Un poco más Costa Rica comin’ atcha today! This time in the form of animals.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m more of a food/people/pets/street photographer–landscapes and wildlife are NOT my forte. Partly because they generally don’t hold a lot of interest for me, and partly because I don’t have a telephoto lens. My Canon 50mm f/1.2 L prime lens hardly ever leaves me camera, and even when it does–as it did for the following wildlife pictures–I’m still only using my basic zoom lens at its maximum 75mm (with my crop sensor, 75mm equates to about 115mm). So that’s just my warning not to judge these photos too harshly; they’ve been majorly cropped, and the quality is, well, let’s just say I had trouble posting them and my photographic integrity suffered as a result. ;)
The majority of the animals we saw were on our guided tours. Whereas you, as a tourist, might walk two miles through the jungle and not see a thing, more practiced eyes can spot camouflaged wildlife 100 yards away in a treetop, so that’s what you’re paying for! My whole family did a canopy tour (which included zip-lining!), and my dad and I did a mangrove boat tour. My photos are from the latter tour because…would you bring your most treasured possession on a zip-line?!
On the mangrove tour, we saw a lot of camens, which are sort of like small crocodiles. In the water:
Also, toucans! It’s unreal how colorful they are.
Another bird we saw a lot of was the blue heron. I think I scared our tour guide, Oscar, when I started firing off 8 frames per second as this heron took flight. My camera sort of sounded like a machine gun. Photo poaching?
And my mom’s favorite (NOT): bats! The spotlight you see is our guide’s reflector, which he used to help point out animals.
The coolest animal sightings by far were the monkeys! From our boat, we saw three groups (tribes?) of monkeys swinging through the trees: howler, spider, and one I can’t remember! I couldn’t even tell you which kind this one is, but check out that epic jump!
Monkeys are one of my favorite animals (I feel like one every time I eat bananas and PB, which doesn’t really make sense now that I think about it…), so it was amazing getting to see them in the wild!
I know this sounds weird, but I’m not sure the following sloth is even real. This photo was taken in Manuel Antonio, one of Costa Rica’s national parks, and our tour guide was definitely a scam artist! He was really aggressive in getting us to purchase the tour despite our lack of real desire to do so, and everything he said was of doubtful veracity. He also “knew” in advance exactly where all the animals would be. My dad thinks I’m silly, but I almost suspect this sloth to be a fake–a sloth robot/replica, if you will. Fine, it probably isn’t, but look at how it’s “waving!” I just don’t know…
Of course, Costa Rica is know for its exotic wildlife, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of adorable pets hanging around, jonesing for their portraits to be taken! A.k.a. back to my photographic comfort zone…
This is Cockie! (Nice name, right?)
Immediately after we were shown to our room at the Margarita B & B in San José, Margarita’s dog Cockie plopped down on my pillow. Now that’s my kind of B&B: cuddly friends included!
Here’s one of Margarita’s other dogs! Look at those angel eyes.
Tito, Rancho Pacifico’s owners’ pup, was definitely our favorite though!
This guy’s ego was inversely proportional to his size. Yes, he had quite the attitude. We spent a lot of time with him poolside.
Instead of a tennis ball, Tito played with this spiky rain forest seed pod. These pods were everywhere. Man, this dog is livin’ the life, isn’t he? Organic dog toys falling from the sky, a mountain-top resort for a playground, a constant train of guests cooing over him!
Tito was our favorite, but he wasn’t the cutest. That award goes to these puppies, who belonged to Alex, one of the hotel staffers:
I think Alex is only going to keep the brown one, so unfortunately, they’re going to be separated. Still, I’m sure the black one will find a great casa! :)
Back to food next time!