White-faced Capuchin Monkey: Neily, Costa Rica — After two nights at Danta Corcovado Lodge on the Osa Peninsula, we loaded the bus and headed for San Vito and the Wilson Botanical Gardens on the Las Cruces Biologial Research Station of the Organization for Tropical Studies. Along the way we stopped at long bridge in Neily. These shots of the White-faced Capuchin monkeys were taken from mid-bridge. The second shot was very difficult lighting…with the monkey back in the deep shade against the trunk of the tree, in a little hollow in the foliage, surrounded by really bright sun, barely visible to the naked eye. I added 1.7EV exposure compensation to penetrate the shadows, but that totally burned out the fonds in the sun. I did my best to adjust it in post processing, and it is an okay shot to record the memory…but not something I an inordinately proud of 🙂 The Capuchins were are our 4th primate for the trip. Sony Rx10iv at 600 and 517mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. The first shot is ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th, the second is at ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th with, as I mentioned, + 1.7EV.
Red-eyed Leaf Frog: Danta Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — I posted a comparison post a while back now, featuring the different varieties of the Red-eyed Leaf Frog found we found at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapique River Valley in the Caribbean lowlands, and the Red-eyed Leaf Frogs we found at Danta Corcovado Lodge on the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific lowlands. There are 5 species of Leaf Frog found in Costa Rica, but there are apparently at least 5 distinct color variations of the Red-eyed Leaf Frog. The one you see almost exclusively in photos, with orange feet and bright blue flank bars, is the variety we found on the Caribbean slope. This one on the Osa Peninsula, with greeny-grey feet and almost black and white flank bars, is “variety A” (according to my field guide). I find it interesting that I could only find a single reference to the color variations in the Red-eyed Leaf Frog in a google search, and that was in a scientific paper on variations in defense peptides in the skins of the species. All of the more accessible internet sources, from Wikipedia to National Geographic, picture and describe only the orange-footed variety. I can be forgiven then, for thinking, for a moment there, that this might be a separate species. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Taken by the light of a flashlight. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 5000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
I think this is a Fitzinger’s Rain Frog, aka Fitzinger’s Robber Frog. Danta Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — Rain Frogs, often also called Robber Frogs, are common all over Costa Rica. Pinning down the exact species is best left to those who really know their amphibians…which is not me. This was the first critter we encountered on our “night walk” our second night at Danta Corcovado Lodge on the Osa Peninsula. Taken by the light of a flashlight, using multi-frame noise reduction on the Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 4000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Howler Monkeys: Rio Rincon near Danta Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — The Osa Peninsula is home to all 4 of Costa Rica’s primate species. We encountered a troop of Howler Monkeys along the bed of the Rincon well into Corcovodo National Park, near the Ranger Station. The Howler is the second largest monkey in Costa Rica, but as mentioned before, it always manages to look bigger than the larger Spider Monkey, perhaps due to its relatively massive proportions…all body and tail, and not so much legs and arms. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 500 and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Spider Monkey: Rio Rincon near Danta Corcovado Lodge, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — I had never seen the Spider Monkey in Costa Rica…and on my one trip to the Amazon, I was sick aboard the river boat when they were seen in Peru…so I was delighted when we spotted a few in a very tall tree beside the Rincon as we drove our tractor and wagon up the riverbed on our way deep into Corcovado National Park. The Spider Monkey, despite it’s somewhat delicate look when compared to the more common Howler Monkey, is actually the largest of the primates in Costa Rica. Though we never got a really unobstructed view of the Spider, you can see the length of the arms and at least glimpse the length of the tail. This is an animal made for moving rapidly through the canopy. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Squirrel Monkeys: Danta Corcovado Lodge, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica (Osa Peninsula) — Very active monkeys in very bad light. 🙂 This troop of Squirrel Monkeys comes to hand out in the prickly palms over the main lodge buildings at Danta Corcovado each evening…bordering on full dark. These conditions push any camera to its limits. This was our first night at the lodge, and we were on our way back from sunset on the observation tour on the hill behind the lodge. Sony Rx10iv at 458, 124, and 493mm equivalents. Program mode with wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos.
Howler Monkeys: Sarapique River at Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica — the Howler Monkey is by far the most abundant primate in the lowland rain forests of Costa Rica, at least on the Caribbean slope. The resident troop woke us up most mornings at 4am as the males greeted the day and proclaimed their dominance. We saw this troop from the safari boat on the Sarapique River, upstream from the docks at Puerto Viejo. The big male is pretty obvious. The female with the baby was good to see, and the young male was very active. There were several more in the troop, but they stayed deeper in and out of sight. Sony Rx10iv at 509mm equivalent (trying to get the tails in :). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Mostly ISO 800, one at ISO 1000 and one at 640. f4 @ 1/500th.
