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Grass Fire Approaching – Left House

Shot on cell phone from my terrace.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Shot from behind my landlord’s house on cell phone. Fired headed our way – lots of smoke!
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
This fire is behind my làndlord’s house behind mine. Bomberos or firemen are on scene but there is no water. I decided it not good to breath smoke plus nothing I can do and no power, internet or water. So I am camped out at a fav restaurant.

Will go back after dark and hope I still have a house!

First ever post by my phone.

Tarcoles River Today – First 7 Birds

This morning I got to go to Tarcoles River again with new friends John & Kit Loesche. But I have only had time to process first 7 bird photos. More coming tomorrow and maybe another day!

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
My favorite and closest I have been to this species.
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Green Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Osprey

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Mangrove Swallow

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Snowy Egret

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Little Blue Heron

Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

None of these were new species for me, but the pygmy-owl was the big treat and closest I have been to the two I have seen. Closeness makes a better photo even though he was in the shadows (another bird photography difficulty. We saw him off the parking lot of the boat facility we used, Jungle Crocodile Safari, my favorite because they emphasis the birds rather than the crocs and don’t feed the animals like some of the other tours do.
¡Pura Vida!


See also my BIRDS Photo Gallery

Poas Lake Reappearing – Maybe Park Open Soon

Official Photo with water returning.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

My 2015 Photo of Active Volcano
I think the same place as their photo
OR is the lake they are talking about the one below?

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

My 2015 Photo of the inactive crater, a blue-green Lake Botos
but I think they are talking about the active cone,
don’t know if this one went dry too.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

It is a positive sign that the lake is starting to reappear which I hope means the park will be opening again soon. Read the article at:
https://news.co.cr/lake-poas-volcano-costa-rica-reappears-rainfall/69998/

Another “official” photo of Poas erupting August 24, 2017
One of several eruptions, mostly gas and soot but not lava like some.
It has been closed for more than 9 months now and no longer active.
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

Reopening the park is important to the Park Services budget as one of the most visited parks and to all of the local people who depend on the area tourism. The nearby La Paz Waterfall Gardens has remained open all this time and continues to be a popular tourist site. 
Me at Poas.2015

Poas Volcano on Wikipedia

Did you know?  Poas Volcano has the second largest volcanic crater in the world:   vacationscostarica.com  

I have taken more than one visitor there and not been able to get in because of cloud cover, especially during January-April. In fact my only visitor who got to see it was Kevin Hunter, so consider yourself lucky Kevin! The second largest volcano in the world to visit and the most popular in Costa Rica. 

And here is the TRIP Gallery:  2015-With Kevin at Poas Volcano


¡Pura Vida!

Research Center at Villa Blanca

Research Center For possibly humorous reasons, named “El Cohombro,” the cucumber.
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

Research Center 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

Research Center 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

Guide & Researcher at Research Center 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

One of Many Trails in the Reserve 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

Research Center Helps Maintain Educational Trails
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Center 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

National Geographic has done research here and they show some of their films made here. And of course many universities use the research facilities for research in the cloud forest here. Interesting!

My trip gallery: 2017 Villa Blanca
My reviews of other Costa Rica Lodges & Hotels  if exploring this fun country. Note that at Drake Bay I stayed at the sister hotel of Villa Blanca, Aguila de Osa – both are Greentique Hotels.

Zarcero – The TOPIARIES

First of 3 posts on Zarcero: Topiaries, Church, and Town/Area

The Central Park in this little town is made up of mostly topiaries created over many years.
Here is a double row of arches leading to the main church in Zarcero (see tomorrow’s post).
Zarcero, Costa Rica

Dinosaur 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Bust of Alberto Lizano Hernández 
 “. . . for your altruism, nobility of your heart and humanitarian spirit “.
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Elephant 
 Showing park literally in the center of town.
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Faces 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Boyero with 2 Oxen 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Bird 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Modern Art Head? 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

This sculpture large enough to walk under. 
  Zarcero, Costa Rica

You Tell Me?!  Bull fighter? 
  Zarcero, Costa Rica

Shapes Reflecting the Surrounding Mountains 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

The Arches Looking Away from the Church 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Chicken? 
 Zarcero, Costa Rica

Welcome to the Park! 
  Zarcero, Costa Rica

Two Guys Greeting? Playing a Game?  
  Zarcero, Costa Rica

To be honest, I was not overly impressed by Zarcero, but glad I finally made a visit. Tomorrow I share photos of the church which inside is especially beautiful, and then the next day the town/area like an alpine village. The surrounding hills and farms are more beautiful than the village but hard to photograph from the winding mountain roads.

