Jump to content
Palmarum

2008 Biennial of the International Palm Society – Members Unite in Costa Rica

Recommended Posts

Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> [National Theater, San Jose]

Part of Bus #4, Bill Olson, Linda Talbott and myself

- 4:21PM: I got the feeling we were being slowly rushed out of the lobby for one reason or another. I began to photograph what I could get to, the best way I knew how. This statue's youthful gaze included a faint smile or smirk. Does she look Comedic or Tragic, perhaps? If you look on the wall behind the statue, you can see the pink marble and gold-leaf embossed wall decorations.

2008-05-06_16-21-05.jpg

- No mystery to who he is. The left side of the theaters entrance was guarded by this large statue of one of my favorite composers, Ludwig van Beethoven. Since we were not able to further explore the interior of the theater, Bill, Linda and I decided to walk around downtown and see what we might find.

2008-05-06_16-21-45.jpg

- 4:22PM: The exterior of the theater was a virtual dictionary of nineteenth century architecture. The second floor windows led to the famous green carpeted foyer, which we were unable to get to. If you venture further online, you can see photos and descriptions of the famous room.

2008-05-06_16-22-04.jpg

- The statue upon the apex of the roof was stunning. I was not sure what the winged actor was holding, a wreath perhaps? The entire facade held incredible detail, like a moving life scene carved in marble.

2008-05-06_16-22-10.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> [National Theater, San Jose]

Part of Bus #4, Bill Olson, Linda Talbott and myself

- 4:24PM: We chose a direction down hill and decided to explore and see what we could find. Before leaving the grounds of the National Theater, Bill had to take one more look inside. He wanted to check the performance schedule to see what was playing at the theater. As he was inquiring about that, I continued to photograph at will. This statue was near the entrance and I believe she represented Dance, since she was holding a pair of castanets.

2008-05-06_16-24-47.jpg

- 4:27PM: The American couple was quietly stalked from behind until... nothing happened. As we left the theater and walked along the streets we felt comfortable and had no apprehension about any possibility of crime. There were police everywhere, and I mean everywhere. On almost every street corner there were at least three uniformed police officers. We had to walk at a good pace if we wanted a chance to visit any store or business. At 6:00 PM sharp, everything closes in San Jose for the evening, except restaurants and bars of course.

2008-05-06_16-27-43.jpg

- 4:36PM: We continued downhill along 2nd Avenue and found ourselves at the Plaza de la Democracia, which was bordered on one side by the National Museum, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica. The museum had already closed, so we continued to walk around it and back up Central Avenue.

2008-05-06_16-36-13.jpg

- 4:38PM: The National Museum was a former army barracks and saw quite a bit of action during the 1948 Civil War. The walls and turrets were covered with hundreds of bullet holes.

2008-05-06_16-38-51.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> [National Theater, San Jose]

Part of Bus #4, Bill Olson, Linda Talbott and myself

- 4:41PM: At the rear of the National Museum, the entrance gate was closed but you could still see certain items of interest on the grounds. There were several cannon on display including some designs that spanned a few centuries.

2008-05-06_16-41-33.jpg

- Immediately behind the National Museum, a large colonial style house had a few large palms that caught our attention. The backyard was dominated by a pair of clumping Costa Rican Bamboo Palms, Chamaedorea costaricana.

2008-05-06_16-41-47.jpg

- 4:43PM: Graffiti was a popular sight among downtown buildings and structures. I could not read any of it, but there seemed to be a constant message that was trying to be implied.

2008-05-06_16-43-05.jpg

- 4:46PM: We finished a loop around the National Museum, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, and arrived back in the Plaza de la Democracia. Sunlight was disappearing in a hurry. We walked past a street market earlier along the way and decided to go check it out while we still had some light to work with.

2008-05-06_16-46-46.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> [National Theater, San Jose]

Part of Bus #4, Bill Olson, Linda Talbott and myself

- 4:48PM: In the center of the Plaza de la Democracia, a statue had been 'decorated' with graffiti. It is roughly translated as "First they ignore to you soon are laughed of you, later, they attack and then desire to you". It is a paraphrase of the popular Mahatma Gandhi quote "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." It makes you wonder what could be going on in Costa Rica. I crossed referenced it with the recent news in the country at the time and did not find any correlation.

2008-05-06_16-48-24.jpg

- 5:05PM: The open air market was one continuous line of shops and stalls from one avenue to another. The prices were good, and fell consistently as you walked past one vendor who was vying for your money. Bill and Linda check out one vendor while I looked around for anything that caught my attention.

2008-05-06_17-05-32.jpg

- 5:31PM: The market had tons of vendors to shop through, but we wanted to see more of the city before it got too dark. We turned and walked back uphill to the Central Park, which seemed to be the hub of activity at this time of the day. The park had its fair share of palms including this Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis.

2008-05-06_17-31-00.jpg

- Dypsis! A good-sized Dypsis madagascariensis was being inundated by parrots.

2008-05-06_17-31-16.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th

[National Theater, San Jose] -> Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel

Part of Bus #4, Bill Olson, Linda Talbott and myself

- 5:34PM: This skyscraper Royal Palm, Roystonea sp., was taking up residence at one corner of the park. We could not guess its full height, but it exceeded the six-story building to the right of it. The light was getting too low for any decent exposure so I put my camera away while we continued to visit downtown San Jose. We walked through one pedestrian only street while looking through a few shops before closing time and made it to the Post Office. I wanted to see if they had any interesting post cards or palm-influenced stamps, but no luck that time. I came up with one clever idea for the Biennial, but we were unable to make it happen before all the stores closed. That is a story for another day...

2008-05-06_17-34-15.jpg

- 6:31PM: Time had come for us to rendezvous with our taxi for the ride back to the hotel. We made our way through hundreds of people and arrived back at the National Theater. We had some time to kill so I did my best to again imitate a tripod and get night shots of the theater. This photo was a little noisy, as the ISO went up to compensate for higher shutter speed and lack of light.

2008-05-06_18-31-16.jpg

- 6:32PM: I had to dodge a few vagrants to capture this closer shot of the theater facade. I lowered the shutter speed and propped the camera on a railing to steady the shot. I need a carbon-fiber, compact tripod in the worst way.

