Costa Rica - May 2001

Costa Rica

Our group, and Berny, our guide. Dennis and Karen Conway have known him
a long time, and have been to Costa Rica many times with Berny for a guide
Berny can be reached at:
or phone: (506)282-2145

Click on any photo to see a larger version... even larger versions are
available if you e-mail me

My buddy, Joe Metrisin, has some great photos at: Joe's Site

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The one thing I REALLY wanted to get some pictures of
while I was there... this is one of the legendary "arrow poison
frogs" that the Indians use to poison the tips of their arrows.
We found this one on the LAST day... cuttin' it close. Thanks Greg/Berny
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More Arrow Poison Frog
Lots of hummingbirds in Costa Rica, and many
places set out feeders for them
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photo: Joe Metrisin
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Monkeys were pretty much everywhere
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We were very lucky to see a Quetzal... there are only
about 16 pairs in the entire Monteverde cloud forest, and
we happened across a nest. The male is shown here, with the
two elongated tail feathers that are only grown during the
mating season. The second shot I grabbed as he unexpectedly
flew from the nest hole (the hole in the tree, lower right hand)
so it's blurred, but it shows his bright red underbelly
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More Quetzal
Leaf cutter ants... a common site on the hiking trails, they
may venture hundreds of feet from their nest to cut and bring
back bits of leaf, which they don't eat... instead, they are
stored in a special chamber in the nest, where a type of fungus
grows on the rotting bits. Then the ants eat the fungus... yum...
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More leafcutters
Bats! Very small ones, hanging under a branch while we
were on our rafting trip
Bugs and butterflies... Butterflies were photo'd in a
farm, but we saw them in the wild as well. The big beetle is a
Harlequin Beetle, one of the biggest
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A Coati Mundi in the bird feeder at Mount Arenal
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They have some native crocodiles
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Some colorful crabs in Manuel Antonio National Park
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Iguanas... everywhere... you couldn't swing a dead
cat without hitting an iguana. You see them in trees a
lot, and they used to eat them, hence the nickname "tree chicken"
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More Iguanas
Some basilisks, also known as Jesus-Christ lizards
for their ability to run across the water when frightened
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Millipede? Centipede?... I didn't count
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A sloth... the first photo is rare. Sloths only
come down out of the trees every so often. We found him
"walking" along the side of a dirt road while on our way
to dinner one night.
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A parrot snake... mildly venomous (rear fanged). Greg
Longhurst wrangled him for a photo (the snake's fine... we let him go)
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photo: Joe Metrisin

Spiders... a golden orb spider and a tarantula
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More Spiders


A variety of local plants... last is a type of moss, and previous two
are fern trees, both living fossils
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A church in a small town, where one very dedicated guy with
a lot of time on his hands, created and maintains the fantastic
topiaries in front of the church. It may not last, however, they're
having trouble finding someone to take it over after he's gone
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More Topiary
Oxcarts used to be the only way to move coffee from the
plantations down to the coast, where it would be shipped. The
building and decoration of the carts became an art form unto itself,
and is still demonstrated in some areas, like here in Sarchi
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Two rivers meet... one cloudy and yellow due to sulphur from
the volcano where it originates, the other nice and clear from the forest
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The "Skywalk" in Monteverde. A series of 7 suspension bridges
that allow you to walk about 50-100 feet off the ground, and observe
life in the canopy of the forest
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More Skywalk
Waterfall at Mt. Arenal
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San Jose: The capitol, where we started and ended
the journey. The first photo is the old opera house, built
years ago by coffee barons eager to lure some culture to
their corner of the world
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More San Jose
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Enormous strangler fig,
the original tree rotted away
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Sugar cane tester, probes
carts to make sure no cavities
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Mt. Arenal, active volcano. At night
you could see the red glow at summit
There's a large Quaker community in Monteverde
after they moved there to avoid war. This was
a women's craft cooperative.
Hotel at Quepos

More Miscellaneous


We spent some time offshore of Quepos, where we picked up
two sails, and lots of yellowfin tuna... we released the
sails, ate the tuna! A few bottlenose dolphin decided to play
in the bow wake of the boat
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More Fishing

Rafting Trip

We took a rafting trip down the San Carlos river... it was
a relaxing float, not white-water. We stopped for lunch at a
small farm that was only accessible by the river. Totally self
sufficient, they made their own cheese, bread, and so on.
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