I’m now wearily, happily, home from Costa Rica.
My silence during the final few days of my trip was due largely to exhaustion from so many beautiful hikes in the cloud forests around Monteverde and Santa Elena, and also to the death of my laptop charger. But even if I’d had the energy for blogging and still been on the grid, I wouldn’t have written much. That area of Costa Rica simply overwhelmed me. My pen. My camera. Green and lush and dense, the world was everywhere “life upon life upon life.” Sometimes hundreds of species of plants were living upon a single tree, not parasitically but symbiotically. How to express it? How to capture it?
I had to “go small.” Turn from the macro to the micro. Focus not on the grand but on the amazing near at hand.
Here are a few photographs (with captions) that offer glimpses of what I encountered. I hope you enjoy them (maybe you can even identify some of them for me!). I’m going to go rest now….
I photographed this bench in honor of everyone I wished was with me in the forest. (Smile.)
You won’t see any tree rings in this trunk. Because even “dry season” is wet in the cloud forest, no tree rings form.
Some of the many seeds or fuits in the cloud forest. These might be palm tree fruits.
These were everywhere. Flowers of the pitcairnia brittoniana?
Maybe the bloom of a ginger lily?
Not sure, but I think this bloom is what locals call “hot lips” (psychotria poeppigiana).
No idea what this is.
The base of a beautiful fica tree.
I doubt it would be wise to eat this tiny mushroom.
These seed pods looked like big red ears of corn.
A leaf that caught my eye.
Morning mist on fern.
I almost stepped on this millipede.
Life on life, everywhere.
Not a great photograph, but this is the elusive quetzal, considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world. This female was nesting with the long-tailed male just off the trail but I couldn’t get better images. Fascinating to watch them take turns building their nest.
Fuzzy image of the male quetzal.
Hollow log. Home to somebody, I suspect.
I think this is a pair of azure-hooded jays.
How my night-hike guide Hector found this resting butterfly in the dark, I’ll never know. He also found a glasswing, whose wings are transparent.
Another of Hector’s finds: a red-eyed frog, half the size of my thumb.
A macaw in a mango tree.