West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A backlog of photos

Finally I find myself with a few free minutes to upload photos. Going all the way back to May, we begin with photos of the descent from Rincón de la Vieja. Above treeline, distant ridges flashed in and out of view as the wind whipped clouds over the landscape. Less than a minute after I snapped this photo, the clouds descended again and it began to rain sideways. I went on down.

Below treeline the forest was a thick tangle of Clusia growing at crazy angles. Something about this forest made me feel like Hobbits might appear at any moment.

Enormous trees, mostly oaks and towering Podocarpaceae (conifers), overshadowed the path all the way down. Sadly I was by myself and had no scale model. Take my word for it: these trees are exceedingly large.

Down in the lowlands, the air in the forest was still cool, but when I stepped out into the semi-barren landscape of vents and volcanic seepages, where the brush was scarcely waist-high, the sun beat with stunning force.

At home in Heredia, a lovely white orchid was blooming in the stairwell. At night, it had a sweet clove-like fragrance.

Utah. Utah was beautiful, at least the tiny corner of it I was fortunate enough to see. Many wildflowers; patches of snow still hanging on even at the end of July. Viva la Wasatch.

And Germany. Beautiful, too, especially when threatening thunderstorms lent the Lahn River an ominous aspect. Germany was also cute, sometimes too cute. See the garden gnome photo. Oh, but I still daydream about that bakery!

The manhole cover, incidentally, is for my mother. She takes pictures of them wherever she goes.

Finally, a couple photos from the tour (us with Roger; some publicity), and then photos of the Island summer.


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