica Three Years Now

And I was having so much fun on my anniversary day of December 24 that I forgot to mention it in the blog post that night or celebrate. You may remember that I had Christmas Eve Dinner Around the Pool with Friends.    It was that night three years ago that a taxi brought me and 5 suitcases from San Jose Airport to Atenas (late plane meant arriving after dark) to Hacienda La Jacaranda Apartments where I lived my first 4 months in Atenas Costa Rica. On this anniversary I was too busy to even think about it!  🙂  “The past is prologue!” Maybe I will have a celebration when I’ve been here 5.5 years on my 80th birthday.  🙂

And earlier that same happy day I saw my first King Vulture in the wild and got a photograph! Along with a juvenile King Vulture and other birds and wildlife on what my guides called “Raptor Ridge” on a hill above the Tambor Bay beach resort where I was staying. It was a great day! And the day before I got to release 12 baby Olive Ridley Turtles into the Pacific Ocean, so why would I think about it being my 3-year anniversary of living here?  🙂

Well, a lot has happened in three years and I’m quite at home here now, loving life in a little mountain coffee-farming town, learning to speak Spanish, though very slowly! Trying to have as many Tico friends as gringos and maybe more now!

My passion is finding and photographing some of the over 900 species of birds here along with other nature photography and the thrill of traveling Costa Rica. I have learned to travel as the locals do on buses to anywhere in Costa Rica, though I am a sissy old man who sometimes goes to the far away places on a little local plane, Sansa or Nature Air. Some of my Tico friends say I’ve seen more of their home country than they have and I probably have. I try to go somewhere new every month or two and of course report on these trips in progress on my blog (here) as well as in photo galleries in what I call Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA. And I even have a series of photo books on many of the birding lodges and national parks I have visited. I can’t get rid of the desire to create something! It is fun to me! And I do none of it for money (it actually costs me) but as my fun hobby.

I have Pensionado Residencia with the government health plan called CAJA (better than Medicare) and I am settling in for the rest of my life here with paperwork done for my body to be donated to the University of Costa Rica Medical School. I am not active in church but attend a little Bible Church here some, trying to avoid the right-wing Americans that also attend some, most only on the one Sunday a month with English translation. My goal this year is to attend mostly on the Español only Sundays.

I have volunteered service to the Angel Tree project, three schools, my language school, and most recently led an after school club at one high school which I talked about 2 blog posts ago. I am trying to integrate into the community without becoming a catholic or marrying a Tica! 🙂  That is quite feasible.

I am overall healthy for a 77 year old (though walking a lot slower now believe it or not). I get plenty of rest and exercise walking everywhere. One of my best decisions was to not buy a car! Good for my health and budget! I eat well, sleep a lot, and I am very happy in my new home. So with this little summary, I place a marker down at my three-years point of living in Costa Rica. None of us know how long we will live, but I’m expecting many more years of adventures in Costa Rica!  ¡Pura Vida!

“I like people that enjoy life, ’cause I do the same.”
~Lil Wayne


Robinson Crusoe I’m Not, But . . .

Cover Plates of the first edition in 1719.

As much as I might like to compare my adventures in this tropical rainforest to a story like The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, possibly the first English novel, my modern conveniences and friendly natives are a completely different world than the one Daniel Defoe described on the little island near Trinidad & Tobago for Robinson’s unique adventures of surviving on the island for 28 years before rescue in the 1600’s supposedly. But I too “came to the woods” just for a different purpose.

I just read it almost as a parallel to my last year’s reading of Don Quixote, the first Spanish novel. Though lacking in many modern writing skills, it is a simple and hardy adventure story that is easy to read, with fewer boring moments than Don Quixote. Here is a good synopsis or description of the book found on Wikipedia:

Robinson Crusoe[a] /ˌrɒbɪnsən ˈkrs/ is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work’s protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.[2]     

Epistolaryconfessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends twenty-eight years on a remote tropical desert island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued.

The story has since been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on a Pacific island called “Más a Tierra”, now part of Chile, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966,[3] but various literary sources have also been suggested.

Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre. It is generally seen as a contender for the first English novel.[4] Before the end of 1719, the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history, spawning numerous imitations in film, television and radio that its name was used to define a genre, Robinsonade.

One of many illustrations from
many editions of the book.
Here he saves Friday’s life from
the cannibals & gains a servant.

I went on to begin reading Defoe’s sequel to his very popular book, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. In short, not as good! (As most sequels!) He tries to take Robinson back to the island and populate it and much is an unrealistic stretch that is more boring and less adventure than the first book. I put it down and have not finished reading it, which came as a bonus with my Amazon digital copy of the original book.

But I hardily recommend the primary book as a classic representation of adventurous & religious men of the 1600’s! To be honest, I liked it better than Don Quixote, maybe because it was shorter and easier to read and less complicated development of characters. Devout Christians will like the ultimate confessional and faith elements included in Crusoe’s story.

And how cool is it to have read the first English novel AND the first Spanish novel?!   History!  Life insights!  Fun!

The more I read, the more complete my life feels!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!   . . . Loving Life!

We come to the woods for many reasons!
See the cool video Save the Americans  and go “full screen”