2008-05-06_18-32-32.jpg

- 6:33PM: Bill came over and said the taxi driver found him and Linda, so it was time to leave. I took one more shot, doing my best to keep the camera still. This was one of my favorites of the batch I took, even though the shutter speed was higher than normal. I sort-of lucked out in a big way. We followed the driver to his parked taxi and were surprised he got out and looked for us. As we were driving back to the hotel, I had to thank Bill on having this great idea to visit the theater and the city. We began to wonder how much of the presentation, or dinner would be left for us when we got back.

2008-05-06_18-33-32.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 04: Tuesday, May 6th: Conclusion

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel

Bill, Linda and I returned to the hotel after 7:00PM. After a quick dash to and from my hotel room I made a run to the ballroom to see how things were progressing. As soon as I walked through the first set of double doors, I heard Bill Sanford yell "Andrea!" in a crescendo of sound that echoed throughout the room. An attendee at his table had begun to choke and Bill's instincts kicked in and thought of Andrea Searle who is a nurse. He first did a mellow "...Andrea..." before seeing that the person across from the table was in real trouble, then he followed up with the loud call everyone heard. In the span of a few seconds, another attendee at the table performed a quick Heimlich maneuver and then it was all over. Have this be a lesson to everyone out there that dinner rolls are not to be taken lightly.

I managed to get in on the dinner buffet a few moments before they were going to start carting the food back into the kitchen. The presentation was long over with and everyone was asking where I had been. I sat down to eat the selection of food I was able to procure and told those who were interested, what we did in San Jose.

- 8:07PM: I finished eating and took a walk around taking photos and talking to attendees that I had not seen since the first night of the Biennial. Even though this was the fourth night, part of us skipped the presentation and ate dinner separately on Sunday evening and we were on our own for dinner on Monday night. This caused a void for some of us in seeing other attendees, especially those from Group 1. Dinner was about over at this time and people begun to leave for the night, while others ordered another drink, or two. Towards the left side of the right hand table, you can see Forum member Jim Glock (jglock1) in a great mood smiling from ear to ear.

2008-05-06_20-07-10.jpg

- With no coaxing on my part, Jim gladly got next to Andrea Searle for a quick photo. Jim went on to say how he wanted to see Andrea don a cape and jump into action earlier in the evening.

2008-05-06_20-02-15.jpg

- 8:30PM: Churning bubbles, toil and trouble. The hot tub revs up for another evening of activity in the hot water. Everyone said to meet back at the hot tub after dinner and after taking time to look over photos and get stuff ready for tomorrow, I was the first one to arrive.

2008-05-06_20-30-23.jpg

- 8:56PM: I killed some time waiting by talking to attendees around the restaurant bar and getting a soda. I invited FM. Jon Kenaghan (Bilbo) over to talk with those of us who were now in or around the hot tub. We were soon joined by Bus #2 attendee Rob Branch, a veteran of the 2006 Biennial in the Dominican Republic. Our group quickly got larger, then smaller, then larger again as people came and went. I had camera gear to clean so I left not too long into the evening; leaving the hot tub guardians with the responsibility of finishing off the day.

2008-05-06_20-56-31.jpg

...the Biennial is halfway over, and tomorrow we depart for our longest Bus #4 ride yet, to the north to pay homage to the Arenal volcano...

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th: Introduction

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

There was a solemn mood among attendees on the fifth morning of the Biennial. This interpretation of mood could have been confused for hangovers, as they were more and more common as the week progressed. I was listening to some of the veterans at breakfast and they were comparing Biennials to one another. They were easily agreeing upon the opinion that this Biennial was shaping up to be the best one yet. We had been so worried about the weather. I figured there was the chance it was going to be one rainstorm after another, after arriving on a rainy day. So far, so good. We still boarded the buses loaded with our rain gear, hoping not to jinx ourselves. This was the first day of the swapping schedule. Group 1 attendees were heading for the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, what we did on Monday, while we were taking the long road north to the Arenal Volcano to explore the Arenal Hanging Bridges. We had the earlier, 7:30AM departure time to give us plenty of time to get there, minus any delays. What were the odds of a delay happening with Bus #4?

- 6:57AM: Near the end of breakfast, attendees gathered around Biennial speaker Mike Ferrero [seated] and commented on his presentation from the night before. I unfortunately missed it, but I got a few summary versions from different people.

2008-05-07_06-57-05.jpg

- 7:51AM: The roads and highways were becoming more familiar as we traveled on many of the same ones from day to day. We had a long trip today and much of it took place on the Pan-American Highway heading north. As our trusty Bus #4 headed to the highway, we caught our morning view of the Central Mountain range, including this glimpse of the Barva Volcano.

2008-05-07_07-51-31.jpg

- 7:56AM: "Now that is some serious palm fruit." As we entered the highway, we hit some slow traffic going through a toll booth. Along side the bus was this fully loaded truck heading to market. We knew instantly that the batches of fruit belonged to recently cleaned Peach Palms, Bactris gasipaes.

2008-05-07_07-56-29.jpg

- 7:57AM: The fruit was collected in different stages of ripeness, whether for commercial reasons or just to get it all at once. The driver and passenger quickly caught on that we were looking in their direction. I think they thought we were looking at them and not their cargo.

2008-05-07_07-57-20.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 8:08AM: Spirits were high on Bus #4, as we rolled on down the highway the jokes and laughter was plentiful. We were passing the Dos Pinos co-op Dairy Facility, the largest dairy plant in all Central America, when the bus began to slow down. We pulled off the road and our forward momentum came to a halt and we began looking at each other with expressions of "uh oh" and "oh crap". It seemed Bus #4 was short an attendee...

2008-05-07_08-08-19.jpg

- 8:13AM: [Delay #1] One of the CRT guides got on the PA system and informed us we were missing an attendee and that he was being brought to us via a taxi, at his expense. It was going to be a short wait hopefully, so we passed the time like usual. FM. Jeff Searle talks with Judy Kay off on my left, while FMs. Jim Glock (jglock1) and Robert Wilson (Rainforestt Robert) add to the conversation.

