Guayabo Lodge Gallery

I’ve decided that two weeks of posts on this lodge may be enough, so I’m referring everyone to the gallery which has been ready awhile. Because of so many amazing flowers in their gardens, I may someday go back to more posts on them, but for now other photos from my life in nature in Costa Rica. You may click the image of gallery to go to the gallery or use this link:

CLICK image above to go to my trip gallery on Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!


Two Egrets

The Great Egret and the Cattle Egret (both links to eBird) are very common all over Costa Rica around water and these two were seen at CATIE, the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Turrialba with both egrets nesting on an island in CATIE’s lake. And of course I have lots of photos of both in my CR Birds galleries:

Great Egret at CATIE, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica.
Cattle Egret at CATIE, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

More of this adventure in my “Trip Gallery” 2022 Guayabo Lodge.

Angry Bird?

Though I’ve never seen that cartoon, my first sight of this bird made me think “Angry Bird” for some reason, maybe the slant of his eye or something, but he is a Common Tody-Flycatcher (eBird link) and my several shots in my Common Tody-Flycatcher Gallery are all from different places, so maybe that makes him “common.” 🙂 Not my favorite bird, but certainly interesting and another found only in Central and South America.

Common Tody-Flycatcher, Guayabo Lodge & Gardens, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Common Tody-Flycatcher, Guayabo Lodge & Gardens, Turrialba, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

More of this adventure in my “Trip Gallery” 2022 Guayabo Lodge.

The Humble Sparrow

I photographed only 20 species of birds at the combination of Guayabo Lodge and CATIE Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Turrialba. I will not post all 20 species because frankly some of the photos just aren’t worth sharing and after my two-day’s-ago post of the toucan in my garden, nothing from the Guayabo trip compares! 🙂 But all birds are important to me and be sure to see my Guayabo BIRDS Gallery.

And I do like these four shots of my most commonly seen sparrow all over Costa Rica, the Rufous-collared Sparrow (eBird link) found only in Central and South America. Locals call it “Come Maíz” in Spanish (it eats corn). I have a pretty good collection of this bird in my Rufous-collared Sparrow Gallery including one from my first trip to CR in 2009 of a mother bird feeding her child a worm! 🙂

Also in my Costa Rica Birds Galleries I have photos of 5 other types of Sparrows here in Costa Rica: (1) Orange-billed Sparrow, (2) Olive Sparrow, (3) Black-striped Sparrow, (4) White-eared Ground-Sparrow, and (5) Stripe-headed Sparrow. They are each beautiful in their own ways and certainly a part of the great ecology of Costa Rica.

Rufous-collared Sparrow, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica
Continue reading “The Humble Sparrow”

How & Where are MLB Baseballs Made?

Ever Wonder How and Where MLB Baseballs are made? Watch this fun video:

Or if that button doesn’t work, use this link:

Now those cheap minor league baseballs are made in China by machines, but the good ones for MLB games are made or sewn by hand in the Rawlings Factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Yep! That’s the

town south of San Jose I traveled to recently by bus to spend 5 days at Rancho Naturalista photographing birds. But I just recently learned that the best baseballs in the world are made there. Its also near the most active volcano in Costa Rica, also named Turrialba.

And What is the Irony of This for Costa Rica? Click and read this interesting article about how the best  baseballs in the world are made in a sports-minded country that does not include baseball as one of its major sports. Oh well. Life is full of ironies! As in most of the world, futbol (the real name for soccer) rules with debatable rankings after that for volleyball, surfing, basketball, and then maybe baseball. Interesting for the country where the best baseballs are made!  🙂

Or read this article about the factory in Turrialba and learn how dangerous sewing can be!

Workers on Lunch Break at Rawlings Baseball Factory
Turrialba, Costa Rica
A bigger irony is that in this NY Times article about The Poor Sewing for Millionaires. 
Or maybe even the biggest irony is that the poor man sewing baseballs a low wages is happier than most of the millionaire ballplayers!  🙂   ¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes, a fun aside for this former Tennessean is that the leather is tanned in Tennessee!  🙂


I am no longer encouraging people to retire in Costa Rica because I think there are already too many North Americans living here, many trying to “Americanize” or change the charming, slow, relaxed culture of this small, simple, peaceful nation. But since I know some of my readers are considering a move here for retirement or otherwise, I share another positive article from Christopher: 
12 Reasons it is Now Easier than ever to Relocate to Costa Rica.   And though I seriously don’t want many more Americans down here, I will gladly advise by friends and readers which starts with advising you to take one of the relocation tours and join the ARCR, Association of Residents of Costa Rica and attend their seminar, which is much better than what International Living offers. Christopher’s “Live in Costa Rica Tour” includes the seminar. 

Rancho Naturalista – The Place

One of the friendly staff at
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My excellent young Birding Guide, Mercedes! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Main Lodge & Dining Room (office, kitchen, library, etc.)
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My Cabin for the Week 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Tile steps invite me down from my cabin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Observation Deck above the bird feeders and vistas
I had coffee at 5 AM each day here

One of the Vistas 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

“I never get tired of blue sky.”  -Vincent Van Gogh
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Early Morning Fog adds Mystery to the Forest! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And Recognition is Good!
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And their website: Rancho Naturalista

“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

George Santayana

Bus to Turrialba & Afternoon of Nature

An hour to San Jose & 2 hours on this to Turrialba, deboarding here
Transtusa Bus Station, Turrialba, Costa Rica

The nicests bus station I’ve been in yet
Turrialba, Costa Rica
My Cabin  #6 at Rancho Naturalista
Near Turrialba, Costa Rica
A pair of Blue-crowned Mot Mots behind the dining room
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
A juvenile Snow-capped Hummingbird
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

White-necked Jacobin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Rufous-capped Warbler bathing
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

I have a beautiful Tico young lady named Mercedes as my guide this week and we start with my checklist of wanted birds at 5:30 tomorrow morning. I expect to grow my collection of CR bird species photos this week from my current 223.  Two of the above from this afternoon are new for me, the Snowcap Hummingbird and the Rufous-capped Warbler.

A great day again in beautiful Costa Rica! Enjoying retirement!

Birds Galore!

This is just a sample of the birds I photographed at the lodge this morning before going out to a park! It will take a while to share all the birds I’m photographing here!

Montezuma Oropendola from the breakfast terrace

Lineated Woodpecker in front of lodge
White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird male at breakfast terrace

Gray-headed Chachalaca joining us for breakfast

Keel-billed Toucan seen from breakfast terrace

All of this and much, much more at Rancho Naturalista near Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Daylight & Nightlight Birds

The same two species of hummingbirds in night with flash & in daylight – interesting differences:

Daylight – White-necked Jacobin

Night with flash – Crowned Woodnymph
Daylight  –  Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Night with flash  –  Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

A four hour drive with lunch break got me up the final dirt road into a semi-mountainous rainforest and the Rancho Naturalista lodge and private forest which I started exploring this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow morning is 5:30 birding on deck and a trip to a park after breakfast with our birding guide Harry who is from the U.K. and lived here 6 years. He is good! The other two clients are men from Canada. This is going to be good!  🙂