Camino Real Hike   Leave a comment

So we went on a hike on the Camino Real trail today, which is the longest one on campus. It was our first time hiking in the rain forest, so everything was fresh and novel. Rachel, one of the resident naturalists, came with us and showed us lots of different plants and animals.

We saw some sort of green vine snake in the trees off to the side of the path. This image is a testament to the fact that everything here is so green. This guy’s got some evolutionary camouflage working for him:

This plant is one that you really do not want to make friends with. Although it looks cute and fuzzy on the outsides, that exterior coat around the seed pod is actually millions of prickly little barbs. One encounter with this guy and you’ll be itching like crazy for hours. So encountering this plant should be an instance of, as my mother used to say, looking with your eyes, not your hands.

One of a million beautiful overlooks scattered along the trail. There are so many great vistas that I would never get anywhere if I tried to take pictures of them all (and believe me, I try). It’s like living in a postcard.

The Strangler Fig Tree is definitely my favorite tree so far here. It basically attaches itself to another live tree and then winds its way up, over, and around, until the other tree dies off and only the skeletal outline of the strangler fig remains. This image was shot from inside the twisted skeleton.

Leaf cutter ants have to be one of the most fascinating (and simultaneously terrifying) creatures that I’ve seen in Costa Rica. They chomp their way through leaves and then leave a pathway through the jungle to their nest. And apparently, indigenous peoples used the giant pincers of the soldier ants as stitches when they were wounded.

The ebony tree is very similar to the strangler fig, except that while the strangler fig is parasitic, the ebony tree is actually a tree that grows in a twisted form all on its own.

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Posted May 19, 2011 by alysonwright in Uncategorized

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