We started the day with a birdwalk at 5:30 AM, but then decided to check out the internet available at Selva Verde Lodge. There were two old desktop computers of unknown brand, and when booted up, everything was in Spanish! It was easy enough to find the right icons, but it sure was slow.
At 8:00 AM we boarded the bus for a day-long field trip! We would be traveling from 328 feet above sea level to 6,000 feet.
|Rural Costa Rica|
Passed a truck that was tipped over in a ditch. Boxes of pineapples were being transferred into another truck. Apparently accidents happen all the time on the narrow winding mountain roads that were not built for truck transports.
Saw pure white angel trumpets and quinine trees. And a White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis).
Passed the El Angel Corporation, whose workers are given and proudly wear white boots.
At 4,000 feet we began seeing the Poor Man's Umbrella (Gunnera insignis) which grows only in a narrow band at this altitude. Above them are the elfin forest and then the timberline. Passed greenhouses for roses, daisies, and ferns. Covered plots of strawberries. The people tended to have red cheeks from being out in the mountain sun. The dairy cows here were the European breeds of Holsteins, Jerseys (more fat), Guernseys, and Brown Swiss. In order to make pastureland, the forest was cleared and grasses were introduced.
There were orchards of apples, plums, and peaches. The higher we went, the more stunted the trees were due to sulfuric acid damage from the volcano. We were near the Continental Divide, where on one side the waters flow to the Caribbean Sea, and to the Pacific Ocean on the other side. Golden Day Lilies (Hemerocallis sp.) and Gorse (Ulex europaeus - a primitive yellow daisy).
|Gorse (Ulex europaeus)|
A fungus is wiping out the Mexican Cedar (Cedrela odorata), but it is rare for wildlife to nest or feed in conifers.
We passed the La Paz Waterfall,
|La Paz Waterfall|
It was getting foggier and foggier as we climbed to Poas Volcano. Parque Nacional Volcan Poas (Poas Volcano National Park) is one of the most accessible and highly trafficked parks in Costa Rica.
We stopped in the small museum with one wall covered with a variety of wood pieces,
|Different kinds of wood|
We then hiked in pouring rain up to the rim of the volcano, past many Poor Man's Umbrellas! The leaves are huge to catch windblown algae.
|Brynne using a Poor Man's Umbrella|
|(Kent) and Brynne at the rim|
This was a complete "entertainment/resort complex"! First we had lunch at the Tortillas Restaurant that was filled with plants
|Jerry leads us into the restaurant|