Friday, January 5, 2018

Cloud Forest and La Selva Research Station

Hi Everyone,

The internet here at the La Selva Biological Research Station is just about the slowest I've ever experienced.  I'm going to try to load a few pictures at least, but I'm not sure I'll have time to write the content.  Anyhow, if you are parents, family, or friends of one of our students, I'll try to get some pictures of all of them by and by.  Everyone is happy and healthy! 

<<I wanted to get some pictures loaded before lunch 12:00 01/05/18, so I'll try to provide more information later>>

The Westfield State University Costa Rica Crew getting ready to board the bus. 

 Our amazing guide Deb Hamilton, bird, reforestation, and conservation expert, and uncommon organizer of all things, gives the group the itinerary.

That's me, standing by one of the many waterfalls we passed as we drove from San Jose to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. On this drive, we went from a couple thousand feet in the Central Valley to about 8,000 feet, right up into the cloud forest, one of the many amazing and unique ecosystems in Costa Rica, and then back down the eastern side.

Chloe is a WSU alumnus who came back to join us on this trip.  Chloe has a seemingly magical ability to find and handle toads and frogs....the Frog Whisperer....

Another waterfall we viewed from a small cafe while we had coffee and tea and birdwatched.  These waterfalls are full of water, because it rains rains rains up in the cloud forest.  The prevailing wind is from the Caribbean Ocean, and when the moist sea air is pushed up the mountain, it cools off, the moisture condenses into clouds, and it rains....a lot! 

We saw a lot of bird species.  There's not a lot of time to tell you about these now, I'll just let you enjoy. 

 Nick, Josh, and Coltin checking out the birds.

Briget, enjoying the experience. 

 Kate's arm, holding a papaya, and hoping a bird lands on it.

More on our amazing guide Mark Wainwright later.  Here, he holds a Spanish Flag Orchid which mimics the other flower in his hand to get itself pollenated.  I don't have my journal with me to tell you what the other species is :-(  What you can't see is that he's leaning on the bus door, as we swerve around mountain cliffs with sheer drop offs.... 

 Kate tries out the swinging bridge at La Selva....
 A peccary walking through the Biological field Station at La Selva

A bullet ant, one of the most feared species in the tropics.  These have the distinction of having one of the top worst stings of all insects.  Our guide was once stung and says the debilitating sting that leaves you thinking about nothing else for a couple of days.  Mark said he couldn't sit still and just paced  back and forth, wishing the pain would go away.  About 1 3/4 - 2 inches long.  The pain just doesn't quit.

 Pregnant female spider monkey, way high in the tree.

Not a National Geographic picture, by any means, but it is a female pregnant spider monkey flying from limb to limb.

Students checking out a Blue Jeans Frog.  Just about everyone uses their cell phones for pictures. 

Leaf hopper 

Smokey something toad (don't have my notes with me :-(  This was the slimiest toad I have ever seen, one of its defense mechanisms.  Bridget has a video of its other defense mechanism, which is shrieking.  It sounds like a small hurt child, and is very disturbing.  Hopefully, we'll be able to post that.

We're off to the chocolate tour!


  1. So thrilled to see these pics and comments

  2. This looks like a wonderful and awesome place to visit, we Mark Hutchinson have been looking to plan a trip somewhere like this for next year for a little break. Thanks for sharing!!