Monte Verde, Costa Rica, February 2004  
     
   
Our wonderful guide, Chico, introducing us to the cloud forest of Monte Verde.    
 
Strangler fig. Notice its victim (a tree) inside it. The tree will eventually die, leaving only the strangular fig to prosper on its own now that its leaves have reached the top of the tree canopy.   A suspension bridge across a revine which let us view the top of the forest canopy.
 

Typical lushness in the cloud forest of Monte Verde. Notice the vertical rope-like vines. These grew down from the top of the canopy to get water from the ground.

  The continental divide with its perpetual cloud bank formed by the trade winds coming off the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Typical cloud-forest beauty.   Renowned biologist-entomologist Richard Whitten collects and photographs in the wild the insect life of Costa Rica. Nancy to his left.
 
A tarantula in the Monte Verde forest coaxed out by our guide, Chico, who scratched the ground lightly with a small twig. The tarantula is about the size of an adult human hand. Picture taken at night.   We stopped for pizza on our way to the west coast of Costa Rica.
 
The beach at our hotel at the beach on the west coast. This area is hot and dry, the water in the atmosphere having dropped out coming over the continental divide.   Large iguana, a permanent resident at our hotel.
A panorarama view looking west from our hotel, fromed by stitching three digital-camera pictures together. Sailors will note the lack of wind - typical of the area.