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June 13th 2012

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We have had a busy time since the last blog post!  We finished the censuses for all of the trees (including “Maria”, which Maddy and Katie climbed together as their first “solo tree”!!) and have been preparing to begin a new shade house experiment.  The latter portion of our endeavors involved making baskets to hold the hanging plants, and we have all realized that Rigo truly is a jack of all trades as his professional-looking baskets put all of ours to shame.  Our only upcoming tasks now include Emily and Sheila re-climbing some of the trees for more plant samples and the rest of us collecting plants and soil for use in the shade house.

 

Equally as exciting as the progress we have been making in the research department are our recent reptilian sightings.  First instance: on a pathway we took to a delicious Italian restaurant (not to be confused with the place in Montezuma where Sheila ate her fabulous banana chicken curry), we found a fer-de-lance chilling in the brush just off the path.  However large this snake was, we were perhaps more afraid when we learned that there was a baby fer-de-lance residing in a tree stump outside of our cabina.  Babies are scary because they cannot control how much venom they inject when they bite.  BUT, thanks to our snake boots, we never have to worry too much!  Even inside the safety and security of our snake boots, Maddy, Emily, and Katie did not hold back from running from the coral snake/coral snake mimic that followed them home the following night.  Finally, as Emily was working on soils, Sheila, Maddy, and Katie took a walk down one of the trails.  In the same spot it was last year, was a little yellow eyelash viper!

 

We gladly left the snakes in the comfort of their La Selva homes and ventured to Montezuma (beach, pool, and obsessive stray cat time!!), Monteverde, and Arenal.  This trip was designed to give Cat a chance to explore the research potential at different sites.  While Cat and Carrie were meeting with research representatives in Monteverde, Maddy, Katie, and Emily helped her out by zip-lining through the forest with the obviously SOLE intention of surveying the epiphytes while Sheila held down the fort at the hostel where we bunked.  As soon as the other three returned, rain-soaked and muddy from canopy escapades, Sheila was joined for an intimate snuggle session in her 8-person bed as we watched “Pirates of the Caribbean 4”.  Tired of being alone in the vortex of wind and doom with the constant threat of imaginary beings breaking in (due to the wind rattling the door), Sheila welcomed Emily, Maddy, and Katie with open arms.  From Monteverde, we traveled past the Arenal volcano on our way back to La Selva.  We took a “Jeep, Boat, Jeep” and got a great view of the volcano while on the boating on the Arenal Lake just before clouds rolled in to cover it up.

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© Cardelús Updated August 2016