2008-05-07_08-13-07.jpg

- 8:26AM: We all talked and talked, laughed, while others began dipping into the beer supply early. Nearly twenty minutes had passed since we stopped when FM. Jon Kenaghan (Bilbo) boarded the bus. He was the guilty attendee who mixed up departure times. We were glad we left early so we at least didn't lose too much time. It wasn't going to be the only delay of the day however.

2008-05-07_08-26-44.jpg

- 8:27AM: Most people looked at the situation with humor and we joked with Jon as he passed down the aisle towards the back. Jon and Andrea Searle had an interesting exchange of comments, something about dreams? That part of the morning is still a bit fuzzy.

2008-05-07_08-27-16.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 8:40AM: With the delay behind us, we entered the northern end of the central valley and saw some of the best high altitude Costa Rican countryside. The hillsides were dotted with nurseries and coffee plantations.

2008-05-07_08-40-42.jpg

- 8:42AM: The edges of the highway were lined with rows of Rainbow Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus deglupta. They also appeared to be used as property dividers or markers.

2008-05-07_08-42-19.jpg

- 8:48AM: "A nursery! Let's stop and look." The CRT personnel did a good job to persuade those attendees that it would be better to try and stop on the way back if we had extra time. This would have been another delay, but we found a better palm-rich location to stop at.

2008-05-07_08-48-36.jpg

- 8:53AM: The bus slowly became quiet as we continued to make good time driving down the highway. Attendees again took advantage of the down time to nap, listen to music or gaze out the window. We got closer to the town of San Ramon, our point of the trip where we would leave the highway for the mountain roads. The Corn Plants, Dracena fragrans, in the foreground were used as 'living fences' to separate property.

2008-05-07_08-53-23.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 8:54AM: Time to leave the flat, smooth lines of the highway and enter the roller-coaster pattern of the mountain roads. The areas around San Ramon were heavy with construction and there seemed to be no end to it. This area has to be one of the fastest growing areas of the country.

2008-05-07_08-54-40.jpg

- 8:56AM: Growth does take its toll on housing values. This house was for sale, but didn't see a price.

2008-05-07_08-56-41.jpg

- 9:00AM: People began to wake up and take their headphones off to take notice of our surroundings. We had to slow down a great deal to manage the surface streets through downtown San Ramon. The first unavoidable landmark was the San Ramon Parish Church, Temple Parroquial de San Ramon.

2008-05-07_09-00-04.jpg

- We had a few seconds to view it through wires and fencing but it is an impressive structure.

2008-05-07_09-00-35.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 9:08AM: Hang on to your breakfast. We began the constant ups and downs of the mountain roads as we progressed on a general northerly direction.

2008-05-07_09-08-30.jpg

- 9:22AM: We gained altitude at a record pace and began to drive through clouds instead of seeing then in the sky above. We provided amusement for a primary school while driving by. We waved, they waved, and we waved back. We wondered what the boy sitting on the shrine had done, since it looked like he was being punished.

2008-05-07_09-22-51.jpg

- 9:48AM: It clouded up a bit, but the no-rain pattern continued and we didn't see a drop fall. The forests got thicker and the views got even more spectacular. We had been on the road now for over two hours, but you couldn't tell that by looking at attendees. People grew tired of rest and became restless. Some who were sitting on aisle seats took turns delivering beverages from the back of the bus to people up front.

2008-05-07_09-48-13.jpg

- 9:50AM: We were riding along the side of a mountain and could see for miles. I was hoping it would clear up some so I could get better shots.

2008-05-07_09-50-00.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 10:01AM: We entered the small village of San Isidro and slowed down a bit. At first, I thought it was to give us a chance to get a look at the Peñas Blancas "White Rocks" River below. I was wrong. Everyone had their eye on the river instead of what was coming up ahead.

2008-05-07_10-01-04.jpg

- This is what was coming up ahead; a small, narrow bridge that looked the wrong size to cross with a bus. Bus #4 attendee Judy Kay, who was sitting in front of me, began to lose her mind as she did not like the combination of small bridges and long drops. We did our best to heighten her anxiety for our own amusement this time. She covered her eyes and we described how frail the bridge was.

2008-05-07_10-01-26.jpg

- I didn't see it happening, but luckily I was not driving. Our driver Don Juan took his time to line up the bus perfectly with the bridge. As we slowly crossed, the wheels were right on the edge of the concrete with no clearance on either side. We made it across and everyone applauded.

2008-05-07_10-01-35.jpg

- 10:02AM: Those of us on the left side of the bus were not sure what was sold here, but with one look at the banner many people wanted to stop and take a look.

2008-05-07_10-02-22.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 10:12AM: "Is that it?" We cleared the village behind us and had a flawless, flat topography to view across. In the center of photo, our destination came into view. We were still 11 miles (18km) from the Arenal Volcano but could still see it. It was going to get much bigger. The slightly less impressive Chato Volcano can be seen on the left.

2008-05-07_10-12-08.jpg

- 10:23AM: We drove though a tourist town as we got closer to the volcano. Every possible store was here, in addition to a casino.

2008-05-07_10-23-35.jpg

- 10:26AM: CRT Guide Jonny looks over a map with Bus #4 Palm Botanist, IPS Director and FM. Larry Noblick (Noblick). Larry wanted to double check our destination in preparing for the day ahead.

2008-05-07_10-26-14.jpg

- 10:37AM: The closer we got to the Arenal Volcano the more we were hit with a strong sense of awe. The photos will not do it a bit of justice. It was the perfect mental image of what a volcano should look like, minus the cloud cover.

2008-05-07_10-37-30.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Hilton Doubletree Cariari Hotel -> Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 10:45AM: The Arenal Hanging Bridges were on a mountain across from the volcano. To get to them, we have to drive all the way around the volcano and cross over the Arenal Dam. The dam prevents Lake Arenal from emptying into the Arenal River creating the largest fresh water reservoir in the country.

2008-05-07_10-45-17.jpg

- "Feel free to take all the Dam pictures you want." This was the eastern end of the lake and this tower seemed to have some sort of monitoring function. You could see where the water level reached during the wet season.

2008-05-07_10-45-34.jpg

- We reached the end of the dam and this one corner of the lake was filled with boats and all sorts of watercraft.

2008-05-07_10-45-56.jpg

- 10:49AM: The road over the dam went on and followed the edge of the lake. After a short drive, we did a u-turn and took an alternate road that went behind the dam and up the mountain side.

