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
streams.

 

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

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.

 

 


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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.

 

 

 


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Blue Morphos: From Farm to Fairchild

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

1
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


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