Sunday, May 21, 2023


Hi Everyone,

After a long break from posting any blog entries, I'll be blogging on this year's Westfield State University Costa Rica trip. If you'll bear with me, this first post is mostly me sorting out using and integrating my camera, phone, and computer together to write the blog.

  I'm super excited to be taking part on this trip.  We have 12 students coming, and as always, are led by the amazing Dr. Tim Parshall, outgoing chair of the WSU Environmental Science Department.  

If you're bored waiting on the Costa Rica trip to start, you can check out posts from the 2018 and other Costa Rica trips, or our Four Corners trip, where my wife Mrs. Dr. V and I made a 15,000 mile, many month environmental trip around the country, touching all four corners at Key West, San Isidro CA., Blaine Washington, and Madawasca Maine.  

 Today is a day of final packing for me.  This morning, we popped up to our family farm high in the mountains of Western MA to bring down some wood to build a Merganser Duck House. While there, Mrs. Dr. V found a baby salamander and tadpoles in the ditch beside our farm.  Here, I'm trying out my new camera, an Olympus "Tough" camera, that is water proof and drop proof.  The tadpole is about the size of a small pea, the salamander (check out the gills!) is about the size of a big grain of wild rice.



Mrs. Dr. V is an avid gardener and orchid enthusiast.  This past year, she created a bog garden to host her bog orchids.  So, we brought those critters back to put in the bog pond.  In addition to the orchids, she has put in quite a few carnivorous plants, which are already up for the season.  The frogs love her garden.  If you look carefully, you'll see three in this photograph.