Flutterings at Fairchild

Archive - June 2013

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Rincon de la Veija Hike

Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 01:08:16 PM

After a night at Rincon de la Vieja
Lodge a short drive took me to the
park entrance and the beginning of
a 5km walking trail.


Through the forest and across


Leading up towards the open, mud
pool and fumarole-dotted volcano

Spectacular trees



Tabebuia chrysantha flowering
above the forest canopy.

Emerging from the forest the trail leads past boiling mud pots, belching fumaroles and bubbling pools, the whole area reeking of hydrogen sulphide. A spectacular and dramatic landscape.




After the heat of the exposed plateau it was a pleasure to re-enter the forest with its clear streams, log-bridges, giant tree buttresses and impressive leaf-cutter ant mounds.

A truly special place preserved for all by dedicated conservation-minded folks here in Costa Rica.




A Hike Along Volcán Tenorio

Wed, Jun 05, 2013 at 08:49:15 AM

Volcán Tenorio — a beautiful and mildly strenuous
5km hike along well-defined trails skirting the
Rio Celeste on the slopes of Volcán Tenorio


Lush vegetation.
Featured: Heliconia


A species of Psychotria (great butterfly nectar plants)


Another species of Psychotria


Breathing the strong odor of hydrogen sulphide I followed the Rio Celeste past a
spectacular waterfall along a trail dotted with . . .


. . . tree ferns and palms.


Across semi-secure bridges


Until the reason for the smell and color of the
water was revealed: A fissure in the basalt of
the river bed allowing hot water saturated with
hydrogen sulphide and dissolved copper salts
to bubble up into the river


The hike revealed more than just palms, however: invisible but noisy birds and of course, beady-eyed stick insects, colorful beetles, mud-puddling butterflies and skittering lizards.





Blue Morphos: From Farm to Fairchild

Mon, Jun 03, 2013 at 02:19:24 PM

The Butterfly Walk


The Morpho breeding cage


With a lot of inhabitants


Laying eggs on their host-plant


Which are collected daily, approx. 2000 eggs per day


Michael has this task every day


Eggs are hatched in a secure cage in the laboratory


Small caterpillars are then returned to living
host-plants and protected by fine mesh bags


Once fully grown the mature caterpillars are
returned to a cage in the lab to pupate


Blue Morpho pupae home at Fairchild


And an adult Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) butterfly
at Fairchild's The Wings of the Tropics exhibit