Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tropical Adventure

Arenál Volcano

It is a sultry night. As I write this, it’s about 80° and humid, even though it’s after 10 at night. I’m listening to a combination of jungle night sounds- crickets, katydids and frogs- and Justin Timberlake wanting his sexyback at the disco up the street. What makes the observation delicious is that it’s now –2° in Chicago. I’m here in the tropics with a combination of delight and extreme frustration. Readers of Ur-Spo’s blog will realize that my part of our vacation party had a great deal of difficulty getting here. Part of the trouble resulted in our luggage being lost. That’s right, I’m here IN THE TROPICS WITHOUT ANY OF MY ENTOMOLOGY EQUIPMENT. They are promising it tomorrow, but we've heard that both yesterday and today. There, I fell better now that this is off my chest.

Volcanic Lake. This is as far as we are allowed to go. The photo was taken right at the edge of the "danger zone." Ooh.

Despite this setback, I’ve been enjoying the trip immensely. Yesterday, we visited the Arenal Volcano. Stunning country- we drove through dry forest, cloud forest and rain forest to get there. The volcano is only marginally active at the moment. We watched (and heard) large, red-hot boulders rolling down the sides of the crater, shattering as they went. They were visible mostly by the puffs of smoke that they left behind as they rolled down the hill. After dark, we could see the glow of the tumbling rocks. Interesting, though not spectacular.

Rock tumbling down the lavva field. If you look closely, you can see a roughly linear series of puffs of smoke that marks the boulder's progress.

We have been seeing some interesting wildlife. Near Arenal, a rare white hawk was close enough to photograph. Even the urban areas have interesting animals. At the hotel in San Jose where we have stayed the past couple of nights, there was a squirrel on the grounds eating the fruits of a cashew tree. I’ve even been able to improvise and see some interesting insects. My LED headlamp was in my carry-on luggage. If I hang it in a tree and shine it on the white back wall of our cabana, I can bring in a few longhorn beetles. It’s late so I’ll keep this short. I’ll close with a special photo for my good and dear friend Ur-Spo. Tomorrow: shopping for clean underwear.

White Hawk

Squirrel feasting on cashew fruits

For my dear friend Ur-Spo. With love.

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At 14:06, Anonymous mark said...

You can ALWAYS get new underwear, but you can't always see molten lava bouncing down a hill! What a thrilling post. Thanks for sharing. (btw, Rodger made our first cheese and it's beautiful)

At 22:52, Blogger rodger said...

Now, if you can only get the pic of Spo stumbling upon the spider. heh heh

What a thrill to see a white hawk! I'm jealous...very jealous...okay...extremely, overwhelmingly jealous.

Be sure to take pics of you modeling the underwear...we'll let you know which ones to purchase. Oh wait...why bother...just go commando.

At 01:34, Blogger lifescolorfulbrushstrokes said...

What absolutely incredible pics. I love the pic of the spider. HMMM! Maybe Spider at A Spider's web in Thornton Park might like this too. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

At 11:58, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH My God....that spider freaks ME out!

*doing girly dance*


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