House in the Forest

I just found this feature image from the May 9 “Big Day” of bird counting for eBird when I walked, counted and photographed birds in Roca Verde and adjacent Calle Nueva. The only non-bird photo was this above of a “House in the Forest” which I think I shot because it was so appealing to me, beckoning me into the forest.

Then just as I started to use it in this post as a wishful place, PRESTO! I realized that I already have it! It is the same kind of thing I have created with my little rental house, planting trees and flowers all around it where there were none already until I now have a slightly more modern version of the above house in the woods. Mine is seen below:

I love my “house in the forest” and the “jungle” I’ve created around it. This was “wide open” or mostly barren when I came 5.5 years ago, so I’m proud of my “reforestation!” 🙂 Plant a tree! It will make you happy!

A few weeks ago I spoke to this “living in a forest” with my blog post Forest Window and back in January I did a post titled My Windows – My World where I actually showed you the view I have from every room in my house! 🙂 You see, I love forests and living in them! 🙂

But I also live periodically all over Costa Rica now and those many forests can be seen through my eyes in a Flora & Forest Gallery and of course other galleries with the birds & other animals in these forests! And oh yes, today is the day I leave for one of my favorite forests in Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano National Park and the wonderful in-park wilderness lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge (link to lodge website). So maybe an arrival-day blog post report tonight! 🙂 Enjoy your own trees and plant some more! 🙂

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

2 “Rare” Birds in Neighborhood

At least “Merlin,” my eBird identifier says they are “rare” for this location, though I know there are manakins in Atenas and I have seen the grosbeak in nearby Alajuela, so I don’t think they are really that rare here! 🙂 They are a female Long-tailed Manakin (feature photo) and an immature or female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. And I believe the latter is an immature male because another poorer photo shows a touch of rose color coming on the breast and the females do not have that. NOTE: The name links above are to eBird descriptions. You can also see more of my photos of these in my bird GALLERIES: Long-tailed Manakin and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak galleries.

It was an overcast morning with no good light, thus the poor quality images when against the sky:

Reusing, recycling, rethinking ~The Washington Post Article

¡Pura Vida!

Today’s Birds

Close to home I usually photograph my most birds along the 1 km or so up the hill from my house. Today I met a neighbor to show her where I find them and we spotted or recognized a minimum of 12 species. Here’s photos of 8, having no good photos of female Blue-black Grassquit, Hoffman’s Woodpecker, White-winged Dove and Inca Dove. The two doves I have so many photos of I just didn’t even try to photograph today. 🙂 The featured image is an immature Tropical Kingbird which is fairly common all over Costa Rica. CLICK an image below to enlarge and/or start a manual slide show.

See all my BIRDS galleries from many countries or just Costa Rica Birds if you prefer! 🙂

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way.


¡Pura Vida!

Banded Peacock

This Banded Peacock Butterfly was just one more colorful thing in nature I photographed on yesterday’s morning walk. I don’t carry my big camera on all walks because I photograph too much! 🙂 And tomorrow I will share the flowers I photographed on yesterday’s walk!

¡Pura Vida!

My Bird Count Today

The “Big Day” of Global Bird Counting was not extremely big for me. I chose the dirt country road alongside our development thinking it would have more birds as usual than around our houses, but . . . it was a little windy from 6 to 8 this morning and one of the bicycle clubs was out whizzing down our little country road which did not encourage the presence of birds. But I’m counting 12 species and a total of 50 birds, with three species not in photos below. Here’s my list for today with non-photo’d first and others alphabetically:

  • Gray-headed Chachalaca (3) not photographed.
  • Orange-chinned parakeets (12) not photographed
  • Melodious Blackbird (1) not a good photo to show here
  • A Finch or Grassquit unidentified (1)
  • Great Kiskadee (5)
  • House Wren maybe or Other wren (1)
  • Inca Dove (7)
  • Keel-billed Toucan (3)
  • Rufous-naped Wren (4)
  • Tropical Kingbird (1) – Featured Photo
  • White-lined Tanager (4)
  • White-winged Dove (8)
My little contribution to Global Big Day. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

As High as an Elephant’s Eye?

It’s not the corn in the musical “Oklahoma!” but the grass in the cow pasture across from me is as high as my eyes now, thanks to the regular rains! That’s why some call this time of year “The Green Season.” And the cows are mostly eating around the edges of the pasture. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

My Bird Count Today

Today is “Global Big Day” of counting birds where you live to help science better see what is happening to the health of our planet. I was out from 5:30 AM to 7:15 AM along the border between our housing project, Roca Verde, and the adjacent farms on the border-line gravel road called Calle Nueva (literally “New Street”) that serves as one emergency evacuation road from Atenas along with being a great nature walk and road for bicycles.

I’ve had better days and worse days of birding on that road, so maybe “average” is what the scientists want!   🙂   I observed at least 60 birds of more than 12 species, which is the number of species I photographed. I only report on eBird what I get photos of, which is not the typical eBird user, but I feel more confident with my reports because of that and eBird has volunteer “checkers” to make sure I labeled a bird correctly. Of my 60 seen, 30 were one flock of parakeets!   🙂

It was overcast or cloudy almost the whole time I was out, meaning poor light and white skies as terrible backgrounds most of the time! Only one photo has even a semblance of a blue sky. That’s life! There were no “lifers” or first-time birds for me, though my first time in Roca Verde to see and photograph the Rufous-capped Warbler, and the photo included here is of him “warbling!”   🙂   The name link is to my gallery with shots of this bird from 4 other locations in Costa Rica and some are better shots. And then maybe a first for me at Roca Verde is the juvenile or “immature” Yellow-faced Grassquit which at that age does not have the bright yellow on his face.

Here’s my mostly weak photos against drab skies, but they show you what I saw today:

9 May 2020 Birds

On March 29 I got 19 species of birds on this same walk on Calle Nueva.

See all of my BIRDS galleries or go for just Costa Rica Birds.

¡Pura Vida!

May Day Morning Walk

On this cloudy morning I walk up the hill above my house and back at less than an hour with these colorful photos even without sunshine. Nature is everywhere and my favorite way to celebrate “May Day” or May 1.

May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.

~Fennel Hudson

May Day Birds

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May Day Flowers

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May Day Vistas

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I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.

~Henry David Thoreau

¡Pura Vida!

“There’s No Place Like Home”

Or almost no place better for birds than my home in the Roca Verde Neighborhood of Atenas, Costa Rica. My long-time intentions to do a photo book of birds photographed at home just got fulfilled!

Roca Birds Book
For preview, click image or address below:

Check out the free preview of this book of 80 photos of more than 40 species of birds found in my garden and neighborhood. Plus this book is bigger than my travel series books, a full 8 x 10 inches, making it acceptable as a “Coffee Table Book.”   🙂    The hardcover edition is printed on a higher quality of lustre photo paper, though the paperback edition is nice on standard paper. Enjoy!   🙂


In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!