2008-05-07_10-49-53.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:02AM: Whew! We made it in one piece. After three plus hours on the road and one delay we arrived at the welcome center at the beginning of the hanging bridges. Attendees dived into the cooler on the right to restock their water supplies before we hit the trail. In the distance, towards the left you can see a deck that served as the traditional photographic outpost and volcanic viewpoint. Jeff Searle just has to get into every photo.

2008-05-07_11-02-22.jpg

- 11:05AM: We all took turns taking photos and posing with the Arenal Volcano. It was just one of those photos you just had to do. The temperature was cool, the weather was perfect and the atmosphere in front of the volcano made for a great moment. The mood was infectious, as seen on everyone's face from left to right: LeAnn Holmes, FMs. Paul Norris (Palmnorris), Judy Norris (Queen of Bling), Jeff & Andrea Searle, Judy & Jim Glock (jglock1), myself and Ron Kiefert (moose knuckle). Bill Olson was kind enough to take the photo for me.

2008-05-07_11-05-25.jpg

- 11:08AM: The cloud cover cleared a little more by the time I captured this photo with Forum moderators, Angela Blakely (putu enjula) and Dean Ouer (Dypsisdean). We had a few minutes to keep trying to blow the clouds away with our minds, but to no avail. We were called on over to the picnic tables to begin our 'hanging' experience with some minor reorganization.

2008-05-07_11-08-42.jpg

- 11:12AM: All the attendees were divided into groups of 12 to 15 people. We didn't see the importance at first of keeping groups this size. We found out why later. As soon as groups were formed and given a guide, we were on our way. The trail began instantly with a low height, yet very long bridge.

2008-05-07_11-12-11.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:13AM: The first bridge was not that high off the ground, but from looking down into the crowns of palm trees and feeling the bridge shake, you got the sense of decent height. This Astrocaryum alatum was the first large palm we saw crossing the bridge. The palm to the left of it is Chamaedorea tepejilote.

2008-05-07_11-13-35.jpg

- 11:15AM: Photo time was all the time. Paul & Judy Norris turn and pose while people behind them snap away. In case you were wondering, the bridge wasn't swaying that much, I was holding my camera in the air.

2008-05-07_11-15-52.jpg

- 11:16AM: The major palm of the entire trail was by far, Iriartea deltoidea. The entire mountain side was covered with hundreds of massive individuals, colonies and juveniles. We were fortunate to see several growing right along side the bridges within arms length.

2008-05-07_11-16-11.jpg

- 11:17AM: We reached the end of the first bridge then the trail turned and went into thick rain forest. Crossing this bridge was an accomplishment for those who had a problem with heights, but there were some serious ones still to come.

2008-05-07_11-17-00.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:17AM: This species of Ginger was quite common throughout Costa Rica, as we had seen it or a close cousin of it, in different places during the Biennial. I am sure this is a common species and enthusiasts out there should know what it is.

2008-05-07_11-17-54.jpg

- 11:18AM: My mixed sub-group of attendees was assigned Jorge as our guide. He was at it again, as he finds something up ahead to cause people to gather around. I heard someone say "Cool bug!"

2008-05-07_11-18-41.jpg

- 11:19AM: Jorge grabs and steadies a branch while I photograph this posing Praying Mantis. This was an awesome surprise so early in the trail. There are many species and they all look so much alike, so I didn't know which name to post.

2008-05-07_11-19-06.jpg

- 11:20AM: This demure palm became a instant beloved species. This is Chamaedorea pinnatifrons and it has some seriously large leaflets. A few attendees were tempted to dig up some of the seedlings littering the ground underneath. I didn’t see anyone around me doing it…

2008-05-07_11-20-19.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:20AM: It did not take long to start enjoying this place. It was surreal knowing the trail was following the steep side of a mountain. On one side we had a steep, moss covered wall while we were separated from certain death on the other side by a rope railing. It was hard to keep moving when there was so much to look at. Palms and various plants were growing along the trail and down in the culverts below us. CRT Guide Jorge was using his flashlight to examine holes in the rock wall, looking for spiders and other insects of interest. Whenever he would point out something or identify a plant we were photographing; we would follow up by writing it down in various notebooks, as seen by Bus #4 attendee Barry Lang in behind him.

2008-05-07_11-20-55.jpg

- 11:21AM: The trail was rich with life. You couldn't help but to appreciate the effort that must have been needed to carve out the trail and construct the hanging bridges in the middle of this mountain. The trail's surface was made of concrete turf block lined up against each other. It made it easier to walk on, compared to a dirt path and you know the trail wouldn't wash away in a rain storm. The majority of the trail in between the bridges resembled this particular view.

2008-05-07_11-21-25.jpg

- 11:22AM: We knew we could not dawdle too long, as the trail had much more to show us. We kept walking and "Ooh'ing and Ahh'ing" at the same time.

2008-05-07_11-22-05.jpg

- The second most common palm of the trail was Prestoea decurrens. It became a class for most of us to learn the differences between the genus Prestoea and its closest cousin, Euterpe. The trunk on the right belonged to the most common palm of the trail, Iriartea deltoidea.

2008-05-07_11-22-37.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:24AM: The mature Prestoea decurrens we saw in habitat seemed to be all flowering at the same time, unlike this smaller individual. In addition to the unique inflorescence, this palm does not have a crownshaft compared to Euterpe species, which do. The leaflets of this species are not pendant like Euterpe and they terminate with a narrow, sharp point.

2008-05-07_11-24-21.jpg

- Fighting through the overgrowth, this large juvenile Iriartea deltoidea was just shy of producing fully plumose leaves. This was a common sight along the trail as many plants have to fight for room on the forest floor.

2008-05-07_11-24-33.jpg

- 11:25AM: The palm above had a growing collection of dark black stilt roots.

2008-05-07_11-25-17.jpg

- 11:26AM: Always the adventurer, FM. Bill Olson (Bill Olson) found a different way to cross a nearby chasm. A tree had fallen from one side of the trail to the other, crossing a chasm at one turn of the trail.

2008-05-07_11-26-05.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:26AM: Doing his best to balance and to avoid slippery spots, Bill adeptly made his way cross the log to the other side. There were a few attendees that were holding their breath. They knew of course how terrifying the potential drop was, but I will not tell you.

