Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wow -- an actual web gallery!

Some of you have heard how difficult I found it to take the time to post to my blog while in Costa Rica. It pretty much boils down to a) not wanting to spend hours online uploading photos to Blogger and b) not wanting to spend hours online.

I've now been back in Kirkland, USA, one week. Yesterday Tina and I gleaned 53 photos from several thousand I took, and I've now posted them to my web site at dartfrogmedia:

Don't know how much writing I'll do about the experience, though it went far beyond the images you'll see. I do expect to post more images. And maybe some jungle recordings. Plus, perhaps, some of the kalimba (mbira, thumb piano, etc.) music I made in my cabin in Santa Elena.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What, no posts????

Okay, several of you loyal followers have been asking, "why no posts?" I don't have a clear answer. On the technological level, I offer this explanation:
I had hoped to be able to upload tons of photos to my web space via ftp, so that I could write my blogs at leisure, include image tags pointing to the photos, and then upload my posts when online. But I was unable to use ftp, and it was tedious and time-consuming to upload photos to the blog itself, and that wasn't how I wanted to spend my online time. So I didn't do diddly, as you have noted.

On a more spiritual/personal level, I think perhaps I was just reveling in the experiences and not ready to commit them to the journalistic "pen," with the shift of consciousness which that requires.

I hope to have a nice website sometime, hopefully soon, and will post a URL here when it's ready.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 1: Liberia

(at left: morning in Liberia, Costa Rica)

I flew into the Liberia (Costa Rica) airport Sunday, March 29, and caught a taxi into town, where I stayed at the Hotel Boyeros. At left is a view from my room -- the next morning, of course. It gets dark around 6 pm in Costa Rica, being only about 10 degrees north lattitude. So the days are about 12 hours long year-round, give or take a half hour.

I intended to spend some time poking around Liberia, but it was so hot and the city was not very interesting, especially compared to Canas, where I would soon be enjoying a float trip down the Corobici River.

A block from the hotel, I saw this horse in a bare dirt lot. He looked sad and bored. A bit further up the road, a Tico remarked in Spanish on my photographing the caballo. He then warned me to walk only into the city center, to the left, and not to the right. He pointed to my expensive camera and made a gesture of his throat being stabbed by a robber. "Entiendo, gracias!" I replied ("I understand, thank you.").

Even in the hot, dirty, dangerous city, however, there were photo ops that I could not pass by.

Below: Great-Tailed Grackle; Unidentified flycatcher:

I was pretty happy to get out of town, catching a bus across from the hotel (which faces Rte. 1, the Pan-American Highway). The driver did not know where the Rio Corobici was, which was to be my landmark. And so I missed my destination by a half kilometer or so, and had to drag my 50-pound suitcase, 40-pound camera pack, and daypack, back along the road, frequently stepping off onto the gravel shoulder as large trucks zoomed by. Had to chase my hat more than once as the gusts from the trucks whipped it off my head.

Below is a picture of my first destination: Safaris Corobici. My wife Tina and I took a float trip with them in 2001. This time, I would rent a casita from them for two nights and spend a bit more time along the river in addition to taking a half-day float trip with one of their guides.

With temperatures in the nineties Fahrenheit, being by the river was essential but still not adequate relief. Whether due to the heat, my intake of Costa Rican coffee, or general excitement, I got only a few hours' sleep each of my first nights in Costa Rica. As I write this, four days later, I'm only just beginning to catch up.

One form of relief from the heat: these little girls were delighted and delightful as they swam the rapid currents of el Rio Corobici:

Here are a few more photos to tide you over to my next installment, which will cover the rest of my two days by the Corobici. Below you will see a pair of Boat-Billed Herons, an Anhinga, an Iguana, and two Capuccino (White-Faced) monkeys:

Friday, March 27, 2009

T Minus Two Days: The Freakout

It's Friday, less than two days before I leave for Costa Rica. This morning I decided to back up some important files onto a USB hard drive. The drive made weird sounds. So did my other USB drive. Attempting to fix things, I caused Windows to lose recognition of the keyboard and mouse. This meant I was unable to log onto my laptop -- the laptop that's going to allow me to do all my photo editing, my blogging, and to work for the Montevede Institute for four weeks.

I've been there before. If you run Windows, you've been there, too, no doubt. Many thanks to Joseph, Tina L, Elie, and Ceri, all of whom offered help. In the end, Windows just arbitrarily decided to "find" the keyboard and mouse again, but only after half a day of backing up files, trying over and over to reinstall Windows, and rebooting countless times.

As you glaze over from this dull report, please realize I just needed to vent to the world. I promise my next blog entry will be of greater relevance and interest. Maybe even beauty.

Monday, March 16, 2009

T Minus Thirteen and Counting

Spider Monkey, 2005
Guanacaste, Costa Rica

I've started this blog to post photos and narratives during my upcoming trip to Costa Rica March 29th to April 26th.

In just 13 days I'll be in Liberia, Costa Rica, where my plane lands at 7:30 pm. With the roads being treacherous at night, I'll stay in Liberia the first night. From there, I'll spend two days and nights near CaƱas, where I'll take a half-day float trip down the Corobici River. From there, I'll catch the Interbus to Santa Elena/Monteverde, where I'll spend the rest of my four weeks photographing nature in the cloud forest jungle and environs.

The Monteverde Institute has offered me internet access during my visit. Since they're located a few miles from my cabin, I'm not sure how often I'll actually be online, but my hope is to post here at least several times weekly.

This map shows my travel points (click image for a legible version):
Click to see a legible map