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Gifts the rains bring

January 30, 2013

view of the reserve from the entry trail

Rain drips from leaves and hanging mosses, trickles off our metal roof, pours down the trails amd rumbles in the the stream valley below us. The rainy season is here in Las Tangaras, and everything is wet.

Twice a week, we hike the 2 kilometer trail in and out of the reserve to pick up groceries keep in touch with the outside world. We usually end up hiking back through rain


Kate with a backpack full of groceries

and lots of mud


Only the entry trail is this muddy due to horse and cattle traffic

Mudslides and fallen trees and branches are a daily occurance on our trails


Tree fall and slide on the entry trail

Steady rain means steady employment in trail maintainance. Standard gear for the job is boots, a pair of rain pants, and a machete to clear the downfall.


Kate goes out to update trail signs

Epiphytes thrive in the constant rain. Literally plants living on the surface of other plants, epiphytes hang from trees, passing brigades of raindrops from leaf to leaf in descending order to the ground.


flowering bromeliad

There are hanging orchids


epiphytic orchid

clinging bromeliads


More bromeliads


And a number of plants that use red-tipped leaves to guide their hummingbird pollinators to small flowers hidden below.


Hummingbird-attracting plant

And then there are fungi. Of course, when it takes nearly a week for your hand-washed clothes to dry, fungi are pervasive in clothing, backpacks, beds, and everything in and out of the house. But they are also beautiful in their native habitat. Fungi pixie cups catch the rain.


fungi cups catching rain

brightly colored fungi brighten up the mossy slopes


sulfur-colored mushrooms

And then there is my favorite, glowing fungi. When we hike in the early morning to visit the cocks of the rock, the damp trail is lined with fireflies, glow worms, and glowing fungi. What looks just like a rotten stick or log by daylight is woven with luminescent threads in the pre-dawn darkness.

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Glowing fungus on sticks at night, from a long exposure using only natural light

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The same view of the same sticks using light from our flashlight

The rain and mud has not stopped visitors. We still have day trippers and overnighters visit us from countries around the world. We’ve had people from Colombia, Holland, France, Denmark, Switzerland, USA, Germany, and Canada. We also had one water-loving visitor seek shelter on our couch on an especially rainy night.


Until next time, we will be here at Reserva Las Tangaras, hosting visitors and enjoying the weather.  Hasta Luego!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard Brown permalink
    February 9, 2013 6:54 am

    After our recent day trip we want to come back and stay a few days on our next visit to Mindo. What an incredible place! We came to see the cock-of-the-rock but had no idea how much more there is at the reserve to observe and enjoy.

    Thank-you Kate and Jeff for being such wonderful hosts.


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