2008-05-07_11-26-17.jpg

- We were walking across a short bridge that crossed over the chasm, when FM. Jeff Searle noticed a strange looking palm leaf coming out of the mountain side. Upon closer inspection, Jeff was able to inform everyone it was a fallen Astrocaryum alatum that was refusing to give up.

2008-05-07_11-26-57.jpg

- 11:27AM: This palm seemed to had been a victim of a mudslide and was knocked down the mountain, uprooted and stripped of all its leaves by someone with a machete. This was probably done by a park employee maintaining the trail. After all this bad luck, this Astrocaryum alatum fought against the odds and kept growing. The bud was able to counter the minus 45º angle and send a new set of dwarfish leaves upward. This is a testimonial to the adaptability of palms.

2008-05-07_11-27-25.jpg

- When we completed the turn, I looked back at the trail and wondered how many people had tried to cross that log and didn't make it.

2008-05-07_11-27-40.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:28AM: The appearance of this palm or these palms, was/were able to confuse quite a few people. I am not sure if Prestoea decurrens is solitary, clustering or both, but these were stems of several palms growing close together. In the genus description, it is noted that species may be solitary or clustering.

2008-05-07_11-28-11.jpg

- 11:29AM: "Zamia!" Attendees and especially the cycad indulgent, reacted happily to the sighting of a Zamia along the trail. Many identified it as Zamia skinneri but again with the naming under review, who knows.

2008-05-07_11-29-15.jpg

- On the opposite side of the trail from the Zamia above, FM. Bill Olson (Bill Olson) located a mature, female Chamaedorea deckeriana that was quite prolific in her attempts to spread her genes.

2008-05-07_11-29-47.jpg

11:30AM: Viewing under the palm and down the slope, Bill is pointing at the expended inflorescence and notices how gravity has led to the dispersal of seed. You can see several seedlings in the background. The spread continued beyond the vicinity, as we could see seedlings and larger plants way down the mountain side.

2008-05-07_11-30-00.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:30AM: "I got to get a photo of you with these roots, they don't grow like that in Texas." FM. Judy Norris (Queen of Bling) poses under an Iriartea deltoidea stilt root base for her husband Paul Norris.

2008-05-07_11-30-41.jpg

- A much larger set of stilt roots not far away became the center of attention for one reason or another. FM. Jeff Searle convinces Andrea Searle to do a unique pose with them as FM. Jim Glock (jglock1) readies his camera. IPS Director Kathryn Ostadal (Kathryn) looks on.

2008-05-07_11-30-53.jpg

- 11:32AM: With his attention to detail, CRT Guide Jorge points out several items of interest to FM. Linda Talbott (Linda Apriletti). There were very few things that Jorge did not know, and he would admit it if he didn't.

2008-05-07_11-32-01.jpg

- I turned 180º to find everyone looking at and taking photos of FM. Bill Olson (Bill Olson) as he did an impression of a National Geographic explorer. This was one of a few spots along the trail between bridges where full sun penetrated the canopy.

2008-05-07_11-32-11.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:32AM: We could hear the clanging noise of boots on bridge coming from up ahead. The descriptions of a 'giant' bridge quickly spread up and down the line of attendees. We could see the forest open in the distance behind this picturesque Iriartea deltoidea juvenile.

2008-05-07_11-32-59.jpg

- 11:33AM: The identification challenges continued unabated. We knew the trail held a healthy amount of Geonoma species, so I was on guard to see how many I might know. This was the first member of the genus I spotted and I didn't ID it as Geonoma cuneata until I was back home.

2008-05-07_11-33-58.jpg

- 11:34AM: Another view of the same plant shows its acaulescent, non-trunking nature. It is an attractive palm and I wish more members of Geonoma could grow in South Florida. I could picture him in a large pot.

2008-05-07_11-34-13.jpg

- 11:35AM: The trail began to turn in the direction of the bridge ahead and off the trail and down a steep embankment we noticed this massive adult Iriartea deltoidea. It was in a constant state of seed production and one of the newer inflorescences had its large spathe still attached.

2008-05-07_11-35-32.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:35AM: The trail took a quick turn and rise in elevation as we got closer to the beginning of the next bridge. This sun bathed Prestoea decurrens seemed to be enjoying the added light.

2008-05-07_11-35-49.jpg

- 11:38AM: This plant is quite common along the trail, and we were not sure what it was. FM. Jeff Searle holds up one of the leaves showing the pink underside. It does resemble a Tibouchina and we figured it could be a species of that genus.

2008-05-07_11-38-03.jpg

- Our spread out sub-group of attendees arrived at the second bridge of the trail at different times. It is very long and we could not see the end through the canopy. This is the Puente Terciopelo, or Fer-de-Lance Bridge. It is one of the more moderately-sized structures along the trail; and spans 157 feet (48m) long and carries people over the rain forest at a maximum height of 79 feet (24m).

2008-05-07_11-38-30.jpg

- 11:39AM: The bridge creaked and groaned as attendees traveled along it. We didn't really pay attention to how many were going over at one time. Our attention was focused elsewhere, like on how far up we were from the ground below. The area below was covered with numerous Prestoea decurrens.

2008-05-07_11-39-46.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:40AM: The hanging bridges gave us such a spectacular view of the rain forest, both above and below us. We could be looking down into the crowns of moderate palms, like Prestoea decurrens and at the same time look at birds flying by at eye level.

2008-05-07_11-40-19.jpg

- The bridge seemed to disappear into the forest ahead. I was at the mid-point of the span and I could not see either end.

2008-05-07_11-40-26.jpg

- 11:41AM: We cleared the second bridge and made it to terra firma once again. I, along with most other attendees was having an unbelievable time. Those who were fearful of heights were experiencing other emotions. This time the slope was on the other side of the trail, with the painful drop on our left side. We could still hear the bridge behind us make noises as people were rushing to catch up.

2008-05-07_11-41-12.jpg

- 11:42AM: The trail took a sharp turn to the right and went right through the mountain via the Jumping Pit Viper Tunnel, all 41 feet (12.5m) of it. Linda, Bill and I all hoped the name was figurative.

