Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hitting the Ground Running in Costa Rica

I've been in Costa Rica for about two weeks now, and it's been an eye-opening experience to be in an entirely new biome. The only exposure I've had to tropical plants before now has been in greenhouses, but my visits could hardly come close to exploring the actual tropics. So far I've been to a beach on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, and one on the Caribbean side. I've explored tide pools and the brush around a chocolate plantation, as well as my new front yard. I've seen so many new plants, animals, fungi, and so much more, which has led me to one conclusion.

I made the right choice in coming here.

Now unfortunately, the internet I'm currently on isn't the fastest in the world, so I'll probably start using less pictures. Actually, that's probably a lie. I've found so many interesting things here, I'll invariably end up posting a lot of pictures. What I truly mean is that it will take me longer to write up the blogs while I'm uploading the pictures. Nonetheless, I'm definitely going to have a lot to write about.

Some of the things I've found so far:
  • Grasshopper as big as my hand
  • So many orchids
  • Colorful flowers out the wazoo
  • Sea slugs, nudibranchs, a brittle star, crabs, and other denizens of tidal pools
  • A sloth & a toucan
  • Beetles, leafhoppers, millipedes, moths & butterflies
  • Possibly a poison dart frog
  • A bat as big as a small cat
I haven't even been to a national park yet. I can only imagine what's in store there. I've also found banana plants everywhere, which is so exciting to me. I will definitely have a post about bananas soon, the most important fruit in the world.

If this doesn't get you eager to learn about bananas, well, open your mind a bit. These things are fascinating. Don't worry, I'll convince you.

So, to summarize, I'm certain that Costa Rica is going to teach me a lot. Probably in the same league as my trip to New Mexico this past summer, which I will also probably elaborate on at some point. Moral of the story: it was one of the best trips of my life and helped me to understand biological concepts in a whole new light. 

Expect new blog posts now, since I'm mostly settled in and adjusting to my schedule here. It will be impossible for me to run out of topics, and in March there is apparently a Mycology conference here that I might be able to attend. In February I believe there is an orchid festival, which I'm also excited for. I'll try to pump out at least one post a week, it sounds like a reasonable goal, but will surely not be enough for all that I find here. 
Needless to say, I will be exploring those forests.

1 comment:

  1. For the past few days we've been here in costa rica my husband and I have had a similar experience. We've been amazing by the diversity of wildlife traveling from monte verde rainforest and now here in pensinsula papagayo. This morning I went to the tide pools seeing several types of nudibranches, brittle stars and a blue crab. Yesterday we went scuba diving and saw dolphins, rays and three whales breaching! I'm in awe!