Green Basilisk: Sarapique River, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica — You do see all kinds of things from the safari boat on the Sarapique and Puerto Viejo rivers. We came along side this group of Green Basilisks. We saw the adult male first of course…or rather our boatman, who is on the river every day, and knows were to look (as well as having a natural talent for spotting birds and wildlife, which he has demonstrated on every trip with him over the years) saw it. Only as we drew near in the boat did we spot the two females below the male in the tangle of branches (one might be an immature male??). The Green Basilisk is called the Jesus Christ Lizard by the locals, because of its ability to “walk on water”. It does indeed run across the water, moving fast enough and light enough not to break the surface tension. I have seen lots of Basilisks…in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama…but I have yet to see one on the water. Sony Rx10iv at 534mm. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 400 (females) and 250 (male), f4 @ 1/500th.
Red-eyed Leaf Frogs: Selva Verde Lodge. Costa Rica’s Best Chocolate, and, Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica — The Red-eyed Leaf Frog shares top billing with the Resplendent Quetzal as the emblem of conservation and ecological awareness in Costa Rica. You need, as our guide Edwin says, “a sexy” emblem to get people excited about conservation. People love Leaf Frogs. We always go out looking for them at Selva Verde Lodge one of our first nights there. This year the pond near the dinning hall, which is maintained specifically to attract the frogs, was under repair, so they were not as abundant, or at least not as easy to see, as they have been on past visits, but we still found a few on good perches for photography. The gallery includes a male and a female from Selva Verde, showing off the typical colors. I have included two frogs with similar poses, one from the Chocolate Tour at Costa Rica’s Best Chocolate, just across the road from Selva Verde in the Sarapique Valley of the Caribbean lowlands and one from Danta Corcovado Lodge on the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific lowlands. At first I was convinced the Osa frog was a different species, but it turns out there are at least 3 distinct color variations of the one species. They are all Red-eyed Leaf Frogs. The Pacific variety is not the one you see on the conservation posters, but it is still a great frog! Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths to frame the frogs. Program mode with multi-frame noise reduction. Taken with flashlights (not camera flash) to disturb the frogs as little as possible.
North American Porcupine: Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — As I came to the junction of the Piliger Trail and the Laudholm Connector there was a family standing just beyond under the old apple trees, with cell phones out, looking into the deeper brush, so of course, I had to go see what they were seeing. Nothing much they said, just a porcupine in the apple tree. And indeed, there was one, out on a branch asleep when I first saw it. Not easy to see as it blended well with the bark of the tree. I (again, of course), took hundreds of photos from all different angles, mostly trying to get a clear shot of the face. It is pretty rare in my experience to see a healthy porcupine right out in plain sight (as opposed to flattened the road). In fact, my last “out in the open” sighing of a porcupine was the Mexican Porcupine in Honduras many years ago. When I had my photos, I left the porcupine to the attention of others who had come down the path after me. Going up the hill toward the Knight Trail and back to my eTrike, I was pretty full of the experience (and myself to be honest) and decided to take a look at a few of the photos on the back of the camera just to check if I had ever really gotten the face. The face is easily lost, black on black within the gray cowl of the quills. “NO CARD, CAN NOT DISPLAY” What? This was not a good time for the camera to tell me that! Not useful at all. Very disappointing. I mean, why not tell me that when I took my first photo of the porcupine? This is not the first time this has happened to me, but the first time when the photos really mattered to me. I mean, really, my porcupine shots? Not that it would have done me any good if the camera had been more forthcoming. I stopped carrying a second card when out on my eTrike several months ago. That is a bad habit I will now make every effort to break. Always carry a spare card! Sigh! So I trudged back to the apple tree. The porcupine was still there, though it had, under the pressure of less cautions observation (there were a lot of folks using the trail that day), retreated down the branch toward the safety of the crotch of the tree, where it had taken refuge. I was just a bit chagrined to be among the cell phone photographers, but I put my Sirui 60mm portrait lens on my iPhone SE and got as close as I felt good about to take my shots. Nothing great, but I did get the face. This shot has been through Pixomator Pro’s ML Super Resolution treatment to simulate a longer telephoto, as well as being processed in Apple Photos. So folks, always carry a spare card! You never know when you will see something very special in the wild.