2008-05-07_11-42-01.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:42AM: I wanted to get a photo of someone in the middle of the tunnel, so I did a quick 180º turn to see who was behind me. The last one of the group to reach the tunnel was FM. Jeff Searle and he was busy looking for snakes...

2008-05-07_11-42-24.jpg

- The tunnel seemed to be well constructed, as it was one giant metal pipe covered in concrete. I wonder what manner of creatures uses this place as homes during the night.

2008-05-07_11-42-58.jpg

- 11:43AM: The flora changed slightly on the other side of the tunnel. We quickly saw many representatives of Chamaedorea tepejilote scattered all over. This specimen was taking the art of making aerial roots to a new level.

2008-05-07_11-43-43.jpg

- 11:44AM: "Is it raining?" "Hmm, why does it smell like pee?" "Monkeys!" We stumbled into a large troop of monkeys high above us in the canopy. As soon as one attendee pointed one out, everyone turned, aimed and fired like turrets. The monkeys were moving to our right as we were going straight along the trail. A few seconds later, we could here Howler Monkeys far in the distance. People began to make the decision to both stay and watch these White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys, or run ahead and try to capture the Howlers making a loud racket. I chose to stay, and I feel I made the better decision.

2008-05-07_11-44-15.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:49AM: Time went by, and the majority of the troop traveled on to the right via the high points of the canopy. As there were fewer monkeys to watch, attendees decided to move on hoping to see more down the trail. A few stayed back where I was hoping to get better and better views. This one individual seemed to have as much interest in us as we did in him. He had moved down to lower trees in the canopy and we could clearly see him. He had the look in his eye as if he was about to jump...

2008-05-07_11-49-08.jpg

- ... and he did, about five seconds after I took the photo above. Fly monkey! My kingdom for a wider-aperture lens… I had to sacrifice shutter speed for exposure so that is why the photo is blurry. Since the flash would not work at this distance, it was something I had to live with. I still like the photo and would not have missed the chance in taking it for all the palm seeds in China.

2008-05-07_11-49-27.jpg

- 11:55AM: I had the hunch that this guy might do something different. I waited another six minutes and he slowly kept moving his way down. Lower and lower he went. I said out loud "Oh crap this monkey is coming at us."

2008-05-07_11-55-56.jpg

- 11:58AM: Three minutes after he reached the spot above, he had moved down one large branch to greet us face to face. "Oh wow." He was determined to make a presence. We were shocked at the distance he was from us. He put on a defensive gait and paced back and forth on the branch flexing his arms and legs, raising his body up and down. We did a strange introduction as if the White-faced Capuchin Monkey, Cebus capucinus could understand us, but we did it anyway.

2008-05-07_11-58-46.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 11:58AM: My small group was having a ball with our monkey visit. I couldn't photograph fast enough and either could anyone else. This is an actual distance shot. I took it at 75mm so it shows realistically the distance between me and the monkey, about 6 feet (2m).

2008-05-07_11-58-57.jpg

- 11:59AM: He continued with his "big tough guy" routine, but didn't make any noise. We all concluded that he was a troop guard. He came on down to analyze what threat we could be.

2008-05-07_11-59-09.jpg

- We had spent so much time here, that the sub-group behind in schedule caught up to us. We gladly introduced him to the other group and I waited to see if he would jump on anyone's head. With the other group’s arrival, it meant that we had to get a move on.

2008-05-07_11-59-26.jpg

- 12:02PM: With that experience fresh in our minds it was difficult to talk about anything else for a while. We gladly told other attendees in our sub-group what they had missed by leaving early. Back to palm life, a new emergent pink frond belonging to a large clump of Geonoma deversa grabbed our attention this time.

2008-05-07_12-02-09.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:02PM: Geonoma deversa was another beautiful example of the genus. This wider shot shows the entire crown of the largest stem. I did not see too many plants of this species. I saw another group towards the end of the trail, but that was it.

2008-05-07_12-02-12.jpg

- 12:04PM: "Stop." "Now move to the left a bit... Stop!" "There, perfect." FMs. Linda Talbott (Linda Apriletti) and Bill Olson (Bill Olson) pose on a short bridge. They were part of the monkey viewing party from earlier so we didn't see many other attendees for a while. They were a good distance ahead.

2008-05-07_12-04-05.jpg

- 12:05PM: The third hanging bridge was quiet and empty by the time we reached this park sign next to it. The sign had some good advice including the warning about not loading too many people at one time. We didn't know it was about a weight limit until now, oops. We thought the bridges were stronger than that. I think 15 of us total was more than 220 pounds anyway...it didn't state anything about individual weight. We were more concerned about not getting caught "somoking". It was also strange that this sign was here and not at the beginning of the trail. If you had brought a pet all this way, you were screwed.

2008-05-07_12-05-28.jpg

- The Puente Hormiguero, or Ant Hill Bridge was the third hanging bridge of the day. It was almost twice as long as the last bridge we crossed. It is 285 feet (87m) long and 94 feet (28.7m) off the ground at the highest point. Bill was upset that the sign said he could no longer swing from the bridges.

2008-05-07_12-05-44.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:06PM: The mid-point in this bridge held a tremendous view of a valley. It spanned over the lower end of the valley and we could see far in every direction. We could see part of our sub-group up ahead exiting the bridge.

2008-05-07_12-06-19.jpg

- We sped up a little to catch up to them, but it was hard to pass up the views. This behemoth Iriartea deltoidea had a trunk that descended into the rain forest depths below us. It had a close relative just behind it. They were probably both seedlings at one point in time, long ago.

2008-05-07_12-06-35.jpg

- 12:07PM: We gazed along the valley floor, following a river until we noticed this waterfall feeding it. We thought that at times during the wet season that this waterfall must be a monster. The plant to the right of the waterfall is not a palm, but the Panama Hat Plant, Carludovica palmata.

2008-05-07_12-07-21.jpg

- Far above the waterfall, was this large hanging bridge covered with attendees. This is the aptly named Puente Catarata, or Waterfall Bridge.

