November was a very cloudy, wet month. There was record rainfall throughout the Central Valley and along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. While there were many landslides throughout the country the Cloudbridge Reserve sustained no damage. All of the tree planting has paid off as we seem to have good soil retention on our slopes.
We are finally getting some solid walls on the classroom and it is taking on the appearance of a well constructed building. Henry and Jason have been applying the rapeo which is a plaster made of sand and cement mixed with water and added color. This is a slow process but the results are finished walls with a very organic feel.
Stephan has made his yearly trip from Germany to check on his research project and record the results of tree planting methods for reforestation in the tropical cloud forests. He brought his friend Martin along this time to assist with the recording and measuring of each tree in the project. Stephan reports that there is a decrease in tree mortality with a 85% survival rate which is up from the 70% in 2009.
November seems to be a time of year for some flowering species. You can hike the trails over and over and there is always something new that wasn’t there before, or looks entirely different. That is the beauty of the cloudforest – new flowers blooming, fruit hanging from branches at different stages of development, vines creeping down from somewhere above and clouds changing the vistas every few minutes.
There have been a few sitings of quetzals in the area lately. We have also spotted the spider monkeys on some of our hikes The pizotes seem to be everywhere, even rototilling the garden in Tom’s yard! Could it be that there is an increase in wildlife at the reserve with the maturing of the forest? We hope so.
Tree planting is over for this year as we are anticipating the dry season to start. (At least we hope so.) Victor has been busy in the vivero propogating seeds and cuttings for next years plantings.