Costa Rica. Wow.

I'm so incredibly lucky and fortunate.

From 23 to 28 June, I went with a group of educators to experience the global section of BRIT bootcamp (https://www.brit.org/educators/e-stem-educator-boot-camp). I facilitate a class for BRIT bootcamp 1 for the past few years, so they invited me to come with them to Costa Rica! Holy moly, was it great. Here's a little synopsis of the trip!

23 June 2019: Super early morning -- had to get to the airport at 4 AM for a 5 AM flight to Miami, and then to San Jose, Costa Rica. Arrived in Costa Rica at about noonish. We went with Best Costa Rica Travel (https://www.facebook.com/BestCostaRicaTravel). Jimmy Alvarado was a phenomenal guide from moment one -- full of information about all aspects of Costa Rica. Our first stop was at the Trogon Lodge (https://www.trogonlodge.com/). Such a cool place up in the mountains. Photoed a few neat birds and a few crazy cool plants at this spot. Set up the black light tonight, but it was mighty chilly, so not too too many moths/bugs showed up. Nonetheless, everything that was there was NEW!

24 June 2019: Birding early in the morning to look for quetzals. Spotted quite a few -- like 9! Headed back to the Trogon Lodge for a lovely nature walk. We then went to a really nice lunch spot with a wonderful overlook and lots of colorful birds flying around. Then we went south to San Vito and Las Cruces Biological station (https://tropicalstudies.org/portfolio/las-cruces-research-station/). Not much daylight left, but we ate supper with some researchers and students - it was really inspiring to hear about the various research projects going on here. Afterwords, I went walking around the campus and gardens -- saw loads of moths around the lights and many spiders.

25 June 2019: We met with Ro at the Wilson Botanical Garden (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/wilson-botanical-garden/) and did a few data collection studies of the tree ferns. In the afternoon, we continued the studies and data collection. In the evening, we did some discussion of educational articles with the group. This night, I also tossed on the black lights and spotted some AMAZING moths. Also, on this evening, we experienced a BIG earthquake -- apparently a 6.2 on the Richter scale. We ran out of the room as did many others because it was shaking fairly violently. Crazy interesting experience -- my first earthquake! There were a few aftershocks in the next few days, but I didn't really feel them.

26 June 2019: Went on a longer walk around the Las Cruces forests in various stages of succession (https://archive.tropicalstudies.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=221&Itemid=422). At a few stops, we also took some data of soil moisture, photosynthesis rate, and soil temps. It lasted most of the day, and I was definitely feeling the long hike! As though I didn't have enough, we went on a really great night hike lead by @jeisson -- it was one of the best night hikes I've ever been on. Loads of frogs, katydids, moths, spiders, and other cool stuff.

27 June 2019: Today, we were supposed to go to a high school, but the students were on a protest, so we didn't get this opportunity... Instead, we stayed at a sustainable farm most of the morning and afternoon. At this farm, we planted some trees -- I learned about how out of shape I am when I was digging holes for trees! In the afternoon, we worked with some compost and soil microbes. This 50ish acre farm is a really neat place with some commendable practices. We ate a pretty fancy dinner in San Vito. On the return to the biological station, I had to stay out to look for stuff. I went out solo to explore the forest at night -- spotted even more neat organisms.

28 June 2019: Left mighty early to take a charter plane to San Jose, flew out to Miami, and then back to Dallas/Fort Worth and home at around midnight. It was a long day in the airports, so I was looking through the various photos I took this whole week. Lots of cool organisms that I was fortunate to document. :)

I'll be uploading these hundreds and hundreds of observations in the next few weeks, hopefully... I'll be working on the ID's for...months and months, likely! I'll filter what has already been observed from Costa Rica to act a bit like a guide:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6924&subview=grid&view=species
There have been 9000+ species observed by others, so this process may take a while! Please feel no obligations to add in any ID's or verifications, as I'll be working on these for a good while. I do want to upload them as quickly as I can and then work on the ID's though. :)

Costa Rica is a special place. It was my first time to visit the country, and I am already wanting to go back! The biodiversity is a bit overwhelming, and each minute it seemed like I was seeing something new. Many of my photos are blurry of no fault to the camera, but my excitement made it hard for me to steady my hands! :) Again, I can't wait to go back!

Posted by sambiology sambiology, June 30, 2019 03:45

Comments

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Glad you had a great time Sam, looking forward to blurry photos of sweet sweet organisms.

Posted by tiwane 3 months ago (Flag)
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Amazing! I was there in March and I can't wait to go back! Did you find me any caterpillars?? Guanacaste is starting to look good for observations. =))))))

Posted by k8thegr8 3 months ago (Flag)
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Exciting! Can't wait to see your photos!

Posted by nanofishology 3 months ago (Flag)
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Very cool! Ready to be very envious of all the pics!!

Posted by oddfitz 3 months ago (Flag)
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Sam, that's great! I'm glad to hear it all went well.

Posted by troutlily57 3 months ago (Flag)
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Sounds wonderful Sam!!! Can't wait to see the pictures. It's reassuring to know of a place with so much biodiversity and doing so much for their environment.

Posted by christina2019 3 months ago (Flag)
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I'm so glad that you finally got to visit Costa Rica. I'm enjoying all of your observations!

Posted by suz 3 months ago (Flag)
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I am so glad you had an amazing time in CR! Did you pack some rubber wading boots? If so, were you glad you had them? :) I am loving all the observations!

Posted by taharms48 3 months ago (Flag)
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You're so lucky, I bet Costa Rica is even better than it sounds! Come visit me at work!

Posted by madisong 3 months ago (Flag)
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Ha, I remember that earthquake. I barely woke up to it and the next morning thought it was a dream. Apparently my roommate was yelling at me! Going to bed late because of moths, and getting up early for birds for 3 months has finally caught up to me.

Posted by ryanandrews 2 months ago (Flag)
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Glad you had a great and exciting time! :-) Love the pictures!!

Posted by annikaml 2 months ago (Flag)

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