2008-05-07_12-07-59.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:08PM: The bridge that was further away than the one we were on became the point of interest at the moment. We waved and made movements and they waved back. I changed to a zoom lens and tried to identify some of the attendees. It hit me that these were Bus #3 attendees and I could not see clearly enough to figure out who was who; but I know I had not seen them yet on the trail. This answered the other question that had been brewing in my head. How could attendees from both buses start at the same end in groups of twelve? Well it turns out half of the attendees started at the other end of the trail. I did not know this as we left the welcoming center in a hurry. The trail is one giant loop so this made sense and it was similar to what we did at Braulio Carrillo National Park.

2008-05-07_12-08-09.jpg

- Even in this panoramic shot, you can only see part of the bridge’s center section as it was the longest bridge of the entire trail; an incredible 301 feet (92m). That is one foot longer than a football field suspended in air.

2008-05-07_12-08-32.jpg

- This bridge also tied the record for the highest one along the trail. At a staggering 148 feet (45m) above ground it was the first true test for fans of height. With the wide angle sideways, I could not get both the bridge and the ground in the same shot. Don't trip! It was at this time I came across a small sign on the bridge I was crossing. It had an arrow pointing up to the Waterfall Bridge and it said "Your next bridge." Eeep.

2008-05-07_12-08-43.jpg

- 12:09PM: With a short and steep impending climb in our future, we began to join back up with our sub-group members. A climb seems to slow people down, imagine that. Before leaving the bridge, we got real close to batch of nearly ripe Iriartea deltoidea fruit.

2008-05-07_12-09-04.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:12PM: At the welcoming center, back at the beginning of the day, CRT personnel had warned us about a 200 ft section of the trail that was rough and asked if anyone would not be able to handle it. We were now at that part and we could see the reason for the warning. When we exited the third bridge, we made a sharp left turn and began to ascend. We had now been on the trail for an hour and we were presented with this splash of color.

2008-05-07_12-12-53.jpg

- The bloom itself was aged slightly, but the browning edges of the bracts, or lips actually helped identify it for me. Using the Berry and Kress book, the closest description that fit was Heliconia pogonantha var. pogonantha. It matches the photo as well, as if the bloom was new, using a little imagination. I certainly wouldn't mind if I had this one in my small collection. This was a large pendant bloom with bright color.

2008-05-07_12-12-56.jpg

- 12:15PM: We continued our ascent along the trail, with the valley on our left and with the mountain face on our right. I noticed that the drop was now very severe and we were given a wooden railing to protect us from the quick way down. I had my first encounter with a group of Bus #3 attendees that were heading in the opposite direction. It was like meeting friends again after a long time apart. "Hey, how are you?" "Fancy meeting you here." We exchanged stories and descriptions of incredible palms we each saw and told each other what to expect on their respective remaining half of the trail. One such palm caught the eyes of the group as I was approaching.

2008-05-07_12-15-10.jpg

- "Don't fall over John." I asked Bus #3 attendee and IPS Director John Rees to carefully lean over the railing and pose with this small clump of Bactris hondurensis. This was the most often fondled palm species of the Biennial, due to the fuzzy leaf undersides.

2008-05-07_12-15-35.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:18PM: The climb was constant and energizing in its own way. At some points the slope of the trail was steeper than 45º. CRT Guide Jorge was called over by Bill and Linda to identify something they had seen in the valley.

2008-05-07_12-18-46.jpg

- 12:20PM: With the direction we were heading up the trail, we quickly covered the distance to the Waterfall Bridge, but we were underneath it. The trail continued past the bridge then weaved back and forth up the mountain slope. I would like to be able to say that one side of the trail in this photo was level, but neither was. I was standing on a bench at a u-turn in the trail in order to capture this photo depicting the degree of climb.

2008-05-07_12-20-18.jpg

- 12:21PM: I was within minutes of reaching the Waterfall Bridge when I found an clearing in the canopy along the trail. I was able to get the attention of attendees from my sub-group as they were beginning to cross the bridge. From the left, Andrea Searle, FMs. Judy Norris (Queen of Bling), LeAnn Holmes, Judy & Jim Glock (jglock1). I always enjoy getting shots like these. They seem to represent the feeling of the day more than most. In the background towards the left, I could hear the loud scream "Damn' it Searle! Stop it!" echo through the trees.

2008-05-07_12-21-33.jpg

- 12:22PM: The phrase was being urgently repeated by FM. Paul Norris (Palmnorris) [2nd from left]. Paul has a small problem with heights and he was doing well until the compassionate person behind him, Jeff Searle, started to rock and sway the bridge back and forth. Paul decided not to wave, but to keep his hands firmly attached to the railing.

2008-05-07_12-22-45.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:24PM: Now that was a brisk climb. Just reaching the beginning of the Waterfall Bridge was a triumph in itself. Everyone seemed to settle at the midway point across the 301 foot (92m) span.

2008-05-07_12-24-50.jpg

- 12:26PM: As I approached, everyone told me to stop so they could photograph me for a change.

2008-05-07_12-26-14.jpg

- 12:27PM: The views from this spot were breathtaking. Sorry to use that common metaphor, but it is true. You can't get a feel for the incredible view of distance with the photo; you had to have been there in order to absorb it properly. This was looking down the valley, across the plains to the mountains far in the distance. It is amazing what you can see when your 148 feet (45m) up in the air.

2008-05-07_12-27-10.jpg

- 12:32PM: I was now in a mirrored position from earlier, looking down at the Ant Hill Bridge that we had crossed earlier. I was looking at the very spot I was at when photographing the bridge I was on now. We did the waving thing again and they waved back.

2008-05-07_12-32-02.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:33PM: With the narrow room while on the bridge, it made it difficult to capture portraits with people posing with the view in behind. I leaned as far back as I dared and used 18mm to get Linda and Bill together on the bridge.

2008-05-07_12-33-06.jpg

- I gave up trying to get better portraits, but I wanted to get one more group shot at the center of the span. With help from everyone in the photo, I captured them while they were in a smiling, staggered row. I forced out a higher aperture for some greater depth of field, to get everyone's face in the best focus possible. From front to back: FMs. Jeff Searle, Dan Ashley (KONADANTOM), Bill Olson (Bill Olson), Linda Talbott (Linda Apriletti), Craig Morgan (el Gato Grande), IPS Director Kathryn Ostadal (Kathryn) and Jayanne Crawley (La Lady).