I’m also starting my “Trip Gallery” now on my gallery site: 12 October – Zarcero

-o-
The Latest Language/Technology Challenge
I made this visit to Zarcero by bus Thursday, but when I got home to do this post I had no internet. Cable Tica has a limited number of technicians who can speak English and I never got one after many calls over 3 days and finally Saturday morning stumbled through my plea for help in español. She was never able to get it to work through my Wifi router, so we bypassed it for direct internet into the computer. I have a tech scheduled from my favorite computer store for my house on Tuesday to bring a new router (ditching my old one from BestBuy in TN) and starting all over with a new home Wifi. Modern technology is so wonderful when everything works correctly, but frustrating when not! Plus my language problem (I learn too slow!) made it even more difficult to get help for more than a day. But, as usual, it all worked out in time and with the help of a friendly tech who put up with my baby spanish to communicate our way through limited success! And by Tuesday I will be back in the Wifi world! 
¡Pura Vida!


-o-

And a Sunday Ballet . . . 

Tomorrow I travel to San Jose on a van with a small group of gringos to see a Cuban Ballet performance of “Swan Lake.” I will hold my report for two more days or after the Zarcero posts are finished. It is a part of the “Cuban Culture Festival” this week and is starred by students from the Cuban National School of Ballet Fernando Alonso (largest in the world) and the Costa Rica Ballet. There’s nothing like a little culture in the tropical jungles of Central America!  🙂  But swans are birds, so I guess I’m still bird-watching.  😉

Costa Rica’s Hurricane headed for New Orleans.

First, an apology for the email recipients of this blog since the Google Map did not stay embed in the yesterday post as an email, but you can see it on the blog online. I think it more clearly shows the difference in location of Costa Rica and Puerto Rica for those still not sure.

The rain just won’t stop!

Now about our constant rain in Costa Rica through the weekend with flash flooding and mild winds. It started off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica near Tortuguero, one of my fave places to visit, as a tropical depression. As it built up speed it slowly moved north hitting our neighbors Nicaragua first, then Honduras with much more wind than we have and more rain, constant rain, which means lots of flash flooding. It is up there now, maybe at Honduras, gaining speed and strength to become Hurricane Nate by the time it hits Cancun, Mexico. Then it continues to strengthen over the weekend, heading directly for New Orleans by Sunday, but of course can affect Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

The weather people say it may stay just a Category 1 or 2 hurricane which is not as bad as the more recent hurricanes. But this is unusual to have one start as a tropical depression off the coast of Costa Rica! First to my knowledge. Since the 1800’s we have simply not had hurricanes here. Climate change is real!

Here’s a cool video on Weather.com about the hurricane that started in Costa Rica, headed to New Orleans.

Here’s NPR’s tracking of Nate. 

And a good video showing some of the lowland flooding in Costa Rica  Click the Video Arrow on image to see one of our San Jose TV station’s (7) video of flooding in Cartago, south San Jose, and parts of Guanacaste.

HOW IT IS EFFECTING ATENAS (where I live)
Atenas is a mountain town and I live on a hill overlooking other hills, so we don’t get the lowland flash flooding, though some of our streets have some flash flooding and maybe the yards of some lower level houses.

It has been raining a lot all week, but starting yesterday morning (Wed) the heavier rain and winds started from Nate and have not stopped day and night! It is still raining and predicted to through the weekend. My power went out around midnight last night and was not repaired until about 11 this morning. Other than that, I’m fine and just staying in out of the rain. I plan to visit some more nearby interesting towns like I did Palmares the other day, but not until after the rain slows down!  🙂  Next week will probably be a more normal rainy season week with afternoon showers (I hope!).

Great Southern White

Great Southern White Butterfly or Ascia monuste en español
My Home Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

You may be interested in my Photo Gallery of Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths  (65 species!)
“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars 
  if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” 
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

New Sidewalk Is Exciting for a Walker!

Looking West Toward Town
Atenas, Costa Rica

Looking East Toward Colegio Gym
Atenas, Costa Rica

And Down Near the Corner
It will go around corner for another
full block, then right to Colegio Liceo
Atenas, Costa Rica

Like governments everywhere, they seem slow about getting things done and of course funds are not always there. But finally I do not have to walk in the street around “Dead Man’s Curve” or a blind curve between my house and downtown Atenas. And I imagine they hope the high school kids will use it. They now flood the streets around the school before and after school, slowing car traffic. 

My favorite place is whichever sidewalk is beneath my feet because I am just constantly fascinated by walking and looking and learning.
~Danny Meyer
And you will see much of my looking and learning from walking in my photo gallery called: 

¡Pura Vida!

Frogs at Rancho Naturalista

Blue Jeans Frog
La Mina, near Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Blue Jeans Frog
La Mina, near Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Probably one of the Forest Toads or Rain Frogs
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Probably one of the Forest Toads or Rain Frogs
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

See my photo gallery of Costa Rica Amphibians