Arenal Tropical Flowers & Plants

This is just a small sampling of many more photos in Arenal Observatory trip gallery:
Flowers & Tropical Plants. Arenal Observatory Lodge grounds are a Botanical Gardens!

Arenal Observatory Lodge

 
¡Pura Vida!
 
 
-o-

And if you like tropical plants but live “up north,” check out how you can go tropical in your house, year-around, 16 Tropical Plants to Grow Indoors. A reader wrote and suggested this.

Top 10 Most Welcoming Countries for Expats
An online article by Expat Organization InterNations
They put Costa Rica at #6. 

 
 

Best Night Hike Ever!

All photos made on my cell phone camera during a light rain. Amazing!

Red-eyed Tree Frog
Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Long-billed Hermit Hummingbird Sleeping 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica
Baby Basilisk 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Tropical Rainforest Frog 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Katydid 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Fleur-de-lis Spider 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Fleur-de-lis Spider hiding in curled dead leaf 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Blue Morpho Butterfly Sleeping 
 They are bright blue on top with underside like an owl butterfly
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Red-eyed Tree Frog 
 Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

I got a new guide for this hike who specializes in night hikes, a more mature man than the 18 year-old David. He was really good and helped make some of the photos. His name is Jairo, but the way everyone pronounced it, sounded something like “Hydel,”  I almost backed out of the hike because of the light rain and sure glad I did not. Today’s hike in the park was postponed until tomorrow (Friday) because I was the only one going today and they need a minimum of two to afford it. There’s 5 of us for tomorrow. But they do the night hike solo and I was glad as the only one because I got more attention and probably saw/photographed more creatures!

Red Passion Flower

Red Passion Flower
This is same family as the more common purple passion flower which we
also have here in Costa Rica. Several neighbors have this red variety, 
and like the purple one is also a vine that can take over other plants.
Atenas, Costa Rica

See my photo gallery, FLORA & FOREST for many more tropical flowers here. 

Pot Plants Star: Desert Rose

Along wall by windows are a “Crown of Thorns” that blooms constantly year around and I just moved from white pot,
as it is growing! Stair-stepping down is my favorite which is a Desert Rose or Adenium Obesum.
And the tiny pot is a now small Jade Plant. Desert Rose came from it in my transplantings.
There are of course more pot plants on the terrace all the way back!  🙂
Atenas, Costa Rica

Desert Rose or Adenium Obesum
It too is growing and I just moved it from that smallest pot above.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Desert Rose Blooms 
This is the most blooms together like this yet in 2 years.
For those who knew Anthony, this came from him when he moved to states.
For locals: they are available at Vivero Central in La Garita, but not cheap.
Atenas, Costa Rica
For those interested in growing this wonderful flowering plant, the most amount of information on growing them is at this excellent website with how-to videos and all: 
It is originally from Africa and must have heat and lots of sun. With temps below 65° Fahrenheit you must bring inside. They bloom in the summer or hottest season which it is now in Costa Rica.  They need minimal water, mainly in hot season when blooming. It is a nice tropical addition to one’s garden! 
For my gallery of Costa Rica Flowers+ see:  FLORA & FOREST 


¡PURA VIDA!

From Behind the Big Rock: African Tulip Tree!

From behind the big rock at Roca Verde entrance
you see the red-orange flowers of our African Tulip Tree.
Atenas, Costa Rica

African Tulip Tree
Zooming in on another tropical tree that blooms for about one month.
Atenas, Costa Rica

I walk about half a mile up a steep hill to Chef Dan’s house 2 or 3 times a week for one of his gourmet meals for dinner. Monday I had Shrimp Alfredo with side salad and Italian bread. Tonight I walked up the hill for Curry Chicken Salad Wrap with side salad and mango chutney. I eat pretty well most of the time to be living in the rainforests of Central America!  🙂

I begin my ascent at this big rock near the front gate and of course come back by it on my way home for this view. The front side of the rock is often covered in moss, thus the name “green rock” (roca verde).
This big tropical flowering tree is by the guard house at the front gate but you see it better from behind the big rock! It is a native to Africa but planted in many tropical areas including Costa Rica as an ornamental tree. The scientific name is Spathodea campanulata or commonly called African Tulip Tree. What’s really neat about all the tropical trees with beautiful blooms here is that they nearly all bloom in different months, so that we almost always have some tree blooming somewhere in Costa Rica! What will I see next week in the Caribe?

For other blooming trees in Atenas, see my Walking Atenas photo gallery

Or for the whole country, see my larger Flora & Forest photo gallery

-o-
PEAK OF RAINY SEASON
Rainy Season, el invierno, winter, or “Green Season” is at its peak in Central Valley in September and October when we get the most rain, typically 6-8 hours a day, mostly in late afternoon and evening. Great for sleeping! November is the “shoulder” month or when it tapers off and by December no rain for 6 months! Sad to me. I prefer the rainy season! Not only is it greener and cooler, but fewer American tourists!  ¡Tranquilo!   🙂

Another interesting phenomenon in rainy season is that while Sep-Oct are the heaviest rains in Central Valley, it is also the time when the Caribbean gets the least amount of rain! Thus I always plan my trips there in Sep-Oct!  🙂   Also note that both coasts are coastal rainforests which get rain year around, even when it is not rainy season here. I would like living there for that but not for the always hot and humid condition of the beaches. (Though the NW corner called Guanacaste is the desert area and pretty dry year around.) So I think the Central Valley is the best place to live with easy access to the whole country and the best overall weather! In fact the PR slogan of Atenas is “el mejor clima del mundo” or “the best weather in the world.”

One realtor’s take on it: 
And the Canary Islands also claim the best weather in this interesting video:
But that is the other side of the world! Different continent!

Flowers at Rancho Naturalista

It is difficult for me to pass a flower without photographing it! So here’s a few without name labels.

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

At Rancho Naturalista or in a nearby forest
All near Turrialba, Costa Rica

See also my photo gallery called Rancho Naturalista Flowers which includes flower shots from my 2015 trip to Rancho Naturalista

Or for more flowers, the parent gallery Flora & Forests of Costa Rica includes the above plus other locations in Costa Rica and even my home garden!   🙂
The earth laughs in flowers. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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” 


Tropical Blossom Haiku

In My Home Garden
Atenas, Costa Rica

-o-

INTERESTING NEWS FROM COSTA RICA: 
Environmental agency orders suspension of pineapple farming project
which means that the American imperialists (Del Monte) cannot destroy any more of our wetlands and forests. Yay! I’m glad that the government here is defending our environment. This particular case is on the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado where I just traveled. Costa Rica is recognized internationally for protecting its land and environment and has 25% of the land set aside as national parks or reserves. And don’t feel sorry for Del Monte. There is plenty of legal land they can build pineapple farms on with plenty of cheap labor to make them rich!

The Dollar is at its highest value in Costa Rica right now, meaning a good time for U.S. people to visit or vacation or buy property here when you get more colones for the dollar, as much as C581 this article says. It had been at around 530 for a long time which was good, but this is better!  🙂 Best in the last 7 years says the article!