When we were finished taking photos we began to make our way off the bridge. As we were walking, we both felt and heard a loud snapping sound coming from under our feet. <SNAP!..tinging> One of the horizontal bracing members of the bridge had failed and broke when we walked over it. We quickly surmised that the bridge currently held more than the 12 person limit so we quickly made our way off.

2008-05-07_12-33-42.jpg

- 12:35PM: When we made it back on solid ground, Jeff pointed back at the bridge and informed our guide Jorge and everyone else to what had happened. They didn't believe it at first and were a bit surprised, as their expressions would show.

2008-05-07_12-35-32.jpg

- 12:38PM: With that situation behind us, we continued on the trail. We were now more attentive about the amount of people that were on a bridge at one time. We found a small Zamia buried in leaf litter.

2008-05-07_12-38-15.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:39PM: Within almost a few seconds we were upon another bridge, this one much shorter and lower than the giant we crossed just a few moments before. Those who were having problems with heights found this one to be a breeze, well most did. The Pilon Tree Bridge, or Puente Pilon was a quick dash through the lower rain forest; as we began to traverse the section of the trail that led around the mountain. We knew we had a great view of the volcano coming up.

2008-05-07_12-39-19.jpg

- 12:40PM: We didn't spend any extra time here. We knew there were more bridges down the line and we hoped to catch a view of the volcano without cloud cover. We pushed the 12-person limit on our shuffled crossing.

2008-05-07_12-40-25.jpg

- 12:41PM: This new emergent leaf from a juvenile Iriartea deltoidea still carried the over-sized, terminal leaflet that is shaped like a paddle.

2008-05-07_12-41-13.jpg

- "Whew, my hearts-a-poundin'." Forum member and Texan cultural attaché Paul Norris (Palmnorris) takes a short breather as we reached the end of the fifth bridge. For someone who is not fond of heights, he was doing an incredible job, despite the actions of other group members.

2008-05-07_12-41-27.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:42PM: The small incident back on the Waterfall Bridge made everyone a little jumpy when it came to how these metal constructs were put together. FM. Jeff Searle takes a moment to inspect cables belonging to the Pilon Tree Bridge. "These bolts look like they're made of plastic." Luckily, they were not.

2008-05-07_12-42-11.jpg

- 12:44PM: This showy sprout had everyone guessing as to what it was. We figured it was possibly either Geonoma deversa [most likely], or G. ferruginea. The word "shovel" was being heard whispered around...

2008-05-07_12-44-05.jpg

- 12:45PM: "Paul!" I startled him by yelling his name to get him to smile. He didn't, but Bill did. We entered a section of the trail that was heavy with low canopy and thick with brush. There were quite a few turns. We stopped occasionally when a bird was either seen or heard.

2008-05-07_12-45-22.jpg

- 12:46PM: "Bus #4 attendees always walk single file to hide their numbers." The trail gained an increasingly steeper angle as we moved along. People began to see birds moving around in the distance along with a few palm rich areas.

2008-05-07_12-46-32.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:47PM: The trail got narrow in this one area and we took notice of a large leaf tree that grew above us. There was a little debate as to that it was. Some of the group, including myself, thought it was a Breadfruit Tree, Artocarpus altilis while others said it was not. The debate lingered until we saw another item of interest.

2008-05-07_12-47-48.jpg

- 12:48PM: The next item of interest was a liana, or large canopy vine. The Monkey's Ladder Vine, Bauhinia glabra, was growing just about everywhere and could be spotted easily. We thought, if monkeys could climb it, why not us?

2008-05-07_12-48-11.jpg

- The first to try doing just that was FM. Jeff Searle. He got a few feet in the air and struck a few different poses.

2008-05-07_12-48-43.jpg

- 12:50PM: Always at the ready when it came to risking life and limb, FM. Bill Olson (Bill Olson) thought he could do even better. He climbed several feet in the air and found a nice foothold to perch on.

2008-05-07_12-50-15.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 12:50PM: We were surprised to find this juvenile Geonoma cuneata growing right at the edge of the trail, in between turf blocks. It is a true survivor to have withstood the foot traffic of numerous park patrons.

2008-05-07_12-50-55.jpg

- 12:52PM: The more photos I took, the longer I lagged behind. No worries, as it was expected for sure. There were always those who were also not in a hurry, such as FMs. Bill Olson (Bill Olson) and Linda Talbott (Linda Apriletti). We came under the shadow of a large Astrocaryum alatum literally growing over the trail.

2008-05-07_12-52-51.jpg

- 12:53PM: Bill points out the cluttered root boss that seemed to be at the verge of collapse.

2008-05-07_12-53-02.jpg

- 12:59PM: The trail continued up around the corner where it met up with another large bridge. Just before we made it onto the bridge, we were greeted by a pair of Blue-crowned Motmots, Momotus momota. These two seemed to be in some sort of communication ritual. The bird on the right had a large insect in its beak and was following the other one around. Whenever the bird on the left would move to a new branch, the food carrier would not be far behind. It was theorized that it was the male following the female around with an offering of food. Perhaps he said something he shouldn't have.

2008-05-07_12-59-10.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palmarum

2008 IPS Biennial - Costa Rica

Day 05: Wednesday, May 7th

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano

Group 2, Buses #3 & #4

- 1:01PM: The ‘would be’ peace offering seemed to be a large wasp or bee. Eventually, the other bird grew tired of the interaction or of us watching and flew off. This bird then went ahead and ate its prize. You can see the characteristic racket-end of the Motmot's tail.

2008-05-07_13-01-55.jpg

- 1:03PM: The Puente Vista Arenal or the popular Arenal View Bridge had the most desired of all views. It is the same height as the Waterfall Bridge so we had an almost endless supply of rain forest below to gaze upon.

2008-05-07_13-03-17.jpg

- 1:04PM: It did not look like the cloud cover would move on any time in the near future, so we enjoyed what views we did had of the Arenal Volcano. Our guides told us it was possible for the volcano to become clear at a moments notice.

2008-05-07_13-04-37.jpg

- 1:05PM: The thick and heavy, bottle-brush like leaves belonging to the Iriartea deltoidea were amazing to look at up close. The petioles and rachises were super strong to keep the leaves so straight.

2008-05-07_13-05-38.jpg

Ryan

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...