High in the clouds

Your archetypical “rain forest” comes in many flavors, one of them being cloud forestMonteverde, “green mountain,” is a cloud forest biological reserve near a small town in the mountains of Costa Rica. Although we are several thousand feet above sea level, and far inland, you can still see the Pacific, even on a cloudy day. General impression is that it doesn’t exactly rain all that much here (it is the middle of the dry season), but the clouds that roll over the mountain brings in a more-or-less constant drizzle over the dense canopy.

 

View from the window at Monteverde biological research station.

View from the window at Monteverde biological research station.

This cloud forest is anything but jungle, as “jungle” in the biological sense refers to the impenetrable brush that grows once you cut down the forest. The “wall” of stuff at the edge of the forest on the left in the picture above is pretty telling.

In mature forest, forest that hasn’t been cut a long time ago, the canopy shades the ground, which means that it’s pretty open down by the trail.

The Pacific, from the preserve.

The Pacific Ocean, from the preserve.

A tree overrun with epiphytes.

A tree overrun with epiphytes.

Another window view from the station.

Another window view from the station.

The topography is pretty crazy. The creek below this little bridge runs in a narrow canyon abut 8 meters (25 feet) deep.

The topography is pretty crazy. The creek below this little bridge runs in a narrow canyon abut 8 meters (25 feet) deep.

A rare sunset at Monteverde.

A rare sunset at Monteverde.

 

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