Friday, November 16, 2012

Butterfly Tour

Me removing tree frog from the shower

Last night, Victor had the night off. So Kayla and I slept in the hatchery to ward off the dogs, while Hernaldo took 3 of the volunteers on a patrol. Being in the hatchery isn't too bad since the internet reaches most days and Netflix is full of new movies and shows, but having 2 people sharing a hammock makes it very hard to sleep.  Every time one of us would just about fall asleep, the other would re-position causing the hammock to swing. The lack of sleep is made up by the beautiful view of crashing waves and brilliant stars.
Tree frog that make its
 home in the shower

He looks so happy in his new home.
Sunset in Costa de Oro
At 5 in the morning, we moved inside and got another hour and a half  of sleep before needing to get up and get ready to go on Mike's butterfly tour.

Mike telling us about the tour.
At 8:30 the Pretoma truck pulled into the drive and we all loaded in to take the 20 minute drive to Pueblo Nuevo where Butterfly Jungle is located. When we got there Mike greeted us with cold water and promise of fresh honey.

We all gathered in the newly refurbished rancho, where Mike gave us a little synopsis of how he came to Costa Rica to become the owner of his own butterfly farm. After his brief history, we walked out to the sunny gardens to see some fast flying butterflies and bees. He taught us about mimicry that is present in some butterfly species, which makes species only distinguishable by counting veins in their wings.

Mike's butterfly collection.
Once we had seen all sorts of sun loving insects , we moved down to the river walk to find shade loving species. It was interesting because the insects moved much differently and actually floated instead of flying quickly. We were lucky enough to see and owl eye butterfly and 2 butterflies mating.
Mating butterflies

20 minutes later, we returned to the rancho to try honey and bee pollen. I always knew I liked honey, but this honey was something else. Don't worry mom and dad, I bought enough to bring home and if anyone else wants pure Costa Rican honey email me!

Fungi, I think.
More cool plants

Michelina, one of our volunteers,
enjoying a tree swing in the shade

A butterfly posed on Mikes shoulder.

Long nosed bats

Once we had all had samples of honey, we went to see some bats who had made home a beautiful tree with very exposed roots. The long- nosed bats didn't even seem phased by out paparazzi like photo taking.

We returned once again to the rancho for some more honey and with lots of questions about bees and honey. Mike knows a ton about bees and wasps and it was great to have all our questions answered. Since we all loved the honey so much, we each bought a jar or two before thanking Mike and loading back into the Pretoma truck.
Gift shop!

Kayla and I opted to pass the house and go straight to the town of Coyote for an amazing lunch of shrimp and steak at Loma Clara. Right as we were getting ready walk the 6 k back in the heat, Henner, the owner of Cristal Azul, pulls up and offered us a ride. So we hoped in his car and we were returned to our doorstep hot and ready to hop in the ocean for an afternoon swim.

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