I have returned from Costa Rica. Many photos await.

I have sorted through my 1,000+ photos and picked out the juiciest and tenderest morsels but I can’t post them yet because the books haven’t arrived from Amazon.com. The books I ordered are “The Birds of Costa Rica”, “The Wildlife of Costa Rica” and “The Plants of Costa Rica.” I need them because half of the time I had no idea what I was taking a photograph of. Specifically birds. Hoo boy, are there a lot of birds in Costa Rica. Periodically people would say the name of this bird or that one, but after a while it all sounded like, “That is a Yellow-Necked Deep-Vein Thrombosis, very rare in these parts,” so until the books come I have my photos labeled things like Plant1.jpg and Bird3.jpg. I can give a rough overview of the experience, though. This was my first trip to an America other than North America, so I was enthralled by everything I saw. I had never been to the rainforest either (the southern part of Africa is all savannah) so that was exciting as well. Lemme tell you about the rainforest – it looks really prehistoric. I kept waiting for a velociraptor to show up.

The name is super-accurate. It’s wet all the time. The rainforest gets something like eighteen feet of rain a year. If you stand still for five minutes, a fungus will take root on you, guaranteed. The picture below, they called this a “light shower”. By the end of the trip all my clothes smelled like I had washed them, immediately shoved them soggified into a non-breathable garbage bag and then chucked it into a corner of the basement for a month – even the clean clothes. I was charmed by the optimism of the local villagers, hanging their laundry out to “dry”.

You know all your house plants? All those sweet little leafy friends of yours? Well, they’re from the rainforest and they’re big. In their natural habitat they are enormous and they look like they are going to eat you. Here, look, some leaves with a hand for scale:

And I want to apologize to the artists of Central America. I never really liked the artwork from there because I thought it was a little garish, a little overly bright. Seriously, you don’t have to use the colors straight out of the tube, mix a little brown in there, fer cryin’ out loud. Now, having been there, I admit I was wrong. They were painting accurately because everything really is like that. A lot of RED and YELLOW and BLUE, so bright it buzzes in your eyes. When I correctly name my plant ‘n’ bird photos, you shall see for yourself.

This trip can be summed up by how many times I said the phrase, “Holy crap, look at the (fill in the blank)!!!” Everything was so big or so close or so much more than I had anticipated. I am already planning my next trip there (turtle-hatching season happens in July) and I’ve only been back for three days. I highly recommend going to Costa Rica. It’s only a five-hour flight, it’s relatively inexpensive, and their number-one industry is tourism (number two, technology; numbers three, four and five, coffee, bananas and pineapples) so they tend to know what they’re doing. If you have any questions about where I went or stayed, feel free to email me and I’ll hook you up with all the details.

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